We’re in the thick of training camp with the Eagles holding joint practices with the Patriots this week at NovaCare Complex. There’s an extra level of intensity that comes with these types of practices, mainly since players are going to battle with guys in different jerseys.

Following the two joint practices, the Eagles host the Patriots in their second preseason game on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field. After hosting the Patriots, the Eagles will travel to the Jets for two more joint practices and their final preseason game next week.

With only two exhibition contests remaining, the next 1 1/2 weeks will be crucial both for the solidified starters and fringe players battling for roster spots.

“It’s a real good learning for our guys,” defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said Monday afternoon. “It will be good to get on a tape and watch and make some corrections with them.”

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Josh Tolentino (earlybirds@inquirer.com)

Eagles defense tackles ‘really well’ in first live showing

Not only have Eagles practices been relatively short this summer compared to years past, but also they have been extremely tame. The coaching staff hasn’t allowed any full tackling by defensive players. It has been mostly two-hand touch outside of the occasional hard, but unintentional blow after a catch. Players have been instructed not to tackle with the hopes of preventing injuries at this time of the year.

So how did the Eagles manage handle tackling for the first time in a real game setting and under a new defensive system?

“I thought we tackled really well for the first time tackling,” Gannon said. “We’ve got distinct language how we want to tackle people. I thought the DBs, as a whole, tackled excellent. I honestly was worried about. When I was a DB coach, the first couple games in preseason were always sloppy.

“Seemed like [Pittsburgh] had a bunch of missed tackles and we didn’t have a bunch of missed tackles. We’re doing a good job. Even though we don’t tackle in practice, the drill work the position coaches are doing, the game reflected what they’re being taught and how we are trying to tackle people.”

Safeties Marcus Epps and Blake Countess and linebackers Alex Singleton, Rashad Smith and Shaun Bradley led the team with seven tackles each.

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