Eagles training camp: 7 reasons for optimism after joint practices with the Patriots

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Eagles just wrapped up their second joint practice session with the Patriots and will now have a walkthrough on Wednesday, before Thursday’s preseason matchup.

Having Bill Belichick and his disciplined roster here at the NovaCare Complex was the ultimate litmus test and Philadelphia’s retooled roster has plenty of reason to be optimistic going forward.

We’ve provided seven reasons for optimism after the joint sessions and heading towards the regular-season opener.

Jalen Hurts leads his team

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throws during a joint practice with New England Patriots at the Eagles NFL football training camp Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hurts' wasn't overwhelmed by the Patriots' defense and performed well during 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 sessions. Thursday night will provide more of a window into what can be expected going forward from the second-year quarterback, but reports from training camp have centered around his teammates all rallying around him at once.

Nick Sirianni

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, left, and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick meet after a joint practice at the Eagles NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Belichick is a coaching legend, and although Sirianni was honored by his presence, the Eagles head coach had his own team prepared and engaged throughout the practices. Philadelphia was chippy, motivated, and competed during individual and team drills.

Jalen Reagor's maturation

Jul 29, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor (18) makes a catch during training camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

https://twitter.com/Jeff_McLane/status/1427671167977021440 It's only the preseason and joint camp sessions, but Reagor has been sharp, engaged, and playing above his head over the past two practices. DeVonta Smith's presence should allow Reagor to easily breakout in year two.

DeVonta Smith is back

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith during a joint practice with the New England Patriots at the Eagles NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Speaking of Smith, he's looked smooth during his return to practice and had media members raving about his future. https://twitter.com/MikeGarafolo/status/1427675944073023498

Eagles linebacker corps much improved

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Eric Wilson in action during practice at NFL football training camp, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Whether it's T.J. Edwards, Eric Wilson or Alex Singleton, the Eagles linebackers are much improved, very active, and extremely athletic. Jonathan Gannon's hybrid defense offers an opportunity for every linebacker on the roster to specialize in what they do best.

Eagles defensive line runs two deep

If Hassan Ridgeway can stay healthy, the Eagles' defensive line could be amongst the best in the NFL, going two-deep at every position.

Quez Watkins slot god?

Aug 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Watkins is likely to supplant Greg Ward in the slot, giving the Eagles three explosive playmakers at the receiver position. All three players (Smith, Reagor, Watkins) can be interchangeable, allow Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward to continue their roles as well. Watkins's ascention could allow Philadelphia to have their most talented and skillful position group in years.

1

1