Apologies for my lack of practice notes yesterday. I did take notes, I just didn't type them up and publish them yet. Soooo... It's a two-for-one today!
• The Eagles ran a drill in which the running backs were tethered to each other by a large stretchy rubber band-like object. The idea is to give the runner added resistance. Here's a video:
When Darren Sproles runs the drill, it almost looks like he's a toddler tethered to his parent at the mall.
Sorry, Darren. :)
• The overwhelming feeling here among the media is that Mark Sanchez has looked bad so far, and I don't disagree. However, he has also occasionally looked pretty good. For example, on Monday, he completed a really sharp out route in traffic. He also hit a nice seam route into a tight window down the seam. Those are the plays where you can see why the Eagles brought him in.
And then there are moments where his passes are nowhere near anyone. Sometimes he's clearly throwing the ball away toward the sidelines, which is fine, and then there are other times he's throwing to empty spaces in the middle of the field, where it's difficult to figure out what he's trying to do. When you see passes that don't make any sense, more than likely they're miscommunications. Sanchez is still learning the offense. If he continues to make a high number of weird throws in August, it'll be more concerning. But in June, on a new team, his erratic play so far is probably to be expected no matter what anyone's preconceived notion of the player may be.
In other notable "preconceived notion of Mark Sanchez" news, Mark Sanchez is so Mark Sanchez. At one point during practice today, someone tossed a football to him, and he set it like a volleyball before catching it.
• Nick Foles wasn't at his best on Monday, throwing two interceptions (Curtis Marsh and DeMeco Ryans got him), but he was much better today. There's a big gap between Foles and whoever is going to be the No. 2 quarterback at this point.
• Jordan Matthews has looked really good so far. I wouldn't be surprised if he had double the number of catches of any other WR here in camp, at least in the practices that have been open to the media. That caused me to tweet the following during practice.
In limited media access to OTAs so far, Jordan Matthews has looked like the best WR on the team, in my opinion, and it hasn't been close.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) June 10, 2014
I then tried to give it proper perspective.
In regard to last Jordan Matthews tweet, however, important to give context. Cooper/Maclin probably taking it a little easier in June.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) June 10, 2014
Look at the difference in the number of retweets in those two tweets above. Crap.... I'm contributing to the hype train. To add even more perspective, practices in shorts means no press coverage, no real pass rush, and no fear of being popped after a catch. Frankly, wide receivers should do really well in OTAs.
Still... Matthews is passing the eye test early, and then some.
• Speaking of Maclin, he caught a bomb down the right sideline from Nick Foles, who threw on the run. Maclin did a nice job tracking the ball down and adjusting slightly while it was in the air. Good to see a guy recovering from an ACL tear make a play like that.
• Another receiver who has looked good is Jeff Maehl. He had a nice diving catch today.
• Third round pick Josh Huff has been kind of invisible so far, in that he hasn't really done anything all that good or bad yet, until today. He muffed a kickoff today, however, he did make several catches over the middle in team drills.
• In the Murderleg vs Noodleleg competition, Alex Henery went 5/5 on FGs, while Murderleg went 4/5. Field goal distances varied from around 35-50 yards out. (I went behind the goal post to see if their kicks were good, which made it difficult to see the distance). Henery was also far better on kickoffs. Murderleg booted one kickoff out of bounds (bad penalty), and didn't have as much distance as Noodleleg.
Therefore... once again... Noodleleg wins the day!
You can go ahead and put Murderleg's odds at beating out Henery at somewhere near 99-1. In fact, let's go ahead and upgrade him to ziti.
As far as whether or not Henery looks like he has added leg strength, it's really too difficult to say. He had a few nice kickoffs today, but it was hot and humid, which is conducive to the ball traveling well. Kicking in weather conditions like we had today isn't the same as kicking at the Linc in 38 degree weather with a wind blowing left to right at 8-10 MPH.
• Rookie UDFA Blake Annen had a couple consecutive bad drops in TE drills. Assistant TE coach Justin Peelle fired the first two passes in, and Annen had to go back to the front of the line after each drop. Peelle then lobbed the third one in to make sure he caught it. Tough love.
• I've gotten some questions about how certain offensive and defensive linemen have looked. At this point in the offseason, before they put the pads on, it's really difficult to come away with any real opinions of the guys in the trenches. That will come later.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski