10 observations from Eagles minicamp: Carson Wentz on the money all day

10 observations from Eagles minicamp: Carson Wentz on the money all day

After Wednesday's practice, the Eagles have just one day left until their long break heading into training camp.

In that extended break, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz said he will have some skill position players up in his home state of North Dakota for some working out and bonding time.

If nothing else, it will be a little relief from the heat.

Wednesday was another hot one in South Philly, but at least some relative cloud cover made it manageable.

Here are 10 observations from practice:

1. Speaking of Wentz, he had his best day (of the days reporters have been able to watch) this spring. At times over the last few weeks, he has been up and down, but he was on the money Wednesday. Extremely accurate.

Throughout the entire practice, there were just three bad plays: a jump ball to Torrey Smith that landed incomplete, a miscommunication with Smith that was picked of by Rodney McLeod and an overthrow on the sideline.

Aside from those plays, Wentz was money. He connected on two deep balls (probably about 50 yards apiece) to Nelson Agholor.

Head coach Doug Pederson said that Wentz has been showing him enough consistency throughout the spring, but Wentz simply hasn't been that consistent. Wednesday was a big day for him.

2. When the offense got on the field going against air, it was practicing play-action passes and passes where Wentz was rolling out of the pocket. It seemed to really get him into a rhythm early. It's something we saw at times from him during his rookie season. When he's able to throw on the run, the other passes start falling easier. His ability to throw on the run is what might end up separating him from quarterbacks around the league; he's really good at it.

3. Let's talk about Agholor. If an alien landed his spaceship at the NovaCare Complex and was explained the rules of football and allowed to watch all of the Eagles' practices this spring, he would be convinced Agholor is the team's best receiver.

Because for the past few weeks, he has been.

That certainly has Eagles fans rolling their eyes, and rightfully so. Agholor has been a disaster once he gets in games and has come nowhere near living up to his draft status. And it's hard to believe he's turned a corner. But it's undeniable that he's looked good this spring, which might speak to the unimportance of these workouts as a whole.

4. Jordan Matthews (knee) was still not on the field Wednesday. Last week, Doug Pederson was unsure if Matthews would practice at all this week; now it looks unlikely. The team will give him an extended period of time to heal before training camp.

Elsewhere, Fletcher Cox left practice early with a neck strain, and Dorial Green-Beckham missed practice with a foot injury. Neither injury seems serious. 

Newcomer and veteran Gabe Wright took his first-team reps next to Tim Jernigan.

5. Rookie Shelton Gibson has had a really tough spring. No other way to put it. But the West Virginia product finally made a couple really nice plays. He made two contested catches in traffic -- one in 11-on-11 and one in 7-on-7. For a rookie who has been down on himself because of the struggles, those two plays might help to bring back some confidence.

Second-year player C.J. Smith, from North Dakota State, also had a good day of practice and even got some first-team reps over Rasul Douglas in 7-on-7s. Perhaps the play that pushed him into action with the ones was in 11-on-11s, when he played perfect coverage on Gibson and stepped in front of him for a pick. Smith still has a shot at the roster.

6. Allen Barbre and Isaac Seumalo continue to split first-team reps at left guard and Lane Johnson continues to get first-team reps at left tackle full-team drills. Jason Peters isn't participating in full-team drills yet after returning to the team this week.

Overall, the offensive line had a good day after giving up a few sacks on Tuesday. It gave Wentz plenty of time to throw.

Seumalo took a few reps at first-team center. The team makes sure he gets reps at center here and there.

7. Peters seemed happy about his one-year extension and the chance to finish his career with the Eagles. One of the underrated things Peters brings to the table is his ability to help younger players. While he's a quiet guy in the media, Peters is always around to help rookies and anyone who needs it. After practice on Wednesday, he was giving 1-on-1 instruction to Chance Warmack in the locker room. And Halapoulivaati Vaitai said during these practices when Peters isn't doing everything, he's giving the other tackles tips between plays.

