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Technology Kept Ed Reynolds Connected

Posted Jun 17, 2014

Head coach Chip Kelly planned on throwing rookie safety Ed Reynolds into the deep end of the pool to see if he can swim.

Figuratively, of course.

Reynolds rejoined the team in time for the final Organized Team Activity last Thursday. It was his first on-field action since the Rookie Camp a month ago. Reynolds had to return to Stanford due to the NCAA's graduation rule. Even though Stanford's class had its commencement over the weekend, Reynolds had wrapped up his finals and was allowed to come back to Philadelphia a few days early.

"He got here, he participated in Thursday's OTA and he'll go through today but there's no compensation. It's not like if we put him out here now, it's like, okay, now he hasn't been here - our whole premise is we are going to throw him in at the deep end and see if he can swim," Kelly said.

The team's fifth-round pick used an iPad to study the team's playbook, watch podcasts of meetings and FaceTime with defensive backs coach John Lovett and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp. Reynolds' studies helped limit the impact of missing valuable practice time, but technology has yet to find a way to mimic live practice reps.

"Big difference. You can draw motion, but you really can't see motion," Reynolds said on Tuesday. "We have rules when it comes to that, but really being able to physically see it and go out there and have to make the adjustments on the run, especially with our tempo, is a big challenge right now."

Tight end Zach Ertz was in the same predicament Reynolds was a year ago. From one former Stanford Cardinal to another, Ertz offered some advice to Reynolds on how to overcome the missed practice time.

"When you come out here, they don't expect you to be perfect. You weren't here for the whole time, so just go out there and if you're going to make mistakes, make them fast. They can't teach effort," Reynolds said of Ertz's advice. "Just go out there, give your effort and they can teach you the playbook adjustment afterwards."

Reynolds will have the next two days to soak up as much of the defense in the full-team minicamp. He'll then have to wait a month before he gets his next opportunity to show that he can do more than just tread water.

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