Camp Roundup: Offense Lags Under Extreme Heat
Sirianni: Conditioning Is Work In Progress
The pads came out for another day Thursday as the Eagles conducted their second practice in full pads in as many days.
The sun came out, too, producing extreme heat that convinced Eagles coach Nick Siriainni to move practice up an hour, starting at 9 a.m. to avoid the most sweltering temps in the afternoon.
“I’m gonna go watch the tape,” Sirianni said. “You want there to be ebbs and flows on both side of the ball. There’s no doubt we have good balance on both sides of the football. The defensive is presenting challenges, both will looks and players we have on that side of the ball.”
Sirianni acknowledged that breakdowns in fundaments and football IQ happened at the end of Thursday’s practice as fatigue set in during the near-two-hour session, but the Birds were without several starters and key backups, including their starting and backup left tackle.
Jordan Mailata and his top reserve at left tackle, Andre Dillard, were both out after sustaining concussions. Le’Raven Clark took first-team reps in their place.
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith didn’t wear pads at practice and is day to day with a groin tweak, per the team.
“Of course you’re looking at it and saying, hey, guys got tired in that last period, there’s no question about that,” he said after practice, noting conditioning training built into practices. “I can tell we’re getting a lot better without out conditioning each day.”
Sirianni said he didn’t know exactly when in recent practice that Mailata and Dillard sustained their concussions and that neither lineman could specify the time of the injury either. He also said the team is just being “cautious” with Smith, the second-year wideout.
Cornerback Mac McCain (knee) and wide receiver Greg Ward (toe) also didn’t practice.
On the flip side, wide receiver Zach Pascal practiced in pads and fully for the first time in camp. Pascal had been sidelined with illness issues related to food poisoning. Also, receiver Quez Watkins returned to practice after leaving Tuesday’s session.
The combo of heat and injuries could’ve been responsible for the offense’s spotty practice.
Sirianni said the downside to practice in extreme heat is the potential of losing players – cramping, dehydration, etc. – but also noted the upside.
“This is how the first couple games are gonna be played. It’s going to be hot and we have to be ready for that, and it gets you in great shape. Also what you like about it is they’re all fighting through the same elements together. You get a little bit more of a bond there with that.
“Other things you like about it is they get tired a little quicker. When you’re tired, fundamentals suffer, football IQ can suffer. So you gotta fight through that.”
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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