What happened today in Philly sports: August 3, 2017

Each day, Sports Are Philly writer Matt Gregan will compile notes and quotes about what happened that day in Philadelphia sports. If you need to catch up on what happened with any of the Philadelphia sports teams on a certain day, then this article is the thing for you. 

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Training camp day 10 notes and quotes
    • injuries
      • Quarterback Nick Foles (elbow), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (shoulder), running back LeGarrette Blount (personal reasons), running back Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring), offensive lineman Josh Andrews (hand), linebacker Mychal Kendricks (quad) and wide receiver Paul Turner (shoulder) all missed Thursday’s practice.
      • Defensive tackle Elijah Qualls (groin) and defensive end Alex McCalister (hamstring) both returned to practice.
      • Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said keeping Jeffery out is “more just precautionary”, according to CSNPhilly’s Dave Zangaro.
    • For the first time in this year’s Eagles training camp, tempers began to flare and a fight broke out. In a goal line play, Wendell Smallwood got stuffed on a run and after the play, Jason Kelce and Rodney McLeod exchanged some words and shoves.
      • “It is a good dynamic right now,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said, via CSNPhilly’s Dave Zangaro. “I think Coach (Doug) Pederson has done a good job of setting the tone and having it be very competitive. I think guys need to know, and they do know, you really have to know how to compete your butt off but still take care of each other. Tempers flare a little bit, and that’s just part of it and everybody knows it. You gotta compete hard and still be mature enough to know how to do that and take care of each other.”
    • During the goal-line drills, things went back and forth between the offense and defense. It was extremely competitive, and that is what people want to see from a young team.
      • “There’s no room for error down there,” safety Rodney McLeod said, via CSNPhilly’s Dave Zangaro. “You literally have two yards of space. You have to come downhill and bring it. Both sides are doing a great job. It’s a great competition. You like to see guys just giving it their all and playing with a little chip on their shoulder.”
    • The offensive play of the day came at the end of practice. Carson Wentz threw a deep pass to Nelson Agholor, who was able to haul it in over Rasul Douglas for a touchdown. Agholor has continued to have a great camp, and fans are hoping that he can use his newfound confidence during the season to improve his play.
    • More Nelson Agholor! In the 1-on-1s between receivers and defensive backs, Agholor’s quick steps near the line of scrimmage are hard to stop. Hopefully, Agholor can use this to his advantage during the regular season.
    • Cornerbacks Jalen Mills and CJ Smith both made some good plays in the 1-on-1 portion of practice. First, Mills broke up a deep pass that was intended for Torrey Smith. Then, Smith broke up a hitch pass that was intended for David Watford. Smith, who has been having a good camp, might end up being one of the team’s starting cornerbacks going into the start of the regular season.
    • Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox also had a standout practice for the Birds. One of the plays he made resulted in a would-be sack of quarterback Matt McGloin. If Cox can play up to his massive contract (6 years, $102.6 million), this defensive front can be nearly unstoppable.
    • Offensive tackles Dillon Gordon and Halapoulivaati Vaitai both showed their versatility during practice. Gordon received several reps as a fullback and Vaitai received some reps as a tight end. The Eagles were working a lot on short-yardage situations, and maybe we might see this at some point in the regular season.
    • Injury update: Linebacker Jordan Hicks was in for live goal line drills. However, he still has his surgically repaired broken hand wrapped up under his glove.
  • One of the Eagles most underrated offseason additions was the trade for defensive tackle Tim Jernigan. Jernigan has the will to improve his game, and was excited to come in and play for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s system.
    • “He comes out every day to work and his energy and everything,” defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said, via CSNPhilly’s Dave Zangaro. “He’s just out there to learn. And he’s catching on real fast. It’s contagious. Everything is contagious out there, especially when you see a guy that wants to be better. It kind of pushes you to help that guy be better and pushes everyone else around you.”
    • Jernigan came from a touch background, his mom often had to work multiple jobs just to make the ends meet, and his family moved around multiple times. However, Jernigan uses that for motivation to work hard and always be improving.
      • “I think the thing that shows through with Tim is that he’s mentally tough as well as physically tough,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said, via CSNPhilly’s Dave Zangaro. “When you rush the passer, and it’s late in practice or it’s late in a game and it’s 90 degrees and humid, it’s got to come from somewhere other than just effort. It’s got to come from some mental toughness. He has that.”
  • On Thursday afternoon, the Eagles came to terms on a one-year contract with former Buffalo Bills safety Corey Graham.
    • Graham, who was drafted in the fifth round back in 2007, played corner for the rest of his career before transitioning to safety over the past two years. Graham was a solid cornerback, totaling 398 tackles, 47 pass deflections and 12 interceptions in eight years before making the move over to safety.
    • The Eagles have both safety positions locked up (Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod), so it is presumed that Graham would get moved back over to cornerback at some point in the near future.
    • This is a low risk, high reward move for the Eagles, who only got Graham for one year and are most likely going to try to convert him back to cornerback so that he can help the team’s weakest position.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • The Philadelphia Phillies were defeated by the Los Angeles Angels by the final score of 5-4. The Phillies are now 39-67 on the year.
    • Phillies starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff (2-7, 4.56 ERA), after giving up two runs off of a two-run home run by Mike Trout (.339 AVG, 21 HR, 49 RBIs) in the first inning, recovered to only give up three runs on the night. He made it through six innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking four and striking out five.
    • The Phillies bats responded in the second inning by scoring four runs, two of which came off of a two-run homer by Nick Williams (.294 AVG, 5 HR, 21 RBIs). That was all the runs they could muster in the game, and the bullpen wound up giving up the lead in the eighth inning. Edubray Ramos (0-7, 5.34 ERA) had a rocky seventh inning where he gave up two hits but struck out two and avoided giving up any runs. Luis Garcia (1-2, 2.49 ERA), who is usually very consistent, blew the game by giving up two runs in the eighth inning. Garcia walked two batters, and eventually allowed a run to score off of a wild pitch.
  • The Phillies lost the game to the Angels, but they still were able to see some potential from two pieces of the future.
    • Outfielder Nick Williams crushed his fifth home run of the season, it was a two-run homer and it came off of a changeup. Teams thought that they figured out how to pitch to Williams, just don’t give him a fastball. Well, it seems as if Williams is beginning to prove them wrong.
      • ” You prove you can hit it, they’ve got to go to something else,” Nick Williams said, via CSNPhilly’s Dan Greenspan. “It bothered me yesterday, I guess that they didn’t think I could hit off-speed. Made the adjustment.”
    • Pitcher Jerad Eickhoff got off to a terrible start to the game by giving up a two-run homer to Mike Trout. Eickhoff was having control issues, and things seemed like they were going to become a lot worse. However, he was able to turn it around and finished his start by only giving up three runs in six innings.
      • “I was trying to force it instead of just letting things happen,” Jerad Eickhoff said, via CSNPhilly’s Dan Greenspan. “I was just missing with the fastball there, just missing with the slider, so it was kind of those things where you’ve got to make adjustments and I think I was able to do that for the most part in the last two or three innings.”
  • After the game, manager Pete Mackanin announced, via CSNPhilly.com, that starting pitcher Jake Thompson (1-1, 4.20 ERA) will be optioned down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A corresponding roster move will be made on Friday.

