BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — After enduring a sloppy second half of practice on Wednesday that raised some concerns, the Eagles responded with a strong practice Thursday.
Coach Doug Pederson attributed the sloppy practice to being off for a few days, and to simulating a 30-minute halftime period.
“Number one, it’s been a couple days since we’ve been on the practice field, so it’s typical you’re going to have not quite as crisp of a practice,” he said. “It was just going around talking to the leadership of the guys. Get the team together, get the coaches together and then start browbeating everybody. We’re so late in the season now that we understand how to practice. Just making sure that we understand the importance of one.”
Pederson split Wednesday’s practice in two parts, simulating game conditions. After the first half of practice, the team was off for 30 minutes because that’s the amount of time the teams will sit in the locker room because of the long Super Bowl halftime show.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles said Pederson does a nice job of keeping the team focused on getting better. He noted that despite the sloppy practice, the Eagles did some positive things on the field.
“It wasn’t as clean as we wanted,” Foles said. “We still got a lot of great work in, and in any moment, there’s great teaching moments. I think addressing it early in the week is huge and guys are aware of it. Coach does a great job of teaching in those moments. Glad it happened early in the week than it being in the game.”
Thursday was different. According to a pool report, Pederson said Foles looked sharp during the 90-minute session.
“Had a heck of a practice today,” Pederson said. “Guys were flying around. Definitely picked it up. We had three days off before we got on the field [Wednesday], so this is what typically we would see in practice.”
A fast tempo helps the Eagles in games, and several players said that when they have good chemistry in practice, it usually transfers to the game.
“I can’t speak for everybody, I’m so focused on my job,” defensive end Chris Long said. “I had a pretty good day looking back on our d-line and those kinds of things. I think everybody needs to keep our focus narrow and obviously the coaches, they look at the whole thing. My job is to show up and do my job today and have the best practice I can, because no matter how you slice it, we only have two more practices this year, and that’s kind of a crazy feeling.”