Preseason opener 1st chance to see how Eagles adjust to coaching changes

Preseason opener 1st chance to see how Eagles adjust to coaching changes

A first preseason game provides many opportunities.

For the fans (open practice aside), it’s the chance to see their team back on the field in a game setting for the first time in six months. Naturally when you're coming off a Super Bowl title, that anticipation is heightened.

For the players, it all depends. The starters who play will make a brief cameo and get a chance to reacclimate themselves with game speed and work on execution. For the long shots to make the roster, it’s their first shot to make an impression and a name for themselves.

The grouping we tend to forget about in this setting is the coaches.

The Eagles' coaching staff had a pretty significant shake-up this past offseason. These things tend to happen when you get a ring. Out are offensive coordinator Frank Reich (Colts head coach) and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo (Vikings offensive coordinator). Mike Groh is now offensive coordinator, elevated from wide receivers coach, and Press Taylor moves up the food chain from offensive quality control coach to quarterbacks coach. Duce Staley is also taking on a bigger role as the assistant head coach, while still coaching the running backs.  

While Pederson called the plays, Reich and DeFilippo played major roles in the construction of the high-octane Eagles' offense. Reich was an excellent game planner and sounding board for the head coach. DeFilippo was the quarterback whisperer and noted red-zone schemer.    

Fortunately, all three that were promoted are from within, so there is a level of continuity. But change nonetheless. So this first dress rehearsal against another team has an added importance. 

“Obviously you got used to those two guys the last couple of years, and you know for them to take big roles, with Press with the quarterbacks and how he’s worked with them and his involvement now on game day," Pederson said Tuesday. "Mike on the sidelines still being more of a voice in my ear like Frank was, sometimes being the voice of reason. It will be a great working environment. These are all reasons for these games, obviously, now with a couple new coaches in position to work these things out."

The role changes also impact the players.

“You’re really just getting to know each other every day," Nick Foles said. "You’ve heard me talk a lot about football is special because of the relationships, teammates and coaches alike. That’s where you see the bond. It’s not just players, you have to enjoy being around your coach and trust them and I think you got that from the mic’d up stuff from last year when we’re talking to coaches.

"I use the 'Philly Special' play as a great example. Doug and I have a lot of trust in each other, we’ve known each other for a long time, where that conversation if you don’t know each other probably didn’t go that well. But because we know each other, we’re like, 'Let’s do it.' And I use that conversation as an example because that is so important to be a winning team. It’s not just players, it’s everyone in this building getting along."

So maybe Thursday’s first tune-up versus the Steelers holds a little more significance than we thought?

More on the Eagles

Good Eagles news for those who value sleep

Good Eagles news for those who value sleep

The Eagles-Seahawks game in two weeks at the Linc has been flexed out of its Sunday Night Football spot to an afternoon kickoff.

The Eagles will now host the Seahawks at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 on FOX in Week 12.

From the NFL:

- Eagles-Seahawks moves from 8:20 p.m. on NBC to 1 p.m. on FOX.

- Packers-49ers moves from 4:25 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. on NBC.

This is good news for anyone who hates those late-night starts and values sleep, but bad news if you’re living out of town and wanted to watch the Eagles on national TV.

Before this change, the Eagles weren’t scheduled to have any of their remaining four home games as 1 p.m. starts. This also means the Eagles have just one more primetime game scheduled — Monday Night Football at home against the Giants on Dec. 9.

Here’s the Eagles’ updated remaining schedule as it stands now:

Week: 11: vs. NE on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:25 p.m.
Week 12: vs. SEA on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m.
Week 13: @ MIA on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.
Week 14: vs. NYG on Monday, Dec. 9 at 8:15 p.m.
Week 15: @ WAS on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.
Week 16: vs. DAL on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 4:25 p.m.
Week 17: @ NYG on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 1 p.m.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Do Tom Brady and Patriots have a Philly Special of their own planned this time around?

