Eagles

Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 04: Quez Watkins #16 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball as Kevin Byard #31 of the Tennessee Titans looks to make a tackle in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 04, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Eagles had a hell of a draft. And they even added some interesting names in Undrafted Free Agency. They added Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Tyler Steen, Sydney Brown, Kelee Ringo, as well as D’Andre Swift via a trade. Before all that, they also resigned Darius Slay and James Bradberry. And in free agency, they added names like Rashaad Penny and Olamide Zaccheaus. Not to mention it was already a Super Bowl-caliber roster. But a busy offseason like that means there will be some training camp battles to watch.

Some guys will be fighting for a roster spot. Even if they are on the roster, they have to compete for snaps. A lot of these additions will be battling for playing time with either other new guys on the roster, or guys who were already here last year.

Could Ty Zentner supplant Arryn Siposs as the Eagles’ punter? Who will be the Eagles’ lead back? Will Quez Watkins lose his job as the Eagles’ Slot WR? Which of the new Cornerback additions will be the first guy off the bench in the case of an injury? Who will be the Eagles’ new starting Right Guard? The starting Safety alongside Terrell Edmunds? Let’s take a look at all of these training camp battles for the Eagles and more.

Here are 6 training camp battles we can look forward to this offseason:

  • Sydney Brown vs Reed Blankenship

    New addition Terrell Edmunds is likely locked into one of the starter spots at Safety. He has been a solid dependable starter for the Steelers for years. And neither of the other Safeties on the roster have real starting experience. The battle will be for that second Safety spot.

    K’Von Wallace and the other deep bench guys are out. Before the draft, it looked like it was Reed Blankenship’s job. But then in the 3rd round, the Eagles selected Sydney Brown out of Illinois. A hard-hitting Safety, who made a ton of plays, and was the leader of one of the best defenses in the nation. Anytime you are a 3rd round pick, you will have a chance to start. This could end up being one of the most interesting battles in camp. Here is the case for each guy to win it.

    Reed Blankenship

    + Started games for Eagles last year when CJ Gardner Johnson was out

    + Held up fairly well when called upon

    – Was a bit beatable in coverage

    Sydney Brown

    + Was a Team Leader in college

    + Showed a Knack for making plays

    + Hard Hitter

    + Has impressed in OTAs, and there is a lot of buzz about how much the Eagles love him

    – Rookie, they may go with the guy who has more experience in NFL

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 29: Reed Blankenship #32 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after recovering a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Cam Jurgens vs Tyler Steen

    4 of the 5 spots along the line are set in stone. But at RG, there is an opening. Isaac Seumalo left in free agency. When Seumalo signed with the Steelers, the assumption was that Cam Jurgens would slide over to RG for a year since Jason Kelce was returning for one more season. But like at Safety, the Eagles draft, the Eagles took an Offensive Lineman in the 3rd round, Tyler Steen. And it seems he may get a chance to compete for that RG spot.

    Cam Jurgens

    + Has Experience in the Eagles Scheme

    + Kelce Esque Ability To Make Blocks Down Field

    – A bit undersized for a Guard

    – No experience playing guard

    – Would only be there for a year, with plan to eventually play Center

    Tyler Steen

    + More of a natural build for a guard than Jurgens

    ‘+ Worked at guard while at the Senoir Bowl

    – No in game experience playing guard

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: Cam Jurgens #51 of the Philadelphia Eagles blocks Nathan Shepherd #97 of the New York Jets in the first half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

  • D'Andre Swift vs Kenny Gainwell vs Rashaad Penny

    And here we have a 3-way battle. When Miles Sanders left in Free Agency, it looked like it would be Kenny Gainwell stepping into the lead role. But now going into camp, he may be the 3rd guy on the totem poll. First, the Eagles added Rashaad Penny. When Penny has been healthy he has been super productive. The problem is he can’t stay healthy. Meanwhile, they also brought in D’Andre Swift.

    The 3 will be competing for the job of lead back. The good thing with this battle though, is even those who don’t win it, could still see the field plenty. The Eagles will likely rotate through all 3 and ride the hot hand in each individual game. There may not be a true lead guy like there was with Miles Sanders last year, unless one of them really stands out.

    D’Andre Swift 

    + Productive in both run and pass game

    + Most total yards of the 3

    + Has shown he is capable of game breaking runs

    – Has had some minor injury issues (though not as bad as Penny)

    – Lost playing time with Lions as year went on last season

    Rashaad Penny

    +Averages 5.7 yards per carry

    + Most productive on the ground of the 3 when healthy

    + Capable of being power runner

    – Has had multiple catostrophic injuires in the past several seasons

    – Does not offer much as a pass catcher

    Kenny Gainwell

    + Has experience on team, and playing with this offesnive line

    + Came on strong in playoffs

    +Has shown to have a good nose for the End Zone

    – Has never been the guy on the team

    – Least productive overall of the 3

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 01: D'Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions runs the ball for a touchdown during the third quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.

    (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

  • Arryn Siposs vs Ty Zentner

    The Eagles finally brought in some competition for Arryn Siposs. Siposs started strong in 2021, but in the second half of that season, and all of last season, struggled badly. The Eagles signed Kansas State Punter Ty Zentner to compete with Siposs in camp.

    Arryn Siposs

    + Has been here

    – Has not done much good while he has been here

    – Is statiscially one of the worst punters in the league

    Ty Zentner

    + Ray Guy Semi-Finalist in College

    + Has a big leg, capable of 70 yard punts

    – Had some issues shanking the ball occaionslly

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Arryn Siposs #8 of the Philadelphia Eagles punts against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Kelee Ringo vs Greedy Williams

    Neither Ringo or Williams will be able to get one of the 3 starting spots. Slay, James Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox are all safe in their spot as starters. But the Eagles did run some 4 CB schemes at times last year. And if there are injuries, there is some competition for who will be the first guy off the bench. That fight would likely be between Ringo and Williams.

    Greedy Williams

    + Has NFL Experience

    +Former 2nd round pick out of LSU

    +Played at a very high level in College (Passer Rating agianst was under 60 in his final two seasons at LSU)

    – To this point has not played great when he got onto the field with the Browns

    Kelee Ringo

    + Has Great Size for a Corner

    + Has speed to keep up with most WRs

    – Is a rookie

    – Struggled against some top WRs in College

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Kelee Ringo #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after getting an interception and scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Olamide Zaccheaus vs Quez Watkins

    The battle for the job as Slot WR has a chance to make a big impact. Last year as the 3rd WR, Quez Watkins played 681 snaps, just over half of the Eagles’ total snaps. Zach Pascal had just 338. Whichever guy does not win the job will see a significant drop. Even worse was the disparity in targets. So can Watkins hold onto his job?

    Quez Watkins

    + Has Two years of experience with Jalen Hurts in Nick Sirianni’s system

    + Game Breaking Speed

    – Not productive last year

    – Has struggled to turn that speed into consistent separation

    – Had mistakes in key moments leading to Eagles losses (including in the Super Bowl

    Olamide Zaccheaus

    +More Productive than Quez Watkins, with worse QB

    +Had similar amount of targets last year as Quez with Falcons, so he can be productive in limited role

    + Made difficult catches with Falcons

    – 4 inches shorter than Quez

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 08: Olamide Zaccheaus #17 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball after a catch during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia

    . (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

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