Pederson Talks Preseason Trend
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Doug Pederson again chimed in on the practice vs. preseason debate before Tuesday's joint session with the Baltimore Ravens.
“It can be done right,” the Eagles coach said when discussing the value of a joint-practice atmosphere. “You saw yesterday there was great intensity, a great practice, there was some physicality to it, but guys were staying up, guys were protecting each other, and you get good work in. You want to have practices like that, especially going against good teams, so this is a good time for us to do this.”
Pederson reminisced about his days in Miami when the Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would take turns visiting each other for joint practices, a trend that lost popularity for a bit in the league before picking up steam again in recent years as coaches scale back the playing time of key contributors in the actual preseason games.
“I think that's the trend, I think that's where we're going,” Pederson said. “I think that's the way the league is heading. I like it, the players like it. It does break up hitting your teammates for so long, but the thing is about practice and really a joint practice, as coaches, we get to set the situations, we get to control the environment, and sometimes you don't get those in games, you don't get those situations in a game, and this way we can control that and work on specific things and get some really good work done with our starters.”
Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz agreed with that on Monday, noting he could get as many as 50 reps against a great defense with the Ravens versus maybe 12 or so in a few series of preseason work.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen