On Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots held their first of two joint practice sessions together before their preseason meeting on Thursday. As always, there was a handful of takeaways from today’s practice.
Here are the most notable, gathered by the Eagles beat writers that were in attendance.
Jalen Hurts looked sharp
After an up and down start to training camp, Jalen Hurts calmed some nerves after his stellar outing in last Thursday’s preseason opener. He looked like had command of the offense and nearly every play he had was a positive.
Fast forward to Monday’s practice, and it seems like Hurts is building off that preseason performance. He got off to a bit of a rough start during 7-on-7 drills, tossing two interceptions. But he came alive during full team period, where he only saw one ball hit the ground.
By most reports, Hurts clearly outperformed the Patriots quarterbacks. That’s not a huge accomplishment, considering who the Pats have under center. But hey, it’s not a bad thing either.
As long as Hurts continues to improve every day during camp and showing up when it matters most, that’s all we can ask for. I’m anxious to see some extended playing time from the signal caller this Thursday night.
Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor cementing their starting status
In the absence of DeVonta Smith — who was back on the field today, by the way — Quez Watkins has really come into his own. We saw it on full display last Thursday, and he feasted once again during 1-on-1’s on Monday.
For your viewing pleasure:
Both of these reps are against J.C. Jackson, the Patriots second outside corner opposite of Stephon Gilmore. Jackson is one of the best young corners in football, recording a total of 17 interceptions during his first three years in the NFL. Seeing Watkins consistently torch this budding star is eye opening. But in all honesty, it’s starting to become routine for the second year wideout.
Reagor also had a nice day during 1-on-1’s, hauling in a number of catches on nice, precise routes.
We all have our questions about Reagor, but with each passing day he seems to be getting better. Today was a great day for Reagor and it should continue into Thursday night.
DeVonta Smith is back! (kinda)
As stated earlier, Smith was back on the field today, although he didn’t get any reps during the drills. He was in full pads and was getting some work in on the sideline with fellow injured wideout John Hightower. Look for Smith to be a full participant in practice next week, and ready to go come Week 1.
Eagles defense, again, looks stellar
We know the strength of this team will likely lie on the defensive side of the ball. Jonathan Gannon’s defense doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses at the moment, and the entire unit came to play during Monday’s team session.
The defensive line routinely got pressure on Cam Newton, forcing a handful of “sacks.” The play of the day occurred during a two minute drill with the Pats lineup in the red zone. Javon Hargrave generated pressure right up the middle, making Newton force the ball across the middle into the waiting arms of linebacker Eric Wilson.
The secondary also had a strong day against New England’s receiving corps. Darius Slay had a slew of PBUs, with a few coming against former Eagle Nelson Agholor. Steven Nelson also had a few PBUs on the day, including one on N’Keal Harry.
The defense also let the Pats off the hook a few times during passing periods, dropping several easy interceptions. Alex Singleton let two slip, Andrew Adams had two ‘gimmes’ that he should’ve come down with. But all in all, this Philly defense looks up to the task this season.