Today was the first day of Eagles-Patriots practices, and there are notes galore. Let's just get right to it...
• Riley Cooper is back, and he had a great day. By the unofficial count, he had 3 TDs, and just looked really good, as he has throughout the entire camp. He's probably the most likely starter opposite DeSean Jackson Week 1.
• Nick Foles' day started very poorly, but he recovered in a big way. On his very first rep, Foles threw a short pass into the flat where it should have been picked off by Aqib Talib and taken back the other way for 6. But after that, he was great. His highlight throws:
- Foles' best throw on the day was a post corner route to Riley Cooper. The ball came out before Cooper made his final cut, but it was delivered to a perfect spot over Cooper's shoulder. Great ball.
- Foles hit DeSean Jackson deep down the sideline for a TD. They beat rookie Logan Ryan. Good throw, although DeSean got a lot of separation. Easy.
- Foles had another little subtle throw that impressed me. DeSean Jackson was running across the middle wide open. Foles hitched before throwing, quickly reloaded, and fired. It took me a second to realize what the hitch was all about, but I figured out that a flyswatter guy was likely in the way initially.
• Michael Vick wasn't without highlights. His best play came on the rollout to the left. He threw to the back of the end zone to a fairly well covered Riley Cooper, but put the ball where only Riley could get it. Both QBs were good today, although I'd give the edge to Foles... which basically means nothing.
Vick was sacked twice. He also threw a TD pass... after he was sacked. He's holding onto the ball to long. So is Foles, frankly.
• Matt Barkley struggled again in the few reps he received. It's clearly a 2-horse race.
• Chris Polk continues to be awesome. He had another long run today. I was standing next to Dan Klausner, Eagles intern extraordinaire, and he remarked that Polk does a good job of "getting skinny" when he bursts through the line. What he means by that is that he gets low and thin. He does a good job of getting his arms in tight and not running upright. This gives the defense less of a target to hit.
It may be premature to start thinking about Polk as the #2 back before they've even played a preseason game, but Polk is at the very least a major threat to take away some of Bryce Brown's carries. That's not to say Brown has not been good. Polk has just been outstanding.
• Bryce Brown had a eye-opening run today in his own right. He ran into the line and made contact with Pats rookie LB Jamie Collins. Collins got knocked back a good 3 yards.
• Felix Jones had another drop today. He's not even close to Polk at this point.
• Ifeanyi Momah is likely not going to make this team, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he didn't even land on the practice squad. During 1-on-1's against the Pats corners, Momah could not get off the jam, he could not separate once he got going, and he did a poor job of going after contested balls in the air. That's a triple-whammy. He was dominated.
• Russell Shepard had an iffy day. He was involved in a deep ball against Alfonzo Dennard, but failed to separate. This normally isn't that big of a deal, but Eagles receivers were roasting Dennard all day. Shepard also got screamed at by Chip Kelly for not being set when a ball was snapped.
• Damaris Johnson had a kick return today in which he he faked to the outside, then cut on a dime outside. There's nothing I can type to accurately describe it, but basically, about 5 Pats defenders were juked out of the shoes and Damaris had a huge lane to run to on the outside.
• Arrelious Benn hit the ground once today and got up a little gimpy.
• James Casey dropped what would have been TD throw from Foles. The TEs have dropped an abnormal number of passes this camp, although it has not really been much of an issue with Casey so far.
• The offense was generally good today. The defense, not so much. I didn't see much of the Pats WRs vs the Eagles' DBs. I chose instead to watch the Eagles WR vs the Pats' DBs. Here's what I missed:
Yikes. Brady also carved up the Eagles defense all day in team drills.
• Damion Square got pancaked by a Pats offensive lineman.
• Brandon Graham looked bad in coverage against Pats RB Leon Washington. Washington got about 4-5 yards of separation on Graham down the sideline, but caught the ball out of bounds.
• Cary Williams got in a fight today with rookie WR Aaron Dobson. That ended Williams' day. Chip Kelly noted after practice that he and Bill Belichick agreed that if players fought, they were done.
• Kenny Phillips worked with the 1's today over Nate Allen. Interesting.
• The Eagles ran a fake FG, and it worked. Donnie Jones had a wide open lane around the corner. The play also provided some comedy, as the Eagles players on the sideline were yelling "GO DONNIE!!!" at the slow-footed punter/holder.
• Random Pats note: I took a look at the Pats' roster. They have 8 guys from Rutgers.
Here's Jaws talking to Merrill Reese. I'm not sure what the guy in the Eagles shirt is doing in the background:
Here's Tom Brady looking over at the Eagles side of the field. You know what this is? Fear.
OK, maybe not fear.
Click here for complete coverage of Philadelphia Eagles training camp.