The ABC now limits teams to one practice per day – along with a walkthrough – and limits single practice to 2.5 hours.
The Eagles practiced about half of that.
Nick Sirianni’s practices are crisp and efficient, but they’re also incredibly short. In the first seven days of camp, only one practice exceeded 90 minutes, and it was a padless practice on Saturday night.
Four workouts lasted 75 minutes and the average workout lasted just under an hour and a half.
To understand why, all you have to do is look at the Eagles injury list for the past three years.
The Eagles have tried a lot to get through a relatively healthy season, but they are the most injured team in the league since the start of 2018. Last year they were second behind the 49ers.
There has been a gradual shift in the NFL over the past 10 years or so to focus more and more on studying film, classwork, and meetings to keep players on their feet and help them get through. a 16 game season – now a 17 game season.
The Eagles have reached record levels.
They work all day. But the practice is only a small part of it.
“It all depends on the health of the players,” Sirianni said ahead of practice on Thursday. “I’m not the expert on it, so myself and our strength staff and our training staff and our doctors and Howie (Roseman), we all come together and we talked about” We have so much ability in the field, how do we keep them available? ‘ Because if they are not available, that ability is worthless.
It’s not like training camp is a country club. When they train they go hard, and the first week has been physical, even on the days when the players are not padded.
But there is no doubt that it is a different way of preparing a football team for the season.
“When we’re here and working, the standard is very clear on how we want the practice to be,” Sirianni said. “So we feel like we’ve been pretty here. … Keep guys healthy, but when we’re here we go and we really ride and train hard because practicing hard – which we talk about in a group all the time – is how you get better every day. “
There are often Eagles alumni watching practice at the NovaCare complex, and they’re usually in disbelief when they see a 10am practice end at 11:15 am But it’s the wave of the future. Get them out on the field, do as much work as possible as quickly as possible, then bring them inside.
Sirianni added a post-practice development period so veterans can head indoors or do one-on-one side work while younger players can continue to do group drills.
And he said the walkthroughs – which are closed to the media – are a productive second way to have players on the pitch without any contact or drills at full speed.
“Just because they don’t train for… three, two and a half hours, with the walkthroughs, we’re mentally at full speed,” he said. “We’re still walking through, but it’s at full speed until it breaks. We are still at full speed. We are always connected at full speed when we are [inside]. It’s all of those things. Practice is one piece of the puzzle. It’s a big piece, and there are all these other pieces to prepare us and we do them like any other year.
When you’re only in the field for an hour and a half – or less – there has to be a bonus to making the most of that short period of time.
And looking at the practice, you don’t see a wasted moment.
“It’s about being very organized and communicating with everyone,” Sirianni said. “You talk at length about what the practice will look like. ‘Hey, we’re going [from] period one to period two to period three, here is where these guys are on the field, here is where these guys are on the field, here is where we are going 1 on 1, here is what field they are going to be on.
“It’s just organization and communication to make sure while we were here – our practices last an hour 15, an hour 30, an hour 45, which can go north or south any day, depending on the day – but when you are here you are very organized and you don’t take time between periods.
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