Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Jalen Hurts really likes throwing to AJ Brown
Today marked the seventh Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2022 NFL season. Here’s what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. NOTE: Stay tuned for today’s BGN Radio practice recap podcast episode that will be posted here once it’s live.
• JALEN HURTS STOCK REPORT
It was an up-and-down day for Hurts.
The good: Despite good coverage from Darius Slay, Hurts threw a really nice pass with zip and touch to AJ Brown for a would-be touchdown had the receiver not dropped it. UPDATE: As I was writing this article, Brown tweeted (and then deleted) that Slay broke up the pass. (So, if he’s correct, then maybe not the best throw if Slay could get a hand on it?)
Later, Hurts successfully hit Brown in stride on a deeper slant route. Showing more accuracy while throwing over the middle, Hurts perfectly placed a ball to Dallas Goedert up the seam for a chunk gain. Hurts led a 11-on-11 red zone series against the starting defense where the offense punched it in for the score. Hurts didn’t do anything too flashy during this stretch. He did have a nice QB power run but otherwise he just checked down and took what the defense gave him. The combination of mistake-free football and a strong running game allowed the Eagles to score with relative ease. It’s sequences like these that perhaps go underappreciated (including by myself) because, again, it’s not like he’s flashing in a super impressive way. But not every starting quarterback operates this efficiency, so, let’s give credit where it’s due.
The bad: Outside of his good pass to Brown that was dropped, Hurts and the offense struggled against the starting defense. His best plays mostly occurred when the starters were facing backups. Hurts’ first pass of the day was meant for Brown on an out route but instead went wide right and out of bounds. Hurts drifted left on one rep where he could’ve checked down to an open Miles Sanders but likely got sacked instead… or at most gained two yards before running out of bounds. Hurts definitely got sacked on another rep where he rolled left … but threw anyway … and the ball went out of bounds. One of Hurts’ incompletions was a batted ball at the line of scrimmage. His shorter stature isn’t usually a problem in that regard but it can be an issue from time to time. There was a 7-on-7 rep where Hurts underthrew Quez Watkins and got picked off Darius Slay, who had really good coverage on that route. There was another 7-on-7 rep where Hurts took off running, which is at least the fourth time he’s done that in camp. Again, it’s hard to see the point of a QB running this much during such a pass-friendly drill.
Zooming out a bit as we’re halfway through Eagles training camp (seven out of 14 total practices, including the ones in Miami and Cleveland), there are no signs of Hurts being a significantly different player from last year. This isn’t to suggest he’s been awful by any means; There are some areas where he has made positive strides. We’ve talked about his progress when it comes to throwing over the middle and getting the ball out quicker on certain plays. But there are still issues with accuracy and holding on to the ball for too long. No one can argue it’s been a strong camp for the offense as a whole, which certainly doesn’t reflect well on the starting quarterback.
• JALEN HURTS STOCK TRACKER OVERVIEW
Day 1: Stock even
Day 2: Stock down
Day 3: Stock down
Day 4: Stock even
Day 5: Stock up
Day 6: Stock down
Day 7: Stock even
• HOT FANTASY FOOTBALL TIP
Don’t be shy to grab a Hurts-Brown stack for your team. No. 1 loves throwing to No. 11. If training camp is any indication, Brown is easily going to lead the Eagles at targets this season.
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT
DID NOT PRACTICE
Boston Scott (concussion), DeVonta Smith (groin), Jordan Mailata (concussion), Andre Dillard (concussion), Greg Ward (toe), Grant Calcaterra (hamstring).
BoSco is a new addition here. He took a big hit from Marcus Epps during Thursday’s practice.
Although they didn’t practice, Mailata and Dillard were both out on the field today. Good sign for their recovery progress. Should be back soon.
McCain was upgraded to limited after missing several practices.
Depth cornerbacks Kary Vincent Jr. and Jimmy Moreland both left practice early and didn’t return.
The Eagles added tight end Jaeden Graham to injured reserve list, giving them an open roster spot to work with.
• Spoiler alert for today’s BGN Radio episode: Kyzir White is my MVP of the day. The veteran linebacker sniffed out a screen to Miles Sanders and was in position to absolutely lay the wood on him if the Eagles were tackling to the ground. White also jumped in front of a Hurts throw to Goedert for a pass breakup/near pick. White’s speed is impressive and it allows him to make flash plays.
• AJ Brown looked like a man amongst boys when he stiff-armed Kary Vincent Jr. in the helmet after making a catch in the middle of the field. Just toying with the DB.
• Interesting development: Britain Covey seeing first team slot wide receiver reps. This after Covey had his best day of camp on Thursday. Covey had a couple solid moments today, including one where he blazed by K’Von Wallace along the sideline after making a catch. On a bad note, Covey did drop a would-be touchdown on the final rep of practice (during the developmental period). Can Covey crack the roster as WR5 or WR6 and the top punt returner? The preseason games will be big for determining his future.
• My guy Jason Huntley had a day. Despite being the lightest running back on the team at 193 pounds, he trucked a defender in the open field on a run up the middle. Huntley also had a good run towards the grown left sideline where he hit Josh Jobe with a-man stiff arm. It was that run that fired up a number of his offensive teammates. “Yeah, Hunt!” Let the record show that Huntley’s got juice.
• Jalen Reagor almost made a pretty impressive grab coming back to the ball along the left sideline but he couldn’t maintain possession going to the ground. Credit Jobe for tight coverage on Regor and possibly knocking the ball out.
• Jobe had a PBU on a Gardner Minshew throw over the middle. This was Jobe’s best and most notable day. Comes at a good time for him with his competitors (McCain, KVR, Moreland) getting injured.
• There was a rep where either Miles Sanders had a really bad fumble or there was a botched handoff from Hurts. Either way, sloppy look for the offense.
• Derek Barnett has quietly had a good camp. And, to my memory, he’s only been penalized once
• Milton Williams made a nice “tackle” on a screen pass to Gainwell.
• Might’ve been Reid Sinnett’s worst practice. He forced a ball into coverage that got tipped and nearly picked by Jared Mayden. Then he threw directly to JaCoby Stevens for an interception in 7-on-7.
• Andre Chachere broke up a Minshew pass to Deon Cain at the catch point. No way that Wallace should be ahead of Chachere on the depth chart.
• Carson Strong telegraphed a throw over the middle to Noah Togiai that was easily knocked down by a defender. He followed that up, though, with an accurate ball to Keric Wheatfall on an out route. Nice to see a positive play from the rookie QB.
• Since I was focusing on 7-on-7 while OL vs. DL was going on, allow me to outsource my notes on the trenches for this bullet point. Good observations here from the Inquirer’s EJ Smith:
A lot of action in OL/DL one-on-ones, some quick takeaways:
-Promptly after I wrote Cam Jurgens’ anchor is incredible, Jordan Davis bull rushed him straight into the QB.
-Sua Opeta with two wins against Javon Hargrave. Opeta is having a nice camp. #Eagles
— EJ Smith (@EJSmith94) August 6, 2022
I’ll add here that I saw UDFA offensive lineman Josh Sills have a good rep at left tackle while going up against Tarron Jackson. TJack has had some nice pass rushing moments in camp so stone-walling Jackson was a quality win for Sills.
• Today in Jimmy Kempski’s daily training camp interview series for BGN Radio: No one. Jimmy forgot to charge his equipment. Boo him on Twitter for me: @JimmyKempski.
UP NEXT: The Eagles are holding their first and only practice open to the public at Lincoln Financial Field starting at 7:00 PM on Sunday evening. [Click here for ticket information.] Then they’ll have a walkthrough closed to media on Monday.