Eagles-Patriots joint practices create unique environment

Eagles-Patriots joint practices create unique environment

August 13, 2014, 1:00 pm
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After hosting the New England Patriots at the NovaCare Complex for joint practices last year, the Philadelphia Eagles returned the favor, spending the past couple days scrimmaging in Foxboro, Massachusetts ahead of Friday’s preseason encounter.

While I wasn’t able to attend myself, I was a spectator in 2013, and it was really something else watching two squads work against one another in that type of format. Of course, this year was much different in that Tuesday’s practice was open to the public rather than just a few hundred season ticket holders and corporate sponsors.







Unfortunately, inclement weather closed Wednesday’s practice to the public. Despite heavy rain, the two squads managed to get another session in this morning.

Aside from the fact that there are two entirely different teams on the field, the practices run a lot differently than what Eagles fans might be accustomed to seeing or hearing about.



The big story last year was how much further ahead the Patriots were than the Eagles in almost every aspect. Of course, the Pats are a perennial Super Bowl contender with three rings under the current head coach/quarterback combo. The Eagles hadn’t played so much as a single preseason game under Chip prior to last year’s joint practices.

Still, Tom Brady was really something to behold. Pretty much the only time a ball would touch the ground is when it was dropped by the intended target.

Based on reports, that wasn’t the case this time around.





For Nick Foles’ part, it sounds like he held his own against the future Hall of Fame signal-caller. Some are even saying the third-year passer out-dueled Brady.




Perhaps the most interesting battle to follow was Eagles No. 1 receiver working against Darrelle Revis, widely considered one of if not the best cornerbacks in the NFL. From the sound of things, Maclin was getting along just fine, although he did leave practice early on Wednesday with an injury. The hamstring is said to be unrelated to the knee that cost him the entire 2013 season.





It’s always interesting to see what kind of methods another team uses, and apparently in New England, kickers have a much smaller margin for error. This goal post appears to be roughly half the width of the traditional size—and apparently it really exposed Carey Spear, aka Murderleg, the Eagles’ undrafted rookie who will not be taking Alex Henery’s job.




The Eagles and Patriots will hold a walkthrough tomorrow before resuming their rivalry in Friday’s preseason affair. Until then, we’ll leave you with the lighter side of training camp.