Today, two days after a smothering win over the Indianapolis Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles resumed practice. After seeing the performances on the Sunday, we’re starting to get a feel for how the training camp battles are shaking out. Today in practice, we got a little bit of clarity.
First off, the Eagles practiced in shells today. No full pads. That is pretty common, given that the players need time to recover and recuperate before joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens start later this week.
Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford looked sharp today after missing the team’s first preseason game. In red zone drills, Bradford went 2/3. Both completions were for touchdowns, one to Eagles wideout Josh Huff and the other to Eagles wideout Miles Austin. He showed some mobility, rolling out both ways to make throws; it’s something he really hasn’t done much this summer. On another sequence, Bradford goes 3/3 with a TD to Seyi Ajirotutu capping off the drive.
The previously aforementioned “clarity” comes in the form of the right guard battle. Going into the preseason, the spot was wide open after the Eagles released both 2014 starting guards Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis. Guard Andrew Gardner seems to be separating himself from the pack. He played very well in Sunday’s preseason game and took almost all the first team reps today.
We’re starting to see the Eagles depth chart at quarterback a bit more clearly now. Quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez are entrenched as the starter and primary backup, respectively. I’m sorry to Tim Tebow fans, but it’s not likely he makes the final roster. Third year quarterback Matt Barkley looked better on Sunday and took the bulk of the third team reps today. Tebow, while he adds a different dimension to the position, just won’t beat out the Barkley.
Big news on the injury front: Kiko’s Back!! Eagles inside linebacker Kiko Alonso missed some time last week due to a concussion. He is being brought back slowly, but figures to get some good reps in this week against the Ravens.
After practice, Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin, who led the NFC in sacks last year with 14.5, worked with outside linebacker Marcus Smith on pass rush moves. Smith had a very solid game on Sunday. He looked tremendous against the run and in coverage. Didn’t show much in pass-rush, though. At least Barwin is working with him. One quick note, PFF graded Smith positively only in run stopping on his 46 snaps, while last week’s addition, outside linebacker Diaheem Watkins graded out better as a pass rusher and run stopper on his 27 snaps.
We’ll see what the Eagles bring this week against the Ravens. It’ll be fun to have some competition.
Fly Eagles Fly.
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