The Eagles were back on the practice field Thursday. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Jeremy Maclin (hip) didn’t participate. Before the team took the field, coach Andy Reid entered the media room — something he has never done before — and announced that practice would be closed to reporters moving forward.
“My No. 1 prioirty is to win football games,” the coach said. “This takes away any competitive advantage.”
Eagles practices had always been closed Wednesdays, but they were open to reporters on Thursdays and Fridays. That policy is in line with 27 other NFL teams, according to Reid.
Miscommunication in Cleveland
Jason Kelce, the unofficial spokesman for the offensive line, talked about doing a better job protecting Mike Vick. The quarterback was hit 19 times.
“You don’t want your quarterback getting hit that much, obviously you don’t want him on the ground that much,” Kelce said. “Mike, when he’s clean, when any quarterback is clean, they usually make plays. For Mike, when he’s not getting touched, he’s usually one of the best out there.”
Kelce said some of the problems last week stemmed from a noisy Cleveland crowd.
“There were times in the game where people were telling me the mic call wasn’t loud enough or Todd [Herremans] would be struggling to find out who the mic call was, but we got through it, got the road game out of the way.”
Stopping the no-huddle offense
Baltimore ran a very effective no-huddle offense last week in its blowout win over Cincinnati. In it, Joe Flacco looked poised and confident. This could pose a problem for the Eagles, a team that likes to rotate defensive linemen in and out to keep them fresh.
“A lot of people question, how are you going to defend with this rotation you got?,” Trent Cole said. “Trust me, we have an answer. I believe in my heart we have an answer. Some guys are going to have to stay out there longer, but we know those guys that are staying out there longer are going to get the job done, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
When asked specifically how they would rotate guys in, Jason Babin replied, “There’s unique ways to substitute, we’ll leave it at that.”