Football season is back. The Philadelphia Eagles are just hours away from their first full team practice of 2016..and while the excitement levels are sky-high, the birds are taking a slightly different yet very familiar approach to kick off the opening week of camp.
Alex Smith posted an article today on the official Philadelphia Eagles website highlighting the direction of todays practice. It’s a direction that Eagles fans will know well..the return of the “10-10-10” practice.
The idea was used by Andy Reid during his long tenure as Head Coach of the Eagles but it has even more of a purpose under Doug Pederson. The format for the day will first see ten Offensive plays that are designed to succeed. The Defense won’t be going 100% to ensure that while coverages and scenarios are similar to what you’d see in a full scrimmage, the Offense has more chance of making the play.
After this, ten Defensive plays will take the forefront. The Offense won’t be firing on all cylinders which allows the Defense to execute the play as Schwartz intended and attain the desired result. When Linemen are a little complacent in blocking or a running back is maybe slower in his route, the Defense can read the play better and learn how to efficiently execute a play at a slower pace before speeding things up as camp progresses.
To round out the cycle, the Eagles will complete ten minutes of special teams plays and concepts, with the same idea at the forefront of each drill.
The idea behind this is simple. To familiarize the team with the scheme and the playbook. The cycle will be repeated from the beginning of practice straight through to the end on day one and there won’t be any pads on just yet.
The first padded practice is scheduled for this Saturday but the Eagles aren’t rushing to start hitting hard. With a new Offense and a new culture being instilled, it’s important that everyone on the team is able to execute the plays given to them. Jumping straight in the deep end with live hitting won’t help the team achieve that.
As we know, Pederson is almost a student of Andy Reid in ways. After learning how he deals with certain situations, watching how his Offense runs and how he organizes training camp, his former experience as a quarterback in these situations help him to create the perfect environment for the Eagles to work.
Smith, who is a digital content producer for the Eagles also made one thing very clear.
Don’t be surprised to see tweets or stories about quarterbacks throwing five interceptions in a row or a cornerback getting beat on multiple plays.
As we know, the Eagles Beat-writers who attend these practices to a great job of keeping us up to speed with what’s going on. But today isn’t about seeing who’s edging a position battle or who’s shining in drills..because the practice is formatted to enable one unit to shine while another eases off.
Doug Pederson has already began to show his prowess as a Head Coach. This may be his first coaching role at the NFL level, but as a student of the game, a student of an Eagles coaching icon and a man who has seen the season from the sidelines and on the field..Pedreson understands what’s best for his team.
His Offense is complex. If you’ve ready any of my play-calling analysis articles, you’ll see how many countless looks he implemented during the second halves of games from week 7 onward. The Defense is aggressive and it’s a scheme that needs the raw fundamentals 100% locked in before they can begin building on the scheme itself.
It would be difficult for players to just walk in and start scrimmaging straight away. Expect a slower, more methodical approach to Training camp in the early days to ensure that every single player on that roster is primed to perform at the best of their ability.
The storylines, the action, the intensity and the excitement will all come in time..but for now, it’s time for these Eagles to lay the foundations of which they can later build upon with the passion and intensity we know they will bring.
Photo credit: : Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports