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  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson


Because of a threat of inclement weather, the Eagles canceled their public practice at the Linc and held it at their indoor bubble on the grounds of the NoveCare complex. Photo by Al Thompson

Because of a threat of severe weather, the Eagles were forced to cancel their open practice at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday night.

The event also served as a fund rasier for a cause the Eagles have long supported.

Proceeds from the $10 tickets to watch the practice benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation.

Fans were given an option for a refund from Ticketmaster.

The Eagles did hold a spirted 90-minute practice in their indoor bubble inside the NovaCare compound.

Jalen Hurts, who missed Thursday's game against the New England Patriots, practiced Sunday evening and looked sharp.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was asked about Hurts' status after practice.

“Yeah, just resting his body, as you would with any illness, and getting himself back,” Sirianni said. “He went through walk-through yesterday. Recovering his body, and obviously he was out there and slinging it around today at practice.”

Monday the Eagles travel to Florham Park, NJ for several days of joint practices with the New York Jets.

Sirianni was asked how much joint practices help him prepare for the season.

“I think it's just another tool, right? I think that all of them are being -- everything, even the practices that aren't joint practices are being evaluated,” the rookie coach said. “Meetings and how guys are working in meetings and thinking in meetings and in walk-throughs, it's all just a tool.

Some are weighted different than others, sure. Like I am saying the practices and the preseason games and the joint practices are weighed a little heavier than a walk through -- a lot heavier than that.

But it's just another tool, and it's a good tool to have because the intensity -- we think we practice pretty hard when we are out there. Regardless of the time we're out there, we're getting after it when we're out there. It's just another tool to have to evaluate guys.

“We just think it's more game like than a practice that would be between the Eagles and Eagles.”

There was speculation about who actually is making hr call on what players play in the preseason. Several of the changes Thursday night caught more than a few people off guard.

Many wanted to see Hurts play since hee seemed to be improving at practice, epecially at the group practices with the Patriots.

So, Sirianni was how much collaboration or input does the front office have in determining who or who doesn't play in the preseason? And how much input will he and his staff have putting the roster together for the Jets preseason game.

“Everything is a group effort, from -- especially when we talk about who is going to make the roster,” Sirianni said. “We all talk through everything, and that's the same thing, we talk through everything together. What we want to see, who we want to see play, because we all have to help make that decision.

“Both of those things are no different. We talk through everything, whether it's the draft, whether it's, you know, practicing, and talking through all that stuff, but it's a group decision in everything that we do.”

At practice Sunday, it was obvious the defensive players were more physical in trying to create turnovers. defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Sirianni admitted recently it had become a priority.

The coach was asked how he weighs the chance of wanting to emphasis turnovers, while also making sure his defensive backs stay grounded and sticking to your assignments and responsibility.

“I think what you're seeing, I think Jonathan said to the defense yesterday, ‘We need more strip attempts.'” Sirianni said. “It is a fine line of what you're saying, being fundamentally sound with keeping what Jonathan is going to say and his defensive staff is going to say, ‘Keeping the cup,’ right, and keeping them inside the cup while also getting a strip attempt. One, it comes to keeping the cup first and then get a strip attempt after you've kept the cup.

So exactly what you're saying. It's exactly what you're saying. If you just stress just taking the ball away or just punching at the ball you could take yourself out of position, but the first thing to stress is keeping the cup and then it’s the strip attempt.

"So, we need to continue to get those strip attempts. We didn't get quite as much as we wanted the other day. But what you are seeing is that we are getting one or two a game. I thought there were two out the other day. One was judged out, the other one wasn't. Then there was two out the week before, I believe two out the week before; whereas -- so that's great."

The coach continued his thought.

“You get two out, you got a chance to get those. On the other side, and I'm not saying this is going to be perfect throughout the year, but what you're seeing is the way the defense is with our offense, like, yes, we have some interceptions, but the ball security, the fundamentals of ball security -- and we had the snap that went over our head -- but the fundamentals of ball security is paying off on the offense, because we haven't got one out there yet.

“That's what our goal is, is that you get some out there for the defense and you don't get them out for the offense, and that's the habits that we create as we practice.” *

Follow Al Thompson in Twitter @thompsoniii

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