MINNEAPOLIS -- The Philadelphia Eagles are practicing halftime.
Yes, they're taking the time to run through drills, routes and some 11-on-11. But the Eagles also took the time to run through a Super Bowl-length halftime on Wednesday, their first practice at the NovaCare Complex in Minneapolis before facing the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
After quarterback Nick Foles made some passes to his receivers and the Eagles looked relatively good, according to the PFWA pool reporter covering the team, the Eagles immediately stopped and filed out of the facility, taking a 30 minute 'break.'
It was a simulation of halftime, where the team had to break its energy and stay focused.
“I think it’s important that the guys get it in their minds how much time that is,” head coach Doug Pederson said to the pool reporter after practice. “We’re normally working on 13-, 14-minute halftime and now it’s twice as long and guys’ bodies cool down. So I want to make sure they understand that we have to go in, we’ve got to stay focused, but at the same time we can refuel and kind of recharge. Coaches can coach and then get our guys warmed back up to come back out. So on Sunday they know exactly what they can do.”
It was effective. The team had reportedly regressed following the 30-minute hiatus.
“I thought it was a little sloppy, which is good, because this is something that I can address in our meetings tonight,” Pederson said. “Again, it’s another teachable moment so we’re not doing it on Sunday."
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu told NFL Network's Good Morning Football that he did believe the extended halftime had something to do with the team's collapse in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons led the Patriots by 25 points in the third quarter before the Patriots completed a comeback in overtime to claim the Lombardi Trophy.
"It definitely did because usually halftime is only like 15 minutes so when you're not on the field for an hour, it's like going to work out, having a great workout, sitting on the couch for an hour and then trying to work out again," he said a couple of weeks after Super Bowl LI.
The Eagles likely took notice and made it a priority. Justin Timberlake will be performing the Pepsi Halftime Show during Super Bowl LII.