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Eagles' Early-Season Sprint Nearly Over

Posted Sep 16, 2013

One of the biggest storylines for the Eagles in the early part of this season is how they must play their first three games in a span of 11 days. Monday marked day eight of that stretch. Two games are in the books. The Eagles can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, as Thursday night’s primetime matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs draws closer.

Players admitted that it is a somewhat of a challenge, but that the Chiefs have to face the same task. Guard Todd Herremans pointed out that in each of the three games the Eagles’ opponent has been faced with the exact same amount of time to prepare.

“It’s tough but they are in the same boat as we are,” Herremans said. “(Kansas City) played on Sunday too. It’s not like they had any more time off than us, and it’s been like that the last three weeks. When we played San Diego, they played on Monday night too the week before, so it’s not like we’re going against a team that has more time to rest or prepare than us.”

For veterans like Connor Barwin and Jason Avant, it is clear that playing all of these games so close together certainly takes its toll. But Barwin is looking at the bright side of things, while Avant is focusing on the mental aspect of preparation. 

“I’m happy that we’re doing this at the beginning of the season,” Barwin said smiling. “If we were trying to get three games (in 11 days) in weeks 12, 13 and 14, I don’t know if you could do it, but I think we’re fine because it’s only the third game of the year. We’ve only played two games, so I think we’ll be fine by Thursday night.”

“You try to back off a little bit when it comes to certain types of practices,” Avant explained. “The game Thursday will be won mentally, by who prepares the best as far as classroom work. Both teams are going to back off on the legs a little bit. You just have to be more prepared, prepared for their looks even if you don't see it in practice. You've got to be willing to take the time out and examine what they do.”

Meanwhile, the three-game stretch is also an incredibly helpful tool for the rookies on the team as they become more adjusted to playing at the professional level.

“This is going to be a great experience for a lot of guys who are new to the NFL,” said linebacker Trent Cole. “This is going to prepare you for the future when you have short (weeks) like this. They know this is kind of a mayday time to recover and fix the mistakes that you had in the game as quickly as you can and do it in a timely manner.”

Though not a rookie, Brandon Boykin is a young player who is becoming accustomed to receiving more and more playing time as his career moves forward. Boykin is not only up for the challenge, but that he enjoys having less downtime.

“I feel good,” said Boykin. “I actually love short weeks and being able to get right back out there. I wouldn’t say that I wish they were every week. From a physical standpoint it hurts, but from a mental standpoint it keeps you fresh and keeps you focused and it’s exciting to be able to play (right away).”

If the Eagles can come out with a win on Thursday night, they would move over the .500 mark and come out of this grueling early season test with a 2-1 record. Safety Kurt Coleman says that in order for that to happen, the Eagles have to do everything necessary to stay focused.

“It’s a very short turnaround,” said Coleman. “There are a lot of mental things that you have to do to break it down, but the great thing about it is that the other team is going through the same process that we are, so it’s not like one team has an advantage and the other team doesn’t. We’re all going through the same thing.

“For us, it’s all about staying prepared mentally, because physically you’ve got to get your body turned around as fast as possible… I’m excited because it is a short turnaround week for us we can’t really think about what we did (against San Diego). We just have to learn and grow from it and go out there and play hard.”

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