Eagles' practice not slowed by summer storm

Posted: August 05, 2012

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The rain started before Saturday's afternoon practice, but the Eagles continued filing onto the field. They were going to try to outlast the summer storm.

It didn't work. Minutes after practice commenced, heavy rain descended onto Lehigh University's athletic fields, prompting coach Andy Reid to send his players back to the locker room. They changed into indoor shoes and practiced in Lehigh's field house, where the hard surface and compressed setting made for unusual practice conditions.

The team was still able to get some work in, although there were no field markers and players needed to be careful while running. During special-teams drills, an attempt to simulate a punt ricocheted off the rafters. It might have been good practice for Cowboys Stadium.

The Eagles had originally planned for a lighter practice than the preceding days, and they came outside in shells instead of full pads. Considering the original plan, the Eagles' afternoon was not entirely sullied, and there was still work accomplished.

"A lot," safety Nate Allen said. "Mostly mental. Sometimes, you get a bone tossed to you like this, so you take it. But we focused, and we're professionals out there, so we know what to do."

An optimistic player could even say it was a welcomed change of pace, considering the grind of recent days. The Eagles have also lucked out because this was the first practice affected by inclement weather. However, there has been rain - and even heavy storms - for many of the nights the team has camped at Lehigh.

Quote of the day

"This is by far the hardest camp since I've been an Eagle." - running back LeSean McCoy

Number of the day

Nine - the number of linebackers the Eagles have in camp. They traded two linebackers and replaced them with a cornerback and a defensive end. If the Eagles keep six linebackers, they will only need to cut three when the roster is trimmed to 53. That's a relatively small number compared to other position groups.

"The good thing is that it's three groups," defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said. "We usually only work with three groups, and lately we're just working with two groups."

Birds brains

The Eagles have a walk-through at 8:15 a.m. Sunday. Practice is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. The offensive linemen are scheduled to sign autographs following the afternoon practice. In the case of inclement weather, practice is moved inside and closed to the public.

Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.


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