With just three days of preparation, the style of football could be a little different than usual tonight, with certain pronounced advantages. One of them likely belongs to the offenses, who can function a little better than the defenses on short preparation. It doesn’t hurt that the Eagles have the second best offense in the league and the Texans’ is seventh.
“I’m biased but how could it not [give the advantage to the offense],” said Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. “Defense is a lot of recognition, so when you have time to study the film you go through four or five or six days sometimes to find that awareness of what they want to do out of this formation, that formation. Probably, at least in my mind, there’s a little bit of uneasiness when you go into a game of the unknown. When you haven’t had the opportunity to go back and look at it all, and then also it’s not what I know, it’s what our guys know.”
McDermott also mentioned that while the coaches may be able to get through all of the preparation by working longer hours, the players just don’t have as much time to spend in the film room. It’s a little extra frustrating to have the short week come after a bad performance in Chicago, although there’s an upside there as well.
“You’d like a lot more time to correct mistakes,” McDermott said. “Sometimes, and a few years ago when we lost to Baltimore like we did and things went down, it worked in our favor because you can get back on there and kind of forget about it and move forward.”
McDermott was referencing the Eagles’ 2008 season when they lost 36-7 in Baltimore before bouncing back on a Thursday night with a 48-20 win over the Cardinals. Nate Allen, for one, is hoping for a similar outcome tonight to quickly erase the memory of the defeat in Chicago.
“Yeah, that’s tough,” Allen said of playing so soon. “But it’s also good too, because you’re playing right away and it gets your mind off the past game. But like you said we’re cramming a lot in, you know three or four days of practice into two days, so it just takes a lot of extra time from us.”
While the vast majority of players in Philadelphia and around the league don’t like playing Thursday night games, safety Quintin Mikell isn’t in that group.
“I personally don’t mind it, because it’s less about the scheme and it’s more, like I was saying, going back to stuff that we have done since the beginning of training camp,” Mikell said. “It’s more about just playing football and letting us play. I think that’s fun, man.
“It’s going to be about just playing ball. Put a hat on a hat, go out there and tackle well, get off blocks, and maybe we will see something that they haven’t shown, but I want to play ball, so that’s what I look at it as.”
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