Assuming everyone stays healthy, it's a near certainty that no other team in the NFL will have as many receptions from their running backs as the Eagles. Here's what the Eagles' running backs did in the passing game last year:
Sproles was fourth in the NFL in receptions, while McCoy was 12th. With Bryce Brown gone, Polk could have a larger role in the offense as well, and he's no slouch in the passing game either. While he only had four receptions in limited action last season, Chip Kelly showed a lot of trust in Polk by calling a designed wheel route to him in a key 3rd and 3 situation in the Week 17 game against Dallas, shown here:
Eagles running backs are dominating in the passing game in camp so far. Nobody can cover them, and they're racking up an absurd number of receptions. The question then becomes, are they dominating because they're just really good, or because the Eagles' linebackers don't have the ability to stick with them? It's probably a combination of both. Even Matthew Tucker, who has ability, has looked good as a receiver.
And the Eagles' backs know it. LeSean McCoy got in a fight today with Trent Cole. Here's what McCoy said after practice, via the Inquirer's Zach Berman:
McCoy on scuffle: "The whole camp so far, it’s been touching a little too much. I’m trying to let them know, it’s OK if you can’t cover me.”
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) July 27, 2014
• Mark Sanchez had another good day. His highlight came on a throw while on the run to his right. Sanchez fit the ball into a tight window for a completion to Will Murphy.
• But the guy who really shined from the QB position today was the great Matt Barkley :). There were two passes from Barkley that really stood out. He made a sideline throw to a receiver that had nice touch on it. The defender was to the inside of the receiver, so Barkley had to put some loft on it to get it over the defender's head, while also giving the receiver an opportunity to make the catch in bounds. Well done. He also threw a gorgeous deep ball down the sideline to Kadron Boone. Barkley has been vastly improved from OTAs into his first two days of training camp.
Barkley just told @JimmyKempski to shove it, heaving picturesque spiral down the left side for a 40-yardish connection with Kadron Boone.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) July 27, 2014
• I figure we should at least give a quick Nick Foles note every day, because his play this season will be sort of important. Foles continues to make good decisions and has been very accurate. However, he did have one bad under-throw today on a play in which Brad Smith smoked Roc Carmichael on a corner route. Smith had to come back for it, which would have drawn a pass interference call on Carmichael, but it should have been a TD. Still, Foles is very clearly the best QB here, with a big gap in between him and the rest.
• Eagles QBs have not yet thrown an interception. Again, that's another "Chicken or egg" scenario. Are the QBs simply making good decisions, or is the defensive secondary just not making any plays. Again, it's little of both, but the QBs really do seem to be making the right throws so far. I lean toward giving them credit, as opposed to placing blame on the DBs.
• One guy who has had chances to make plays is Malcolm Jenkins. For example, today he read a route perfectly over the middle and aggressively jumped it, but couldn't get there in time to make a pick. He also dropped an INT yesterday. It's good to see Jenkins reacting to what he sees, especially since he's still learning Billy Davis' defense, but you would like to see him finish the play.
• Jordan Matthews is very entertaining to watch. He sprints to the end zone full speed when he catches passes in team drills. Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation likened Matthews to Forrest Gump:
Sanchez good ball down the middle to Jordan Matthews, who ran out the play in Forrest Gump style to the end zone.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 27, 2014
If I was going somewhere, I was running!
• One of my favorite moments during training camp practices is when the Eagles work on fielding punts, they often play "You Dropped a Bomb On Me, by The Gap Band.
It's more fun watching punts with the whistle sound in the background. And no, I don't think it's a coincidence that the Eagles play that song during punt sessions. Speaking of punts, Donnie J'owns hit some bombs today. On eight punts in which I timed his hang time, J'owns averaged 4.85 seconds, with a best hang time of 5.16, which is excellent. Donnie gonna Donnie.
• Damaris Johnson had his second muff in as many days. Jordan Matthews also had a punt eat him up. On a short punt, he wasn't able to run up and field it in the air. Then when he tried to catch it on the bounce, it deflected off of him, and bounced further down the field. Then instead of jumping on it, he tried to pick it up and run, but missed it again. That all happened right in front of the Chippah, who likely reminded Matthews that that sequence was ugly.
• This is something that was already known, but Brent Celek is the emergency long snapper. He got some long snap reps today. No offense to Brent, but Jon Dorenbos is better at long snapping than Brent Celek.
• Monday will be the first practice at the Linc. The Eagles will be in pads!
Who won the day?
July 26: Mark Sanchez
July 27: Eagles running backs
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski