PHILADELPHIA — Head coach Doug Pederson has already put his own stamp on how the Philadelphia Eagles operate, even if that stamp was borrowed from his mentor, Andy Reid.
Things at Eagles training camp are very different from the past three years, when Chip Kelly’s sports-science-based philosophy influenced everything from wearing pads to the length of practice to the amount of on-field instruction coaches could give players.
Kelly’s uptempo approach is gone. The Eagles use a play clock during practice, but Pederson’s staff will take a moment between plays to correct mistakes or offer advice for the next play.
“That’s the only way we’re going to get better,” Pederson said before Sunday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field. “I’m also a believer that you spend time in the meeting room at night, watching the tape and making corrections there as well. But when you get that immediate impact, right now, on the field, it goes [a long way].
“For instance, it happened yesterday with [tight end] Zach Ertz. He was a split end as a tight end. He ran a slant [route] and got jammed up. He came back later and ran the same exact play. He got the same coverage. He learned from it, and we completed the pass. We were able to get that instant feedback.”
The Eagles’ first full-squad, outdoor practice on Friday ran nearly three hours, much longer than Kelly’s fast-paced camp practices.
“A normal football game is three hours long,” Pederson said. “So why not start right now and get them in game-ready shape?”
Pederson said he made changes to the schedule Reid uses in Kansas City and developed over 14 years as head coach in Philadelphia. But the foundation, Pederson said, is sound.
“This schedule took this team to many NFC Championship games; it took them to the Super Bowl, and it's won a ton of games,” Pederson said. “My feeling on it, I went through it as a player in Green Bay with Mike Holmgren, went through it as a player with Coach Reid in 1999 and then obviously back a couple years ago, so this schedule is proven.
“With the rules now, with practicing one time a day and all of that, it allows the players to get plenty of rest in the afternoon, so there won't be much change. The only thing I'll do probably a little different is about every third or fourth day, go ahead the take the pads off and give the players a little break at that time.”