PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two days after their head coach was fired, the Philadelphia Eagles attempted a return to normalcy.
The Eagles had another day of practice on New Year’s Eve, which was the second under Interim Head Coach Pat Shurmur. For Shurmur, the task at hand is to try and block out the fallout from the Kelly firing and have his team focus on the season finale on Sunday against the Giants. Shurmur was impressed with the way his players have practiced over the past two days.READ MORE: Officials Investigating Gas Explosion Inside Home In South Philadelphia
“It felt to me a little bit when we started practice like the first day after you cut down to the 53,” said Shurmur. “You guys have all been out here and seen practice where it’s a little bit weird. Some of the faces are not there, and so it started, in my opinion, a little slow, but by the end, they were all ripping and roaring and it looked like a normal day. I give the guys credit. They handled it in a very professional way.”
Players have been dealing with questions about their former coach ever since Kelly was fired Tuesday night. Linebacker Connor Barwin understands why Kelly is still on the minds of many, but insists it has been all business for the players once they get on the field for practice.
“Practice was fairly normal,” Barwin said. “I think we’re kind of doing everything the way we did before. Chip is missing, but everything else is the same. We’re just kind of doing what we normally do.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Police ID Suspect In Deadly Shooting Of Temple Student Samuel Collington
The players aren’t the only ones who have to keep their focus. Shurmur’s future is uncertain as the Eagles get set to finish out the season. He could be out of a job after Sunday’s game, or he could be on the list of candidates to replace Kelly. Shurmur says he will focus on the future after Sunday’s game.
“My focus is on Sunday,” said Shurmur. “We all know change is in the air and we’ll just have to kind of talk about those decisions as we move forward. I’m certainly excited to help finish out this year. It’s very unfortunate that Mr. Lurie felt like a change was necessary, but we’re going to do what we can to play the Giants”.
Sunday’s game against the Giants is meaningless as far as playoff implications. Both teams were knocked out last Saturday when the Redskins beat the Eagles at the Linc. Shurmur reminded his players of the importance of pride as the Eagles look to avoid their tenth loss of the season.MORE NEWS: FDA Panel Narrowly Votes To Recommend Merck's COVID-19 Pill
“We’re going to do what we have to do to win the game,” Shurmur said. “I wouldn’t give you the details of my message to the team, but basically I just told the team that we’re all very proud, competitive guys and men making a living. We’re just coaching and playing a game that we’ve loved since we were a kid. It’s very important to show respect for ourselves, for our teammates, for our organization and for the game itself to go out and fight tooth-and-nail and try to beat the Giants, and that’s the reality of it.”