There's a pretty big reason why the Eagles like playing for Doug Pederson.
So when the Eagles' player council came to him with the suggestion that they strap on the pads this week and have a tougher week of practice, Pederson obliged. It sort of fits into that emotional intelligence category. It's just the latest example of Pederson's willingness to listen and trust his players.
"They just came to me and kind of asked if we could get back into pads," Pederson said. "I didn't ask questions, and I said, ‘Sure.'"
Without a game this weekend, the Eagles will still practice twice this week and once with pads. This comes after a week in which the Eagles had just a couple of walkthroughs and one light practice day.
The Eagles will possibly put on pads one day next week as well.
Several players on the offensive side of the ball seem to think tougher practices might help them out of their funk (see story). The Eagles will practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
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Pederson noted that coaches handle this bye week in the playoffs differently. Some elect to give the team the week off, some have meetings, some do walkthroughs and some practice with shells.
During his playing days in Green Bay, Pederson remembers times when the coaches would get them in pads for a day of practice during that bye week. So when his players came to him and asked for it, he quickly gave them their wish.
"I think they understand that there is a sense of physicality that we have to get back to," Pederson said. "I'm not saying we're not there because obviously football is a physical game, but I think there is a sense over the course of a few weeks when you've been in shells, pad level begins to rise, and intensity sometimes can be minimized.
"So you get back into pads and it sort of refocuses the guys a little bit. It's not like we're going to tackle. It's not a training-camp-type of practice. The fact of just having them on, banging around on one another, but still protecting each other, I think can be a nice asset for us going into our first game."