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Kelly On Joint Practices: It Makes Sense

Head coach Chip Kelly has been adamant since the start of the spring training sessions to not read too much into the depth chart based on what is seen on the field.

Kelly's job prior to the start of training camp and the preseason has been to teach his new players the schemes and get them acclimated to his program. It's tough to evaluate players when they are not in full pads hitting one another. Kelly will worry about that when the time comes. Instead, he's directed his energy to the things he can get accomplished in the final week of spring workouts.

"We knew the rules going in, so instead of complaining about it, what can we get accomplished? A lot of scheme stuff, lot of assignment things, learning how to tempo, learning how to practice," Kelly said on Tuesday. "You got to practice without pads on a lot, I think you are only allowed 11 or 14 during the regular season anyways. You got to learn how to get a lot of good work out of this. To make any decisions on who someone is from wearing shorts and t-shirts, doesn't make sense to us.

"We are not going to make any rash decisions now because we don't have pads on so it would be kind of silly to say this guy is our starting this because he did a great job in OTAs with no pads on.  You put the big-boy pads on, some guys really step up and other guys you thought were really good and all of a sudden, 'Where has he been' and so it's tough to really evaluate. One of the biggest positions that's really been difficult for us is (cornerback) because we can't play press man from the CBA rules. How good are they in man coverage? I don't know because we can't play it."

The Eagles announced their training camp dates on Tuesday. For the first time since 1998, the Eagles will hold joint practices with another team. On August 6 and 7, prior to their August 9 preseason showdown, the Eagles and the New England Patriots will practice together at the NovaCare Complex. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reached out to Kelly to arrange it.

"I have known Bill for a while, I used to go visit the Patriots while I was in college. I have a ton of respect for him. He presented it, it makes sense. You have to prepare for your first preseason game, and instead of us trying to get looks to our defense of what our Patriots offense is going to look like, the Patriots offense is going to give us a look," Kelly said. "We will cooperate and spend some time in terms of how we are going to practice together. He presented the idea to me, he has done it before with the Buccaneers and the Saints. It sounded like a good idea to us and they were coming here so it really doesn't upset our schedule whatsoever. I think it's a positive thing and look forward to getting out there and getting a chance to compete with them."

The Eagles finish their minicamp on Thursday and will be off until July 22 when the rookies report for training camp.

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