Brandon Graham called it the “elephant in the room.”
He was talking about the Eagles’ shoddy practice habits, and on Wednesday Graham came out and said one of the reasons the Eagles haven’t been disciplined, sharp or efficient on game day is because they haven’t been disciplined, sharp or efficient at practice.
“Some of the stuff that’s showing up out there, we’re just being real with ourselves, is happening in practice,” B.G. said. “Jumping offsides, pre-snap penalties, false starts, people dropping balls, us not getting off the rock.”
Graham said the players spoke after the Giants game and early in the week amongst themselves about the need to practice better in order to play better.
On Friday, Doug Pederson said the team has done a good job this week of sharpening its practice habits and addressing the issues Graham outlined.
“I thought this week in practice, the energy’s been extremely high, and the players know that how we practice is how we are going to play on game day and they know they have to clean some things up and a lot of it’s been addressed with the pre-snap penalties and things like that,” Pederson said.
“They’ve done a nice job on that and they’ve contained themselves a little bit, they’ve focused in a little bit this week, they’re talking about it, they’re talking about it with their position groups.”
The Eagles committed 11 penalties in their loss to the Giants this past Sunday, and with 56 penalties this year they’re the 11th-most penalized team in the NFL
Pederson said his role is to be supportive of the players while making sure they understand the importance of developing positive practice habits.
“Not sort of beating them down with it but just communicating, having a nice conversation with them, just to reiterate the fact that guys we’ve got to take care of the business,” he said.
The Eagles, 3-5-1, face the 6-3 Browns Sunday afternoon in Cleveland. It’s the first of a five-game stretch against teams with a combined 33-14 record.
“I don’t mind guys making mistakes in practice,” Pederson said. “That’s where we need to make mistakes, right? But that’s where they have to stop and you can’t carry that mistakes over into the football game and so that’s what the guys have done this week. It’s been a good week.”
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