By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One day after holding an open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles were back at the Novacare Complex on Sunday.
With an off-day looming on Monday, the team went through a workout in pads. Much of the talk centered around the offense and how the players are buying into Chip Kelly’s system. However, Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur says there is still plenty of room for improvement with two preseason games remaining.
“I’m looking at it from the detailed end of things,” said Shurmur. “We made plenty of mistakes. We are doing some good things we can build on but when you turn the ball over twice and you have the penalties that we had in the first half, we all know you can’t score enough points. I’d like to say, we left a lot of meat on the bone.”
Even with Shurmur’s concerns about the offense, the players appear committed to making the system work. Offensive Lineman Todd Herremans agrees with Shurmur concerning the ability of the offense to get better, but he also believes the improvement will come as the preseason continues to progress.
“We definitely know we need to cut our turnovers down,” Herremans said. “There’s still a lot to work on, but I think we’re heading in a good direction. Everybody’s buying in, and we’ll see how this week goes.”
The Eagles will play their next preseason game on Saturday in Jacksonville. Chip Kelly likely won’t decide on his player rotation for the game until Monday, and either Michael Vick or Nick Foles could get the start at quarterback. Foles says he and Vick are helping each other even as they battle for the starting spot under center.
“Mike’s very talented,” said Foles. “He’s able to make plays with his feet. I think that him and I just have to keep working and pushing each other. We’re making each other better each and every day. All of the quarterbacks are all working together.”
Rookie Matt Barkley appears to be set for third string duty as Vick and Foles battle for the top spot. While Barkley won’t be under center when the Eagles open the regular season, Shurmur says the rookie is making great strides in his first NFL preseason action.
“He’s made great strides,” Shurmur said. “I think when you notice Matt, I think the truth can be said about his work in the games. As he settled down, he played better, so I think it’s just a matter of him playing more and more and more.”
After Monday’s off-day, the Eagles will be back at the Novacare Complex the rest of the week.