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Bringing the heat: Eagles to hold joint practices with Dolphins

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

Look for some late-summer intensity as the Eagles close their 2022 preseason schedule against Miami on August 27 as the team will conduct joint practices with the Dolphins there in the days leading up to that final game before the regular season begins.

As they have done in recent years, including a 2017 visit from Miami at the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles will work against the Dolphins at their facility prior to the preseason finale. Last summer, the Eagles hosted New England for joint practices and then went to the Jets' facility to conduct two days of practices against New York prior to preseason games against each team.

With three preseason games on the schedule again in 2022, the Eagles will use the practice reps to further evaluate their personnel and their schemes, as they did last summer.

"It's real good learning for our guys, because we really didn't game plan, per se," Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon said as the team worked against New England last summer. "Just go out and, 'Hey, this is our system, these are our rules, you have to apply them and see if we can function.' It will be good to get on a tape and watch with our guys and make some corrections with them."

The practices bring with them intensity, a very real sense of purpose, and different faces against whom to work against for a few days. That's important after seeing the same teammates through the first few weeks of Training Camp.

"It's a competitive game and we take things like that as a challenge," quarterback Jalen Hurts said last summer during the New England week. "We try to challenge ourselves every day to do it right, play at a high level, and we're obviously getting new looks, a different opponent. We just wanted to execute and I think it was good.

"You have to be optimistic about it all. It's about how you see it. It's a glass half-empty, or is it full? Every opportunity we have to get out there, whether it's the same looks we're getting or different looks, are we executing? Are we doing the things we need to do? I talk about a positive and a negative on every play. Regardless of the look they give us, we have to respond the right way offensively and make a positive play out of it. It's simply doing your job."

There is a lot to gain from the joint practices and the coaching staff and players know that and treat the work with the highest focus and preparation. Seeing New England's changing defensive fronts last summer, for example, helped the Eagles' offensive line gain cohesion and, as we saw during the regular season when the team led the NFL in rushing and established itself as one of the best groups in the NFL, that work against an unfamiliar opponent paid off.

"Somebody has a different defensive scheme, they run a lot of games up front, so set lines change, angles change, and it really gets your football team ready for something different," right tackle Lane Johnson said. "That's what these practices are all about."

That's going to be the case in late August as the Eagles put in some hard practice work in the intense Florida heat and humidity ahead of the final preseason game against the Dolphins. After that, it's on to the regular season and a September 11 opener in Detroit. Having those extra days with Miami will pay off in a lot of ways as the Eagles sharpen themselves and make their final roster evaluations before reducing the squad to 53 players.

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