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Spadaro: How will Eagles contend with Dolphins' No. 1-ranked offense?

Haason Reddick
Haason Reddick

Prime time returns to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday and it's going to be an incredible scene as the Eagles break out the Kelly Green helmets and jerseys as the 5-1 Miami Dolphins come to town.

Get ready for a very, very intense scene.

The players? They've put the loss to the Jets in the rear-view mirror and they are focused on Miami. Here is a trip around the locker room to check on the pulse of the players ...

Nakobe Dean: Defense has to play its game

It's no secret: The Eagles' defense has its work cut out for itself against a Miami offense averaging more than 37 points per game. The Dolphins are a threat every time they have the ball.

"I have all the respect for Miami and what they are doing on offense," linebacker Nakobe Dean said. "They're first in the league in passing and in rushing. They lead the NFL in scoring. They have so much speed and a lot of weapons.

"We just have to play our game. This isn't a track meet. It's football and we know we have to follow our assignments and communicate with all the motions and things they do. It's a challenge and we have to be ready everywhere on the field. We know what we can do so let's just go out there and play hard and have fun."

DeVonta Smith: Reunions aren't the story; winning is what matters

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith has spent the week preparing for Miami and recovering from a hamstring injury that limited his time on the practice field, but he is determined to play at his usual high level. He has also embraced the addition of Julio Jones, a legend from his days at Alabama and, of course, his brilliant NFL career.

"It's great. I had a couple of times when I worked out with him when he used to come back to Alabama," Smith said. "It's amazing just being able to pick his brain, things like that. Having more time with him, being everyday now."

There is also the story of Miami coming to town and with that, some of his former Alabama teammates, notably quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Smith looks forward to seeing his former teammates, but that isn't his focus.

"It's going to be fun, man," he said. "It's always when you see those guys and get to talk to them. Ultimately, we're going out here to win."

Get your first glimpse of the Kelly Green helmets on the field. Plus, Julio Jones participated in his first full practice as an Eagle on Thursday.

Darius Slay: He's 'Cheetah' for a reason

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is having an outstanding season – he leads the NFL with 42 receptions and 814 yards along with 6 touchdowns. Amazing stuff. And deserved, says cornerback Darius Slay.

"Great player. Fast, runs good routes, can do it all," Slay said. "He's 'Cheetah,' man. A weapon and they do a good job getting him the football and letting him do his thing."

What do the Eagles do against Hill and Waddle and the No. 1-ranked offense? We will see on Sunday night, of course. Slay relishes the test.

"Every week it's a challenge and that's why we're here," he said. "That offense is something that has been putting up big numbers, up and down the field. We have a plan and we have to go out and execute it. That's our job."

Haason Reddick: On a tear and feeling great about it

Only a few weeks ago, Haason Reddick stood in the locker room after taking off the cast he had been wearing on his thumb after having preseason surgery and said he looked forward to playing "free and like myself now that I'm able to use two hands."

Well, he's been on a flat-out quarterback sack spree in the last three games with 5.5 of them and he now has 28 quarterback pressures and 8 quarterback hits on the season.

"I feel great out there. I'm just doing what I've always done – playing hard, determined, having fun, and feel like I can't be denied," Reddick said. "That never changes. But with two hands, there is so much more I can do – it's hard to get to the quarterback or make tackles with one hand free and the other one in a cast. I just want to stay on this roll and do what I can do to help us win games.

"It's not about me. I think the whole defense is coming together and we know that on Sunday we've got a big job. This is going to be a fun game, a great atmosphere."

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