PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles couldn't help but be impressed with the way New England quarterback Tom Brady performed against them during Wednesday's joint practice at the NovaCare Complex.
Brady put on an impressive display at the expense of the Eagles' defense during the 11-on-11 portion of the two-hour workout. He repeatedly exploited the Eagles' backup secondary, carving it up like the person who slices your cold cuts at the neighborhood deli.
"The learning experience is pretty good," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said after practice. "You know, (Brady) is obviously one of the great quarterbacks to ever play this game, not just in the league right now. I think it was a great challenge for us.
"There are still a lot of position battles going on in the secondary and a lot of new players back there. But I think those guys did a good job on the defensive side of the ball against one of the all-time great quarterbacks."
Once the seven-on-seven drills were completed, the teams gathered on the middle practice field for a live session that featured no contact or semblance of a serious pass rush.
Allowed to just sit in the pocket, Brady zipped passes to his wide receivers and running backs against Eagles cornerbacks Curtis Marsh and Brandon Boykin, and safeties Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Patrick Chung while the Pats' defensive players cheered him on from the sideline.
"We were competing against the best out there, and it was a great experience," Marsh said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity."
Even Eagles quarterback Nick Foles couldn't help but be impressed.
"He's one of the greatest quarterbacks ever," Foles said. "He was just so smooth out there. (Watching Brady) is great if you're a young quarterback like me."
Wounded knees: Wide receiver Arrelious Benn on Tuesday became the third Eagles player to tear his anterior cruciate ligament in the last two weeks at the NovaCare Complex, joining wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and linebacker Jason Phillips.
The Eagles officially ended Benn's season Wednesday by placing him on injured reserve.
They now have 87 players on the roster, three under the league limit.
All three knee injuries this training camp occurred on the middle of the three grass practice fields. And all three were during noncontact drills.
During their 17-year stay at Lehigh University, the Eagles unofficially had just one player - tight end Cornelious Ingram in 2009 - suffer a torn ACL.
"We're looking into everything," Kelly said. "Obviously, when you have the same injury and it happens over a two-week span, we're going to look at it and try to figure out if it's preventable. Our doctors and trainers are trying to figure that part out."
Former owner passes away: The Eagles announced that former franchise owner Jerry Wolman died on Tuesday at the age of 86 at his home in Potomac, Md.
Wolman owned the Eagles from 1963-69. At the time, he was the youngest owner in the NFL.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry on multiple occasions when he came back to watch an Eagles game," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "Each time, we enjoyed reminiscing about Eagles football and sharing in the enjoyment of owning such a historic franchise."
According to published reports, Wolman bought the Eagles from a group of investors in 1963 for $5.5 million. Financial troubles forced him to sell the team to Leonard Tose in 1969 for $16.2 million.
Details about memorial services have yet to be announced.
Bumps and bruises: Wide receiver Damaris Johnson (strained hamstring), running back Felix Jones (strained hamstring), running back LeSean McCoy (bruised knee), wide receiver Russell Shepard (strained hamstring) and cornerback Cary Williams (strained hamstring) all left practice early Wednesday.
Williams, who signed as a free agent, has completed just two practices since training camp began two weeks ago. He was benched on Tuesday after getting into a fight with a Patriots player during their joint practice.
"Our players understood how we were going to handle practice," Kelly said. "I think it was a great teaching moment for everybody. Because if you were to do that in a game on Sunday, you're not going to be able to play."
Johnson and Shepard's departures left the Eagles with just six wide receivers - DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Nick Miller, Ifeanyi Momah and Will Murphy - for most of the practice. Kelly indicated that they were looking into bringing in one or two more guys, but are not interested in signing a major player, such as former Eagle Terrell Owens.
Contact David Weinberg: