Doug Pederson will not apologize for his approach.
He expects his players to play hard, with or without pads. But sometimes it's okay to lighten things up a bit.
Several key Eagles have sat on the sidelines lately, guys like Jordan Matthews, Jason Peters, Malcolm Jenkins, Wendell Smallwood and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, with minor injuries. Perhaps coincidentally — but definitely with good timing — come a few lighter days for the Eagles as temperatures continue to eclipse the mid-90s in South Philadelphia.
"It's a great schedule for them," Pederson said this weekend. "It was warm [Saturday] and the guys battled through it. I thought they actually came together and competed very well today. [We’ll be] indoors this afternoon for the walk-through, and then we do another walk-through in the morning tomorrow."
Wentz did not take any reps after getting a hairline rib fracture against the Buccaneers.
"If you were watching the game the other night, he took a shot – [it was] like [the] next-to-the-last play – got up a little bit slow. So, he's just sore today," Pederson said Saturday. "[We] just wanted to protect him, so he didn't throw."
After a light, evening practice in front of the fans at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday, the Birds will have a 10-10-10 practice Monday before working back up to a regular padded practice Tuesday and walkthrough Wednesday ahead of their second preseason game Thursday. Friday will be a players day off.
"[It will be a] quick little two-hour practice, much like we did a couple weeks ago," Pederson said of the stadium practice, the second of two public events this preseason. "And then we come out of pads on Monday, do a 10-10-10 [practice] and kind of clean some things up, and then back into pads on Tuesday and we're getting ready for Pittsburgh."
The 10/10/10 format is an Andy Reid throwback and was not used under Chip Kelly. Here's how the Eagles describe what will go down Monday:
"The Practice format cycles through 10 offensive plays, 10 defensive plays and 10 minutes of special teams work. During the 10 offensive plays, the offense will be set up to succeed on every play, and the defense will act only as a scout team. You will notice the defense back off a bit, allowing the offense to see how each play is designed to work in its best-case scenario. The defense is merely there to give the offense 'a look' that they might see on a gameday, but not actively trying to defend the play.
Conversely, during the defense's 10 plays, the offense will act as a scout team and allow the called play on defense to work to perfection. The drill is designed for the defense to successfully execute their plays, and the offense is merely providing 'a look' that the offense could encounter during a game.
The final '10' of the practice refers to a ten minute period of special teams work, after which the 10/10/10 cycle will repeat during the length of the practice."