Philadelphia Eagles News

Reid, Coaches Roll With The Now

Reid, along with honorary coaches Juan Castillo and Bobby April, were on hand on Tuesday inside the NovaCare Complex practice bubble as part of the Philadelphia Eagles City High School All-Star Game, the second year the Eagles have presented a game that is nearly into its fourth decade in Philadelphia. It was a chance for the coaches and the organization to go back to the roots at the high school level, where 100 of the very best in the city gathered for a light practice preparing for Saturday's game at Lincoln Financial Field.

It's a big deal to the Eagles, who rescued the game from financial challenges last year and who have it a gala event, complete with a banquet at Lincoln Financial Field, snazzy uniforms, and the opportunity for the young men to stage the city's premier high school football event on the very field on which the Eagles play.

While there has been no on-field practice activity for the Eagles, the team has been deeply immersed in the community, as usual, with events like Wednesday's intended to make a lifetime impact.

What a thrill it was, then, as Reid addressed both teams prior to their practice. And don't you think the kids will remember forever having Castillo and April as the honorary coaches, and having the chance to see director of player programs and former Eagles wide receiver great Harold Carmichael on the sidelines shaking hands with that shovel of a right hand he has?

It was a great event, and it has been a special time for the kids and their families.

For the Eagles coaches, well, it was a pleasant respite. All of them are anxious to get back to normalcy and work with the players and prepare for the 2011 season. That isn't reality right now. So instead of moaning about the situation and worrying about the loss of practice reps and quality study time, the coaches are preparing the best they can.

The good coaches move on in every kind of situation. They don't lament what they can't control. And Reid knows as well as anyone that he has an agenda that he can dictate, and one that he cannot manage. The labor strife in the league affects everyone.

Until it is settled, and both sides are on the same page and under contract, the best coaching staffs concentrate on improving what they can right now.

Reid, for instance, said that he and his staff are scripting out their plans for training camp. Nobody knows what form camp will have and when it will open, so Reid has to be flexible. There is the very real possibility that teams will have limited practice time and a very narrow window during which to evaluate personnel prior to the start of the regular season.

Reid and his coaches have to prepare for every scenario. So during these days when there are no players around, and no contact with players is permitted, the coaches still have meetings, still strategize and still prepare.

"When it's time to go," said Reid to a small number of reporters, "it's going to be time to go. So you have to be ready for when that time comes."

The Eagles, said Reid, have their plan in place for the third phase of the offseason, free agency and the trade route. They know the areas they want to address and they have a strategy to do so.

Now, though, and for the next few weeks at least, there is only so much the Eagles can accomplish to impact the roster. There are a lot of unknowns out there.

Reid and his coaches, then, are spending their time wisely as Day 63 of the work stoppage passed. They are exercising their brain power and plotting the X's and O's portion of the season. And then there are times like they had with some talented high school seniors, providing a platform for success in the future, imparting some wisdom the young men are likely to never forget.

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