CARSON WENTZ'S red practice jersey and red hair made their Lincoln Financial Field debut Sunday.
"I can't imagine this place packed," said Wentz, who seemed to feel the underwhelming announced crowd of 18,276 was pretty vocal.
The fans saw Wentz throw pretty well, generally working with and against deep subs. He threaded a nice pass through traffic to Nelson Agholor, who is not a deep sub. Wentz took off around left end and zipped 15 yards or so, to much enthusiasm.
"It was pretty cool," said Wentz, the quarterback from North Dakota State the Eagles traded up to draft second overall this spring. "Getting in the locker room, I was like, 'all right, this is pretty nice.' Coming out here, everyone's yelling. For a practice? It's pretty sweet, to see the support, to see everybody out here. It was really exciting, and I had a lot of fun today."
Eagles coach Doug Pederson spoke Sunday of adjustments the coaches are trying to make with Wentz, to fine-tune his mechanics.
Pederson was careful to note that Wentz is "right on track, right where we want him to be" before delineating adjustments.
"Specifically, trying to keep his feet tighter to the ground. He can get a little jumpy, a little hoppy," Pederson said. "He can also be a little upright in his frame, so we try to keep him in a bent posture, a little bit. And then just his knowledge and understanding of the offense, being able to anticipate and become a little more accurate passer. You can work on those things with drill work and just the more reps you get."
Pederson said they aren't messing with Wentz's throwing motion, really.
"Not from the upper part of his body, not a throwing mechanic, nothing like that. Just trying to make sure the lower half of his body is in a better posture," Pederson said. "Sometimes he can get a little tall, and sometimes that affects your throw. Keeping his feet tighter to the ground, where he can get the ball out faster. Sometimes, some of those (errant) balls can be the process of - because I've been there - the process of thinking about the play. And the last thing you're worried about is the throw. You're more worried about the progression of the play. Sometimes that affects the throw."
Wentz said his footwork "is getting better every day."
"The biggest thing is just feeling confident with the playbook and playing fast with it," he said. "The more mentally prepared I can be, the better my feet are gonna be, as well. So I feel pretty confident with where it's at."
Dawk back in the nest
Doug Pederson, asked Sunday about the addition of Brian Dawkins to the Eagles' scouting department through the NFL's Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship, said: "Players see him, a former player, particularly on defense, and the type of player he was, and the leadership that he brought to this team and this organization, they can see that. They can see how he handled this city, and how people really supported him and rallied around him. I'm excited to see where it takes us, and to see what role he can have, even with me, hopefully down the road, with the team, whether he's speaking to the team or doing some things like that, I think could be very beneficial to everybody."
Officially, Dawkins is what amounts to a scouting intern, but both he and de facto general manager Howie Roseman indicated they have more than that in mind. Roseman said that before his tenure was so rudely interrupted by Chip Kelly, he sought Dawk's input on some players the team liked in the 2014 draft, and when Roseman regained power this year, the arrangement continued. He also mentioned seeking Dawkins' opinion in the head-coaching search, and Roseman brought up Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome as a former player with the kind of profile Dawkins might aspire to match.
"It's not just scouting. I'm trying to grasp the whole gamut of football operations, of how a team is run," said Dawkins, a nine-time Pro Bowl safety who was an Eagle for the first 13 of his 16 NFL seasons.
Dawkins mentioned wanting to progress to "bigger things." Asked what that meant, he said he didn't know, but "bigger is not where I'm standing right now."
Dawkins, whose base will still be the Denver area, where he has kids in school, has done studio analysis for ESPN and might have continued along that path had the network been interested, but it wasn't, he said. "That opportunity was not there, for the moment."
Roseman said Dawkins' draft evaluations have been good. "He looks at it (through) a different lens than we look at it," Roseman said. In addition to being able to evaluate, Roseman said Dawkins has "leadership and presence that translates to upstairs as well."
Doug Pederson said guard Brandon Brooks (hamstring) and running back Ryan Mathews (ankle) should be back on the field by the end of this week . . . Pederson said Stefen Wisniewski, who has subbed for Brooks at right guard, is "a smart kid, and somebody that is definitely going to fit into the mix in the rotation at guard for us."