Camp Kelly started Monday at the NovaCare Complex, with rookies and selected veterans (Jason Kelce, James Casey were there) reporting to training camp. The official grind begins Friday when the full team participates in its first practice together. The first full-contact session is slated for Sunday.
As we sit here and
patiently anxiously wait for the real action to begin, let’s take a look at what we learned in the early days of July with five random observations.
» Chip Kelly’s every move is going to be seen as calculated. That tends to happen when a coach openly defies the unwritten rules of traditional football logic. On Tuesday, the angle of the fields were arranged differently than they were at spring practices. Apparently, that was the groundskeeper’s decision, not Kelly’s choice. “We’re going way too deep right now, guys,” Kelly told reporters.
» Different strokes for different folks. The first few days are centered on individual position drills. On Tuesday, receivers played pitch and catch with nerf balls on short, quick routes. They also were asked to make receptions around toweinrg PVC pipes that mirrored defenders. Interesting.
» Depth charts made of sand. There’s still no official depth chart. Perhaps the biggest lesson learned here was to pay attention when Kelly talks, or at least try and understand his fabled “Chipisms.” When Kelly said that his depth chart was “written in sand,” an Inquirer reporter assumed that meant a depth chart had been created. Kelly was joking. “I said it’s written in sand. Did you get that?” Owned.
» Getting up to speed. It was apparent on Day 1 that you have to play by Kelly’s rules or you won’t see the field. Two rookies — running back Matthew Tucker, punter Brad Wing — failed a conditioning test, which required them to run about 40-60 yards. They couldn’t do it and will get another shot Thursday. They won’t play until they pass it.
» You’re on the clock. The QB competition the Eagles coach promised is real. Nick Foles, Mike Vick and even Matt Barkley said all the right things, each one embracing the battle and stating why they were the right man for the job. Meanwhile, Kelly provided little insight as to when a decision would be made, saying only that he’d pick before the team installs its game plan for the Redskins. When is that exactly? “Hopefully, before we play them [Sept. 9].”