The Philadelphia Eagles are just days away from their first preseason game of the season against the Indianapolis Colts. That means they went back to work today at the NovaCare Complex to prepare for their match-up with the Colts as well as the regular season. Here’s a recap of today’s practice with insight and reports from those at the event.
Sam Bradford continues to separate himself from the pack
Although it didn’t appear he had his best practice on Wednesday, quarterback Sam Bradford once again played well enough to take nearly all of the first team reps during team drills. Bradford continues to hook up with second-year wide receivers Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews but it appears that Huff is quickly becoming one of the gunslinger’s favorite targets. Nearly every time the Eagles hold a team drill, it seems like Bradford is connecting with Huff for a touchdown or a deep pass. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com tweeted this out, also pointing out how well Huff did in practice today:
Another Marcus Smith sighting!?
The world almost ended during yesterday’s practice when second-year outside linebacker reportedly had his “best practice ever” and destroyed offensive linemen Dennis Kelly during a drill. Smith apparently followed up yesterday’s performance with another strong showing in practice today. Brandon Lee Gowton of BleedingGreenNation.com pointed out how Smith beat offensive linemen Matt Tobin for a would be sack if it was a real game:
It’s critical for Smith to finally make an impact after basically being a non-factor during his rookie season. Smith has reportedly put on 15 pounds during the offseason and looks more comfortable than he did last year. With the release of veteran outside linebacker Trent Cole and Travis Long‘s season-ending injury, Smith should be the team’s third outside linebacker and rotate at a rate similarly to how Brandon Graham did last season.
But Smith will have to prove he deserves those snaps and his performance during preseason action will be crucial. The spot is there for the taking, now he has to go out there and claim what should be his.
What’s going on with DeMarco Murray?
There seems to be a bit of a mystery going on with running back DeMarco Murray in Philadelphia. He’s missed a practice due to his hydration levels, which didn’t seem like a big deal. But now Murray is sitting out some reps during team drills which is a bit concerning as well. Apparently it isn’t because he’s hurt but Murray claims there are some plays where he isn’t as comfortable as he’d like to be. Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com has more on Murray’s interesting situation:
"On what determines which days he does more work compared to others:“Just depends on the plays. I think some plays where I am comfortable, there are some plays where I definitely need a little more work on.”On if he communicates with Chip Kelly about his practice schedule:“I think he watches enough film and sees me out here to know what I am working on, and some things I need to work on constantly. Obviously there are some things I am more comfortable doing. I think the whole coaching staff they have a good grasp on how to use certain players and know what to throw at them.”"
Jordan Matthews works harder than you do
It’s never been a secret that second-year wide receiver Jordan Matthews is a hard worker. Ever since he landed in Philadelphia, Matthews has let it be known that nobody is going to outwork him. After nearly every catch in practice, Matthews sprints to the end zone focusing on finishing each and every play strong. Matthews has also routinely stayed after practice working on his hands with the JUGS machine.
But usually when players use the machine, they’re standing upright and catching like they normally would. Yet that is apparently too simple for Matthews, he’s taken things to another level by catching the ball while lying on his back. Likely trying to work on his focus and looking the ball in. If he gets used to catching the ball upside down, he’ll have no problem catching it on game day. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com recorded a video of Matthews working after practice on his super ninja, upside down ball tracking skills:
That’s all for today’s practice recap, be sure to check back for the latest Eagles’ news, analysis and more!
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