Coaching is difficult … especially when the field is too – Daily Local


PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles’ daring kick to kick off the second half on Sunday in Las Vegas might have worked except for one thing: the pitch was too hard.

Special teams coach Michael Clay said on Tuesday that’s why Jake Elliott’s kick to start the second half backfired, with the Raiders recovering and six games later putting their third touchdown on the board for a 17-point lead in what would become a 33-22 triumph.

“The Allegiant Stadium is a beautiful place and everything, (but) the pitch is a lot tougher than you expected,” said Clay. “When Jake hit him, he hit his perfect ball. It’s football. It took a weird bounce on him.

It wasn’t the only call coming out of head coach Nick Sirianni’s go-ahead box. In the first half, the boss decided to take a detention penalty rather than decline and kick the Raiders, much to the chagrin of referee Clete Blakeman, who at the time was playing quarterback in Nebraska. Vegas quarterback Derek Carr quickly completed a 43-yard pass to convert thirds and fours, making Sirianni look silly.

Despite the poor rebound, Clay appreciated the confidence Sirianni displayed on the kick. Clay mentioned another game that was nearly lost in frustration at the Eagles’ fifth loss in seven games with the new coaching staff.

“They’re pitching their field goal team, and Derek Barnett came by and flipped the ball,” Clay said. “Turn, we would have loved to block him, pick up and score, and now it’s maybe a 30-22 game. So, it’s just one of those things where the ball just didn’t go our way. Hopefully in the next few weeks we have something happening where it’s a big comeback or maybe a blockage somewhere, and we’re energizing the rest of the squad there.

The Eagles are favorite by 3.5 points against the winless Lions this Sunday at Ford Field.

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Gardner Minshew has a fan in Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen who says the two-year, 20-start NFL veteran is ready to seamlessly step in as Jalen Hurts’ replacement now that Joe Flacco has transferred. at the Jets.

“He played a lot of football in this league and was successful when he was in Jacksonville,” Steichen said. “He prepares like a pro in these meetings. He attends meetings every day and prepares as if he is standing.

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NOTES >> The Eagles have signed long snapper Rick Lovato back in the active roster. Safety Jared Mayden joined the training team, and CB Michael Jacquet was released. … The Eagles are 17-16-2 against the Lions, including 7-6-2 on the road, but only 2-2 at Ford Field… With 10 touchdowns and five runs scored, Hurts is in the 10 quarterbacks with 15 or more TD offensives this season. The others are Tom Brady (22), Kyler Murray (20), Patrick Mahomes (19), Matthew Stafford (19), Josh Allen (17) and Joe Burrow (17).

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