By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles called Franklin Field home from 1958-1970. On Sunday, the Eagles returned for a nostalgic practice at the site of their last NFL championship.
The team went through a workout at Franklin Field, with a host of former Eagles in attendance. While the Eagles got down to business when it was time for practice, Chip Kelly reminded his players about the team’s tradition before they took the field.
“They’re aware of it,” said Jelly. “We always talk about the tradition of what the Philadelphia Eagles are all about. Obviously, the turnout you have here is awesome. To play in a special place like this is neat for them to understand the history of the team.”
Approximately 28,000 fans showed up at Franklin Field to watch the Eagles practice. They also saw former players such as Tommy McDonald, Pete Retzlaff, Harold Carmichael and Chuck Bednarik walk onto the field for a special ceremony before practice. It was a ceremony which didn’t go unnoticed by all of the current players, including rookie Jordan Matthews.
“These are some historic guys,” Matthews said. “Chuck Bednarik has his own award named after him, so that’s pretty historic right there. I spent a lot of time with Harold. I call him ‘Coach Carmichael’ because he’s always in the building. It’s great to see the fans and how they react to those guys.”
Many of the Eagles first learned about the team’s Franklin Field tradition just before they arrived at the stadium. Quarterback Nick Foles enjoyed every minute of his Franklin Field experience and showed his respect to the former players.
“It was awesome,” said Foles. “It was really an honor for us to be practicing here with so much history and so many great Eagles players here watching us. It was really a blessing.”
After their practice at Franklin Field was complete, Foles and his teammates turned their attention to the upcoming week, which will feature three days of practices with the Patriots in New England.
“We’re going to go against someone else,” Foles said. “That will be great for us to see a different defense in a practice setting. We can continue to grow our younger guys and for our older guys, we can continue to clean up things.”
The Eagles practiced without pads and will have a walk through Monday before traveling to New England. Riley Cooper returned to practice after missing time with a foot injury.
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