Eagles Camp Observations: Tough day for Josh Huff

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Eagles Camp Observations: Tough day for Josh Huff

The bad news: The Eagles are "a little short" at wide receiver, says offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. More on that here.

The good news: They're not short at cornerback, as Curtis Marsh (remember him?) has come out of nowhere and is making plays. More on him here.

More observations from Day 9 of camp:

Rising stock
Aside from Marsh, Malcolm Jenkins and Cary Williams put forth strong practices. He broke up a touchdown pass in 7-on-7s and smothered the elusive Damaris Johnson down the right seam in 1-on-1s to force an incompletion. Williams kept towering wideout Ifeanyi Momah in check down the left sideline on a deep pass from Foles down the left sideline in 7-on-7s.

Falling stock
Rookie receiver Josh Huff had a tough time making routine catches and getting separation. He dropped a real easy one at the 5-yard line from Mark Sanchez in 11-on11s with Marsh in front of him. Must have heard those footsteps. Also got out-muscled by Brandon Boykin in 11-on-11s, which Boykin turned into a pick. Huff did have a nice third-down reception along the left sideline that appeared to be out of bounds, but he was given the benefit of the doubt.

Reminder of the Day
Brent Celek might be behind Zach Ertz on the targets totem pole for tight ends, but he’s still a dangerous weapon in the end zone. He caught a 5-yard touchdown from Nick Foles. Celek beat DeMeco Ryans to bring in Foles’ quick hit.

Throws of the day
Tie between Mark Sanchez's threading a small window in the end zone to find a sprawling Damaris Johnson and Nick Foles’ back-shoulder touchdown toss to Brad Smith on a back-shoulder throw at the goal line along the right sideline with Brad Fletcher covering.

Critic of the Day
Lito Sheppard, an intern coach and former playmaking corner from the Super Bowl team, hardly praised Davon Morgan for his breakup on a Hail Mary at the end of an 11-on-11 drill. After hearing Morgan strut his stuff, Sheppard chided the rookie corner for not getting the pick.

Tips of the Day
Inside linebacker Emmanuel Acho stretched high to break up Matt Barkley’s toss to James Casey in the right corner of the end zone. A few plays later, safety Malcolm Jenkins did the same to disrupt G.J. Kinne’s pass to Emil Igwenagu.

Duel of the Day
The highlight of practice was the slot battle between Boykin and receiver Jordan Matthews. Boykin played tight and physical with Matthews, who’s adapting to the slot and asked Boykin to give him his best shot.

Boykin jammed the ball away from Matthews during a 1-on-1 breakup. In another 1-on-1, Boykin started his press before the ball was even snapped, jarring Matthews so early the play had to be restarted. Matthews then beat Boykin across the middle for a nice catch. Later, in 7-on-7s, Boykin again got physical to break up a Nick Foles pass to Matthews on the left side.

Blow-up of the Day
Defensive end Cedric Thornton capitalized on a blocking miscommunication and barreled through scrimmage before the running play play could develop.

Keep an eye on …
Offensive tackle Andrew Gardner. He’s been running at second team left tackle. The team needs a third reserve offensive lineman behind Matt Tobin and Julian Vandervelde (or third-string center David Molk) while Lane Johnson serves his four-game suspension. Gardner, in his fifth season, has held his own at camp and stands to be that guy, at least until Johnson returns.

The team is allowed a roster exemption for the first four weeks. Gardner, a 2009 sixth-round pick by Miami, has signed with five different teams in his career before coming to Philly. He played three games in 2011 and three more in 2012 with Houston.

Henery vs. Murderleg
It wasn’t even close. Alex Henery made all five of his attempts, including two from beyond 50, while Cary Spear hooked three of his five wide left.

Injury update
Bryan Braman took a few plays off after colliding with Darren Sproles on kick-return duty. Looked like got the wind knocked out of him. Read here for the rest.

Up next
The Eagles have a light walkthrough on Wednesday as they prepare for Friday’s preseason game against the Bears. They usually have a walkthrough two days before a game and do some running and special teams work the day before.

Eagles Mailbag: Fletcher Cox, OTA evaluations, Nelson Agholor

Eagles Mailbag: Fletcher Cox, OTA evaluations, Nelson Agholor

The Eagles have completed one round of OTAs and will kick off another next week, starting Tuesday. 

OTAs are basically light practices in shorts and there's not a ton to gain from watching them, but they're not completely worthless. We already learned who some starters are for now and got a chance to see some new players on the field. 

Training camp will be here before you know it. 

To your questions: 

This is an interesting question because I think if I'm his teammate, I'd be a little annoyed. Especially if I'm some backup player making league minimum and the $100 million man doesn't show. 

But it really isn't like that. Even talking to players off the record, they don't seem to be bothered that Fletcher Cox wasn't with the team during a week of OTAs. Basically, players assume if a guy isn't there, they have a reason and are working out on their own. 

Guys especially understand if a player misses because of contract reasons — get paid, fellas. Obviously, that's not the reason Cox is missing. He signed a $100 million deal last offseason. And Cox's absence allows some other guys to get more reps, which is good for younger guys. 

