The Philadelphia Eagles are taking a lighter approaching to Training Camp, if you will, with the benefit of science, resulting in less full pad practicing in hopes of players maintaining their health longer.
"We will be ready to play that first week," Nick Sirianni told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday before practice. "There's different ways to do things. I'm never concerned about another team or what they're doing."
"With this setup, I know we'll be ready for Week 1," Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon reiterated.
"Here's how you practice tackling in a safe way to keep us healthy," Gannon explained. "Tackling is nothing but want to—which I know all of our guys want to tackle—and positioning and technique. You can work that in practice without bringing Boston Scott to the ground, so that will keep us healthier. But we practice, we have a tackling circuit every day. People don't see that because we are not tackling live."
Sirianni explained how he is getting information from experts to make informed decisions about the best way to practice before the real games begin.
"Yes, you have days where you have walk throughs instead of practicing, but we end up getting more reps on the field," Sirianni said. "I have experts in their fields. I have great doctors, great trainers, great sports science guys, great strength staff guys that are giving me the information. My job as the head coach is to make sure the team is ready and I gotta be the one that makes the decision of how long to practice, all those different things. Taking all of their information into account, knowing that I am not an expert at everything—not even close to an expert at everything—and then making the decision of what I think is going to get the team ready to go.
"When we're out there it's high intensity at practice," Sirianni continued. "I got incentives with the quarterbacks like, 'Hey every minute we get off the field early we got something for you.' So I want them to push the tempo out there. That's a great way for us to practice the tempo that we're gonna play in games. It's a great way for us to get conditioning. That's something too, we're always looking to push the pace."
"I have never been a part of a team that goes out and tackles in training camp. That's just something that I've always believed in. You can still be physical. It's live up front."
The Philadelphia Eagles open the regular season on September 11th in Detroit against the Lions, a team that had two full pad practices this week under head coach Dan Campbell, before going to a lighter walk-through practice on Wednesday.