Eagles Practice at the Linc Not a Smash Hit, but Still a Success

Eagles Practice at the Linc Not a Smash Hit, but Still a Success

For being Chip Kelly’s first full-contact practice, there wasn’t much hitting going on at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. In fact, there wasn’t any tackling at all. Other than the players wearing pads for the first time this summer, and the bells and whistles that only a stadium experience can offer, this practice wasn’t very different from what’s been going on at the NovaCare Complex the past few days.

Well, that and the fact that instead of a few hundred spectators, the Eagles opened their doors to tens of thousands. But while roughly 65,000 tickets may have been reserved for Sunday’s show, less than half that number actually made it to their seats. According to team president Don Smolenski, there were more like 30,000 in the building.

Yet even though Chip’s version of a live practice was a tad underwhelming, and fans didn’t quite pack the house to the organization’s estimates, I wouldn’t go so far as to say either aspect was a bad thing.

While there wasn’t much in the way of collisions per se, the offensive and defensive lines were doing battle in the trenches, nor did receivers and defensive backs shy away from contact. Obviously the Eagles aren’t going to tear each other apart – they have two joint practices with the New England Patriots next week plus four preseason games to look forward to for that.

And the fact that it wasn’t totally packed provided a slightly more intimate experience for fans – not on the level of NovaCare certainly, but then again instead of being spread across three fields, practice at the Linc is condensed to just the one. Add in the introductions of a large cast of Eagles alumni that was headlined by Brian Dawkins and A.J. Feeley Donovan McNabb, and it added that little something extra to help make the whole affair memorable.

For being a slightly smaller turnout, the crowd was still lively and into practice. They applauded as the players started taking the field (especially for Jeremy Maclin), roared for the alumni introductions, and cheered for all of the big plays. It’s only practice, so there was some down time, but there was enough enjoyment to be gained to make it a worthwhile experience for those in attendance.

It should be noted that some fans may have chosen to stay home due to concerns over the weather. It was an overcast day, but thankfully it didn’t start raining until after practice. Unfortunately once it did start coming down, the huge storm caused the cancellation of an event on the field where fans could catch a pass from an Eagles alumni in attendance. Bummer.

Don’t forget that tickets and parking are completely free. There are still four more open practices schedule, and whether you’re a veteran of training camp at Lehigh, or simply find yourself jonesing for a football fix as we count down the days until the real thing gets underway, you really can’t go wrong at these events. Chances are you’re not going to see anything over the top, but it’s better than not seeing anything at all.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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The pick-six that 'everyone down Broad Street heard'

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The pick-six that 'everyone down Broad Street heard'

Patrick Robinson was talking a little trash with some Eagles teammates before the NFC Championship, so when he came up with an interception, he sort of had to back it up.

“Two hours before the game, I was like, 'When I get a pick, I'm not going out of bounds,'" Robinson said. "When I got it, I was running down the sideline, and I was like, 'No, I definitely can't go out of bounds,' so I just cut it back upfield.”

The end result was a 50-yard return for a touchdown — a play that served to energize the Eagles, the home crowd and an entire fan base during the 38-7 win over the Vikings (see Roob's observations).

“I don't think it just pumped up the offense," Nick Foles said. "I think it pumped up the whole City of Philadelphia. I think everyone down Broad Street heard that.”

Not only did Robinson's pick-six tie the score at seven in the first quarter, it shifted the momentum in the Eagles' favor permanently.

There was an uneasy feeling over Lincoln Financial Field after the Vikings marched straight down the field on a nine-play touchdown drive. A penalty on the ensuing Eagles punt improved Minnesota's field position, while a conversion on third-and-long moved the offense close to midfield. Nothing was going right.

"We had to make a play because they drove right down and scored," Chris Long said. "If we didn't have believe in ourselves and a little toughness, you might've thought, 'Oh, man, it's gonna be a long night.' I know some people probably thought that watching on TV or whatever, but we know what we're capable of as a defense.

“On us, on defense, we had to go out and make a big play and create a turnover.”

Long did exactly that. The 32-year-old pass rusher beat the protection and reached Vikings quarterback Case Keenum mid-throw. The result was a pass that came up woefully short of its intended target — what Robinson described as "an easy pick."

Far less simple was the return. Robinson began by running down the sideline with a convoy of Eagles defenders. Then, with precious little room to maneuver and a promise not to run out of bounds, he cut all the way across to the opposite side of the field, outracing the remaining Vikings players to the pylon.

It was a runback worthy of a certain Eagles All-Pro punt returner.

“Pat, man, he was unbelievable out there," Long said. "He was like Darren Sproles with the ball.”

Robinson was happy to play the part, at one point directing fellow cornerback Ronald Darby to throw a key block that ultimately allowed him to get into the end zone.

“A lot of times you get a pick, there's always one guy that slips through the pack and gets a guy who has the ball," Robinson said. "But this time, all our guys were running hard and trying to make blocks for me.”

For a team that's leaned on home-field advantage all season long, winning nine games in their own building, you better believe that play came at a critical juncture in the contest.

"It got the crowd into it," Malcolm Jenkins said. "Defensively, that first drive, we were kind of uncharacteristic in the run game, missing tackles, just kind of leaky and unsettled. Once we got that, we evened the score back up, it was, 'OK, that was our restart.'

“The crowd is into it. Our offense got going. Defense started getting stops. That was a huge play in the game.”