Here is a look at your 5 Things To Know Today for Tuesday, July 29 with notes on why head coach Chip Kelly bucks the trend when it comes to the NFL work week, insight from safety Malcolm Jenkins on the evolution of the Eagles' defense and a rookie honors his father ...
1. Tuesday Marks A Day Off For The Eagles
Three days of training sessions are in the books following Monday's successful Open Practice at Lincoln Financial Field with nearly 15,000 fans in attendance. The Eagles are off on Tuesday, which is ironic because during the season it's a work day for the players. Around the rest of the NFL, Tuesday typically signals a day off for the players.
"We're just probably a day ahead of everybody," head coach Chip Kelly told SiriusXM's Bill Polian and Ross Tucker. "Red zone (packages are) in on Thursday instead of Friday where is it normally in the NFL. Third-down and red zone is a Thursday day, not a Friday day for us. Friday, we're cleaning it up. Saturday, we're back out on the field running around a little bit faster than most people do. It's not a walk-through day for us. Sunday, we go play."
The Eagles are back in action on Wednesday with a training session at the NovaCare Complex.
2. Mark Sanchez Is Getting Comfortable With The Offense
Head coach Chip Kelly has known quarterback Mark Sanchez since he was in high school in Mission Viejo, Calif. When Kelly reached out to Sanchez after the quarterback was released by the Jets, Sanchez was very receptive to the idea despite coming in as a backup to Nick Foles. Even though Sanchez is learning his fourth offensive scheme in six NFL seasons, the veteran quarterback has picked up the Eagles' offense quickly due to the fast-paced training sessions.
"We get a ton of reps. Twos and threes get a ton of reps. I think that's why when we came back for (training) camp it's not like you have to re-install the offense. Everybody knows it," Sanchez said. "There's no day one install. It's not like that. ... You just know it. That's all because of those reps."
After missing all of last season with a shoulder injury, Sanchez is "100 percent" healthy now. Even in the spring, Sanchez admitted that the injury was still "in the back of my mind."
3. Malcolm Jenkins Reveals How The Eagles' Defense Is Evolving
Safety Malcolm Jenkins is a self-proclaimed film junkie and has a high football IQ. That is one of the reasons why he has been able to pick up the Eagles' defense so quickly since arriving as a free agent in March. Last year, Jenkins had to learn a new scheme after the New Orleans Saints hired Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator. Jenkins compared his old defensive system to the new one led by coordinator Bill Davis, and shed some light on how the Eagles' defense will look different than compared to the 2013 version.
"I think philosophically they're a little different. Bill has more of a zone emphasis, but this year I think he's trying to add some more man concepts to take some air out of the coverage where Rob Ryan comes from the Buddy Ryan system that's really aggressive, blitzes a lot, man-to-man, a lot of zero pressure," Jenkins said. "Here it's more versatile. Guys are a lot more zone, zone matchups, but like I said Bill's adding some more stuff where we can matchup and take some air out of the coverage.
4. Joe Kruger Has Youth And Experience On His Side
Even though he spent all of last season on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury, defensive end Joe Kruger remains the second-youngest player on the team at 22 years old. Rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews is also 22 years old, but was born 42 days later than Kruger (July 16, 1992 compared to June 4, 1992). Kruger is privileged to have that year of experience under his belt. Since he was a seventh-round pick in 2013, the 6-foot-6 Kruger has bulked up 20 pounds and now tips the scales at 290.
"I don't really think about my age a lot. ... I gained all that weight. I got all the practice in. I was around the guys. I know everyone in the facility so I'm comfortable with the scheme," Kruger said. "I'm comfortable with the people around me and especially with the guys, the D-line."
Fully healthy now, Kruger donned pads for the first time since the end of last year's preseason on Monday as he competes for a roster spot against a group of young and talented defensive linemen.
5. Ed Reynolds II Honors His Father
Rookie safety Ed Reynolds II is showing his love and appreciation for his father for everyone to see after adding numerals to the back of his jersey. Cornerback Nolan Carroll II and linebacker Marcus Smith II have also made similar gestures since joining the Eagles. Reynolds' father was a linebacker who played in 135 games over 10 seasons and suited up for the Patriots in Super Bowl XX. He also worked in the NFL office for over a decade and used to bring his son to the NovaCare Complex for practices to meet the players. "I am a second. With my dad playing in the league before me, putting the second on it distinguishes me as an individual, but I'm still representing my family," the younger Reynolds said.