The guys were pretty excited to have practice end early Monday because of the weather. It's surprising, but when you get lightning out there you have to be safe. I'd say it's dreary weather, but I was born in Tacoma, Washington so I'm kind of used to it. I felt pretty good on Friday against the Steelers. I only got to play a short bit, but right when we got in the swing of things and started to gel out there they took us out. That's preseason though and hopefully we'll play a few more snaps on Thursday and keep building towards September.
With the speaker in the helmet, at the end of the day, it's just getting the signals in. It's nothing too crazy. I think we were ironing some kinks out. We ended up changing the headset that Jim Johnson was using. We went from a wired set to a wireless. I could hear better on the wireless. I was picking up a lot more crowd noise on the wired set. I don't know if it was the headset, but I couldn't hear a whole lot so they changed it. With the hand signals, the corners can stay out, away from the huddle which cuts down their running time a little bit. But now that there are no signals, they can't see what defense is being called so they have to come in the huddle. It's going to be a little adjustment period I think for those guys out there.
The Steelers definitely had some different runs and looks than we've seen during training camp. That's kind of what the preseason is about. We're not too worried about game planning versus opponents. We keep things pretty simple, especially so the young guys can get in there and kind of just play and not have to worry too much about the game plan. It was an adjustment, but I think after that first series we adjusted well the next couple series we were in.
I felt pretty good out there. There were definitely some different looks, but I felt I moved around pretty good. The legs weren't the most fresh because we have such a tough training camp, but I felt good. The legs will come, but I think you just want to get out there and make some plays, kind of knock the rust off as far as being in game situations. As much as we try to simulate it in practice, you can't accurately simulate a game unless you're in a game. That's why we have it and I'm excited to get through with the preseason and getting started with the season.
You can't play football evaluating each play during the game. You go back to the film room after the game but you have to have a short memory, whether it is a good play or a bad play. If you dwell on it too much, either way, then your next play is not going to be that great. Obviously, if you miss an assignment or blow an assignment then you go on the sideline and correct it but as far as "was that a good play or a bad play" you don't get too analytical in the game.
You always make mistakes and there are always things you can improve on, but as far as understanding schemes and what the defense is about I have a pretty good grasp of it. From the guys I've talked to, the Eagles defense is one of the most complicated. I am not speaking from experience because this is the only defense I have ever learned. But that's what I've heard from free agents and other people I know around the league. We obviously trim it down for games but when we install at camp there is a lot of info. It was a big jump from Nebraska last year to the Eagles. It was definitely an increase in the amount of stuff we had to know, but that's why it's the NFL, right?