Now Training Camp turns another corner, and what waits for the Eagles is special: An open-to-the-public practice at historic Franklin Field and a week spent with the New England Patriots.
Head coach Chip Kelly and the players will provide reviews of the preseason opener in Chicago, so rehashing what happened in the 34-28 loss just doesn't make a lot of sense right now. What you need to know is that the preseason amps up in a hurry, so let's preview the next week for the Eagles.
Sunday's open practice is the third for the fans, and it's going to have a nostalgic feel to it. Franklin Field marks the spot where the Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers in 1960 for the NFL Championship. The Eagles welcome back more than three dozen alums, including a handful from that 1960 team.
All 45,000 seats distributed were gobbled up in minutes, and the joint will be jumping for this training session. Midnight Green will overwhelm University City for the day as the Eagles get back on the field after Saturday's day off.
Following Sunday, the Eagles prepare for a first-time kind of preseason road trip. They leave for New England on Monday and start joint practices with the Patriots on Tuesday, leading into Friday night's preseason game No. 2.
It's going to be a telling week for the Eagles -- for the roster and for the coaching staff. This is a return engagement for both teams, as New England practiced at the NovaCare Complex last summer prior to the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field.
"It was good work against them and we'll have more of that this week," said wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. "It's going to be a good atmosphere and it's going to work out for everybody."
Last year's practices were noteworthy for a newly constructed defense that was thrown into the fire against star quarterback Tom Brady and Brady carved out some very successful practice sessions. From that point forward, the defense had a baseline from which to work and improve and correct mistakes.
Chicago is in the past and the first dip into the preseason water produced plenty of ups and otherwise. Now the preseason makes a much more serious and intense turn with a trip into the great history of this franchise first followed by an important week of work against one of the league's best teams.
Enjoy what's ahead. It's a special week on the preseason calendar.
LEFTOVERS FROM CHICAGO
- Donnie Jones picked up where he left off in 2013. He was sensational against Chicago, averaging 46.0 yards with a 41.6-yard net on five punts. Jones is just as rock solid as they come and his consistency is a huge part of the special teams plan this year. The Eagles, reminding you, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, blocked a field goal, recovered a fumble on a Chicago punt return and tackled very well on special teams. A good start, indeed.
- Alex Henery's kickoffs: 4 yards deep in end zone, touchback, 1 yard deep in end zone, 6 yards deep in end zone, touchback. Five kickoffs, two touchbacks and great coverage on the three that were returned.
- Chip Kelly meets the media prior to Sunday's practice at 11:45 AM and he will have the full menu of what really happened in Chicago after film review. We know that many players flashed, but sometimes those plays can be deceiving.