After a day off on Saturday, the Eagles were back out on the practice fields today at the NovaCare complex. Today's notes:
• The defense as a whole was good in coverage today, as Nick Foles explained. "You probably saw today that we checked down a lot more to the backs than we have recently," said Foles. "That's a credit to the defense for playing well today, but it really gives us the ability to go through our whole read progression, and get it down to the backs."
Both Vick and Foles did indeed check it down quite a bit today. I thought Vick looked especially sharp in doing so. Vick was getting the ball out much quicker today, and was throwing accurate passes. He has come on a bit in the last few days.
• Matt Barkley is basically an afterthought in the QB competition at this point. He was asked what indications he has been given that he is still involved in the QB competition, despite what appears to be a complete lack of first team snaps. "Just the fact that it's open, and there hasn't been named a starter," said Barkley. "So besides that, that's pretty much all there is."
• Before each play, Eagles assistants hold up laminated pictures, which communicate information to the players. It could be personnel groupings, formations, etc. The pictures mostly have a Philly theme. A few examples:
- Liberty Bell
- Ron Jaworski (as a commentator, not a player)
- Ben Franklin
- The Oregon Ducks' mascot
- Brian Dawkins
- Vince Papale
• Brandon Boykin worked on the outside with the 1's today, with Bradley Fletcher playing with the 2's. Boykin has absolutely earned the right to get a chance to start.
• Mychal Kendricks is having a great camp, particularly in coverage. He had an impressive leaping INT of Nick Foles. Chip Kelly said that Kendricks is probably the Eagles' best cover linebacker.
• Another linebacker who has looked very good in coverage has been OLB Chris McCoy. McCoy was drafted by the Dolphins in 2010. He bounced around the league a little, and ended up in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. McCoy said that he was more of a pass rusher coming out of college, but has improved in his coverage abilities. McCoy noted the much wider fields in the CFL. "The field is so wide that you have to cover a lot more ground," said McCoy. "You have to be a lot more disciplined, and a lot faster to cover the field."
NFL fields are 53 1/3 yards wide. CFL fields are 65 yards wide.
When asked how much he was dropping into camp in camp, McCoy said, "A lot. More than I ever have. Because we do it so much, I feel a lot more comfortable."
McCoy is a legitimate threat to steal a roster spot.
• A lot of Eagles fans aren't thrilled with the safeties and hope that Earl Wolff turns out to be a player. He had a nice pick today. It was a tipped pass that required a quick reaction. Nice play. Good hands.
• Bennie Logan had a batted pass at the line today. I wrote at length about batted passes a couple weeks ago, which featured Logan.
• Damaris Johnson has a series today during 11-on-11's in which he caught a short pass, then ran 50 yards down the field to finish the play. He then had to sprint back, line up, go in motion one way, go in motion back the other way, get into his route, catch another pass and finish down the field again. A big "Chip Kelly theme" is endurance. To run a fast paced offense, you absolutely need to be in shape, and Johnson's series was a great example of that.
• A few quickie notes:
- Another drop for Brent Celek today.
- The Eagles ran two fake punts today.
- Damion Square jumped offsides today from the NT position on a hard count with the ball about 2 feet away from his face.
• The Eagles had their first fight of training camp. It's about time. It was basically Clifton Geathers vs the entire offense. The following portions of a Q&A occurred with Geathers after practice:
Q: Who'd you get into it with today?
A: I don't know. I kinda blacked out.
Q: What started it?
A: It's hot outside.
Thanks, Clifton. Geathers is 6'8, 340, and it's not like it's all flab. This would be the last person on the team I would want to fight (h/t @Noah_Becker)...
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