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Eagles’ Surprise Padded Practice Video Sparks Twitter Mockery [WATCH]

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Coach Nick Sirianni walks off the field after loss to 49ers.

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Coach Nick Sirianni walks off the field after loss to 49ers.

The Eagles suffered their second straight blowout loss after going 10-1 before facing the 49ers and the Cowboys. Now, sitting at 10-3, the birds are increasing the intensity in practice, which is rare for this time of year. They’re also getting back to the basics, namely ball security, and fans of other teams are having a great time with the narrative.

EJ Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer posted a video on Twitter on Thursday, December 14th, showing the Eagles in full pads while staff members try to punch and pull balls out of players’ hands. The text accompanying the post read, “#Eagles going through ball-security drills:” and the comments to follow ranged from calling the team or coaching staff “embarrassing” to commentary on how the Cowboys “broke them.

It can be assumed these drills were chosen in response to the performance on the field this past Sunday when the Eagles’ biggest names on the offensive side of the ball all let the ball slip out of their hands. Quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receivers Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown all had fumbles in the 13-33 loss to the Cowboys.


The Unexpected Padded Practice Also Brought On by Rookies Being Asked to Do More

Later Thursday evening, NFL insider John McMullen posted an article with the headline, “A rare admission that the #Eagles younger players need more work on technique and fundamentals – Eagles Add a Padded Practice Ahead of Seattle Seahawks Tilt: What’s Behind It?”

In the article McMullen makes it clear that players showed up Thursday expecting a walkthrough and instead they were asked to put on pads. He then has head coach Nick Sirianni quoted saying, ““We’re not locked into any schedule. Everything is fluid in attempts of getting better. I feel like here this is a chance for us to get better in the sense of we need to go out there and work on our fundamentals.”

Sirianni then focuses in on the team’s younger talent, saying, “I think it’s just one of those (things) that we looked and the mirror and said some of the young guys probably need a few more reps.”

Safety Sydney Brown and cornerback Kelee Ringo were two rookie defensive backs who saw a significant increase in snaps against the Cowboys due to several injuries on the defensive side of the ball. This change in regimen could be telling that more snaps for these rookies are incoming in Week 15 as well.

According to the most recent injury report, veteran cornerback Darius Slay is currently playing through a knee issue and starting free safety Reed Blankenship is still dealing with a concussion.


The Coaching Staff Still Has Time to Right the Ship

It’s looking more and more like the Eagles hot pursuit of All-Pro linbecker Shaq Leonard was a move of desperation more so than the rich getting richer. With the loss of Nakobe Dean in Week 9 along with these new injuries now, it’s apparent the Eagles defense is struggling. This makes it even more important for the offense to execute as they will have a slimmer margin of error, especially against the best teams in the NFL.

As it stands, this coaching staff has four games to right the ship before the playoffs. During that span they will face the Seattle Seahawks, who are nursing injury concerns of their own, and the struggling Arizona Cardinals. They’ll also face their inter-divisional rival, the New York Giants twice. Though no team in the NFL should be taken for granted, the Eagles really couldn’t ask for a better schedule to work through their respective offensive and defensive issues.

David Burleson covers the NFL for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Philadelphia Eagles. Residing in Orlando, FL, he covered sports for the West Orlando News before joining Heavy. More about David Burleson

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