The Eagles will hold their first joint-practices since 1998 when they welcome in the New England Patriots starting today. Here is what you can expect:
When does it all go down?
The teams will practice with one another on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. Start time around 12:30. No pads for Thursday’s session. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick will speak with the media before practice, Chip Kelly afterwards. Tom Brady is scheduled to talk around 2:30 Tuesday.
How will it work?
The Patriots’ home base will be Lincoln Financial Field. They’ll get ready there and then bus it over to the NovaCare for practice.
The teams will practice separately for the individual portions, then will go head-up for 1-on-1′s, 7-on-7′s and 11-on-11′s. I don’t anticipate any tackling to the ground, but maybe they will surprise us.
Why do it?
It breaks up the monotony of camp, gets the juices flowing and gives the players new looks and situations to deal with. Kelly also sees efficiency in the joint practices, because it saves the Eagles the trouble of doing installs of the Patriots prior to Friday’s exhibition game.
“I think it helps you. I think from that standpoint you don’t have to spend a lot of time having your players learn the Patriots’ offense because it’s going to go against our defense,” said Kelly. “Our offense is going to go against the Patriots’ defense. We’re not playing them in the regular season. Not only are they not in our division, they’re not in our conference. The only opportunity you would have to see them would be the last game of the year.
“I’ve known coach for a while, have a lot of respect for him. It’s a great situation for I think both teams. He’s done it in the past. I think he did it with Tampa Bay and with the Saints. He’s got some familiarity with it. When I talked to him at the combine a little bit about it, I thought it was a good idea.”
Will the quarterbacks have the chance to work with and learn from one another?
“This isn’t summer camp,” Kelly quipped.
What the Patriots are saying (per ESPN Boston):
Belichick: “We have to react to what they do, just like in-game situations, and vice versa. I think that will be good for the players [and] the coaches. We’ll have to make adjustments down there. They [have] a new coaching staff, new scheme, new system, some new players. We’re not doing a whole lot of scouting and preparation for them. We’ll just see what we get out there. We’ll have to react to it and adjust to it, but that will be good for us.”
Danny Amendola: “We’re all ready to go, we’re all ready to hit somebody else besides our own guys. Everybody will kind of get the gist of what it is to go against other guys and other defenses and read coverages and stuff like that. It’s going to be a learning process for everybody.”
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