Eleven full-squad practices, each running a little more than two hours. That means plenty of film for the coaches to evaluate as they prepare for Friday night’s preseason game.
Keeping that in mind, here are three things we’ve learned so far on the practice fields.
The theory goes like this: Rookies need time to adjust to several different factors. The structure and rules associated with a college program are gone. They are on their own, away from friends and family. And they are earning (legal) paychecks.
Add in the speed and talent associated with the pro game, and it’s clear life in the NFL requires an adjustment period.
That’s why the offseason from Year 1 to Year 2 is considered crucial. Initial questions have been answered, and expectations have been set. Second-year players can focus more on just on-field improvement.
“It’s already easier,” said linebacker Mychal Kendricks during mini-camps. “It’s crazy, knowing the formations and knowing the count without even having to look.
“Everything slows down the second year. It’s crazy, I can’t explain it.”
We’ve spent plenty of time talking about the Eagles’ new additions, and Tim covered the rookies a couple days ago. But below is a look at the second-year players and where they stand going into camp.
“I saw myself on film, like man I don’t look too good, especially with those tight-fitting jerseys,” Polk said. “I’ve got to shed a few pounds.”
And so he did.
Polk said he has dropped 15 pounds this offseason and is currently practicing at 215.
“That’s where I want to be at, especially with this high-paced offense,” Polk said. “You’ve got to make people miss and run in space, catch it. You’ve got to have your wind. So it was the best thing to really fit this scheme, get down lighter, be faster, get your wind up.”
The Eagles running back sat around and waited Friday. He couldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep. He made sure he had his ringer on loud.
About 16 hours earlier, Polk was in the end zone, celebrating a 3-yard touchdown in the Eagles’ final preseason game against the Jets. Now, he was waiting to find out if it was time to turn in his playbook.
“It didn’t ring until Coach Duce [Staley] called me from his office phone, which I didn’t have stored,” Polk said. “It’s a 2-1-5 number, so I was like ‘Oh man, I’m cut.’ I waited until the last ring to actually answer it.”
“Dion, I don’t think Dion’s really 100 percent yet,” said Reid. “That’s why I held him and [LB Jamar] Chaney out. I just didn’t feel comfortable playing them.”
With the regular season officially upon us, this is something to pay attention to. Lewis, who was not listed on the injury report by Reid heading into the game, has been dealing with a hamstring injury on and off this preseason.