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Joint Practices


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Joint Practices

Posted: August 16th, 2023 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

The Browns came to Philly to have joint practices with the Eagles before the teams meet on Thursday night in a preseason game. It is easy to think of the Browns as bad (they went 7-10 last year), but the Browns have a talented roster and could be a team to watch this year. There was real value in Monday and Tuesday’s action between the two teams.

Most importantly, Eagles starters got to face Browns starters. Good on good. And you know what that means, iron sharpens iron.



If I’m translating correctly, the Browns were the whetstones and the Eagles were the iron.

The other value to these sessions is the Nick Sirianni can coach his whole team. The Eagles and Browns were pretty even on Monday, with a slight advantage to Cleveland. Sirianni wasn’t happy about that and let his players know about it. They played at a whole other level on Tuesday and dominated. It is a lot tougher for Sirianni to fire up his guys when they’re facing each other. When they are going against a different team, he can push some buttons and get his team to play at a higher level and with a lot more intensity.


The practice notes are a couple of days old so we’ll focus on some key takeaways. (A nasty thunderstorm knocked out power in my area so I’m behind a couple of days.)


There is no question that Blankenship will be one of the Eagles starting safeties. I think people are starting to realize that he’s not getting the job by default. This is a player the Eagles wanted on the field. They think he’s got a lot of potential and want him to play. Besides being talented, he’s young and cheap. Those guys are invaluable with an expensive QB. After seeing him in action for a couple of days, I’m sure the Browns would agree that he’s a player to watch.

From Jimmy Bama.

Reed Blankenship was stellar. During 11-on-11’s Zach Cunningham had a breakup, and the ball found its way to Blankenship, who was in good position trailing the play. On Blankenship’s return, Sydney Brown absolutely lit up Browns RB Demetric Felton. Some Browns players took exception to Brown’s violent block and a fight broke out.

During a goal line session, Blankenship filled a hole with urgency and met Nick Chubb head on, stopping Chubb in his tracks.

And then during the scrimmage portion of practice, Blankenship jumped in front of TE Jordan Akins for another INT, resulting in a raucous celebration by the Eagles on the field and on the sideline.

Blankenship had an INT on Monday as well. That gave him 3 in two practices. He’s making plays in coverage and in the run game. He has good cover skills, but also plays the ball well when it’s in the air. That is criticial at safety. Those guys are in the middle of the field and spend a lot of time with their eyes watching the QB/ball. I’m excited to see what Blankenship does this year.


AJ Brown is the Eagles best WR. For now. Smith is catching up to him by getting open and catching everything that comes his way. He went up against Denzel Ward, one of the best corners in the league. Smith won his share of battles in the two days.

Straight line speed is valuable, but can be overrated. Smith has speed, but is dangerous because his body control and ability to change directions is special. Covering that guy is a huge challenge. Then you mix in Smith’s ability to go get the ball and his great hands…he is becoming a special player.


The rookie DT makes splash plays on almost a daily basis in camp. He really opened eyes with his near-sack in the Ravens game.

Carter had another big moments in Tuesday’s practice.


One play is just one play, but Carter is starting to pile them up. He’s still a work in progress. He doesn’t dominate play after play, but he does have special moments each day. That shows you just how quick, powerful and talented he is. Carter is going to have some fun highlights this year.


Brown led the Eagles with 9 solo tackles in the preseason opener. He showed good speed and outstanding range.

Brown got some reps with the starters during the joint practices. The coaches were shuffling the safeties so we can’t make too much of this, but it does feel like Brown is slowly climbing the depth chart. It will be interesting to see when he plays on Thursday night.

Brown’s big moment on Tuesday came after Blankenship’s INT. Here is Bo Wulf on that play.

Sydney Brown, working as his safety partner, laid a solid block on Demetric Felton Jr. (much to the chagrin of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who was watching from the end zone). Cleveland rookie tackle Dawand Jones took exception to the block and ran over to shove Sydney Brown, who shoved Jones back and then they were all enveloped by a sea of machismo. If the Eagles lacked energy Monday, they very much did not Tuesday. Sydney Brown, meanwhile, remains a bit of a maniac on the field in sort of a souped-up Kurt Coleman kind of way.

"I want to be a feared player,” the third-round rookie said after practice. "That’s kind of my mindset going into this. … My intention isn’t to hurt people, but if you’re carrying that football, you got it coming for you.”

You love Brown’s energy and his attitude. The worry is that he might be a bit out of control at times, but we didn’t see that against the Ravens.


The rookie DL played well in the preseason opener. The thing that stood out was his strength.

Jimmy Bama saw that strength in practice as well.

I thought rookie seventh-round pick Moro Ojomo was disruptive in the first preseason game against the Ravens, and he made some more plays against the Browns. On one run play, he locked out the guard trying to block him with one straight arm, causing a logjam. With his free arm, he helped make the tackle. Ojomo is country strong.

Ojomo is making the team, unless he talks trash about Mt. Union football. Ojomo has the strength to 2-gap and play the run. He’s also athletic enough to shoot gaps and be disruptive. He is an excellent fit for this scheme. Ojomo could be a valuable role player this year.


We didn’t hear anything about him in the practices, but I wanted to share this video from Franimal.

Steen was really good in the opener and it looks like the Eagles may have found another stud OL to add to the mix. Steen is more natural at LT, but looked good at RG as well. He’s got a bright future.


It is hard not to come away from the joint practices feeling good about the Eagles. When they were focused, they were dominant. And it was a mixture of young guys and veterans, role players and stars.

This is a deep, talented team.


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