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Eagles OTA sightings: Our first look at AJ Brown

Eagles OTA sightings: Our first look at AJ Brown
Written by admin_3fxxacau

The Eagles were on the practice field Friday for their third of six OTA practices…and we got to watch!

A theme during Nick Sirianni’s time as head coach was to prioritize player health and safety. That’s why they’re taking it so easy this spring. And that’s why Friday training – the toughest of the week – was still only about 55 minutes long and didn’t include any 11v11 work.

Still, there were observations to be made:

1. Friday was our first in-person look at the new wide AJ Brown. Although Brown and Jalen Hurts are best friends, they are still working on building a relationship on the court. As Hurts hit Brown on a short pass early in the 7-on-7 game, they missed two deep balls. On the first, Hurts threw Brown after a stuttering step motion; on that one, Brown became a defensive back and had to get the ball away from Darius Slay. After that game, Brown told Hurts that while she was going to miss him, that she missed him deeply. So on the next, Hurts airlifted one out of Brown’s reach. So they are still working on it. Long way to go before week 1.

2. Other than that, Hurts had a really good day, completing most of his passes. Hurts had a few clean shots on Friday. One of them went to tight end Jack Stoll who made a nice catch in traffic. Although in a game he could have been in danger after the catch.

3. Isaac Seumalo apparently gets the first crack in the right place of guard and was in that role on Friday. Of course, three starters on the offensive line (Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson) weren’t in voluntary practice. So it was OL’s first team on Friday:

LT: Andre Dillard
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Cam Jürgens
RG: Isaac Seumalo
RT: Jack Driscoll

So it’s important to note that while Seumalo probably gets the first chance at the right guard position, Jurgens and Driscoll (two other candidates) were in other spots with those.

4. On defense in the 7-on-7 drill, the Eagles had Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps in the secondary; no surprise there. At linebacker, their two best guys for most of the afternoon were TJ Edwards and Kyzir White, although Nakobe Dean got rep at MIKE and Davion Taylor shuffled at WILL. The Eagles kept him nickel on that 7-for-7, so no Haason Reddick there at SAT.

5. Receiver Deon Cain had some great catches during the 7-on-7. One came on a deep ball from Hurts when Cain beat Slay into coverage. I wouldn’t worry too much about Slay, but it’s a good time for Cain. The former Clemson sixth-round pick joined the Eagles on the practice squad last year. He was originally drafted by the Colts when Nick Sirianni was their offensive coordinator.

6. Sophomore cornerback Zech McPhearson had a nice pass breakup while working with the second team. He nearly knocked out Gardner Minshew. McPhearson was in line to be a starter until the Eagles signed Bradberry. But now he’s back as the best outside cornerback.

seven. A bit of violence at 41-41 in training when safety Jared Mayden collided with Britain Covey, who took the brunt of it and flew away. It happened again to Covey later in the session. At 5-foot-8 and 173 pounds, Covey is the lightest player on the roster other than kicker. It showed on Friday.

8. We saw movement with receivers on Friday. Quez Watkins wasn’t in training, so maybe that changed some things. Greg Ward was with the first team as a slot receiver. But we did see AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith doing some indoor rehearsals. While they’ll likely end up playing most of their snaps on the outside, the Eagles will bring them in on occasion to take advantage of matchups. Brown played a lot in the Tennessee slot machine.

9. The practice got off to a good start when Hurts hit Smith deep in the right sideline over James Bradberry for a long completion. He hit Smith on the left sideline above Slay later in the session.

ten. Former receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside is now a tight end and looked noticeably thicker as he made the transition. He still faces an uphill battle but had a hitch in this practice.

Stupid observation of the day: During COVID, the Eagles have created an additional outdoor weight room right next to their regular weight room. They had to disperse during COVID. Now they have a small inflatable grass pitch in its place.

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