Waking up today felt like waking up for Christmas morning as a young boy. Remember as a kid how much sweeter Christmas morning was when you got an amazing gift on Christmas eve? That is how this 2018 training camp season feels knowing the Eagles are reigning Super Bowl champions.
The Eagles hit the field for the first practice today that involved a new wrinkle in the slot CB conversation, struggles from a particular young offensive lineman, sex jokes from our fearless leader, and more!
The star-studded PUP list
The Eagles released their PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) and NFL (Non-Football Injury) lists that included a number of key starters from the 2017 title run who are unable to go at the start of camp. The lists included:
DE Brandon Graham (PUP)- Ankle Injury
WR Alshon Jeffery (PUP)- Shoulder Injury
DT Timmy Jernigan (NFI)- Back Injury
S Chris Maragos (PUP)- Knee Injury
WR Bryce Treggs (NFI)- Lower Body (Hockey reference nice)
This isn’t quite as loaded as the 2017 injured reserve squad but there are some notable names on this list. Brandon Graham was hoping to be ready for training camp but his regular season status shouldn’t be in jeopardy.
Like Graham, Jeffery being sidelined is a product of toughing out the title run last year while injured and addressing his shoulder injury this off-season. Don’t expect to see a lot of Jeffery until Week 1 against Atlanta.
Jernigan is the interesting case here. While he could be ready after a few weeks in the regular season, he could also miss at least a month with a herniated disc
Issac Seumalo the supposed apparent to Jason Kelce did not get off to a great start at center. Specifically with snaps. Countless times Seumalo snapped the ball over the head of his quarterback and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was not pleased.
Isaac Seumalo (second team center) just snapped the ball way over Carson Wentz’s head. Jeff Stoutland not pleased. #Eagles
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 26, 2018
Dallas Goedert lines up on the outside
The 2018 second round selection was expected to be used in a number of formations on offense with his deep threat ability, big size, and rock solid hands.
At practice today Goedert was seen working as the lone receiver on one side of the ball in four receiver sets with the other three on the opposing side.
Letting Goedert work with some ISO ball is a dangerous idea for other defenses to worry about against the Eagles. The former South Dakota State standout led the NCAA FBS in deep receiving receptions and yards last year.
Sidney Jones worked as the first-team slot corner
It has been speculated all off-season who would replace Patrick Robinson as the new starting slot CB. Although the coaching staff has primarily talked up Jalen Mills for the spot, Sidney Jones has shown over the spring and summer he can play anywhere on the field including the slot where he was the first-team starter on defense.
Devante Bausby had another strong practice but it would be difficult for the Eagles to keep Darby, Mills, or Jones off the field.
If Jones has a strong summer it may instill confidence into Schwartz to put Mills inside in nickel formations.
Rasul Douglas picks off Nick Foles
We mentioned Jones getting first team looks, Mills is set for a starting job on the outside or inside, Darby looks like a clear starting CB, but quietly Rasul Douglas is impressing.
Douglas jumped a route today thrown from Nick Foles that would have been a pick-six in a real game. Douglas’s aggression can often be costly, but with his length and instincts for the ball, he might make it hard for the Eagles to keep him off the field.
Perhaps he plays well enough to push up an eventual Ronald Darby departure? Not likely but it is good to know that when the Eagles need to turn to Douglas as they did in 2017 that he will be a reliable starter.
Carson Wentz doesn’t look injured
Anyone with eyes can see Wentz looks completely healthy. His promising spring and first day of training camp makes the speculative report this week about him starting on the PUP list mind boggling.
Wentz practiced in limited fashion today with the second team, even getting reps in 11 on 11s (he only practiced 7 on 7s in OTAs).
Doug Pederson wants to be cautious with six weeks still to evaluate Wentz but he shouldn’t be cautious just for the sake of being cautious or scared to rush Wentz. That is the way the Sixers handled Embiid at times last year which was often the wrong move.
Healthy is healthy and unless he suffers a setback (knock on wood), it looks like Carson is going to start Week 1.
Carson Wentz made a sex joke
Who will the Eagles target at RB?
Le’Veon Bell? LeSean McCoy? Tevin Coleman? The Eagles are in the hunt for a running back to replace Jay Ajayi after he suffered a torn ACL in the loss against Minnesota.
Will the Eagles go in for a star or add a rotational piece alongside Corey Clement like Spener Ware or CJ Prosise.
Louie and Gino speculate on another edition of the Locked on Eagles podcast!
Another McCoy trade between the Eagles and Bills?
The Eagles, in search for a running back after starter Jay Ajayi tore his ACL on Sunday against the Vikings, reportedly contacted the Bills about a potential deal for LeSean McCoy.
Would the Bills consider giving the Eagles their all-time leading rusher back? What would it take? Has McCoy lost a step?
Louie and Kevin Massare of Locked on Bills touch on everything you need to know about the Eagles-Bills trade rumors involving LeSean McCoy.
Would the Dolphins trade the Eagles another RB?
It was just a year ago that an Eagles team dominating the NFL wanted to put the offense over the edge by dealing for a difference maker at the running back position. That difference maker turned into Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi who fell out of favor with Head Coach Adam Gase after tensions grew with Ajayi’s role shrinking as the year went on.
The Eagles swooped in giving the Dolphins a 4th round pick and Ajayi helped lead Philadelphia to their first ever Super Bowl championship, averaging 5.8 yards per carry with the Birds.
A year later the Eagles are searching for help in the backfield with the news that Ajayi is out for the season after tearing his ACL in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Would the Dolphins consider making a second deal with the Eagles for a running back? Preferably another young, efficient runner in Kenyan Drake that hasn’t been used by Gase?
Drake was a big reason the Dolphins were OK letting Ajayi go to Philadelphia last year. The former Alabama running back averaged almost five yards a carry in the second half of the season.
However in 2018 Drake has not been used nearly as much as a year ago. Drake has just 14 carries in the last three weeks with just 53 yards on the ground.
Frank Gore meanwhile has 10+ carries in back to back weeks.
Drake is just 24 years old and doesn’t have a big cap hit like other potential trade targets for the Eagles in Le’Veon Bell or LeSean McCoy. He is a cheaper, younger option who also possesses the vision, speed, explosive play-making ability that Bell and McCoy have.
This was so sick of Kenyan Drake lol pic.twitter.com/xXOCMhZrsy
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) August 18, 2018
He also could help solve the offense’s issues against the blitz with strong pass protection.
That run after the catch is nice, but let’s talk about Kenyan Drake killing a man on his pass pro. pic.twitter.com/MD5QPMRdVx
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) October 7, 2018
The Eagles could also call about Frank Gore, a former legend in Philadelphia but the Eagles would more likely go for a younger, faster back that can make game changing plays that Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood just can’t make on a consistent basis.
Clement will still be a big part of this backfield but the Eagles need to add someone like Drake to keep this offense dangerous in both the pass game and run game.
Carson Wentz has thrown a lot in his first three starts this year and while the passing game should be the focal point of the offense, the Eagles need to have a legitimate run game that was extremely important in the Super Bowl win last year (Blount, Ajayi, Clement combined for over 200 scrimmage yards in the Super Bowl).
If Miami was willing to deal, Drake could be a great option.