Philadelphia Eagles News

Doug Pederson Putting The Players Back In Pads This Week

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In head coach Doug Pederson's first press conference of 2018, he announced that the team would be going back in pads in preparation for the playoffs.

According to Pederson, the team will hold a padded-practice Wednesday afternoon and another similar practice sometime next week. While the padded practices will not include live tackling, he anticipates it will increase the on-field intensity level at the NovaCare Complex.

"It's a fine line but at the same time, this is something that the players want. It's not a punishment thing, it's not coming directly from me," said Pederson of the players' request to practice in pads. "I listen to my guys and I think they understand that there's a sense of physicality we're trying to get back to.

"Over the course of a few weeks when you've been in shells, pad level begins to rise, intensity sometimes can be minimized so you get back into pads. It sort of refocuses the guys just a little bit."

Thanks to the first-round bye, the Eagles will face either the Falcons, Saints, or Panthers in the Divisional Round pending the outcome of games this weekend. In preparation, this week's string of practices will be focused on situational football, season evaluation, and the early stages of preparation while the team will delve deeper into game-specific planning for its opponent next week.

Pederson utilized his experience as both as a player and as a coach to determine the practice schedule.

"Everybody's different. Some people give the entire week off. Others do meetings, some people just do walkthroughs. Some do shell, so everybody's different," Pederson said.

"I go back to my days when I played in Green Bay. There were times when coaches put us in pads for a day or for a practice during a bye (week). Just to kind of get everybody on the same page and so it's a little different for everybody but this is the decision I made and we'll stick with that."

A few players are not expected to be full participants in Wednesday's practice, including running back Jay Ajayi, defensive end Brandon Graham, and tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

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