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Eagles practice observations: Barnett changes positions; Wentz smokes 'em

Jeff McLane, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Sunday, August 6, 2017, 4:29 PM

Eagle receiver Alshon Jeffery, center, smiles as he takes a selfie of himself for the little Eagles fan above him, after the open practice on Sunday August 6, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles continued training camp on Sunday. Here’s what I saw from Day 12 (Links to Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11):

Eagle fan Corbin Figarola, 5, squeezes his head into a small spot between the barricades that keep the fans and players separate near the entrance to the field at Lincoln Financial Stadium. Corbin was waiting for the players to walk from their locker room to the field on Sunday morning. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill runs out of the tunnel Sunday morning, surrounded by fans, as he makes his way to the field for the second open practice of Eagles training camp at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle offensive lineman #73, Isaac Seumalo's hair is getting longer with every passing day. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagles new safety, #36, Corey Graham, walks onto the field at Lincoln Financial stadium for warmups on Sunday morning during the second open practice of Eagles training camp. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
A member of the Eagles training staff stretches out Eagle offensive lineman Jason Peters #71, as he prepares for practice on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field for the second open practice of the training camp. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz, #11, continues to hold his stretching exercise during warm-ups on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, the second open practice for the fans during training camp. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle safety Corey Graham, #36, center, stretches out his neck, along with the other defense backs, during open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagles defensive back #27, Malcolm Jenkins, acknowledges the fan's applause as he is introduced on Sunday, at the second open practice held for the fans at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
New Eagles safety Corey Graham, #36, left, listens to Eagles safety coach Tim Hauck, right, before practice starts on Sunday, the second open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, of Eagles graining camp. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle running back LeGarrette Blount #35, runs through an offensive drill during open practice on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle quarterback Carson Wentz, #11, warms up on Sunday morning at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles hold a second open practice for their fans. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle receiver Alshon Jeffery, #17, catches the ball and sprints downfield during a drill at the Eagles open practice on Sunday. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle running back LeGarrette Blount #35, runs through a large wicket during an offensive drill on Sunday during open practice at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle quarterback Carson Wentz, #11, warms up by throwing the football on Sunday morning at Lincoln Financial Field during the second open practice of training camp held for the fan. Eagles hold an open practice on Sunday August 6, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field. 08/06/2017 MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle head coach Doug Pederson calls out plays for the offense during Sunday's open practice at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle running back Corey Clement, #30, runs through an offensive drill on Sunday morning at Lincoln Financial Field during open practice at Eagles training camp. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle offensive lineman Jason Peters, #71, center, blocks out fellow teammate, #66, Victor Salako, left, during a blocking drill on Sunday , during the open practice at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle defensive lineman Fletcher Cox , #91, at open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz runs off the field after the Eagles open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle quarterback Carson Wentz #11, signs autographs on the field after the second open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle receiver Alshon Jeffery, center, smiles as he takes a selfie of himself for the little Eagles fan above him, after the open practice on Sunday August 6, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, #11, stoops down to sign the back of Joey Handle�s jersey on Lincoln Financial Field after Sunday�s open practice during training camp. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle receiver Alshon Jeffery, #17, left, signs autograph's after the Eagles open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. Eagles hold an open practice on Sunday August 6, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field. 08/06/2017 MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, #11, signs autographs after the open Eagles practice on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle safety Malcolm Jenkins, #27, left, signs autographs just before heading into the tunnel after the open practice on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Eagle rookie receiver Mack Hollins, #10, jokes with a fan about taking a selfie with the fan�s smartphone after open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Photo Gallery: Photos from Eagles' second open practice

After a day off, the Eagles were back in action for the second and last open practice at Lincoln Financial Field. The team announced a crowd of 36,000. The players were in full gear and went for about two hours. Let’s get to it, once again, in the form of a running diary:

