Eagles training camp 2021 observations, Day 17: Birds finish 4-0 in joint practices vs. Jets, Patriots

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Training camp observations: Eagles finish 4-0 in their joint practices originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Eagles have lost both preseason games this summer but they’re undefeated in joint practices.

The Eagles wrapped up their second of two joint practices against the Jets in North Jersey on Wednesday and it’s fair to say they won the day again, especially in the most competitive period near the end.

So this means the Eagles have “won” all four days of joint practices — two against the Patriots and two against the Jets. What does that mean? Well, maybe not much.

But it has been clear that Nick Sirianni values these joint practices more than those preseason games. So in a setting that he prioritizes, the Eagles have clearly been better than their opponent four times in a row.

Does that mean you can schedule the parade down Broad Street? Absolutely not. But Sirianni has to be pleased with what he’s seen the last two weeks.

By the way, the final horns at Wednesday’s practice also officially marked the end of Eagles training camp, which means no more practice observations. Reporters will no longer be able to watch full practices. Thanks for following along all summer!

One more time:

1. Housekeeping:

• Genard Avery (groin), Derek Barnett (shoulder) and K’Von Wallace (groin) were all spectators again. They are officially listed as day-to-day.

• Limited again: Shaun Bradley (groin), Fletcher Cox (groin), Andre Dillard (knee), Jason Huntley (ribs), Craig James (foot), Ryan Kerrigan (thumb).

• Davion Taylor (calf) is week-to-week and Tyree Jackson (back) is month-to-month.

• During practice, Patrick Johnson and Elijah Riley went in to get checked out by the medical staff but both returned.

2. The Eagles and Jets finished off practice with some field goals but the penultimate period was the most competitive of the week and it was all situational football near the red zone. The situation was the offense got the ball at the opposing 25-yard line, down 8 points (26-18) and with 45 seconds on the clock.

Jalen Hurts looked like he might have escaped the pocket to the right and threw a great pass to Quez Watkins in the end zone for a touchdown but instead they ruled it a sack and the Eagles had to reset. Eventually, Hurts hit Greg Ward in the middle of the field and Ward was able to get into the end zone. That made it 26-24. The Eagles converted on a two-point play as Hurts moved to his left to buy time, eventually finding DeVonta Smith in the back of the end zone. Smith did a great job of staying in bounds.

3. The Eagles’ first-team defense also got a stop. The Jets got down to the 10 yard line or so with 8 seconds left but that’s when Javon Hargrave and Josh Sweat converged on Zach Wilson for the sack. After practice, Hargrave was happy to take credit. But either one of them might have gotten it in an actual game. Because of the sack, time ran out.

4. The Eagles’ second teams bested the Jets too.

Joe Flacco threw a laser to Jack Stoll who made an impressive touchdown catch to put the Eagles down two. But the Eagles failed to convert the two-pointer on a pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who was well covered near the back right of the end zone.

But the Jets’ second team didn’t get that far. JaCoby Stevens had a PBU in the middle of the field and roster exempt DE Matt Leo made the final tackle as time ran out.

5. Overall, the Eagles’ defensive line wasn't quite as dominant against the Jets’ offensive line on Day 2, but they were still good. Brandon Graham had an impressive sack on Morgan Moses, getting around the big right tackle with impressive speed.

At least the Jets’ OL held up long enough for me to get a better look at Wilson, the first-rounder out of BYU. There’s a lot to like about the young quarterback. He has a good arm and throws with impressive anticipation.

6. Like they did on Tuesday, the teams started off with 1-on-1 drills. But today’s emphasis was on red zone, so they were working in tight windows. A few notes:

• John Hightower made a couple nice grabs in the end zone. One in particular got my attention. He was able to catch an under thrown ball almost around the defenders neck, secure the catch and get his feet in bounds.

• DeVonta Smith is dangerous in these 1-on-1s. He had a great move on Jets corner Brandin Echols that really turned him around. Smith’s body control is notable.

• On the other field, Darius Slay kicked off things off with an interception off veteran Vyncint Smith in the right side of the end zone.

• But the Jets receivers did make some plays in 1-on-1s too. Jamison Crowder beat Avonte Maddox with a nice move and Zech McPhearson was beaten by Jeff Smith for a touchdown.

7. During 11-on-11 drills, Slay had a diving PBU against Corey Davis in the end zone. Slay also had a nice “TFL” when he sliced into the backfield. I thought Slay had an impressive two days. He was good in team and it’s really hard to win 1-on-1 drills as a defensive back and he did that against most of the Jets receivers.

8. McPhearson had a couple pass breakups on Wednesday and got an attaboy from Jonathan Gannon during team drills. He did get beat in 1-on-1s but it’s a positive sign that he appears to be bouncing back after a rough week against the Patriots.

9. During a team period, Watkins had a back-of-the-end zone catch that actually counted. Some Jets defenders wanted it to be called a sack because it took a long time for Hurts to deliver the ball, which gave Watkins time to get open. I get that. But the Eagles should be able to hit on some of these plays this year. They have a solid O-line (if healthy) and Hurts has the ability to extend plays.

10. For the second straight day, the Eagles got rookie Kenny Gainwell in there with the first-team offense during the most competitive period of practice. Miles Sanders isn’t hurt, but it seems like they want to get Gainwell out there in certain situations.

Stupid Observation of the Day: The Jets have a few permanent scoreboards as their facility, which led me to this prediction: The Eagles will have a scoreboard at their practice fields by the end of the Sirianni era. Sirianni is Mr. Competition and he keeps score anyway … why not post it for all to see?

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