According to Eagles rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins, the coaches have laid down a few rules for the team’s joint practices with the Miami Dolphins, which run Monday through Wednesday.
“The ground rules are pretty basic, same rules as if it was in a game,” Hollins said. “Don’t act a fool, don’t fight, basically don’t do stuff you wouldn’t do in a game.”
That might sound simple on paper, but several Eagles players acknowledged there tends to be a different level of competitiveness when another team shares the field.
“It’s always intense when you have new people you’re going against,” defensive end Steven Means said. “It’s just like the first day of practice, so I’m pretty sure it’ll be cranked up a bit.”
The Eagles last held a joint practice two years ago, when the Baltimore Ravens visited Philadelphia. (The Eagles won that week’s game, 40-17). That means Monday will be Carson Wentz’s first time practicing against another team.
“I’m excited for them to come up,” Wentz said. “In training camp, you're going against your own team for so long, practices just get to be long and you start to figure out each other a little bit.”
Wentz’s big target, Alshon Jeffery, who has missed substantial time practicing against his teammates, is looking forward to facing the Dolphins.
“It’s a good chance to see where we’re at, just bond, build team chemistry,” Jeffery said. “Just keep working and keep competing.”
Jeffery mentioned he’s glad he’ll have the opportunity to catch up with new Dolphin Jay Cutler, his quarterback for the first five years of his career.
Despite the time he’s spent on the sidelines, Jeffery insisted Sunday he doesn’t think he’s behind (see story).
While adding the caveat he never places too much weight on how he performs during the preseason, fellow wide receiver Torrey Smith is as eager as his offensive teammates to take on a different defense.
“It’s some of the best competition we can get,” Smith said. “It’s like a game, just not hitting each other.”
Once the three days of practice conclude, the Eagles and Dolphins will finally be able to tackle each other Thursday night under the lights of Lincoln Financial Field.