PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — These are not the days of Dick Vermeil or Buddy Ryan at West Chester. These are not even the days of Andy Reid at Lehigh. The NFL’s latest version of training camp is a kinder, gentler one than in years past.
The different approach by coaches coupled the league’s CBA agreement with its players has lessened the contact in camps. Gone are the days of hard-hitting two-a-days, and players are enjoying more scheduled days off. However, Eagles Cornerback Cary Williams says the intensity remains at training camp.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Williams. “The system that we’re in is fast-paced each and every down. It’s tough, so as far as I’m concerned, it feels dang near the same with the tempo. You feel just as tired as you were in a two-a-day.”
Cornerback Nolan Carroll spent the past four seasons in Miami. He says the intensity has clearly picked up in practice recently and can see the difference between the tempo used by the Eagles as compared to the Dolphins.
“It’s been an intense couple of practices,” Carroll said. “This has really been the first time in a long time I’ve really been a part of an intense group like this where guys are just going 100 miles an hour. We all have a vision of what we want to do.”
The change in practice rules also leads to a more cautious approach with injuries. Wide Receiver Riley Cooper remained sidelined with a foot injury, but Chip Kelly said Cooper should be back in a couple of days. Other players such as Defensive Lineman Bennie Logan aren’t rushing back from their injuries, and Logan is confident he’ll be ready to go once his hamstring is completely recovered.
“I can’t put a time schedule on when I will be 100% ready,” said Logan. “Whenever I’ll be ready to go, I’ll be ready. I won’t look like I’m behind. It’s a hamstring injury. If you rush it, you could prolong your time out even more.”
The Eagles have an off-day scheduled for Saturday. It is another opportunity for players to rest up during the grind of training camp, but Williams would just as soon be on the field.
“I don’t know if we look forward to them,” Williams said. “Coach is always emphasizing getting better each and every day and preparing like it’s your last day.”
The Eagles will be back at practice on Sunday as they hold their second public practice at Lincoln Financial Field.
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