On the very first full day of training camp back on July 26th, I timed the Eagles' hurry-up session, from the whistle on one play until the time the offense was legally set on the next.
The times that day, in seconds: 13.7, 12.4, 9.8, 12.7, 13.3, 15.4, 9.8, 11.7. That was an average of 12.35 seconds, which was very impressive for the first day of camp.
23 days later, the Eagles' hurry-up in practice is faster. During those same drills today, I timed them at an average closer to around 10 seconds. Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur agreed that it is a big difference from when they first began practicing the hurry-up until now.
"I think we're a lot quicker than we were," said Shurmur. "I think back to when we first started doing this stuff in the spring and we were moving at a snail's pace."
After the Eagles' first preseason game against Carolina, Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei admitted he got tired against the Eagles' offense, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer:
Carolina coach Ron Rivera said the Eagles’ play-action passing game slowed the pass rush, but rookie defensive tackle Star Lotulelei said the Eagles’ rapid-fire approach left him winded.
“I got tired, but that’s all part of the game. Just got to fight through it, get to the next play and keep sound fundamentals,” Lotulelei said.
According to Pro Football Focus, Lotulelei only played 32 snaps, or 41.5% of his team's snaps on defense. Most starting defensive linemen, depending on their role, will play at least 60-70% of their teams' snaps. Some will often play close to 100% of their teams' snaps in some games. They better be in shape.
Shurmur noted that the Eagles expect to be even faster. "We're not where we need to be yet. I think we'd all like to play faster and faster, and be efficient and run good plays, but I think we're much closer to where we want to be when it's time for the real games."
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