A.J. Brown wows crowd at Linc with TD catch

Eagles training camp observations: A.J. Brown wows crowd at Linc with TD catch originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles had a huge turnout for their one and only public practice of the summer.

The padded practice lasted for 1 hour and 38 minutes under the lights at the Linc. The Eagles say there were over 50,000 fans in attendance.

It’s a shame fans don’t get more opportunities to see their team during training camp. It’s been reduced to one public practice but at least a lot of people go to watch the Eagles on Sunday night.

Let’s get to the observations:

1. As always, housekeeping:

Nakobe Dean (ankle), James Bradberry (groin), Deon Cain (ankle) and Patrick Johnson (ankle) missed practice. Before Sunday’s session, head coach Nick Sirianni said Dean was getting “close” to returning. The injury to Johnson is not believed to be serious, which is good news after what looked like a potentially scary injury on Friday.

• The newest Eagles — LB Myles Jack, LB Zach Cunningham and OL Josh Andrews — were all in attendance but did not participate. Jack is wearing No. 47, Cunningham 46 and Andrews 61.

• After being reinstated from the Commissioner Exempt List, Josh Sills returned to practice for the first time since February. He was acquitted on charges of rape and kidnapping in Ohio on Friday.

• Rookie defensive tackle Moro Ojomo left practice after it looked like he got poked in the eye during 1-on-1 drills. Ojomo was checked out on the sideline before eventually heading inside.

2. A few depth chart notes:

• With just four healthy and dressed off-ball linebackers, the Eagles really rotated at that spot. Even UDFA Ben VanSumeren got some first-team reps.

Haason Reddick, who entered training camp with some groin soreness, got his first 11-on-11 reps of the summer. The injury was never considered serious but it’s always nice to get one of your best players back to near full strength.

Cam Jurgens remained the first-team right guard but the Eagles gave breathers to Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson about halfway through some periods. When that happened, Jurgens moved to center, Tyler Steen took over at right guard and Jack Driscoll took Johnson’s spot at right tackle.

• The Eagles continued to rotate the other safety spot next to Reed Blankenship with the first team. Terrell Edmunds and K’Von Wallace basically split those reps. Rookie Sydney Brown is getting more and more work with the second team.

• Without Bradberry, Josh Jobe continues to run with the first team. Greedy Williams and Kelee Ringo were the second-team outside cornerbacks.

• It’s probably notable that Kenny Gainwell was the running back when the Eagles were in 2-minute situations on Sunday. That was his role last season and it’s clear Nick Sirianni trusts him.

3. The biggest highlight play of the day came during situational drill when A.J. Brown rose over Jobe and Moss’d the young DB on a 50-50 ball from Jalen Hurts in the deep red zone. Jobe had decent positioning but Brown made a play. It looked like those signature “late hands” from Brown but I’m not even sure he knew the ball was in the air. Still, he adjusted and went up to make a play.

The situation for that drill was offense down 8 with 46 seconds left to go and one timeout from the plus-25 yard-line. Hurts scrambled for a first-down on 4th-and-4 to set up the touchdown throw to Brown.

On the 2-point conversion, Hurts scrambled right and got into the end zone. Blankenship met him at the goal line but I’ll give the nod to Hurts if contact was allowed.

4. When the second teams competed in that same drill, Mariota began with a 23-yard scramble and then after an incompletion, hit Joseph Ngata for a touchdown in the end zone. But the 2-point conversion failed pretty quickly when Tarron Jackson was in the backfield in the blink of an eye.

It was another overall rough day for Mariota, who sailed several passes. While he’s been shaky as a passer, Mariota can still run. The fans cheered loudly whenever he took off.

5. Even without Patrick Johnson on Sunday, the Eagles’ depth edge rushers showed out on Sunday. When the third teams went with a “live” tackle-to-the-ground period, Kyron Johnson was immediately in the backfield for a “sack” on Ian Book. While he obviously didn’t hit the QB in the red jersey, it was a no-doubter for Johnson, who had another sack working with the second team against Jack Driscoll later.

And even Jackson got into the mix, getting in the backfield a couple times. There might not be a roster spot for either guy but they’re playing well.

6. The Eagles signed a couple linebackers on Sunday but Christian Elliss doesn’t want you to forget about him. He had a couple tackles for loss on Sunday, one against D’Andre Swift and another against Boston Scott.

Elliss did have a rough assignment on one play when he ended up in coverage against DeVonta Smith on a crosser. That went about as you’d expect.

7. Saw a great rep from Jalen Carter with the second-team defense. He sliced through the line and beat Sua Opeta for a pressure that was a near sack. His former Georgia teammate Nolan Smith continues to pop and had a great rep against backup left tackle Dennis Kelly around the edge.

8. Here are some 1-on-1 notes from OL-DL drills:

• The best rep of the period came from Marlon Tuipulotu, who put Julian Good-Jones on the seat of his pants. Sure, it’s not like he did that to Landon Dickerson but it was a strong rep from Tuipulotu, who continues to have a solid summer.

• Reddick worked a spin move against Johnson that was super quick. Curious to see if he implements more of that.

• Cam Jurgens has done a pretty nice job against Fletcher Cox and did it again on Sunday. Jurgens is stronger than he looks and understands leverage.

• Kelce didn’t do 1-on-1s so poor Brett Toth had to try to stop Jordan Davis and that didn’t happen. Davis moved him off his spot very easily.

9. Great pass breakup from Avonte Maddox in coverage on Smith in that final situational period. Maddox had tight coverage and pulled off an athletic PBU on Smith on the pass from Hurts. Great rep from Maddox, whom the Eagles need to stay healthy in 2023.

10. The Eagles have had some “live” periods in camp with their third teams, which is the only time there’s tackling to the ground. Running back Kennedy Brooks has gotten the bulk of that work.

On defense, rookie Sydney Brown was out there for that period and you can tell he’s looking forward to game action when he can deliver a big hit. He had rookie receiver Joseph Ngata in his sights coming downhill but wisely held up after Ian Book’s pass was dropped. Brown is explosive running downhill.

Stupid Observation of the Day: I noticed plenty of fans doing the double dip, going to the Phillies game in the afternoon and the Eagles practice at night. What a day in South Philly. Of course, there had to be one Cowboys fan in attendance trying to get some attention:

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