Eagles training camp 2013: Practice notes, Part 1, the offense

This will be Part 1 of my training camp practice recap. We'll cover the offense on this one, the defense in Part 2. In Andy Reid style, let's start with injuries, as a number of players were unable to finish practice:

LeSean McCoy (knee), Cary Williams (hammy), Russell Shepard (hammy), Damaris Johnson (hammy), Felix Jones (hammy).

The notes:

• Michael Vick had an amazing throw today, perhaps the best throw I've seen all camp. He had a defensive lineman coming at him head on, so he flipped a sidearm throw around the Pats defender to DeSean Jackson, who was running across the middle. The throw was on the money, and had plenty of juice on it. Just a ridiculous throw.

• Nick Foles is never going to beat Usain Bolt in a foot race. However, he's a legitimate athlete. He made one play today in the red zone in which he stepped up to avoid a wide pass rush, then moved to his left while firing a pass to Zach Ertz in the back of the end zone. The pass was broken up by a Pats defender, who made a great play, but the ball was on target. Remember, the focus in practice should not be on results, but rather how each guy actually looks, and he looked really good on that throw. Foles has excellent pocket presence, which he has displayed so far this camp. He is most definitely not a Drew Bledsoe-esque statue.

I didn't watch the QBs extremely closely today, choosing instead to look at some other things, so I can't give a useless "(____) looked better today" proclamation, although the feeling here in the media room was that it was fairly even.

• The Patriots do something that is so simple, yet so smart in their 2-minute drill. In "spike the ball" situations, one of Brady's receivers will run a quick out, like this:

Brady will take a quick look at the receiver, and if it's wide open, he'll make the throw and the receiver will get out of bounds. That gives them a quick, cheap 4 or 5 yards with the clock stopping anyway. If it's not there, Brady just spikes it. I wonder if the Eagles paid attention to that.

• In a previous practice recap, I noted that the Eagles liked the following route combo:

They ran it again today against the Pats in the red zone, with Zach Ertz making a wide open TD catch. Ertz was the guy lined up on the outside running across the middle.

• Desean Jackson has been dominant. He catches a bomb in almost every practice.

• Greg Salas had the play of the day. Here's how I described it on Twitter. Can you tell I got a little fired up about it?


I talked to Salas after practice today. He couldn't remember dropping any passes during training camp. Neither can I.

• Here's my Eagles WR power rankings so far (among the walking):

1) Desean Jackson

2) Riley Cooper

3) Jason Avant

4) Damaris Johnson

5) Greg Salas

6) Russell Shepard

7) Nick Miller

8) Ifeanyi Momah

9) Will Murphy

• Chris Polk had another long run today. (Yawn). Meanwhile, Bryce Brown had at least one drop that I saw. Others were reporting that he had at least two. There are a growing number of people who believe that Chris Polk could wind up being the #2 RB.

• The Eagles are going to announce a starting QB for the for the 1st preseason game on Friday. The consensus opinion is that they'll start Vick, although the decision is basically meaningless, as both players will work with the 1's.

We'll have Part 2 on the defense later, when I have time to type up my notes after my 3:30 chat.

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