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First-Team Offense Pleased With Tempo


The Eagles' first-team offense was only on the field for two possessions during Sunday's 36-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts, but in that period of time, they played at their typical regular season tempo, using a fast break-style attack to keep the Colts back on their heels.

After a quick three-and-out on their first drive of the afternoon, the Eagles regrouped and came out firing on their second drive of the game. In just two minutes and 33 seconds of game time, the Eagles rattled off eight plays, covering 58 yards and ending with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez to Nelson Agholor.

For Sanchez, getting back into the speed of the game was simple after weeks of training at their usual pace.

"That was great, and it's what we've been seeing in practice," Sanchez said. "Our speed is really an advantage for us. It makes it fun and it makes it tough on the other team, so we have to continue to be in great shape and maintain our good conditioning and then go out and play well and make good decisions."

It wasn't all pretty for the Eagles' first-team attack. There were certainly some missed opportunities, which is to be expected in the first preseason game of the season, but Sanchez, who went 2-for-7 for 52 yards and touchdown, knows that there's plenty of room for improvement.

"We got the win," Sanchez said. "I thought we took care of the ball okay. There were a couple of throws and things that I know some of the guys want back and we don't want to turn it over. You'd like to be clean that way, but we'll let the coaches grade it out. Obviously a win is big, and we'll just move on from here."

The #Eagles took the field on Sunday for their first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. View the full gallery here...

At certain points of Sunday's game, the Eagles were moving at a pace too fast for even the officials. At times, the Eagles had to wait as the officials spotted the ball and prepared for the next play.

"I thought we were rolling," Sanchez said. "A couple plays in there, we were set and almost hiking the ball before those guys were even lined up. They were still going through their calls and stuff. That's the kind of tempo we want to be at and I know we can do it even faster. That's on the quarterbacks."

Jason Kelce also got a first-hand look at how fast the offense was moving, agreeing with Sanchez that they could have worked even quicker.

"We'd like to go faster but the (officials) weren't really letting us go any faster today," Kelce said. "That's kind of the nature of the beast sometimes in this league. When you're going at tempo you kind of have to go with the pace that the referee dictates sometimes."

Despite having to ease off of the gas pedal at times, Kelce did see a lot of good signs from the offense on Sunday, specifically along the offensive line, where Andrew Gardner took first-team snaps at right guard.

"Obviously, the first drive didn't go the way we wanted it to, but I thought we moved the ball well on the second drive," Kelce said. "I think we did what we wanted to do. We put points up on the board and moved the ball effectively. For the first preseason game, I think that was a pretty good start.

"I'll have to go back and look at the tape, but it seemed like the communication was good. We didn't really get into anything too exotic today, so it was pretty much straightforward. I think the group that was out there today did a good job of working together and communicating."

While some NFL teams struggle to pick up where they left off a season before when it comes to getting back into the swing of game action, the Eagles seem to have no such troubles.

According to Jordan Matthews, it all has to do with how effectively and rapidly the team trains on a daily basis.

"We're in game tempo every day," said Matthews. "Our walkthrough is game tempo. The game slows down after practicing the way we practice, that's why I think all the guys embrace the offense so much.

"It's a great thing when you're able to practice at a high level to a point where you come out for the game and the game seems slow to you. Then, it's just you out there figuring out how to get open and then making plays. I love every second of it."

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