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What's the Eagles' schedule this week? | Early Birds

Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 6:13 AM

Eagles running back Jay Ajayi during stretching exercises December 14, 2017 as the Eagles practice inside The Bubble for their upcoming game against the New York Giants. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

Good morning, Eagles fans. Doug Pederson will hold a news conference today at noon. (He typically speaks the day after games, but it was moved to Tuesday this week ahead of the bye.)

So what are the Eagles’ plans this week? The players were off Monday and are off again on Tuesday before returning to work the next three days. Pederson wanted to give the players “time to get away and just relax.” On Wednesday and Thursday, they’ll work “a couple hours,” Pederson said. It won’t be like a typical game week schedule, but they’ll be at the facility. There’s no opponent to prepare for yet, so it’s not game plan-specific. Pederson will then have the players in on Friday morning before giving them the weekend off. They’re back on Monday to begin preparing for the Jan. 13 game. The NFL announced each team’s 2018 opponents on Monday. (The Eagles’ opponents were determined last week when the Rams clinched the NFC West and Vikings clinched the NFC North, but the league-wide opponents became official after Week 17.) Here’s who the Eagles will play:
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.
Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
Pay attention to whether that Jacksonville game is in London. The Jaguars play a home game in London each season, and the Eagles are one of six teams that have not yet played there. Because the Eagles sat many of their starters, there wasn’t much to read into the playing time distribution from Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. Rasul Douglas played every snap at cornerback, and Sidney Jones ended up playing 29 defensive snaps and seven special teams snaps before cramps ended his game. Nate Gerry played defense for the first time this season, getting 20 snaps at linebacker. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was the only offensive player to take every snap, and Mack Hollins led all wide receivers with 75 percent of the offensive snaps. He finished with three catches for 25 yards.

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— Zach Berman

Eagles running back Jay Ajayi during stretching exercises December 14, 2017 as the Eagles practice inside The Bubble for their upcoming game against the New York Giants. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

Happy New Year to you, as well. Love your writing – keep it up! I keep seeing the various coaches of playoff teams being up for open positions. Would think teams still in playoffs can be negatively affected with coaches being courted and not focused on prep? Thoughts?

Thank you for the nice words. The NFL has rules about when coaches can be interviewed to try to alleviate that problem. Assistants from teams that have byes, such as the Eagles, can interview during the bye week. It must take place in the city of the team the coach is currently with, so the coach doesn’t have to travel for the interview. Assistants from teams playing during wild-card weekend can interview after the wild-card game. (Remember, the Eagles interviewed Doug Pederson the day after Kansas City’s wild-card weekend win two years ago.) There cannot be interviews leading up to the conference championship games. For assistant coaches of Super Bowl teams, there is a window during the bye week before the Super Bowl for a second interview.

So is it a distraction for Eagles coaches this week? Maybe a small one, but there’s enough time during the week that it can be done without issue. It’s the price of success.

Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER

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