The Eagles were inside today, as rain forced practice to be held in the practice bubble for the first time this offseason. The action wasn't as fast and furious as it has been, but there were still a good number of observations to be made. Today's notes:
• Mychal Kendricks has looked really good in coverage so far. There was one play in which he ran down the seam step-for-step with Riley Cooper, and broke up the play. That shouldn't come as a surprise. Kendricks is faster than Cooper. In fact, Kendricks is faster than most of the players he'll be asked to cover in the NFL. Here is how Kendricks' Combine measurables compare to all other ILBs competing at the combine since 1999, via mockdraftable.com:
As you can see, Kendricks had superb 40 yard dash and vertical leap numbers, but he is very short for his position. Kendricks ran a 4.47 40 yard dash. For the sake of comparison, here is what starting TEs around the NFC ran at the Combine:
I don't have Combine numbers for Tony Gonzalez (Falcons), Brandon Myers (Giants), or Kyle Rudolph (Vikings), but only 2 players above ran faster times than Kendricks.
In fact, there is only one Eagles safety who ran a better time at the Combine than Kendricks (with apologies to Colt Anderson, who I don't have a time for):
I've gone a a long way to note that Kendricks can run. If the Eagles want to drop him into the deep middle in Cover 3, that's something Kendricks can handle. There will be always be some size concerns with Kendricks (he's only 5'11), but the bigger thing for him this season will likely be a higher comfort level with a year under his belt in the pros.
• The OL was missing Jason Peters and Dennis Kelly today. As a result, the 1's looked like this:
In other words, they moved Lane Johnson over from RT to LT, kicked Todd Herremans out to RT, and slid Danny Watkins in at RG. If just Peters were out, I think Kelly would have been the first guy off the bench. It would have been interesting to see if they moved Lane over to LT and inserted Kelly in at RT, or if they simply would have replaced Peters with Kelly at LT. At any rate, Watkins being inserted into the lineup bodes very well for him. It shows two things: (1) That he's the first backup guard off the bench, and (2) that the Eagles are willing to juggle the line a bit to put him in instead of whoever the 2nd offensive tackle off the bench would have been.
You can go ahead and pencil Watkins in to make the final 53.
• Curtis Marsh is quietly having a nice camp, and he needs one. He broke up a deep ball nicely today, and was in position absolutely destroy LeSean McCoy on a swing pass, Sheldon Brown/Reggie Bush style. That swing pass should be a concern for Eagles fans this season, by the way. The Eagles are running a ton of them to the RBs, and if you get a defense that calls zone flat responsibility to that size with a CB who likes to hit, the RB is going to be exposed.
• Matt Barkley had a bad day. There were four occasions in which he threw behind his receiver. That's likely not a matter of Barkley adjusting to the speed of the NFL, as he played with several pro-level receivers at USC. He was just misfiring. A lot.
• Nick Foles was up and down today. He started off badly, having a ball slip right through his hands on a perfectly fine shotgun snap, and he didn't see a wide open Damaris Johnson running down the field with a linebacker trying to cover him. He also missed Ifeanyi Momah high (tough to do) along the sideline. However, he regrouped and turned in a few really nice throws. He hit Johnson on a perfectly thrown deep ball, beating Emmanuel Acho and Kurt Coleman. Then later he threw a great ball to Momah, who was well-covered. The ball was low and away from Momah, but Momah was the only player with a chance to catch it, which he could not on a diving attempt that he should have had. That was a professional throw, even if it went incomplete.
• Michael Vick had a nice day. Nothing spectacular, nothing bad. I'll take that with Mike.
• Ifeanyi Momah looked like a legitimate threat to take a roster spot during OTAs and minicamp. I'm not seeing that anymore. He has struggled.
• Brandon Boykin finally picked off his first pass of training camp today. Good for him. Boykin has completely balled out, getting his hands on passes left and right, but had not snagged one yet. It was only a matter of time.
• Jordan Poyer dropped an easy pick on an underthrown ball on a play in which he was beaten deep. I think Poyer will be given every opportunity to win a job, but he has not played well so far.
• The Eagles cut WR B.J. Cunningham today, with an injury settlement. No corresponding roster move has been made to fill his spot yet.