Observations from Eagles OTAs: Jason Kelce already teaches Cam Jurgens


Observations from Eagles OTAs: Jason Kelce already teaches Cam Jurgens

The Eagles concluded their organized team activities on Wednesday with their sixth and final practice of the spring.

The team will now be on hiatus until July 26th when they start reporting for training camp.

So these observations will have to delay us for a month and a half. Enjoy:

1. The Eagles were fairly well attended during the OTAs, Nick Sirianni said, but were missing a few key players on Wednesday. They were without DeVonta Smith, AJ Brown, Lane Johnson, Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave and Jalen Reagor. Remember that these practices are voluntary.

There were a few players out there who didn’t train. Among this group: Tyree Jackson, Richard Rodgers, Brett Toth.

But we’ve seen the return of Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata, all of whom were absent from training open to reporters last week.

2. We already know Kelce’s role in scouting Cam Jurgens, and we knew he’d be more than willing to mentor the Nebraska rookie. We’re already seeing this in action. Last week when reporters were at a drill, Kelce wasn’t there. This week he was, and he spent some extra time working with Jurgens between practices, discussing technique and giving little tips. It was fun to watch and will probably be a theme at the training camp.

These two guys will be spending a lot of time together over the next year and the Eagles hope this puts them in a good position for the future of the franchise.

3. After a lot of dinking and dunking early in practice, the highlight of the day came late with back-to-back deep balls from Jalen Hurts. On the first he met a grazing John Hightower who came in behind Avonte Maddox and Anthony Harris and caught a nice pass in the crotch from Hurts. He celebrated with a small NSFW hip thrust and then was joined by his teammates for the same move. They were tagged by the staffer in the end zone.

The next play was another 40+ yard bomb from Hurts to Quez Watkins, who burned James Bradberry down the field. That pass was a little shaky, but it worked. Hurts celebrated with a little dance. Strong finish to the first-team offense after a weak start.

4. As nice as those two deep balls were, I didn’t think they were both his best passes of the day. There was another play, which of course took a long time to develop, but Hurts eventually rolled to the right and threw an absolute punch about 25 yards to the right touchline for Greg Ward, who caught up with him. Hurts has questioned his arm strength, but this throw proves it’s up for grabs. This is a really difficult game and it made me tilt my head a bit.

5. Some elements of the depth map:

• The right guard spot belonged to Isaac Seumalo on Wednesday. The rest of the line stayed the same, but without Johnson, Jack Driscoll filled in on the right tackle.

• The Eagles’ first line of defense to start the 7-a-side game consisted of Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Kyzir White, TJ Edwards, Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps. First-team offense (starting) were Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Greg Ward, Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll on 12 personnel. Boston Scott also worked there on offense and Davion Taylor on defense.

• Second team defense: Zech McPhearson, Mac McCain, Josiah Scott, Davion Taylor, Kyzir White, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere. Second Team Attack: Gardner Minshew, Jason Huntley, John Hightower, Deon Cain, Britain Covey, JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

6. In some 7-on-7 drills, the Eagles had Derek Barnett out there. This makes sense since the overhang players will occasionally need to take cover. You shouldn’t see it too often, but it will be part of their defense. We also saw Kyron Johnson fall.

7. Kenny Gainwell has the best hands of the Eagles running backs, but he had an uncharacteristic drop in the flat. But he later made up for it with a nice grab and a stuttering stepping motion on Kyron Johnson that left the rookie in the dust.

And keep an eye on Jason Huntley this summer. He’s undersized, but the running back is fighting for a spot on the list and his speed is undeniable. He put the burners on the left touchline on Wednesday.

Sanders even had a nice air grab:

8th. The best defensive play of the day was a pass Minshew tried to sneak up on Covey. But White made a dive PBU and threw the ball into the hands of Taylor, who picked it up. Maybe it wasn’t the best decision, but it was a damn good game from White.

9. The Eagles had some punt return practice Wednesday, but Reagor was absent. So the punt returners were Ward, Scott, Covey, Gainwell, and Watkins, in that order. They all put their punts in the limelight.

10 Several former Eagles watched practice today: Dick Vermeil, Irving Fryar, Frank LeMaster, Ron Jaworski, Barrett Brooks.

Stupid observation of the day: Nick Sirianni had fun Wednesday as he tried to get the guy with the boxing glove pole to turn off the football during ball safety drills. It did not work. No fumbling.

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