Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Chip Kelly



What did you see overall and how things were today?

COACH KELLY: It was good.  We knew we had to slow things down from a teaching standpoint.  You've only got a couple kids at certain positions: you have one inside linebacker, one outside linebacker, two corners, one safety.  So our plan was, as the coaching staff, to get out here for about an hour.  Really technique-oriented, get guys back, and just spend some time, because sometimes once you get to Friday and you're back into scheme and everything's happening and there are 90 guys running around and everybody's flying around, these young guys can use as much practice time as they can.  We haven't been with them since June, so it was good to get back out here.

I'm pleased with how they came back, for the most part, in shape and ready to go.  We had a good day of meetings and we'll finish up.  We've got more meeting time tonight.  Really, we're using just these two days as just a way to get a little bit of a jump start before we really start.  For us, the official start of camp is probably Friday.

The two rookies were on NFI for their conditioning tests.  When will be the next chance to pass that test?

COACH KELLY: When the veterans test on Thursday.

How important is it that those two guys weren't able to go through that?

COACH KELLY:  Your goal in life is to play in the NFL, you have to get past the condition test to play in it.  So ball's in their court.

What do they have to do?

COACH KELLY: We've got a running test. Is it two miles?

COACH KELLY: It's about six (joking).  No, it's a conditioning test.  It's a series of sprints with rest time in between, and it varies by position. How exciting is it for you to be in your first NFL training camp?

COACH KELLY: I don't look at it that way.  I've been excited every day I've been here.  I think our guys, I'm trying to get that mindset for all of them.  It's not, 'Let's get excited because it's the first day of camp,' and the third day of camp you're bored.

You have to be excited to be out here with an opportunity to work with a bunch of guys.  We have an outstanding staff, and the players have been outstanding in terms of their reception and them wanting to get better.

I was excited when I got here on the 16th of January, and it's the same today.  Just because we get a chance to get back out on the field, I don't think it changes that. Why was it important for James Casey to be here early?

COACH KELLY:  He wanted to be here.  There's a rule if you don't go through the full part of the mandatory minicamp, you're allowed to bring certain veterans back if they didn't go through that along with the quarterbacks.  And James and [Jason] Kelce both wanted to be here and be part of it.  So I left it up to both those guys in terms of what they wanted to do.

But both of them were excited to be here and be part of it.  They've been here all summer long, every day.  Now we get to actually work with them.  So it's good to get a chance.  James missed a couple of days, but [he's] real smart, real sharp; you know, picked up where he left off in the OTAs. How important is he because of what you're trying to do here offensively and just having him healthy?

COACH KELLY: I didn't look at him as not healthy. It was more of a maintenance thing just to make sure he was up to speed when we got to camp  So he was full speed going through the first minicamp we had, and he was full speed going through the OTAs. We had a pretty good chance to see him.  He really just missed three days.  If we had a game, he probably could have gone, so it was more of a preventive thing. But how important is he to your offense?

COACH KELLY: Very important.  We pride ourselves on versatility and being able to put different personnel packages out on the field at the same time.  You know, having a guy that can play multiple positions makes a lot of difficult decisions for the defense in terms of how you're going to defend them.  So [we're] trying to utilize that and James.  The more times we get a practice opportunity with them, the more times we get a chance to see what he does best and play to his strengths. Where do you expect everyone to be now?  Do you expect everyone to be here Thursday and healthy and here together?

COACH KELLY: Yes, I do. Can you tell us when your first contact practice will be?

COACH KELLY: We'll be in pads I think it's on Sunday.  So we'll have contact and full pads. You changed the fields around, the angle of the fields.  What is the thinking there?  There had to be some reason?

COACH KELLY:  That's not my mind.  That was Tony Leonard, our grounds keeper guy.  He said we want to make them go this way.  As long as they've got lines on them and they're the proper distance, I don't care which way we go. Having done it, do you see any advantages to the new layout over the old one?

COACH KELLY: We're going way too deep right now, guys.  There is not a direction there.  Not that deep a thinker. Are Mike [Vick] and Nick [Foles] distributing snaps the same way they were before?

COACH KELLY: Probably.  It's the same way going in, we have to get those guys reps and get them evaluated and see them in certain situations. How long do you anticipate them splitting the first-team snaps?

COACH KELLY:  I don't know until a starter emerges. Is [Matt] Barkley getting the same chance as Vick and Foles?

COACH KELLY: Everybody gets a chance, and everybody has an opportunity to show us what their resume is, and your resume is what you put on tape every day.  If somebody continues to make plays and someone doesn't make plays, that guy is going to move up and the other one's going to move down.  Our depth chart is written in sand right now. So there is no longer a seating chart, it's a depth chart?

