Inside Voices: Training Versus Practice

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

There is a saying that floats around the NovaCare Complex, one that many of the players can recite on the spot:

You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. 

“When the game is on the line, it’s the fourth quarter in a rivalry game in prime time, you’re not all of a sudden going to rise to the occasion,” Malcolm Jenkins explained, “you are going to sink to what you’ve trained and prepared for. Obviously we’ve done a good job of training in those situations because we’ve showed up pretty well.”

The term “training” has replaced “practice” in this team’s lexicon. It’s subtle, but significant. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Hurdle For Ertz

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Zach Ertz has been putting in plenty of overtime the past two weeks in the name of getting his blocking game right.

Leading up to the Rams game, he stayed after practice every day to work on his technique with Jason Peters following a rough outing against San Francisco. This week, Ertz and his position coaches lingered on the NovaCare fields long after the training sessions had come to a close.

“I want to block. I want to be a good blocker,” said the second-year tight end. “I want to show the coaches that they can trust me to put me in there and get it done.”

Entering last Sunday, Ertz had played 64 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps and held a slight edge (185 to 179) over Brent Celek in downs played. Against St. Louis, it was a different story. Ertz received just 29 snaps compared to Celek’s 58. James Casey, who was averaging eight plays per game prior to Sunday, saw his number jump to 25. The reason for the change seems pretty straightforward: Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Rams

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Rams.

QUARTERBACK

Nick Foles - He’s not playing well. Foles is missing throws, making questionable decisions and looks jittery in the pocket. Overall, he went 24-for-37 for 207 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Foles turned the ball over a second time on a fumble while scrambling. Read more »

Ertz Calls On Peters For Run Blocking Help

ertz1b_all22_runblocking

The same scene played out after every practice this week.

While the rest of the Eagles were stretching, Jason Peters and Zach Ertz stood off to the side. They would line up across from each other, fire off the ball, and Ertz would try to block Peters, who was playing the role of a defensive end or a linebacker.

Afterwards, Peters would offer some instruction, and they would do it again.

“I want to be a complete tight end in this league,” said Ertz. “Obviously the route-running, I’m very comfortable with that. I feel like I can get open pretty much whenever I’m on the field. You’ve gotta have that mentality. But the run-blocking I’ve gotta work on each and every day. Jason’s probably the best run-blocking player in the NFL, so to have that ability to learn from him is something I’m working on.” Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. 49ers

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched.

QUARTERBACK

Nick Foles – He followed up a tremendous performance in Week 3 with another uneven outing in Week 4. Foles went 21-for-43 for 195 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He again took some big hits, but when Foles had opportunities to hit on plays downfield, he didn’t capitalize. The Eagles managed just one completion of 20+ yards all game long.

It looked like the gameplan early was to go with the quick game. Foles completed his first pass to Jeremy Maclin and then went right back to him and misfired. Later on the drive, he overthrew Brent Celek on a corner route that could have resulted in a 25+ yard play. He then overthrew Zach Ertz on the same route to the other side of the field, although it looked like Ertz might have been held on the play. Chip Kelly referred to four overthrows. The third was to Maclin on a deep post in the second. FOX analyst Troy Aikman mentioned that Foles could have probably maneuvered in the pocket before delivering. Foles’ fourth overthrow was to Riley Cooper on another deep post. Read more »

One Yard Away, Eagles Offense Fails To Finish

Photo Credit: Robert Stanton - USA Today

Photo Credit: Robert Stanton – USA Today

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — With 6:35 left in the game, all of a sudden things started to click.

Down 26-21, the Eagles needed to drive 91 yards to take the lead and escape Levi’s Stadium with a fourth straight victory. They were able to pick up 90 of those yards, but faced with two opportunities from the 1 yard line, the Eagles were unable to close the deal.

“We just didn’t execute,” said Nick Foles. “It’s as simple as that. I’m not going to try to break it down or anything. We just didn’t execute the play. In that situation, I have to give the guys an opportunity to make a play, and I didn’t do that. We’ll work toward it so in those situations we have to capitalize and get the ball in the end zone.”

Foles targeted Brent Celek with his first pass, but there wasn’t much there, and the result was an incompletion.

On the second play, Foles rolled to his right and looked for Jeremy Maclin, but he sailed the throw, and the 49ers’ offense got the ball back. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Washington, the Day After

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Nick Foles walked slowly and gingerly from his locker to the podium in the media room at Lincoln Financial Field.

He had removed his jersey and shoulder pads and cleats. But he hadn’t showered yet and still was in his game-worn pants, pads protecting his thighs and quadriceps.

If Foles hadn’t realized it before, he found out with about 9:56 left in the fourth quarter that as a quarterback in the NFL, it’s always wise to keep your guard up because you never know when the next hit is coming.

Foles had let up after it looked like Washington defensive back Bashaud Breeland was down on an interception return. But behind him to his right came 325-pound defensive lineman Chris Baker with a leveling blow that lifted Foles off the ground and put him in a daze, sparking a melee on the Washington sideline.

“No I didn’t,” Foles said, when asked if he saw the hit coming. “He got me pretty good. I did not see him. …I thought the guy was down so that’s why I wasn’t looking for anyone. The next thing I know I’m just obliterated, so I don’t know.” Read more »

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