Organized team activities offered the first glimpse of what the Philadelphia Eagles will look like under new head coach Chip Kelly. There was loud music at practices, extensive quarterback competitions and very vague reports to the media.
Kelly has a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. The offense has no set quarterback, and Kelly will have to figure out which playmakers are worth a spot on the 53-man roster. Meanwhile, the defense likely has six new starters, which should be expected of a unit that surrendered 33 passing touchdowns in 2012.
With limited media access, it has been difficult to learn much about Kelly’s Eagles. But the following five pieces of information have been evident.
Chip Kelly seemed to be the perfect head coach for Michael Vick. Vick possesses the supreme speed and athleticism to succeed in Kelly’s offense, and it seemed logical he would enter camp as the unquestioned starter.
That hasn’t been the case though. Currently, Vick and Nick Foles are splitting first-team reps, and the job is either player’s to win. In fact, CSNPhilly’s John Gonzalez reported that Foles took more snaps than Vick at a recent practice.
Vick is due a $3.5 million bonus in August, which means he may be released prior to that if he doesn’t have the starting spot locked up. Foles did play well in his starts last season, completing over 60 percent of his passes, and Kelly may want to see what he can do in a hurry-up offense in 2013.
The 2012 Philadelphia Eagles were plagued by an offensive line that saw three starters miss significant time due to injuries. Jason Peters tore his Achilles tendon, Jason Kelce suffered a torn ACL and MCL, and Todd Herremans broke a bone in his foot and suffered ligament damage.
All three are expected to be fully healthy in time for the start of the season. Kelce has been limited thus far, according to CSNPhilly's Geoff Mosher, but he should be fine by the regular season. That will be terrific news for the Eagles, who were forced to start Dennis Kelly, Dallas Reynolds and King Dunlap last year.
If Philadelphia Eagles fans are expecting Chip Kelly to tell all about his team, they’re going to be disappointed. Kelly has been extremely brief with the media, to the point that he’s not really giving anything away.
When asked about Kenny Phillips’ injury, Kelly said he doesn’t know the severity of it because he doesn’t ask questions. Kelly is also vague about who his starting quarterback will be, saying he has no interest in naming a quarterback in May.
Kenny Phillips is losing his edge at safety, given his recent knee injury. Phillips has been held out of practice for the same injury that forced him to miss extensive time in 2009 and 2012.
Phillips is signed on just a one-year, $2 million contract. That’s a low-risk deal for a player that was formerly a first-round pick. If Phillips can’t get on the field, the Philadelphia Eagles may go with Nate Allen or Earl Wolff at safety.
Patrick Chung will still start opposite Phillips barring a disappointing preseason from him.
Bill Belichick frequently utilized offensive players on defense, putting wide receivers Julian Edelman and Troy Brown at cornerback while linebacker Mike Vrabel lined up at tight end.
Chip Kelly has done the same with veterans Jason Avant and Clay Harbor.
Avant has spent seven years as a slot receiver, and now he’s seeing time as a safety, according to Doug Kyed of NESN.com. Harbor has been Brent Celek’s backup for three seasons, and per Vaughn Johnson of Philly.com, he has spent time as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.
It’s highly unlikely those moves will carry over to the 2013 regular season. Kelly might just be seeing if the players can fill in during an in-game situation as an emergency.