Philadelphia 76ers

  • The 76ers’ preseason schedule was announced, the team begins on October 4 with a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies. After the opener, the Sixers host the Boston Celtics on October 6. On October 9, the team travels to Boston to once again play the Celtics. On October 11, the Sixers play the Brooklyn Nets. The preseason wraps up on October 13 with a game against the Miami Heat.

Philadelphia Flyers

  • The Flyers signed two more of their draft picks to entry-level contracts.
    • Morgan Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe both officially join the Flyers as they sign their first NHL contracts. The team traded up to draft both of these players.
    • Frost, who was picked 27th, was considered by some to be a reach pick by the Flyers. However, the Flyers were enamored with Frosts’ hockey sense.
      • “I think you’re always going to see more with more assists than goals,” Frost said during development camp, via CSNPhilly’s Tom Dougherty.
    • Ratcliffe, who was picked on Day 2 of the NHL draft, was considered by many to be a late first-round pick. General manager Ron Hextall liked Ratcliffe enough to trade three draft picks (the 44th, 75th and 108th picks) to be able to draft him.
      • Ratcliffe totaled 28 goals and 54 points in 67 games last season for the OHL’s Guelph Storm.
      • “I’m a big guy, I think I can play both offensively and defensively,” Ratcliffe said during development camp, via CSNPhilly’s Tom Dougherty. “Really, that full-ice game and playing all areas in the zone. Adding that to their lineup, and being able to maneuver my way into their lineup, being with a lot of those guys… I think I can bring a lot to the table.”

Mandatory Photo Credit: Yong Kim/ Philly.com staff photographer

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