Jake Elliott has seen some pressure situations. There was the 61-yard walk-off field goal to beat the Giants last season. There was the 46-yarder that set the final score of Super Bowl LII, with a minute and four seconds left.
Ah, but Friday's big kick dwarfed all of those.
As practice ended and players began to line up for stretching, Eagles coach Doug Pederson called the team back together. The Eagles, nine days and eight practices into training camp, had a players' off-day scheduled for Saturday, before Sunday evening's public practice at Lincoln Financial Field. Pederson upped the off-time ante. If Elliott could hit a 45-yard field goal, evening meetings would be canceled. Everyone would be free before 5 p.m.
The snap, the hold, and the kick were perfect. Bellows of delight rang through the South Philly air.
Safety Tre Sullivan agreed that peer pressure is weighty pressure, indeed.
"Jake got it, though," Sullivan said. "He got ice in his veins."
>>READ MORE: Eagles practice observations
Elliott wasn't in the locker room when reporters were present — lots of players elected to move up their scheduled lifting to expedite their departure from NovaCare. But long snapper Rick Lovato was happy to expound upon the glorious play.
"It's a windy day today. Jake wasn't too happy with the left-to-right winds, the pressure was on the line, but we got the kick done," Lovato said. "We had to go out there and make that so everyone could have off tonight.
"Hey, we would have had a lot of pissed-off teammates if we had missed that kick."
A new holder, punter Cam Johnston, is getting broken in this camp.
"We've just been feeling really smooth as a kicking group," Lovato said. "You can just tell the confidence [Elliott] has now. The same thing with me. After playing [together for the Super Bowl season], you can definitely tell that we've both built up that confidence in each other. The group that we have is so solid. We've been doing everything together, on the field and off the field. That's what it's all about as specialists, having that team chemistry and confidence between us."
Johnston, is the only punter in camp, and he hasn't been terribly consistent so far. Pederson said his confidence in Johnston is "extremely high."
Tight end Richard Rodgers suffered a shoulder injury Thursday and did not practice Friday. Ditto defensive end Josh Sweat, who suffered an ankle sprain Thursday. Pederson categorized them as "small, nagging injuries," adding, "We want them to be ready for the first preseason game" Thursday at the Linc against the Steelers.
Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, who suffered a herniated disk in his back while training on his own in the offseason, declined to discuss his injury. There has been no sign of Jernigan getting close to being able to take the field.
More Carson questions for Doug
Whenever Pederson speaks to reporters, he fields questions about Carson Wentz.
This isn't great fun for the Eagles' third-year coach. It is, however, how things are going to be for a while.
The peculiar arc of Wentz's training-camp regimen has added fuel to what was already the biggest question about the defending Super Bowl champions. Last Saturday, the third day of camp, Wentz was a full participant, even in 11-on-11 drills. He hasn't been a full participant since. On Friday, when all team drills were 11-on-11, in an abbreviated practice before an off-day, Wentz barely practiced at all.
"This is still part of the plan. I'm not going to subject him to [full-team work] right now," Pederson said. He indicated that Wentz, recovering from ACL and LCL surgery to his left knee in December, might not practice 11-on-11 again until he is cleared for contact.
"Again, what I saw last week, a week ago is good enough at this time," Pederson said. "Whenever that day comes [that Wentz is cleared for contact], we'll cross that bridge when that day comes."
Asked once again whether the decreased workload had anything to do with problems in the recovery process, Pederson said: "No setbacks. Not at all. Nothing."
Another questioner noted that Wentz has gone backward in terms of what he has done on the field during camp.
"What you see out here is considered 'backward.' What we see in the building and what he does with our strength and conditioning staff is still considered progressive," Pederson said. "It doesn't have to be every snap, every football situation, for him to go forward. What you see out here is only one small tidbit of what he's doing collectively inside this building."