COACH KELLY:  No, I was joking.  I said it's written in sand.  Did you get that?  It's all the same.  I'm just trying to say it a million different ways so we can get our point across.  It is an open competition and somebody is going to rise to the top and we'll have a starter named before our first game. Are those conditioning tests universal in the NFL or?

COACH KELLY: I think everybody does it, from what I understand.  But everybody's test is a little different to what their strength and conditioning programs are.  I don't know if anybody doesn't have a strength and conditioning test though.  I think part of [why we do] what we do with the CBA and the new rule is we haven't been with them since the first week of June, and it's really a health thing.

If you can't pass the condition test, how do you expect to get through one of our practices?  So we'll put somebody out there that we think is ready to go, and all of a sudden, if he can't function through practice, now he's falling down and hurting somebody else.  It's more of a preventive thing.

But there is a certain physical fitness level that you have to be at, a minimum standard level that you have to be at to get through our practices, and those guys aren't there now. Is the test tiered to certain positions?

COACH KELLY:  It is tiered.  It's all by position.  The test varies depending on what position you are.  But we're talking about passing at a minimum standard.  Not qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team. What is the test for a punter?

COACH KELLY: All the specialists have the same test.  He has the same test that [Jon] Dorenbos has and Donnie Jones has and Alex [Henery] has and all those other things. Is the specialist test more strenuous than a lot of the others?

COACH KELLY: No, specialists are still athletes and they still need to be able to run around.  They're not going to get a free pass. Coach, how important are these days for the rookies and the new guys before the vets get here to get that one‑on‑one time with you and the staff?

COACH KELLY:  I think it helps.  It's two days and it's the way the rules are set‑up.  So we'll take advantage of those two days and get out there.  Anything we can do with them I think is better than not doing anything at all.  So we, obviously, it's different than the normal practice for us.  We're only out here for an hour, just because we know the numbers.  What we don't want to do and we're conscious as a staff is run these guys into the ground so when the veterans show up, we've got a guy who took too many reps in the last two days and he's got to sit for a few days.

But they're still getting reps and a real emphasis on the fundamental aspects of the game.  And we didn't throw a lot scheme-wise at them, but they've got two days to basically get their feet wet and we really jump into it. How often do you plan on hitting or what goes into your thinking?

COACH KELLY:  It will be spaced out within the practices.  I can't give you the exact number of how many.  But it's not the entire practice won't be hitting.  But there will be certain parts of each drill that will have to do some tackling.  And they'll be tackling in full.  Again, with this group, we've never had pads on.  We went through the whole offseason with just helmets.  So when you finally get the shoulder pads on and the fundamental part of it, you also have to be conscious of we can't lose people either.  But you still, the difference I think between the college level and the NFL, we've got four preseason games where they will be live.  You've got to factor that you get at least four opportunities there, and we'll sprinkle some opportunities in practice.  But it will be individualized by the situation part of the drill. Will it be every day?

COACH KELLY: No, it won't be every day. Will it be like ones against the ones, scrimmage, 11-on-11, full go type thing at all?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, just a little bit.  Most of that work will come in the preseason scrimmages, but there will be a little bit of that. In your first NFL training camp practice, are there any different feelings that you have now that you've actually gone through it, how does it feel?

COACH KELLY: Compared to before? Anything?

COACH KELLY: It's the same.  It's football.  It's not any difference in the way I approach it. Are you a little more anxious, excited at any level?

COACH KELLY: No. In the Jason Peters case, is there discipline from the team?

COACH KELLY: On a speeding ticket?  No. Is there a timetable for the two guys that didn't pass the conditioning test?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, they're going to take the test again on Thursday when the veterans come in. For them to move on?

COACH KELLY: I would hope they would pass it at that point in time.  But if they don't pass the test, until they pass the test, they're not going to get on the field. What are the veterans doing off the field?

COACH KELLY: Same thing you do in normal camp.  We have meetings in the morning, position meetings, special teams meetings, they had strength and conditioning this morning with our strength and conditioning coaches, a lifting session.  They've got a recovery thing going on now with stretching and post-practice stuff.  And we have meetings again at 5:45.  We'll have a team meeting tonight and cut them out.

So it's really meet, lift, eat, recover, and do it all over again. Could you see a scenario where you don't name a starting quarterback until maybe a day or two days before?

COACH KELLY: No, we'll have a starting quarterback named before we get our game plan in for the Redskins. Have you had a chance to talk to Michael Vick since he reported in?  What can you tell us?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, I talked to Michael a couple times over the summer.  He's excited about getting ready to get going.  He came in in great shape.  When you see him and get a chance to see him, I think he spent a lot of time here in the offseason and worked extremely hard with guys like [Jeremy] Maclin and [Jason] Avant, and the guys that were around here in the summertime, so he's excited to get going. When do you plan to have a game plan for the Redskins?

COACH KELLY:  Hopefully before we play them.

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