Eagles OLB Trent Cole (58) walks off the field after training camp practice at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia PA. Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

First Notes From Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp

What stood out from the first Eagles’ training camp sessions.

 

The training camp of the Philadelphia Eagles is finally underway. The first two practices took place over the weekend and today will be the first practice with pads on. Additionally, today’s session will be held in Lincoln Financial Field and will be the first one open to the public.

The players have not practiced as a team since June 19, when the mandatory mini-camp ended. As usual, the first few days of the training camp are used to shake off the rust and get back into a football routine. However, there are a few things from the weekend’s practices that are worth noting.

 

Trent Cole VS LeSean McCoy

This does not refer to a position battle, but to the heated exchange between the two Eagles stars. Per Jeff McLane of Philly.com, after the first play of the 7-on-7 drills, McCoy and Cole got into a scrap and had to be separated by their teammates. McCoy had to be restrained twice.

The 26-year old running back later said (from Eagles 24/7):

“That was nothing. Just two friends going at it. The whole camp so far he’s been touching me just a  little too much and I’m trying to let him know, ‘It’s OK if you can’t cover me. You know, it’s OK,’ ” McCoy cracked. “But we’re just battling, that’s all. We’ll go into this locker room here, talk it out, joke it out. It was nothing.”

Like McCoy said, there’s nothing to read here. If you ever played organised sports at a competitive level, you know these things happen all the time. Last year, Riley Cooper and Cary Williams had a fight that looked bad on camera, but in the end it was nothing.

 

Marcus Smith

When the Eagles announced Marcus Smith as their first round pick, their decision was met with skepticism. The reason behind that was that most didn’t think Smith could make a difference for the Eagles.

For the time being, Smith has been practicing with the third team and had some plays with the second team. Bill Davis, the Eagles dfensive coordinator, said that he is happy with Smith’s progress and he plans to let him go against the first-team offense at some point (from Philly.com):

We do have to roll him in, and that’s part of the reason you’ll see him running at times with the ones against our tackles, so we can evaluate him against some of the best tackles in the business. Over there against [left tackle ]Jason [Peters], you’re not going to get any better work than going daily day in, day out against him.”

Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley

The quarterbacks are doing a great job so far at the Eagles training camp. While Nick Foles is leading the first team with maturity, Sanchez and Barkley are fighting for the number two job and both have been very good. The former Jet seemingly has the advantage over Barkley, but there we have a long way to go until the final roster and the depth chart are decided. Still, their improved level of play are good news for the Eagles and the fans.

Alex Henery VS Carey Spear

The placekicker position is the weakest spot on the Eagles roster. Both Alex Henery and Carey Spear are not options for a team looking to go deep in the playoffs.

During the first practice, the two kickers had five field goal attempts from the 30-40 yard range. Each missed one attempt.

In his career, Henery has been struggling with 50+ yard field goal attempts and has not been consistent with touchbacks in kickoffs. It doesn’t look like he will be much stronger in 2014.

Spear, on the other hand, has shown greater leg strength, but he is inexperienced and doesn’t look like an upgrade over Henery.

This is definitely one of the most interesting position battles at the Eagles training camp.

 

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Tags: Alex Henery LeSean McCoy Marcus Smith Mark Sanchez Matt Barkley Nick Foles Philadelphia Eagles

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