De­fense makes ’em mis­er­able

Ravens un­able to gain any head­way in fi­nal ses­sion of joint prac­tice with Ea­gles

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Nick Fierro Nick Fierro can be reached at 610-778-2243 or [email protected]

PHILADEL­PHIA — The train­ing camp por­tion of the pre­sea­son is com­plete.

The Ea­gles held their fi­nal open prac­tice of the year Tues­day, the sec­ond day of a joint op­er­a­tion with the Bal­ti­more Ravens in swel­ter­ing con­di­tions. The teams will meet in a pre­sea­son game Thurs­day night at Lin­coln Fi­nan­cial Field.

This ar­range­ment clearly pleased both sides to hear Ravens coach John Har­baugh and Ea­gles coach Doug Ped­er­son tell it.

“We had two great days, two teams that are very like-minded,” Har­baugh said. “Very phys­i­cal, very hot and no issues, re­ally. I mean, you might have had a shov­ing match out here, but it was all in good fun. I just felt like we got a lot of work done.”

Added Ped­er­son be­fore Tues­day’s prac­tice: “You saw yesterday how there was great in­ten­sity. It was a great prac­tice. There was a phys­i­cal­ity to it.”

When the Ea­gles re­con­vene next week, they’ll use their in-sea­son reg­i­men, and prac­tices will be closed to the me­dia.

Tues­day fea­tured more of the same, ex­cept that for the fi­nal half-hour or so the teams peeled back from hav­ing two 11-on-11 scrim­mages go­ing at the same time to hav­ing just one.

Here are some high­lights and ob­ser­va­tions:

■ The Ea­gles closed with a flurry, vic­tim­iz­ing poor Trace McSor­ley, the rookie from Penn State, with three in­ter­cep­tions in the fi­nal ses­sion. Tre Sul­li­van, Jeremiah McK­in­non and Ajene Har­ris pro­vided them, with McK­in­non fol­low­ing his with a big re­turn.

■ A lit­tle ear­lier, de­fen­sive end Vinny Curry, en­ter­ing his eighth year and still look­ing for his first ca­reer in­ter­cep­tion, was given rare joker duty on one play. He dropped into cov­er­age and snagged a pass from La­mar Jack­son.

Next, Curry showed he would have been a fa­vorite of for­mer Ea­gles coach Buddy Ryan. Early in his re­turn, he play­fully tried to pitch the ball to one of the de­fen­sive backs be­hind him. The ball hit the ground and the whis­tle blew the play dead be­fore safety Rodney McLeod picked it up and tried to con­tinue the play any­way.

Ev­ery­body on the Ea­gles side­line had a good laugh.

■ Be­fore those flurry of in­ter­cep­tions, the Ea­gles also had a bunch of near-misses. Avonte Maddox, Ra­sul Dou­glas and Mal­colm Jenk­ins each had great chances.

■ Ravens quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son has an in­cred­i­ble arm. He just flicks his wrist to throw a line drive 30 yards down the field. There’s such a nat­u­ral econ­omy of mo­tion there. He showed some in­cred­i­ble bouts of ac­cu­racy with that arm too.

Har­baugh is gam­bling a bit to have changed around his whole of­fense to take ad­van­tage of Jack­son’s throw­ing and run­ning skill set. But from two days of watch­ing him op­er­ate the of­fense, it looks like a good gam­ble. Haven’t seen an arm like that since Michael Vick.

■ Ron­ald Darby is mak­ing progress in ■ his re­cov­ery from last year’s ACL in­jury. He’s been cleared for full par­tic­i­pa­tion in prac­tice and moved well through­out Tues­day’s prac­tice.

■ There were a cou­ple of mi­nor scuf­fles that broke out, but noth­ing real se­ri­ous. They were strictly the result of heat and/or testos­terone.

■ Third-year run­ning back Corey Clement is back to 100% and showing some good ex­plo­sion each day. He had a sensationa­l catch-and-run for a long gain late in prac­tice Tues­day. Can’t wait to see what he does Thurs­day night … un­less, of course, he doesn’t play. You just never know what these Ea­gles are go­ing to do un­der Ped­er­son from week to week be­cause he’s not in­ter­ested in di­vulging any in­for­ma­tion.

Also back to 100%, ap­par­ently, is wide re­ceiver Mack Hollins. But he had a note­wor­thy drop Mon­day and again Tues­day, when he broke open for a deep and per­fect pass from Car­son Wentz that would have gone for a touch­down. It was a bad drop for some­one who no longer may be con­sid­ered a lock to make the team.

PHE­LAN M. EBENHACK/AP

Ea­gles DE Vinny Curry had an in­ter­cep­tion in Tues­day’s joint prac­tice with the Ravens. En­ter­ing his eighth year, Curry has never had a reg­u­lar-sea­son pick­off.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.