ANAHEIM, Calif. — Eagles kicker Jake Elliott missed the first field goal he attempted at Angel Stadium on Wednesday afternoon in Southern California.
It was a pretty unusual scene on Wednesday afternoon, when the Eagles took to the makeshift practice field in the middle of the Angels' stadium. The Eagles' offense was at the field for its walkthrough on Tuesday, but Jim Schwartz's unit got its first look at it on Wednesday, when the whole team practiced there beginning at 2:40 p.m. local time.
The sod field in the middle of the empty stadium actually looked pretty good. It actually looks better than the fields at the NovaCare Complex, although the dead-looking grass in Philly is apparently just the type of grass. There was noticably the absence of video boards at the stadium; they're being worked on. By the time the afternoon practice rolled around, much of the field was already engulfed by shadows.
"Gracious for the Angels for allowing us to practice there, and our grounds crew has done an amazing job over there when you see it today, with putting some sod down in the infield and just a great job," Pederson said this morning of their home for the week. "The field's awesome, yeah. Field's great. Great shape."
The Eagles have been planning this trip for a long time and even asked the league to schedule two of their three West Coast trips back to back so they could stay out here.
The plan is to keep everything as normal as possible (see story). So as practice kicked off on Wednesday, the Eagles stretched, did special teams and went into individual drills, followed by team drills. That's their normal schedule.
The quarterbacks worked out in the outfield. The running backs were in left field down the third-base line. The defensive backs were on the third-base line in the infield. Linebackers were just around where first base normally resides. Home plate was covered by a white circular tarp.
At one point, as the defensive backs were working on a drill that had them backpedal before driving forward, safety Corey Graham ran past the edge of the green sod and onto the rock-hard dirt beyond the infield. He slipped but was able to keep his balance, avoiding disaster.
"Don't run on that!" he yelled.
Where the running backs were going through drills down the third-base line, they were joined by running back Darren Sproles, who has been on the IR since getting hurt in Week 3. Sproles, who lives in San Diego, spent the first portion of practice chatting with his position coach Duce Staley and teammates.
He then held the giant orange dummy for drills, as his teammates went through them.
Darren Sproles lives out here in Cali. Rejoining team and RBs this week— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 6, 2017
Working with Duce Staley, running tackling dummy
One Eagle told me Darren watches film and texts/calls them all the time to help out#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/CyGDoicddl
The Eagles will practice at Angel Stadium again on Thursday and Friday, and will have their walkthrough there on Saturday as well. During the week, the team is staying at a hotel in Costa Mesa, about a 15-minute drive from the stadium.
They will play the Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.