The Eagles and Patriots are practicing together ahead of their preseason opener in Philadelphia. These competitive practices are another step up from training camp in intensity and likeness to real game situations. Tuesday’s joint practice was open to the public, but Wednesday’s will not be. The teams will take a day off before squaring off on Friday night.
Here is what you need to know from Tuesday’s practice:
- WR Arrelious Benn tore his left ACL. He is now the third Eagle lost for the season. DeSean Jackson, Damaris Johnson, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, and Russell Shepard are now the five clear favorites for roster spots at wide receiver.
- Nick Foles is gaining momentum in the quarterback competition. He started off shaky in 11-on-11 drills, but found his rhythm and looked very sharp for the rest of the day. Michael Vick wasn’t bad, but the day belonged to Foles.
- Although Chip Kelly has not announced anything, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio expects Michael Vick to start the team’s first preseason game.
- NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah believes that RB Chris Polk could unseat Bryce Brown for the #2 running back job. By all accounts, Polk has had a great camp and looks slimmer and quicker than last year, but overtaking Brown – who dropped 3 passes at practice – on the depth chart would be a huge upset. Brown has much more talent and athleticism than Polk and has proven he can play with the big boys. The report is a clear indicator that Polk is ahead of Felix Jones on the depth chart, though. Jones may have a tough time winning a roster spot, let alone a meaningful role in the offense.
- WR Riley Cooper caught 3 touchdown passes in his first practice back from his time away from the team. Eagles players chanted his name after an impressive catch and they said all the right things to the media. While the situation is still on everybody’s mind, Cooper’s first day back went just about as smoothly as he could have hoped for.
- WR DeSean Jackson simply had too much speed for New England. He has been fantastic all camp and looks poised for a big, big year.
- CB Cary Williams got kicked out of practice for starting a fight with rookie Patriot Aaron Dobson. Chip Kelly now makes the rules in Philadelphia, and he says that if a player fights, he’s done for the day.
- While the offense looked sharp for the most part, the defense really struggled against Tom Brady and the motley crew he has to throw to.
- According to Daniel Jeremiah, ILB Mychal Kendricks looked like the team’s best defensive player. He came away very impressed with his range in coverage.
- Players who struggled in coverage include CB Bradley Fletcher and OLB Brandon Graham. Graham has had a very tough time transitioning to his new position, and Fletcher may just have had a bad day. Fletcher is an average starting corner, but I thought he was one of the most undervalued players in free agency.