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Shining Stars


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Shining Stars

Posted: August 1st, 2023 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

Training Camp is a time for everyone to compete. We tend to focus on rookies and new guys, wanting to know which players are going to emerge. Sometimes that means overlooking the star players to focus on lesser guys. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the Eagles star players.

First up is Brandon Lee Gowton on Jalen Hurts.

Hurts is on fire right now. After turning in a sharp practice on Sunday, he looked great again on Tuesday morning. The fourth-year quarterback accurately distributed the ball to different targets all over the field. To no surprise, the Hurts to A.J. Brown connection was especially lethal. The highlight play came when Hurts aired it out and put the ball right on Brown’s hands in the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown with James Bradberry trailing in coverage. Hurts also hit Brown on an out to the left sideline and a curl route for a first down. Hurts threw a rope to DeVonta Smith, who managed to get open deep on an extended play. He hit Smitty in stride again just along the left sideline in 7-on-7. Hurts also had a really nice anticipation throw to Dallas Goedert that hit the tight end over the middle exactly as he came out of his break. At the risk of jinxing him, Hurts has still yet to throw an interception in training camp. Nice to see him stacking strong outings like this. Stock up!

This team will go as far as Hurts takes it (apologies to Marcus Mariota). Hurts isn’t resting on his laurels. He is as focused as ever and seems to be taking his game up a notch. Nick Sirianni loves to talk about how we don’t know what the ceiling is for Hurts. When you’re that talented and that driven, why try to put limits on a player? Very cool to see Hurts continuing to improve.


Jimmy Bama on the bartender from Ocean Drive.

We may as well get the elite player highlights out of the way first. Jason Kelce had an impressive block about 15 yards down the field on a screen play to Boston Scott. He cleared Terrell Edmunds out of the way for a big gain. If you’re wondering if old man Kelce still has the athleticism to make highlight reel blocks out in space… yes, he does.

Age will affect Kelce at some point. Luckily, not this year. You did wonder if all the outside activities would affect Kelce and his play on the field, but he seems as good as ever. Special player. Special dude.


One of the reasons Hurts is so impressive is that he’s got great receivers. BLG covered AJ Brown a bit in his Hurts notes. Brown sounds like he is in midseason form. What a great trade by Howie.

DeVonta Smith has been making his share of plays as well.

You can argue that Brown is the best receiver in the league. He’s special. And Smith isn’t that far behind him. What a dynamic duo.


Here is Zach Berman on Darius Slay vs Smith.

DeVonta Smith versus Darius Slay exemplified what coaches call ‘good on good’ during these periods. The first pass to DeVonta Smith was incomplete, the second attempt was a catch. Coverage was tight both times, and the route was crisp both times. The reception was especially impressive because DeVonta needed to create separation at the last second to extend for the ball.

When you have good players vs good players, both sides will win their share of battles.

James Bradberry has drawn praise everyday in camp. He was great in 2022, but seems to be in Hurts mode…still hungry and driven. That is great news for the defense.


Enough about stars. Let’s cover some of the other guys.

Fran Duffy is impressed by a backup LB.

I’m continuing to see good strides from linebacker Shaun Bradley. The fourth-year player has made his impact primarily on special teams so far in his NFL career, but this is the most where I’ve seen him show up on defense. In the first team period he attacked downhill, defeated a block, and found the ball. He got home on what would have been a sack later in the drill, taking a good angle to quarterback Marcus Mariota. In the second team period, he again showed up on an inside run, showing off his explosive power in defeating a block from tight end Dallas Goedert and getting to the ball. Here’s hoping Bradley can carry this play over to the preseason.

Bradley has not progressed as hoped. He is good on STs, but has yet to show anything on defense. Maybe the light has finally gone on for him. It would be great if Bradley continued to play well and push the LBs in front of him.


Jimmy likes one of the backup TEs.

Staying with the tight ends, Tyree Jackson was active today. In a red zone session, he made a nice catch on a difficult ball from Ian Book in the red zone, but could not keep both feet in. Later he ran a good slant route, and Tanner McKee hit in between the numbers with good timing. Marcus Mariota also found Jackson for a completion near the sideline. If Jackson can play the rest of camp and the preseason games like he has played so far he’s going to make the team.

It is great that Jackson is playing so well. Fringe players have a ton of pressure on them. They constantly have to worry about their job. Jackson is ignoring all of that and focusing on what he can control…his level of play. Kudos to him.


Not all the news is good. Here is Jimmy on backup C Brett toth.

We’ve noted a few times so far that Brett Toth has had a lot of bad snaps while trying to play center. Add at least two more to the tally. His bad snaps are almost becoming disruptive enough that the team has to consider getting him out of there so he isn’t messing up reps for the other players on offense.

Toth’s calling card is versatility. If he can’t play C, that hurts his value.

Here’s BLG on Mariota.

Another tough day for Marcus Mariota. We’ve previously noted that he’s not being helped by an overmatched second-team offensive line. Still, it’d be nice to see fewer mistakes. He simply overthrew Dan Arnold to get picked off by K’Von Wallace today. To his credit, Mariota responded to that mistake by coming back and throwing a nice strike to Greg Ward for a first down on the very next rep. That play drew some praise from Sirianni.

Mariota has struggled. He’s in a new system and learning on the fly, but you expect more from a veteran QB. His play isn’t a major concern right now. If he’s still like this after the preseason opener, we might need to re-visit this.

Zach Berman is impressed by rookie WR Joseph Ngata.

The down-the-depth chart wide receiver with the best highlight in these sessions was Joseph Ngata, who used his body to make a deep catch and toe-tapped to try to stay inbounds. (Couldn’t tell if he was complete or incomplete.)

The Eagles would love one of the young receivers to play well enough to earn a spot, or at the least to push for one.


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Hurts is so damn good! I know it’s only TC but we also know he’s a gamer and so to be lighting it up in practice is especially exciting. I think he’s set for another really good year. He’s going to work and focus on getting better and focus on what defenses did that was successful against him.

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4 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Hurts is so damn good! I know it’s only TC but we also know he’s a gamer and so to be lighting it up in practice is especially exciting. I think he’s set for another really good year. He’s going to work and focus on getting better and focus on what defenses did that was successful against him.

From the (super brief) article linked below:

So far in camp Hurts has put up these impressive numbers:

Completions: 48
Attempts: 60
Touchdowns: 4
Interceptions: 0
Reps: 92




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