The Eagles officially broke training camp on Tuesday and the NFL regular season is just 2 1/2 weeks away.
After the Eagles host the Colts in the third and final preseason game of the summer on Thursday night, they will have to cut their 90-man roster down to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
But before then, let’s clean out the notebook:
Giving Dean an earful
A big reason why it was so beneficial to have Nakobe Dean play 17 snaps in the second preseason game was so he could practice getting the calls from defensive coordinator Sean Desai on the sideline. Dean wears the green dot on his helmet and that’s an important job.
Thursday against the Browns was the first chance for Dean and Desai to get some game reps and Dean said the communication was “clean.”
But it wasn’t just the play call coming through the head set. Dean said Desai will give him some other tips, which can be a balancing act. You don’t want to overload a young linebacker.
“That’s an ongoing process,” Desai said. “That’s something I pretty much communicate to all the backers every week and every day about what they like. In my experience, there’s different players that like different things. It’s my job to meet them to what they like.
“Obviously the most important thing is getting them the play call. From there, if guys like different information, we’ll try to provide it when we have it.”
This is a similar process quarterbacks and offensive signal callers go through. It’s like the process Brian Johnson and Jalen Hurts have also gone through this summer.
So what does Dean like to hear?
“From my experience so far, I think he likes certain bits of information,” Desai said. “ It helps that we keep building that relationship. We’re not really in a full game plan mode yet where they’ll know exactly why I’m doing certain things in certain situations.
“He likes to know that. He likes to know the ‘why’ behind, hey, coach is call this for these reasons so he knows when he can go take his shots. That is what we really try to do with all our players. When we get into game plan mode, we’ll do that at a higher level, letting our players know why we’re doing certain things in certain situations so they know they can go activate and make plays they need to be making.”
Suppose Siposs is supplanted?
Arryn Siposs officially outlasted his internal competition in the Eagles’ punter battle when the team released Ty Zentner on Saturday.
But, to be clear, the competition is not over.
“I just think the way the league works, I think you have to prepare for anything,” Siposs said. “There’s plenty of other guys that aren’t on the list right now who are working their butt off to get an opportunity. That’s just the way I see it. So whether someone’s here or not, you still gotta go out there and deliver and perform. That’s what I plan on doing.”
Siposs, 30, is still competing against every other punter who won’t win a job entering this season. There are several punting competitions in camps this summer and the Eagles could still have a wandering eye even after moving on from Zentner.
While Siposs got off to a decent start last season before his injury, he still finished the 2022 season ranked 26th in punt average, 30th in net average and his poor punt in Super Bowl LVII was a killer.
It was hard for Eagles fans and Siposs to get over that Super Bowl shank.
“Tough. If I’m going to be honest, tough,” Siposs said about the Super Bowl aftermath. “I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it. It was a special moment for me and my family and I didn’t deliver. So that’s all there is to it. I continue to grow from that and get better. Everybody goes through some extremely tough times. We all did as a whole team, in the end. We’re all out here to continue to get better and make amends for what happened.”
The more you can do
Entering training camp, the Eagles gave Cam Jurgens the first crack at the right guard spot and he never gave it up. Jurgens is the starter.
And that means Tyler Steen is a backup.
The third-round pick out of Alabama began camp as the second-team right guard but after it was clear Jurgens won that starting job, the Eagles began to play Steen at left tackle. Ever since then, Steen has been playing both.
“It can be difficult at times,” Steen said, “just because it’s two different positions and having to go back and forth and adjusting and using different techniques and stuff like that. But I feel like that just takes time, a little bit of time just to get used to playing two different positions.
“It’s still on the offensive line but there’s different subtleties that comes with it and different things that you see pre and post snap. So I think it just takes time and reps and after a while, you just get more comfortable.”
Steen said he’s ready to be a backup at multiple spots this season, which is a requirement with the Eagles. While the left tackle and right guard spots are different, Steen is comfortable and confident at both.
But, who knows, maybe the Eagles will eventually need Steen to be a backup at even more spots.
What about, say, left guard?
“I mean, I haven’t played left guard,” Steen said. “But I feel like whatever the team asks me to do, I feel like I’m pretty confident that I could get the hang of it and adjust and be able to do that.”
That’s a good mindset for the rookie to have.
‘That son of a gun!’
It seemed like a happy homecoming for Colts head coach Shane Steichen until the final period of Tuesday’s joint practice when his current team and his former team tried bashing each other’s heads in.
Before then, though, it was all smiles for the former Eagles offensive coordinator. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was especially happy to see his former coworker.
“Yeah, I saw him, that son of a gun!” Sirianni said. “Yeah, we had a little staff get-together yesterday here just to kind of go over practice and everything like that, so it was good to see him and the guys on the staff that I was with, as well.”
When asked what stood out most to him about Steichen during their time together, Sirianni mentioned Steichen’s meticulous nature in “everything he did.” But Sirianni and Steichen are more than just former coworkers. They’re friends. And that’s part of the reason he was so happy to see Steichen get the job in Indy; ditto Jonathan Gannon in Arizona.
When Sirianni was a coordinator under Frank Reich, it was Reich who helped prepare Sirianni for a head coaching job. Sirianni takes that same type of pride in prepping his staff members for their next jobs.
“It’s funny, I have a list for everything, so I have a list for that,” Sirianni said. “It constantly gets added to, and I’m doing it with the guys too this year.
“Hopefully I did a good job of paying that forward to Shane and to Jonathan, and I’ll continue to try to do that because my job is to coach the players, my job is to coach the coaches, and I feel like it’s my responsibility to get the coaches that are going to be head coaches on our staff ready for their opportunity.”