Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Foles takes more reps than Vick and other Eagles practice observations

The Eagles opened up practice for the second time to the media on Monday. Here are some observations:

Foles takes more reps than Vick and other Eagles practice observations


The Eagles opened up practice for the second time to the media on Monday. Here are some observations:

-- Several Eagles players were absent from practice because of travel delays. Tackle Jason Peters, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, cornerback Cary Williams and safety Patrick Chung – all projected starters – intended to make practice, according to the Eagles, but were delayed by weather. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland also ran into the same postponements and wasn’t in attendance.

-- With Peters absent, Ed Wang took the first team repetitions at left tackle. The rest of the “starting” offensive line remained the same as last Monday’s unit – left guard Danny Watkins, center Dallas Reynolds, right guard Todd Herremans and right tackle Dennis Kelly. Top pick Lane Johnson continued to work with the second team at right tackle.

-- LeSean McCoy left practice early. I spotted the running back later walking through one of the halls at the NovaCare Complex with a plate of food. He said he did something to his knee. He didn’t look to be limping or in any pain. The Eagles did not have an official report on his condition.

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-- Nick Foles had the slight edge in quarterback repetitions with the first team. According to my math, Foles took 21 snaps and Michael Vick had 15. Vick had the edge last Monday. Vick took 21 snaps to Foles’ 16 with the second team. Matt Barkley’s snaps with the third team increase dramatically over last Monday. He had 21 to Dennis Dixon’s 5 and G.J. Kinne’s 2. I’ll have more on the quarterback competition later today and in tomorrow’s Inquirer.

-- Outside linebacker Brandon Graham got more work with the first team than he did last week. Trent Cole remained with the starters, while Connor Barwin was sprinkled around with the other teams. As with all the other positions I wouldn’t make too much of the depth chart at this time. On one play, Graham was lined up opposite wide receiver Jason Avant in the slot. Avant ran deep and Graham covered and was beat handily as Foles dropped a 40-yard pass into his receiver’s hands. Graham probably won’t be asked to cover many receivers that far downfield, but that play showed how far he has to go to get a grasp on a new position’s responsibilities.

-- Clifton Geathers spotted the absent Cox at defensive end. At 6-foot-8, Geathers is an interesting prospect. He languished in Indianapolis – or was it that he didn’t produce? It’s hard to figure out right now, but the Eagles obviously want to see what he’s got. He got plenty of reps with the first two teams during the practices I attended.

-- It was like old times at safety with Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman running with the first team. Cue: Angry Eagles fans. Chung wasn’t at practice, however, and the Eagles are obviously easing Kenny Phillips in. He was with the second team again. Allen made a few strong breaks on the ball. He’s always been a strong practice player.

-- Bradley Fletcher and Curtis Marsh were the first team cornerbacks again. Neither really stood out. Of course, I could have missed something. Williams missed all of last week after he got married. He should slide back in with the first team once he returns.

-- I’ve received a lot of questions about wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah. He didn’t practice last Monday after three days of work during rookie minicamp, but was out there today. If there’s one thing Eagles fans love, it’s a tall unknown receiver they believe can cure the Eagles’ issues inside the red zone. Momah is tall, certainly, at 6-foot-7. He didn’t look particularly fast. Maybe that had something to do with his size, but there wasn’t much separation on several plays I watched. He reportedly ran something like a 4.4 40-yard dash at Boston College’s pro day, so maybe there’s more in the tank than he showed today.

-- There have been a decent amount of dropped passes during the two practices I watched. It may be just an anomaly. It may be because of all the plays Chip Kelly runs at practice. Most of the culprits have been young guys trying to make the team.

-- Clay Harbor isn’t young anymore. He’s entering his fourth season, but he’s a long shot to make the team with Brent Celek, James Casey and Zach Ertz also at tight end. Harbor revealed last week that he took some snaps at outside linebacker. It was probably more an experiment than anything, but the move doesn’t bode well for Harbor’s chances of making the team. I didn’t see him play anything other than tight end on Monday. He had a few errors. He dropped one pass that I saw and jumped offsides backing a backed-up drill. Avant, who also played a little defense at slot cornerback last week, played exclusively at wide receiver.

-- I got to watch Felix Jones for the first time since the Eagles signed the former Cowboys running back last week. He looked smooth enough and was already immersed in the offense. He even fielded punts along with DeSean Jackson, Damaris Johnson, Jeremy Maclin and Nick Miller. Jones was primarily a kick returner in Dallas. He wore No. 37.

-- Kelly’s song playlist had more of a techno, dance club beat on Monday. The Eagles – the rock band – certainly don’t qualify as dance club music, but Don Henley, Glenn Fry and company were one of the first on the soundtrack with “Life in the Fast Lane.”

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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