PHILADELPHIA — Coaches prepared for the Washington Redskins, players worked on their conditioning, and the front office tinkered with the roster.
The Philadelphia Eagles spent their holiday Monday getting ready to start the Chip Kelly era next week against the Redskins.
After three days off following the final preseason game, players came in for workouts but they won’t return to the practice field until Wednesday.
An extra day before the Monday night game at Washington allowed Kelly to give the players extended time away from the field. They’ll have a couple new teammates when they’re back.
The Eagles claimed linebacker Najee Goode off waivers from Tampa Bay and released linebacker Emmanuel Acho on Monday.
The team also signed tackle Michael Bamiro, linebacker Travis Long, safety Trenton Robinson, wide receiver Greg Salas and running back Matthew Tucker to the practice squad. On Sunday, cornerback Shaun Prater was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati.
Goode was a fifth-round pick by the Buccaneers in 2012. He’s expected to contribute on special teams. Prater was also a fifth-round pick by the Bengals last year, but missed the season because of a knee injury.
“We’re going to constantly evaluate our roster and look at players that are available to us,” general manager Howie Roseman said. “We’re building, we’re starting this and we want to do it the right way. We want to look for opportunities to get better and we’re constantly working at it.”
After completing a different type of training camp under Kelly, players are eager to play games that count. The defending NFC East champion Redskins are up first on a schedule that includes starting the season with three games in 11 days.
“We’re looking forward to the season and we have a big game Monday night,” cornerback Cary Williams said. “It’s going to be a great challenge. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. We have to go out and execute. The preseason is over. The regular season is when the lights come on. It’s time to get down to business.”
The Eagles won’t have to wonder about which quarterback they’ll face in the first game. Robert Griffin III will be under center for the Redskins after sitting out the preseason following major knee surgery in January. The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year was cleared last Thursday to play in Week 1 by his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.
“RG3 is a great player,” Williams said. “We understand he’s going to bring his A game. So are we. We’re going to find out what those guys are about. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
For the Eagles, Michael Vick will start at QB after beating out Nick Foles for the job. Vick has perhaps the best all-around game of his career three years ago under the Monday night lights against the Redskins at FedEx Field. Vick was 20 for 28 for 333 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for 80 yards and two scores in a 59-28 win.
Vick along with the rest of the starters didn’t play against the New York Jets last Thursday night. He had a strong preseason, going 28 for 38 for 383 yards and a 101.1 quarterback rating. The 33-year-old Vick also showed he has plenty of speed left, rushing for 73 yards.
“I’m going to have the opportunity to do what I want to do in this offense and run the football,” Vick said. “And yes, I will be a threat. I think you’ve got to take on a certain mindset that you’re going to play the game all-out. If you go into a football game not wanting to get hurt or trying not to get hurt, it doesn’t allow you to play the way you want to play.”
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