PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For once, the Eagles get to see someone other than a teammate across the field.
The Miami Dolphins arrived in South Philadelphia Monday to begin a series of joint practices with the Eagles. The two teams had a practice in pads on Monday and will have a lighter workout on Tuesday. For players such as cornerback Jalen Mills, the joint workouts provided a nice change of pace from the monotony of the preseason.
“You kind of get tired of beating up on the same guys and going against each other,” said Mills. “I feel like it’s really good that we’re going against the Miami Dolphins. The have a nice, solid group and a nice quarterback who can throw the ball.”
The man throwing the ball with the first stringers for Miami was Jay Cutler, who was recently signed by the team after a season-ending injury to Ryan Tannehill. One Eagle who is quite familiar with the Dolphins’ receivers is Ronald Darby, who spent his first two seasons in Buffalo. Darby and the Bills played their division rivals twice a year and the cornerback was happy to tune up for the season by seeing the Miami receivers again in practice.
“It’s pretty fun,” Darby said. “It’s great competition. They have great receivers so it helps when you are working on your technique.”
The pads were on for both teams Monday, but there were no live periods. However, both teams were warned by their coaches to avoid any scrums after the whistles. Both the Eagles and Dolphins made it through practice without any incidents. Rookie defensive end Derek Barnett enjoyed the competition and said there were no issues with he and his teammates keeping their tempers in check.
“We’re all out here trying to get better,” said Barnett. “We’re not trying to fight or get anybody hurt, but it’s football. Sometimes, it happens and it gets a little chippy but at the end of the day, we’re just trying to get better as a team and I’m sure they are as well.”
One of the Dolphins looking to improve is Byron Maxwell. The cornerback is one of several former Eagles on the Miami roster along with safety Nate Allen and linebacker Kiko Alonso. Maxwell struggled in the secondary during his time in Philadelphia, but the cornerback said he learned from his experience with the Eagles.
Still, Maxwell admitted he wanted to prove a point to his former team.
“I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t want to do better than the Eagles do,” Maxwell said. “I do. I want to win more games than them and I want to prove them wrong.”