PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts took the first snap of open-field 11-on-11 team drills on Tuesday and immediately saw former first-round pick Jalen Reagor surging down the field. Hurts stepped up in the pocket and launched a rainbow toss down the seam to Reagor who beat two defensive backs roughly 35 yards down the field.
Hurts and Reagor, two heavily polarizing young players, connected on the highlight of the day in what was a strong practice for both of them. Wearing full pads for the first time this summer, Reagor jaunted to the end zone for a touchdown in an eventual workout session.
Philadelphia Eagles training camp: Jalen Hurts shines in full pads
Hurts looked accurate and efficient from the start of practice at the NovaCare Complex. During individual drills with wideouts and cornerbacks, Hurts made several well-placed throws to his playmakers, who took advantage with catches.
Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith down the left sideline after he beat cornerback James Bradberry in coverage. Hurts repeated that success as A.J. Brown beat cornerback Darius Slay on a highly contested catch down the opposite sideline. He also completed a deep ball to Reagor, who beat Jimmy Moreland during 1-on-1s. Even deep depth wideouts John Hightower and Deon Cain benefitted from well-placed passes during the individual matchups.
Along with the deep ball to Reagor in 11-on-11 work, the QB also took advantage of a free play later in the team drills, side-arming a perfectly placed laser to Reagor for a catch, despite the wideout being engaged by cornerback Zech McPhearson in tight coverage.
During 7-on-7 drills, Hurts connected with Brown on a slant route. The ball was placed with anticipation, and Brown had plenty of room to run.
Hurts wasn’t perfect during the practice, but that’s rarely the case for a QB during the first two weeks of camp. There were a couple of off-the-mark throws, but this was easily the best QB performance on the northeast leg of the Pro Football Network Training Camp Tour since Day 1 with Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.
As this writer has stated several times during the tour, the early days of camp are typically dominated by the defense until the offense adapts to the new stuff implemented within the play-calling.
James Bradberry has himself a great day
While Bradberry gave up a deep ball to Smith in 1-on-1 coverage drills, he came back with an excellent press at the line of scrimmage on their next duel. Bradberry used his physicality to push Smith off his route and break up a short pass from Hurts to Smith. That play sort of set the tone for the rest of the morning for Bradberry.
During 7-on-7 work, Bradberry was a lockdown corner. He broke up a pass from Hurts to Brown early in the drill. A few plays later, he broke up a pass intended for backup tight end Noah Togiai.
The Giants cutting Bradberry and letting him sign with the Eagles might be one of the biggest storylines in not just the NFC East but the entire conference this season. Bradberry is better than anyone at corner for the Giants, and he’s the No. 2 coverage guy in Philadelphia.
Bradberry’s 6-foot-1 and 212-pound frame is evident, especially when he lines up against a smaller wideout. While DBs aren’t known for their physicality, Bradberry is a bully in press coverage.
Keep an eye on Mr. T
Defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu, a sixth-round pick in last year’s draft, was mostly an afterthought as a rookie. However, during this summer in camp, Tuipulotu, known by his writer as “Mr. T,” has gotten some time with the first-team defense as the Eagles manage the reps for starters — Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox — in practice.
On Tuesday, Tuipulotu made his presence known in red-zone drills. He made an excellent stop on a run by running back Boston Scott during the phase of work. He also had a couple of nice pushes in open-field 11-on-11 drills.
Following practice, PFN asked Eagles defensive line coach Tracy Rocker about Tuipulotu’s growth at the position.
“You say he got off to a slow start, but I’d say, again, he was a rookie,” Rocker said. “And as the season progressed, he got better and better, and that’s the thing that I enjoy watching. And one thing, he cares. It’s important to him, and he did extra work to keep getting better, and I think the most important part is he got better every day. The mistakes that he made, he didn’t make them again.”
Eagles’ injury update
Tight ends Tyree Jackson and Richard Rodgers and offensive tackle Brett Toth remained on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Rodgers and Jackson worked out on another field with a trainer for most of the morning.
Wideout Zach Pascal is still sidelined as he recovers from food poisoning. Tight end Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), wideout Greg Ward (toe), and cornerback Mac McCain (knee) also missed practice.
Defensive play of the day
While the deep shot from Hurts to Reagor was easily the offensive play of the day, the defensive play of practice came while both were watching from the sideline.
During 7-on-7 work, linebacker JaCoby Stevens picked off a pass from third-string QB Reid Sinnett to running back Jason Huntley in the flat. Stevens, a converted safety, only played in two games last season while spending most of his rookie year on the practice squad.
The former sixth-round pick is competing with Shaun Bradley, Christian Elliss, and others for a deep depth spot behind the quartet of T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Davion Taylor, and Nakobe Dean at linebacker.
Eagles’ quick hits
- Dean, the team’s third-round pick, received a lot of pre-draft and post-draft hype from fans and pundits, but he appears to be buried on the LB depth chart through the first handful of practices. Dean dropped in the draft due to size and injury concerns, despite a stellar career at Georgia. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for him to rise up the depth chart, especially with Edwards and Taylor performing well.
- Miles Sanders continues to look fast and explosive in practice. He received plenty of reps with the first-team offense and looked good facing heavy contact on Tuesday. While the Eagles weren’t tackling to the ground, Sanders ran hard on every team rep.
- Reagor, who seems like his own worst enemy on social media, had a really nice day. He had the two team-drill grabs that were highlights of the entire workout. He also won both his individual coverage reps, smoking Moreland and drawing a pass interference on cornerback Tay Gowan.
- Quez Watkins vs. Avonte Maddox is a fun battle in individual drills. First, Maddox had good coverage on Watkins as a Hurts toss went straight over their heads and out of bounds. Watkins later beat Maddox out of the slot on a crossing route.
- Defensive ends Tarron Jackson and Josh Sweat both had impressive “sacks” during team drills. Jackson took advantage of coverage and got to Gardner Minshew, while Sweat blew past Jordan Mailata for a “sack” on Hurts.
- There were two interceptions thrown by Minshew that were called back. The first one was McPhearson snagging a ball from wideout John Hightower on a fade route down the sideline. Both players fell out of bounds and the refs waved them off. A couple of plays later, undrafted rookie cornerback Josh Jobe got too physical with his assignment and was called for a DPI penalty after catching the pick.
- Two practices attended, two practices with undrafted cornerback Mario Goodrich shining with a PBU in team drills. Tuesday’s breakup came on a throw to wideout Devon Allen.
- Sua Opeta and Cam Jurgens received some team reps with the first-team offense. Opeta played right guard, while Jurgens played center.
- Third-string center Cameron Tom had a really low snap to undrafted rookie QB Carson Strong during a late team drill.
- Speaking of Strong, he did a nice job placing a ball down the seam between two defenders to connect with receiver-turned-tight end J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in team drills.