Eagles head coach Doug Pederson split Wednesday’s practice in two with a simulated 30-minute halftime break to match the extended respite they’ll experience against the Patriots, Marc Sessler of NFL.com reports.
Instead of piping in Justin Timberlake, “the room fell almost silent … save for the intermittent sounds of footballs being tossed around by a few staffers, injured starting quarterback Carson Wentz and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman,” according to pool reporter Kimberly A. Martin of The Washington Post.
Coming out of the break, though, the second half of Philly’s practice session was a tad sloppy, Pederson told reporters on Thursday.
“Number one, it’s been a couple days since we’ve been on the practice field, so it’s typical you’re going to have not quite as crisp of a practice,” Pederson said. “For me, it was just going around [and] talking to the leadership of the guys. Get the team together, get the coaches together and then start browbeating everybody. We’re so late in the season now that we understand how to practice. Just making sure that we understand the importance of one.”
Said Pederson: “Why I did the break — obviously it was to put us in that situation, now we understand it. It was a very teachable moment for our guys, our coach and how to prepare for the second half of a football game.”
It echoes what Pederson said Wednesday, telling Martin “it’s important that the guys get it in their minds how much time that is. We’re normally working on 13-, 14-minute halftime and now it’s twice as long and guys’ bodies cool down. So, I want to make sure they understand that we have to go in, we’ve got to stay focused, but at the same time we can refuel and kind of recharge.”
Quarterback Nick Foles agreed, telling reporters that sitting through a 30-minute halftime simulation “will really pay off” when the Eagles clash with the Patriots three days from now.
The rest of the session “wasn’t as clean as we want, but we still got some great work in,” Foles said, calling it “huge” to address the extended halftime early in the week.
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