Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Eagles training camp 2013: Practice notes, with illustrations galore

The Eagles are now sans Riley Cooper (for now), and the team forged on ahead. Here are today's practice notes.

Eagles training camp 2013: Practice notes, with illustrations galore

Eagles running back Chris Polk. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Eagles running back Chris Polk. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

The Eagles are now sans Riley Cooper (for now), and the team forged on ahead. Here are today's practice notes.

• Chris Polk is having a great camp. I've yet to see him a drop a pass, and he looks faster than I've ever seen him. There's a reason for that. Polk said that his weight is down to 216, after being around 230 a year ago. He did extra cardio all season, and ate more salads, fruit, and oatmeal. He also noted that in high school he played wide receiver for two seasons before converting to running back, so catching passes comes naturally to him. "I feel a lot quicker," said Polk. "My lateral movement is better, pickup speed is way better. I just feel better, and healthier."

• There was also a play today in which Ifeanyi Momah separated from Jordan Poyer on a deep ball. That was the first time I've seen Momah get good separtion from a corner all camp. (On a side note, Poyer has not looked good at all). 

Sheil Kapadia of Philly Mag wrote about Momah a few days ago, and his inability to separate from defensive backs.

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Foles looks for Ifeanyi Momah deep down the right sideline, but Lindley is all over him. The Eagles raved about Momah’s speed, but I haven’t seen him separate much from corners on deep balls.

Welp, Momah probably had his best day of camp today.

In addition to the play against Poyer, he beat Trevard Lindley on a deep TD pass from Nick Foles. but those weren't the plays that had me intrigued. He made a few catches in between the corner and the safety down the sideline in the hole of a Cover 2. There are all sorts of Cover 2 looks a defense can give, but a common one is to have the linebackers and corners each take 1/5th of the field, with the safeties playing deep halves. That creates a hole behind the corner but away from the safety along the sideline. That's where Momah's value could be as a big receiver. He can provide a big target for the QB to make a high throw with confidence into that window:

With Riley Cooper gone (for now), Momah's chances of sticking with the team are higher, but he may still have an uphill climb.

• There's a small chance, although a realistic one, that DeSean Jackson and Damaris Johnson could be the starting WRs this year. Jackson and Johnson are both listed at 175 pounds, and that number is probably a little generous for each guy. That would make their combined weight 350 pounds. That's 10 pounds heavier than Clifton Geathers. Naturally, that begs the question, "Who would win in a fight, DeSean Jackson and Damaris Johnson, or Clifton Geathers?

• Felix Jones muffed a kickoff today, and the ball rolled out of bounds. Ugly. Over the last 3 years, Jones has had 10 fumbles on just 529 touches. That is far too many. Bryce Brown is known as a fumbler, but Jones isn't without issues of his own.

• Brandon Boykin de-cleated Nick Miller today. Boykin is making plays all over the field, and now he's even getting a little chippy. The man can do no wrong.

• Bryce Brown is still bouncing too many runs to the outside.

• A lot of you have been asking how Earl Wolff looks, so I specifically watched him for a series. He overpursued a run on one play, and he got trucked by the 5th string running back on the next. Happy?

In all seriousness though, don't make too much of that. I probably just happened to catch one of his worst moments at the wrong time.

• The Eagles' offense ran a hard count today. I haven't seen much of that under Chip Kelly. Andy Reid ran hard counts like crazy in his camps. Sometimes an offensive lineman would jump. Sometimes a defensive lineman would jump.  The idea was to ready players for hard counts in the real games, obviously, but if either side jumped, that meant the team had to stop, reset the down, and have a do-over. That wasted time. Plus, it's not exactly like all that extra hard count practice worked anyway, right, Juqua Parker?

Click here for complete coverage of Philadelphia Eagles training camp.

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