It definitely doesn't look good from the outside that Cox isn't there. And it's pretty obvious Doug Pederson wants him at the facility. But the players inside the locker room? They're more understanding. 

Let's pump the breaks on the Nelson Agholor OTAs praise. Sure, he looked pretty good in the one day we got to watch of practice this week, but Agholor has looked good in shorts before. 

Does he have a shot at being a starter? Maybe a very slim shot. But the chances he actually beats out Torrey Smith for a starting gig seem minuscule. Perhaps you're thinking Smith is completely shot after looking that way in San Francisco, but it's hard to imagine he can't beat out Agholor for the job. 

That said, Agholor will be on the team this year. His contract makes cutting him nonsensical. And it'll be interesting to see how he performs without the pressure of being a starter. To me, it would make sense to occasionally work him into the slot, something the coaching staff hasn't done much of in the last couple years. 

I put these together because I want to make this point first: we have only been allowed to watch one of their three practices, so we don't have a lot to work from. But I'll give you what I can. 

Barnett: He looks impressive in shorts, at times beating Lane Johnson, who is a very good tackle. That bend we've heard so much about was evident really early. Remember Joe Douglas' talking about ankle flexion? Well, it's absolutely there. It's clear Barnett is a technician, but I'll reserve my judgment until training camp when the pads go on. 

Wentz: Thought he looked fine. I saw some folks saying they saw differences in his mechanics ... Eh. Hard to say in one practice. What I did see were a few beautifully tossed balls and some chemistry forming with Alshon Jeffery, who ought to be the team's No. 1 target this year.

NFL Notes: Vikings' Mike Zimmer says he'll coach with 1 eye if necessary

NFL Notes: Vikings' Mike Zimmer says he'll coach with 1 eye if necessary

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has had a lot of time on his hands this week while sitting at home on his Kentucky ranch as his team went through optional practices in the Twin Cities.

Zimmer was under strict orders to leave the team and rest his right eye, which has needed eight surgeries to try to repair a detached retina. The lingering issues have led some to wonder if he would be forced to shorten his career.

Zimmer has heard the speculation all week long. The hard-nosed coach said he has reached out to some of those doubters personally this week.

"I'll be back shortly," Zimmer vowed in a conference call with reporters on Friday. "One eye or two, it doesn't matter. I'll be back. We can put that retiring thing to bed quickly."

Zimmer missed one game last season due to the problems with his eye . He tried to work through the issues, but said on Friday that he was told to skip this week's practices and go home to allow his eye to recover.

"It's not much fun," he said. "Usually I love it down here in my place here. But I don't love it too much this week. It was kind of a forced situation. But for the long run it's the best thing for me."

Giants: Smith trying to resurrect career
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Geno Smith didn't catch a break in his final two seasons with the New York Jets, and it seems his chances of resurrecting his career with the Giants are facing obstacles.

Not only does Smith have to beat out incumbent Josh Johnson for the backup quarterback job to Eli Manning, his prospects of making the team took another hit in the NFL draft when the Giants selected Davis Webb with their third-round draft pick.

The 26-year-old Smith doesn't seem concerned.

Speaking after the Giants organized training activities Thursday, Smith sounded confident for a player who had a promising rookie season four years ago and then regressed, in large part due to inconsistency.

"Honestly, I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone other than myself," said Smith, who has played in only three games in the past two seasons, starting one. "I am just trying to be my best every single day, focusing on trying to be perfect. I know that is a far goal to try and reach, but just trying to be perfect every day and understanding what is required of me once I step onto the field, and then trying to get it done."

Redskins: Injured Moreau final draft pick to sign
ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins have signed the final member of their 10-player draft class, third-round pick Fabian Moreau.

The team announced the deal Friday.

The cornerback out of UCLA tore a pectoral muscle at his pro day in March. He was projected to be a first- or second-round pick before the injury and went 81st overall to the Redskins.

Moreau says doctors told him it was a five-month recovery, putting him on track to be ready by late in the preseason. The 23-year-old was at Washington's practice facility for rookie minicamp and the first sessions of organized team activities.

Coach Jay Gruden says the team is playing by ear the injury situations of Moreau and fourth-round pick Montae Nicholson and hopes they learn the schemes for the secondary as they rehab.

NFL: Judge tosses lawsuit over cheerleader wages
SAN FRANCISCO -- A lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader. The suit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.

"To state an antitrust claim here, plaintiff must plead not only `ultimate facts, such as conspiracy, and legal conclusions,'" Alsup said. "The complaint must answer the basic questions of `who, did what, to whom (or with whom), where, and when?'"

An email to an attorney for the 49ers cheerleader, Drexel Bradshaw, was not immediately returned. The cheerleader was only identified in the suit as "Kelsey K."

Alsup gave her an opportunity to amend the lawsuit and refile it by June 15.

The lawsuit was among a spate of legal actions in recent years accusing NFL teams of failing to pay cheerleaders for hours they spent practicing and making public appearances.