Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

The Eagles are finally in a (preseason) game week with the opener against the Steelers approaching | Early Birds

Eagles football is fast approaching with the preseason opener against the Steelers set for Thursday.

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz acknowledges fans before the start of training camp at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz acknowledges fans before the start of training camp at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Good morning, Eagles fans. If you’re reading this Monday morning, I’m here to tell you the Eagles’ walk-through today is closed and it’s probably a good time to catch up on any chores you didn’t get done because you were closely monitoring the weekend practices.

With Thursday’s preseason opener against the Steelers fast approaching, the schedule is changing a little. The team will have a session open to the media Tuesday before going back to a private walk-through format Wednesday.

We still don’t know what Nick Sirianni’s approach to the preseason will be. The shift from a four-game schedule to three will change the way every coach handles the exhibitions, but things are compounded by this being Sirianni’s first go-around.

If the starters get a series or two, it will be a good measuring stick to see where the groups are. The offense is dealing with injuries across the line and at wide receiver, but it’s fair to note it has struggled at times. The defense has looked solid on all three levels for the most part: The pass rush has been persistent, the secondary has made plays on the ball, and the linebackers have forced some turnovers. Whether it translates to the first live action will be interesting.

You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the preseason. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here​. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @EJSmith94.

EJ Smith (

What you need to know about the Eagles

  1. Each of the last few years, the Eagles have gotten off to a slow start to the regular season. Jeff McLane explains how the organizational philosophy surrounding player health has influenced the lack of September success.

  2. The Eagles held their first public practice of training camp Sunday. Josh Tolentino details the night, which featured more than 20,000 fans at the Linc.

  3. Quez Watkins was the star of the show at the Linc, making several impressive catches and big plays. Read about the second-year wideout and everything else from practice with McLane’s observations here.

  4. While Simone Biles and Brandon Brooks couldn’t be much different in terms of stature, Marcus Hayes explains why they’re both giants when it comes to raising awareness surrounding mental health.

  5. Harold Carmichael became the latest Eagles great to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. As Paul Domowitch reports, Carmichael used his speech to lobby for Dick Vermeil to be the next one.

  6. Jalen Hurts’ 23rd birthday got off to an iffy start. Yours truly details the Saturday practice that left plenty to be desired from the Eagles offense.

From the mailbag

How did DeVonta look before the injury? As advertised? — from Philip Werner (@phillyDubn) on Twitter

Good question, Philip. I would say DeVonta Smith looked as advertised at the start of training camp. He is a smooth athlete and can create separation with his routes, but he also flashed speed at times. He had a deep catch against Steve Nelson during one-on-ones and a few other bright moments before getting sidelined.

Still, it would be wise to temper expectations at the start of the season. Rookie wide receivers often take a little time to adjust to the NFL, and Smith will be working back from an injury.