FOXBORO, Mass. – This is a special week for Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, a native of New England and a former long-time season-ticket holder of the Patriots. He spoke prior to Tuesday's joint practice with the Patriots about his memories of watching the team's Training Camp at Bryant College and of his days growing up a fan of the team.
But now, of course, Lurie's interests are solely focused on what's happening with his Eagles. He's here to watch the teams as they lead into Friday's second preseason game (7:30 PM kickoff, 6abc).
"I just think you learn a lot practicing against other teams," said Lurie. "It's up to the coaches and it's up to Chip. He leads the way. There are two theories: One, you don't really gain anything (with joint practices) and two, you gain a lot. Chip (Kelly, head coach) feels we gain a lot.
"I thought it worked out great in Philly. It was great seeing some of the players on the Pats as well and I think it's great to see you going against players that you can't predict their movements. It's better to evaluate your own team at times. I think Chip and the coaches and Howie (Roseman, general manager) and everybody will learn a lot watching us trying to defend Tom Brady and go against a good defense."
The Eagles have come a long way since the joint practices of 2013, held at the NovaCare Complex. Lurie had a sense at that time that the Eagles were on the right path.
"We had a good, young team and I thought that the Patriots were pretty awesome," said Lurie. "We were in a much different spot three months later and that's what you want in the NFL. It's not about what you've done in these practices. It's about what you have done in December and January.
"You could tell about halfway though (the 2013 season) that we were a good, young team."