Eagles training camp 2022, Day 4: Jordan Davis wows in 1st day in pads

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Eagles training camp observations: Davis wows in 1st day in pads originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

After their first off day of training camp, the Eagles returned to the practice field on Monday for what might have been the coolest summer session in recent history.

The Eagles were in shells and shorts on Monday under an overcast sky. Full pads will come on for the first time on Tuesday.

Monday’s practice was a “yellow” practice, which means it was of medium intensity. Tomorrow will likely be a “green” day before a walkthrough on Tuesday.

To the observations:

1. As always, a few housekeeping notes:

• Receiver Zach Pascal is still getting over what seems like an awful case of food poisoning. Pascal tweeted on Sunday morning about being in the hospital but on Monday, head coach Nick Sirianni said Pascal is getting better. Still, he’s already missed four practices and his strength is likely zapped.

• Second-year defensive tackle Milton Williams (elbow) returned as a limited participant after missing one session. Receiver Keric Wheatfall (COVID progression) was also a limited participant.

• Rookie TE Grant Calcaterra, who got hurt late in Saturday’s practice, suffered a hamstring injury. Sirianni made it sound like the injury isn’t significant but said the Eagles will be very precautious with Calcaterra to avoid further injury. The sixth-round pick had been having a nice camp.

2. We had our first “wow” moments from Jordan Davis on Monday and they came during 1-on-1 drills between offensive and defensive linemen. This was the first day in pads, so it was also the first day for the 1-on-1s, which might be my favorite thing to watch every summer.

At 6-6, 340 pounds and with the feet of a circus bear, Davis is built for these drills. On Monday, I almost felt bad for the O-linemen who had to try to stop him. The most eye-popping rep from Davis came against Jack Anderson. Davis obviously has a powerful bullrush but he’s quick too and if a lineman sits too much on the bull, Davis can make them pay with speed. That’s what happened here. Davis sidestepped Anderson and ripped him on the way to the quarterback. Anderson barely got his hands on him.

“My primary move is bullrush so you just have to work it to see what you can do better, the offensive line’s strengths and weaknesses and work around it,” Davis said.

Davis also had a strong rep against young center Cameron Tom. And then later in the developmental period, he had more impressive showings in 1-on-1s against Kayode Awosika and Josh Sills.

What was Davis’s takeaway from these reps?

“My takeaway is you can always get better. They want me to work bullrush but I always try to add a little to my bag. Once I get the things down pat that I want to get down, I just add tools. Add tools to the toolbox so you never run out.”

In addition to his strong showing in 1-on-1s, Davis also got more first-team reps on Monday and looked comfortable going against the first-team offense. The pads are on now and the Eagles’ first-round pick is beginning to shine.

3. While Davis was obviously impressive in 1-on-1s, so was rookie center Cam Jurgens, even as he went against Javon Hargrave. Jurgens is obviously not the biggest guy but his leverage and technique gave him some wins because of a strong achor. The athleticism is why Jurgens has been compared so much to Jason Kelce, but leverage is another important element. It’s what has allowed smaller centers like Kelce to stand up bigger defensive tackles. Jurgens already has a solid grasp of that.

4. I thought Jalen Hurts had a good day. He didn’t hit any deep shots but he didn’t turn the ball over — something that has bothered Sirianni. I’ll highlight two throws from Hurts that were good signs:

• During an 11-on-11 period going against the second-team defense, Hurts hit a slant to A.J. Brown perfectly in stride. This wasn’t a deep pass by any means but it went for a big gain. YAC is such an important part of Brown’s game so these passes need to be on the money. At times, my biggest criticism of Hurts has been his lack of ability to hit guys in stride and throw with anticipation. He’ll need to do that to maximize Brown and he did that on this play.

• Another similar situation came later in that same period when Hurts threw a quick pass to Boston Scott off his back foot into the middle of the field. Again, hit Scott in stride and let him create after.

5. One of the biggest misfires of the day came just a few plays before that throw to Scott. Hurts and Brown failed to connect on what would have been a big play. It looked like Brown ran a fade but it’s very possible it could have been an option route. In any case, the two weren’t on the same page. They’re best friends but still figuring out how to play together.

The cool thing is that when the third teams were on the field a little later, I saw Hurts and Brown go over that play on the sideline. It seemed like Hurts was explaining what he saw on that play. Hurts and Brown put a lot of extra work in together and that should help them get on the same page.

6. Brandon Graham doesn’t look like a 34-year-old coming of an Achilles injury. He’s been very active and had another strong performance on Monday.

7. The focus on Hurts during camp is rightfully going to be on his arm. That’s the area of his game he needs to improve and practices aren’t really geared toward his running ability. But every once in a while, he’ll make a play with his legs that really stands out. He had one against the second-team defense on Monday, where he ran left, stuck his foot in the ground and juked Derek Barnett before taking off upfield. It reminded me of his run against the Saints last year.

8. Rough morning for Gardner Minshew, who threw a couple of picks. One of them came in the middle of the field on a tremendous grab from linebacker Shaun Bradley. Bradley dove and scooped the ball right before it hit the ground.

The other pick from Minshew came on a ball targeted for Jalen Reagor. Darius Slay was able to get his hand in there and pop it high in the air. Marcus Epps hauled in the ball for his second INT of camp.

Give credit to Minshew and Reagor, though. Their next time on the field together, they connected on a 10-15-yard out on the right sideline.

9. Miles Sanders broke off a few more impressive runs, which is becoming commonplace for this camp. He seemed to be offended that reporters noted his working with the second team in one practice last week — something that definitely happened — but he’s been fantastic through four practices. He’s running as hard as we’ve ever seen from him.

10. A few depth chart notes:

• Punt returners on Monday: Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, Britain Covey, Kenny Gainwell, Quez Watkins.

• The Eagles continue to rotate between fronts on defense. They came out with Davis getting the first first-team reps of the day. Then they mixed in different fronts and we saw a few guys out there.

• In the first three days of training camp, Mac McCain was getting all the second-team corner reps opposite Zech McPhearson. The Eagles rotated at that spot more on Monday. Kary Vincent Jr. got the first crack at that spot.

Stupid Observation of the Day: Throughout the first week of practice, I noticed that the music at the NovaCare Complex had been quieter than normal. So at the end of his press conference on Monday, I burned a question to Sirianni asking him why. He said if the music had been quieter it wasn’t intentional, although he noted it has to be at a level quiet enough for coaches to communicate with players. He then asked me if I had any music requests. I did not.

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