PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After a 3-0 start, the Eagles were forced to go on vacation. They can’t wait to get back to work.
The Eagles two-week wait for kickoff will end on Sunday when they take on the Lions in Detroit. Some believe the bye week came too early for a team which flied out of the starting gate at 3-0. However, the Eagles have made the best of their situation, and Head Coach Doug Pederson is pleased with how quickly his team got back into football mode.
“I think they really handled it well this week,” said Pederson. “Energy has been great all week long at practice. It’s been very spirited, which you love seeing coming off the bye. They’re excited, obviously, for where we are but by no means are they satisfied with just being 3-0.”
To get to 4-0, the Eagles will look to beat a Lions’ squad that has stumbled to a 1-3 start. Detroit’s offense has struggled without Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson, who opted for retirement during the off-season. However, Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod knows Detroit Quarterback Matthew Stafford is more than capable of putting up big numbers against any defense in the NFL.
“Matthew Stafford does a great job,” McLeod said. “He’s an experienced quarterback who can pretty much make all the throws.”
Pederson decided to take a page out of Andy Reid’s playbook. The former Eagles head coach was notorious for having his team ready after a bye week, and Perderson adopted some of Reid’s tactics to deal with the week away from football.
“I think the number one thing is he has allowed his players and coaches to kind of get away from the building and get away from football,” said Pederson. “It’s sort of what you do after OTAs. You kind of get away so you can get fresh for training camp. It’s kind of that same mentality.”
The Eagles believe they have the right mentality going forward. The players aren’t expecting any type of post-bye week drop-off, and McLeod believes the mentality has remained the same on the practice field.
“I think guys have handled it like a regular week,” McLeod said. “Everybody’s focused. The preparation has been the same as it has been. The guys are out there flying around, and that’s what’s allowed us to win these past three games.”