The Birds are up in New England to practice against the Patriots for 3 days. I love the fact that Chip Kelly does this. Players get tired of going against each other, day after day. It makes a difference when there is a different color uniform to work against and some fresh competition.
One of the problems with Training Camp is that players begin to know each other. The WR knows what the CB will do. The CB knows what the WR will do. OL know the moves of the DL. And so on. That all changes starting today.
This isn’t a competition where one team will get the better of the other. This is still about individuals. Like we talked about in regard to the postseason, this won’t be good X’s and O’s on display. The key is proper execution of simple stuff by individual players. You want to see how the players perform in the most basic setting. That allows you the chance to evaluate them and then to teach them.
Bill Belichick is a great coach and his team knows how to practice. Going against them will be a challenge for the Eagles. That’s exactly what you want from this format. If you go against a lesser team, all you will find out is that your players are better than lesser competition. The Eagles goal is to build a great team. In order to do that, you need to compete against top flight competition.
Last summer Tom Brady ate the Eagles defense up. I’m sure he’ll do some of that this summer, but hopefully the defense will show some progress. And it will certainly be interesting to see how the Eagles WRs do against a new defense. Jordan Matthews has shown that he’s better than the Eagles backup DBs. He now gets to face new guys. That could bring out the best in Matthews or they could give him fits. Either way, you get a better feel for where he is right now.
As always…the key is no injuries.
There will be tough practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday will be situational football. Friday night is the Eagles-Pats preseason game.
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As for the Cary Williams/cheaters stuff…I don’t think that will be a big deal, but you never know. How many players are left from the Spygate era…Tom Brady? Belichick is surely offended, but I don’t see him ordering a player to go after Williams in a summer practice. That would be stupid. I’m sure some players who get a chance to block Williams will pop him a little harder, but I don’t think this will be a huge issue. You can bet Kelly will talk to Williams before the practices about what he wants to see out there. And fighting won’t be on the list.
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Another hit for Dallas. CB Orlando Scandrick has been suspended for the first 4 games.
In 2013, Cowboys gave up 400+ yards 8x, 500+ yards 4x, 600+ yards 2x, & now they'll be without their 4 best defenders for the first 4 weeks.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) August 12, 2014
Jimmy Bama has more on that story. Dallas fans have to be thinking…”What’s next?”.