Do Tom Brady and Patriots have a Philly Special of their own planned this time around?

Tom Brady was asked this week how long it took him to get over the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.
“You’re saying I’m over it? Come on now,” Brady said. “That’s a lot of mental scar tissue from that year.”
Brady will face the Eagles Sunday for the first time since Super Bowl LII, when the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Minneapolis.
Brady has played in nine Super Bowls, winning six. He’s won three of his last four. But on Feb. 4, 2018, the Eagles toppled Brady and Bill Belichick, setting off the greatest celebration in Philadelphia history.
“That was a tough game,” Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI in Boston. “But you learn from that year, and we came back stronger the next year and won the Super Bowl. I think everything is a matter of perspective. When you play in that game and you play great teams you’re not going to win them all. This is not the Harlem Globetrotters against the Washington Generals. It’s all about tough competition against the best teams. They deserved it that year and now a couple years later we get a chance to play the organization again."
Brady was asked about the Philly Special, which gave the Eagles a 22-12 lead before halftime and has become not only the most iconic play in Philadelphia sports history but also one of the two or three most iconic plays in Super Bowl history.
“Tough play to stop,” Brady said. “They executed it well. Trick plays, when they run it as well as they did, they always seem to work and they give you a lot of momentum. They’re still talking about that play. That play will go down in history, just like a lot of those big plays in the Super Bowl have. So, good for them.”
The Patriots, of course, tried a trick play earlier in the second quarter, but Brady dropped a pass from Danny Amendola that would have given the Patriots a first down deep in Eagles territory.
Would the Patriots consider running the Philly Special Sunday against the Eagles at the Linc?
Don’t put it past them.
Mohamed Sanu has thrown four career touchdown passes, Julian Edelman is 3-for-3 passing in his career for 75 yards and Jakobi Meyers started his career at North Carolina State as a quarterback.
“There’s some good passers on our team,” Brady said. “We’ve got a lot of ex-quarterbacks. … They’ve all got good arms. These guys can throw the ball. You never know what we’ve got up our sleeve. Might have to go into our bag of trick plays and see what we come up with.”
The Eagles didn’t exactly shut Brady down that night 21 months ago at U.S. Bank Stadium. He threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns. 
In his career, Brady is 4-2 against the Eagles with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions, both in the 2015 game in Foxboro that the Eagles won three weeks before Chip Kelly was fired. Malcolm Jenkins got Brady for a 99-yard pick-six in that game, and Byron Maxwell had the Eagles’ other INT.
In two games at the Linc, wins in 2003 and 2011, Brady has six TD passes and no INTs.
Here’s a look at the highest passer ratings in Lincoln Financial Field history with a minimum of 50 attempts:
118.3 … Tom Brady
112.1 … Kirk Cousins
103.5 … Aaron Rodgers
100.0 … Carson Wentz
96.5 … Matt Schaub
96.4 … Cam Newton
96.0 … Jon Kitna
92.2 … Donovan McNabb
92.1 … Tony Romo
91.4 … Carson Palmer
The Patriots easily won both of Brady’s games at the Linc  — 31-10 in 2003 and 38-20 in 2011 (despite 400 passing yards from Vince Young).
The last time the Eagles beat the Patriots in Philadelphia was 1999. The Patriots’ head coach was Pete Carroll, their quarterback was Drew Bledsoe and the Eagles’ quarterback was Koy Detmer. His backup was Doug Pederson.
“Really tough environment,” Brady said of the Linc. “Should be a great Sunday afternoon for football. They’ve definitely got great loud fans. It’s a tough place to play. There’s a lot of loud places. Baltimore was loud, Buffalo’s loud. It gets to the point where you basically can’t hear.”
Brady has a 215-61 career record and an NFL-record 531 career touchdowns. 

He’s the greatest of all time, but he’s also dealing with a personal two-game losing streak against the Eagles, and the Eagles and their fans are going to do everything within their power Sunday to get that streak to three in a row.

More on the Eagles