Today, birdsfan.com took a trip to Lehigh to watch camp. We fed live updates from twitter with play by play action. We saw a good day of camp (not too hot), and a few fights broke out, so here is the analysis from today’s practice from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Who was impressive today:
To start, the defense looked much farther ahead of the offense. Whether the offense was far behind or the defense was just spectacular, the defense won this battle. They blitzed a ton and found ways to get to the quarterback. Juan Castillo looked fiery as ever chest bumping one of his players at every chance he could.
Many Eagles impressed today including new free agents in their second day of practice. The most impressive of the new guys would be Jason Babin, who looked as sharp as he did last season, getting to Vick in three consecutive plays. He did a good job of helping out on the run as well, which will be vital to his success as an Eagle.
Babin beat double teams twice to pick up sacks, looking like the Titans’ Babin as opposed to the 2009 Eagles version.
Also impressive on the defensive line was Darryl Tapp. Tapp was an offseason acquisition from last season and did a decent job at best last year. He fits in well to Jim Washburn’s system being a speed rusher as opposed to a bigger guy, so he’ll make an impact in the nine wide technique. Tapp got through a pass block, tipped a Mike Kafka pass and caught the ball to run 60 yards for a score. Michael Vick, who wasn’t in the play chased down Tapp.
The defense had some other standouts as well, whether it was Jaiquawn Jarrett who filled in for Nate Allen who was out with a knee injury, Casey Matthews who was up and down but for the most part did his job, or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who dominated the second team offense.
On offense, one notable was definitely Jason Avant, who did drop a pass, but made up for it with one of the best catches in Eagles training camp history. He caught a ball that was thrown behind him with one hand over Nnamdi Asomugha while twisting around.
LeSean McCoy played well finding some nice holes and working off the seam a little bit. There were many screen plays run for him. Other players at the skill positions who did well were Johnnie Lee Higgins and Sinorice Moss who will bring a fierce competition at the fifth wide receiver spot. Higgins may have a leg up due to his kick return ability, but do not quit on Moss.
On the offensive line, Danny Watkins showed a side of him that I didn’t know he had. After one fight broke out, he started a second one with Moise Fokou. He jumped on Fokou and started beating him to the ground. The weirdest thing was that Juan Castillo jumped into the mosh pit, as opposed to trying to break it up with his hands. On the football side of things, he blocked pretty well also.
Who did not impress:
After breaking up a pass on a phenomenal play, Curtis Marsh disappointed. Time and time again he let receivers by him and didn’t look like he made much effort. On one play, the ball was thrown to Johnnie Lee Higgins right next to him on an easy pass deflection, and he didn’t even take a stab at it. He is a rookie who has limited experience at the corner, but he is the teams third round pick.
On offense, Mike Kafka failed to show off as his arm still doesn’t look strong and he didn’t take many risks. He made a lot of check down passes to his running backs and tight ends.
Some notable plays besides the Jason Avant catch were an interception for a touchdown by Darryl Tapp, another pick-six by Jaiquawn Jarrett, some great catches by Johnnie Lee Higgins and Sinorice Moss, an amazing throw from Mike Vick to Clay Harbor, and an interception by Asante in the one-on-one drills.
Michael Vick, who did have some not so great throws, also had some spectacular ones. His pass to Avant, while behind him, was where only Avant could make the catch, his pass to Clay Harbor was one of the best passes I have ever seen him throw leading him perfectly and throwing in a tight gap, and a pass to Brent Celek, floated perfectly over Nnamdi Asomugha.
Vince Young, while inconsistent, showed why he was brought in. He made some pretty solid plays, and when he learns the system, he will be very effective. He had one throw in particular to undrafted free agent signing DeAndre Brown right over the head of Jamar Wall.
Ronnie Brown played nicely as well running for a couple big gains and breaking some holes.
Per Howard Eskin of 610 WIP, DeSean Jackson will be returning to camp by Monday. If he misses any days past August ninth, he will lose a year of service and would be a restrcited free agent by the years’ end.
With Jeremy Maclin, he says the rumors are not true that his illness is not career threatening. He also said he thinks he’ll be on playing by week one of the regular season.
The defense looked fantastic, but energetic to the point where they jumped offsides quite a few times.
Ryan Harris looked somewhat confused in the blocking schemes, but in the one-on-one drills, he dominated Jason Babin. We’ll see how he does when he picks up the scheme correctly.
Among the injuries were starting free safety Nate Allen (knee), Jorrick Calvin (shoulder), Cedric Thornton (knee), Brandon Hughes (hamstring), Marlin Jackson (groin), Trevor Laws (hip), Collier (ankle), and Sinorice Moss (groin).