Alshon Jeffery, who hadn’t practice since last Sunday’s open workout, was back in full uniform and participated in individual drills. The wide receiver did little else, however, and it would appear to be unlikely that he plays in Thursday’s preseason opener in Green Bay. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks (quadriceps), running back Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring) and defensive end Chris Long (over-30 day off) were also back at practice. Quarterback Nick Foles (elbow), receiver Paul Turner (groin), guard Josh Andrews (hand), and tight end Adam Zaruba (concussion) were still out. Tight end Anthony Denham joined the watchers with an unknown injury. Corey Graham made his Eagles debut at camp. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said before practice that the 32-year-old defensive back, who was signed last week, would start off at safety. He also said that Graham will get an occasional repetition at cornerback. Graham didn’t stand out much during team drills, but I thought he looked technically sound during one-on-one drills vs. receivers, which is essentially playing press-man corner. Graham used his hands effectively to slow Greg Ward off the line and knocked a short Matt McGloin pass away. He looked a little grabby covering Torrey Smith underneath, but he was effective enough to thwart the receiver’s pattern on a pass that sailed wide. Carson Wentz had another strong practice. His throws during one-on-ones were impeccable. He connected with Jordan Matthews on a deep strike over safety Malcolm Jenkins. He dropped a beauty into Nelson Agholor’s mitts, but the receiver dropped or had corner C.J. Smith knock the ball away at the last second. Either way, Agholor should have secured the ball. It may have been his first drop of camp. Shelton Gibson made two nice grabs. The rookie receiver sprung for a Wentz pass and dove over the goal line, and he later snagged a ball thrown slightly behind him. Some other highlights: Receiver Mack Hollins reeled in a deep toss from McGloin after corner Rasul Douglas looked back for the ball a touch too early. Aaron Grymes bodied up Marcus Johnson out of the slot. Corner Jalen Mills went up and intercepted a long pass to Torrey Smith. McGloin’s attempt was underthrown, but Mills made a solid play on the ball.

The starting lineup hasn’t changed on either side of the ball. Mills and Patrick Robinson are still the starting outside corners. Ron Brooks is still in the slot. Derek Barnett lined up on the left rather than right, where he had been since being drafted. It could be just a one-day switch, but it’s worth noting. Barnett had been backing up Vinny Curry. Now he’s behind Brandon Graham, who should play more than Curry this season. Long swapped sides with Barnett. If Barnett stays on the left, he’ll have a better chance to succeed facing right tackles.

Contact during team drills was relatively light. During the first-unit portion, linebacker Nigel Bradham snuffed out a misdirection screen to running back Wendell Smallwood. Jordan Hicks took most of the reps at middle linebacker. He’s almost all the way back after hand surgery. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan twisted Isaac Seumalo with a series of moves that ultimately forced the guard to grab his jersey during one-on-ones. Barnett, now on the left, tried his outside speed rush on Halapoulivaati Vaitai, but the tackle tossed him to the turf. The rookie end pulled out his spin move on his next rush, but Vaitai kept his hands inside and contained him. Long’s stutter-step move from the right had tackle Dillon Gordon beaten. Dallas Thomas drove rookie defensive tackle Elijah Qualls to the ground. Center Aaron Neary did essentially the same to Qualls. Of the seven-on-seven drills I glimpsed — I mostly observed the line drills during this phase — Wentz was on target. He carried that accuracy over into the final team drills. He hit Agholor on a slant in front of Robinson. He tossed a dart to tight end Trey Burton inside the Bermuda Triangle of Najee Goode, Jaylen Watkins, and Terrence Brooks. Watching Watkins and Brooks the last week, I’m starting to understand why the Eagles signed Graham. Wentz’s pass was impressive, though. He then hooked up with tight end Zach Ertz and Hollins on consecutive passes to end his day. Defensive end Alex McCalister has been back in the lineup for several days after missing about a week with a hamstring injury. He hasn’t stood out, so I devoted my attention to him during his last set of team drills. McCalister has said that he added weight, but he doesn’t look much bigger than before he spent last season on injured reserve. He doesn’t have a pass rush move he can rely on. When he tries to go outside, he’s not fast enough to turn the corner on NFL tackles. When he tries a bull rush, he isn’t powerful enough. McCalister backed a blocker into McGloin on one play, but when I looked to see the blocker, it was tight end Billy Brown. He should win those matchups. And some leftovers: Douglas had a late interception on an errant Dane Evans … Ertz briefly left for the trainer’s table, but he returned.

Jeff McLane, STAFF WRITER

Read full story: Eagles practice observations: Barnett changes positions; Wentz smokes 'em

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