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Five Observations from Day 6 of Eagles Camp

It was the hottest and most physical day of camp that is worth a second look
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PHILADELPHIA – My two-minute warning from Day 6 of Eagles camp…

The heat was on, with a real-feel temperature above 100 degrees, and it was physical.

Most definitely it was the hottest, most physical practice of training camp, which entered its second week with the team in full pads before their Friday off day.

“It’s the same as always, try to stay as hydrated as you can,” said tight end Jack Stoll about the heat. “You grab a towel, wipe yourself, next thing you know five seconds later you have to do the same damn thing again. Other than that, it’s nothing really. Football’s football at the end of the day - rain sleet, snow, and now heat is thrown in there, but nothing crazy.”

Added rookie Kyron Johnson: "These are the type of practices where, yeah it's gonna be draining, it's gonna be tiring but that's how a game is gonna be, it's gonna be draining, tiring, you just had to fight through because in order to get something that you never had, you got to do something you never did and that's fine. Just keep fighting and keep working until you pass out really.”

Head coach Nick Sirianni said he thought the payers were a bit gassed by the end of the hour, 45-minute session.

“You know, we don't have to play tomorrow, and so of course you're looking at it and you're saying, hey, guys got tired in that last period,” he said. “There is no question. But we're working. ... We have to fight through those things when we have them. But the intensity, again, was high. Are there mistakes? Of course, there are. 

"That's what training camp is for. Sometimes as coaches too, you're like, I'm glad that happened right here because it's going to be a great opportunity for us to teach from it.

“I do I feel like this group of guys are getting in better shape. A tribute to them, because most of them came in in really top-notch shape ready for this mountain that we have to climb.”

TACKLING TO THE GROUND

The Eagles aren’t supposed to be tackling to the ground but sometimes they tackle to the ground, and Marcus Epps had a zinger. The safety belted Boston Scott in red zone drills shortly after Scott caught a pass and began steaming toward the end zone. Epps knocked him flat.

Scott was slow to get up, leading to some sideline speculation that maybe he was knocked cold. Epps stood over him offering his hand to help him up, but Scott just lay there. He eventually got up and would return to action shortly after.

There was a second tackle-to-the-ground moment when undrafted free agent Reed Blankenship took the legs out from under Kennedy Brooks on a nicely designed running play that opened up wide in the middle of the field.

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SOFT TISSUE

One reason for an Eagles practice schedule with four walkthroughs before the first preseason game next Friday was to try to reduce soft tissue injuries.

Well, the second soft tissue injury is on the books after DeVonta Smith sat out with a groin injury.

“We’re being cautious with him,” said Sirianni. “We know how important he is to this organization. I don't know exactly a play. They’re running a lot, he's always at the top of the charts of who ran the most, and so, just a little bit of wear and tear there.

He is joined by rookie tight end Grant Calcaterra who suffered a hamstring during Saturday’s practice and hasn’t practiced since as the team takes it slowly with him.

GUARDIAN CAPS NOT WORKING?

The extra layer of padding players are wearing atop their helmets – called guardian caps – is supposed to reduce head injuries.

They didn’t work on Tuesday when the Eagles lost their top two left tackles, Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard, to concussions.

“I don't know the exact play it happened on either of them, and neither of the guys were able to say the exact play that it happened on either of them,” said Sirianni. “It's obviously football and there are collisions, and there are no more collisions than the O- and D-line have, right?

“That's why they're wearing the guardian caps because they have the most collisions. We could say, well, we're not live, but the O-line and D-line are live every single play. So, I don't know exactly how it happened. Like I said, they don't either. Obviously, we'll be very cautious with those guys.”

PLAY OF DAY

This honor goes to third-string QB Reid Sinnett when he kept a play alive by stepping up in the pocket – and maybe he would have been sacked but the play wasn’t blown dead – and moved to his left before spotting Keric Wheatfall about 20 yards downfield on the left sideline and throwing a strike.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.