8. Najee Goode is still a fringe roster guy, but he's been playing well. He made one diving pass breakup against Zach Ertz on Wednesday.

9. We all know Donnel Pumphrey is a quick and shifty player, but I saw something from him on Wednesday I haven't seen much of before. He took a handoff and busted through the line, pulling off the smoothest spin move I have seen in a while. It was impressive enough to leave a linebacker with armfuls of air.

10. Over the last couple days, when the Eagles go into two-running back sets, Pumphrey and Darren Sproles are on the field. When they go single-back, LeGarrette Blount gets the first shot, followed by second-year player Wendell Smallwood.

We still don't have a clear idea of what the running back rotation will look like during the season. Maybe that will start to come into focus during training camp.

Stupid Observation of the Day: When the offense was going against air (no defense), the referee patrolling the sideline ran with the receivers on every play when they caught a ball. One one play, Torrey Smith ran the entire length of the field and the referee stayed with him (kind of). When Smith crossed the goal line, the ref was down there to signal touchdown.

Report: Eagles work weight incentive into LeGarrette Blount's contract

Report: Eagles work weight incentive into LeGarrette Blount's contract

The Eagles' biggest back might be getting a bit smaller in the coming weeks.

According to a tweet from ESPN's Field Yates, LeGarrette Blount has an incentive in his contract with the Eagles that will net him $50,000 if he weighs in between 240 and 245 pounds when the team reports for training camp on July 24. Blount's one-year deal carries a $1.25 million cap, including a $900,000 base salary as well as a $200,000 signing bonus.

Currently, the Eagles' website lists the two-time Super Bowl champion running back at 6-foot, 250 pounds — at least 30 pounds heavier than any back currently on the roster. 

When asked how much he weighs at an introductory press conference last month, Blount responded, "The weight I need to be at."

Weight clauses have become more and more common, especially with running backs. Seattle's Eddie Lacy earned $55,000 in May when he tipped the scales at 255 pounds (or fewer) and the Seahawks' bruising back will have the chance to earn another $330,000 over the course of six more weigh-ins through the end of the regular season.

The same goes for Atlanta defensive lineman Dontari Poe, who could bank as much as $500,000 in bonuses if he slims down to 330 pounds from his listed 346 pounds.

Eagles have NFL's best offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus

Eagles have NFL's best offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus

Thanks to Lane Johnson’s suspension and a few injuries, the Eagles' offensive line unit wasn’t what most expected it to be in 2016. Should things go according to plan on the O-line in 2017, expectations are high. For Pro Football Focus, they’re as high as it gets.

PFF ranked the Eagles’ O-line No. 1 in the entire league heading into this season, citing the fact that it has the “fewest holes.”

Center Jason Kelce is considered their biggest question mark, but even though his abilities have faded a bit with age, he hasn’t missed a snap in two seasons. That has to count for something.

Allen Barbre and second-year Eagle Brandon Brooks, who allowed just one sack last season, complete the line’s interior. Then, of course, the tackle tandem of Jason Peters and Lane Johnson is hard to beat. PFF says Johnson, when on the field, was the best right tackle last season. Johnson would agree.

Even beyond the first-team unit, the Eagles have experience. Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Isaac Seumalo both saw unexpected snaps as rookies last season because of the reshuffling. That should help moving forward.

Rounding out PFF’s top three are the Browns and Steelers. Cleveland boosted its corps by signing J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler in free agency. The Steelers had the best unit during the second half of last season.

More notably for Eagles fans, the Cowboys come in at No. 9 in PFF’s rankings after owning one of the league’s best O-lines in recent years. Ronald Leary and Doug Free are gone, and La’el Collins’ move to right tackle is not a sure bet for success.

Washington sits two slots below at No. 11. PFF considers continuity the 'Skins' greatest strength — they return all five O-line starters from last season and four of five from 2015.

And the Giants, well, it’ll take some scrolling to reach their spot on the list: No. 28. Left tackle Ereck Flowers was the worst among his position in pressures allowed as a rookie. Eli Manning could be in for a busy season.