FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Eagles and Patriots moved their joint practice from 2 p.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday to avoid thunder and lightning, but they still practiced in heavy rain. It was closed to fans because of the weather. Otherwise, it was simply a wetter version of a typical practice.
"Put some galoshes on and go play," coach Chip Kelly said.
The teams had a contingency to use the Patriots' indoor facility. With about 180 combined players and two full coaching staffs, they preferred to remain outside. Some Eagles viewed it as good training for games that might take place in bad weather.
"You can't control what it's going to be like on a game day," guard Todd Herremans said. "You've definitely got to watch your footwork a little more. Take more precise steps. You can't cut so hard. You need to break down a little more before you make your cuts."
This week in New England is a homecoming for Kelly, who grew up in New Hampshire and still spends time in the summer in New England. The Eagles coach first met Patriots coach Bill Belichick when Kelly was an assistant coach at New Hampshire visiting the Patriots training camp at Bryant College.
"He's always been really gracious to the local college coaches," Kelly said. "They were always open for us to come in and watch and visit when they would start camp. . . . Always, always been very, very gracious, and always great with his time in terms of being able to share football knowledge."
A few of Kelly's former players from New Hampshire attended practice, but Kelly stopped short of making it seem as though he's using the week for a reunion.
"It's really a business trip for us getting ready to prepare against a really good team, giving ourselves an opportunity to test ourselves against an outstanding opponent," Kelly said.
Plans on hold
Kelly did not have a plan for splitting playing time in Friday's game against the Patriots. The starters played the first quarter in last week's game.
"It really depends on what goes on these next two days of practice," Kelly said before Wednesday's session. "May get an injury today, so doesn't help us to say, 'Hey, we are going to go this, this, and this and this,' and all of a sudden you lose a guy or two in practice today. We'll look at what the depth is and start to talk about that tonight."
Four players missed practice with hamstring injuries: cornerback Jaylen Watkins, running backs Matthew Tucker and Chris Polk, and linebacker Jake Knott. Running back David Fluellen was absent with an undisclosed injury. . . . Wide receivers Riley Cooper (foot) and Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) were limited.