Is Nick Sirianni making sweeping changes to the way the Philadelphia Eagles conduct business? No, not really. But the minor tweaks the first-year head coach has made so far have been impactful. He’s pushed all the right buttons.
On Friday, Sirianni caused a stir when he took the Eagles across the street to practice at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s an unusual occurrence for the team to get reps on their home turf outside of training camp, but Sirianni had a solid reasoning for the unorthodox move. He wanted the guys to experience the nuances of the stadium, things like how the wind gusts affect the kicker and quarterback, and how the receivers and defensive backs see the ball. Smart.
“Just the surroundings of being there getting ready,” Sirianni said. “Just practicing, executing plays in that stadium. I do really believe – is it a huge difference? Not a huge difference. Even if it’s that much, it’s worth our time to go over there.”
The one-time wide receivers coach credited his time in Kansas City for the idea. Arrowhead Stadium was close to the practice facility, so sometimes Todd Haley would put them under the bright lights.
“The other thing is that’s our home field,” Sirianni said. “If you get eight games or ten games at that stadium, imagine how much more it feels like your home than when you’re 20 games. So put a lot of thought into that.”
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Rodney McLeod Out, Three Players Limited
Rodney McLeod has been ruled out for Week 2 as he continues to rehab from ACL surgery. The Eagles kept him off injured reserve in the hope he’d be ready for the season opener. He wasn’t. Making matters worse, backup strong safety Marcus Epps suffered a concussion last week and still hasn’t been cleared to return. Sirianni expects a final decision on Epps on Saturday. If he can’t go, K’Von Wallace will likely draw the start.
“I feel good about our secondary. They played a good game,” Sirianni said. “They’ve been practicing well in the past. They’ve had a good week of practice this week, so I’m really confident in them.”
Receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (ankle) and right guard Brandon Brooks (knee) were also limited at Friday’s practice. Neither player was ruled out for Sunday. And tight end Zach Ertz (hamstring) was a full participant.
NFL Debut for Rookie Landon Dickerson?
Second-round pick Landon Dickerson (knee) was another full participant at practice. The team might need him for offensive line depth after placing swing tackle Le’Raven Clark on injured reserve. Guard/tackle Kayode Awosika was protected and center Harry Crider was added to the practice squad.
Dickerson – the Rimington Trophy winner at Alabama – was drafted to be the future center for the Eagles assuming Jason Kelce retires. He had been recovering from season-ending ACL surgery and just came off the PUP list on Aug. 30. The Eagles plan to cross-train him at other positions and there’s a chance he could make his NFL debut on Sunday in a reserve role. Dickerson could see snaps on special teams, too.
“We’ll hold that close to us, just for right now,” Sirianni said of Dickerson’s status.