Eagles Wake-Up Call: Offseason Program Begins
Chip Kelly has been the Eagles head coach since January 16 but, because of the restrictions in the new collective bargaining agreement, hasn’t been able to hand out a playbook or talk any real football with his players. Until today.
The Eagles’ offseason program is now underway. The wheels can finally start rolling on the Kelly era.
Some key dates:
April 1: Offseason Program begins
April 16-18: Voluntary veteran minicamp
May 10-12: Rookie minicamp
May 13-15, 20-22, 28-31: OTAs
June 4-6: Mandatory minicamp
June 8: End of offseason program
June 21: End of rookie program
Phase I of the offseason program runs through April 21. During that time, players are able to do weight room work with strength coaches, and are also allowed some classroom time with their position coach. Offensive skill position players can throw on their own at the facility. Expect the up-tempo atmosphere to be established during this time even before practices begin.
“We’re going to start our training sessions, and that is going to be simulating what we’re going to be doing in practice and in the games. It’s going to be pretty intense,” Todd Herremans predicted. “Constantly going, you’re going through one drill, and then you’re going to jog to the next one, and then you do that, and then you jog to the next one. So you’re constantly moving, and [Kelly]’s basically probably going to get us in the best shape of our life.”
Individual drills are permitted during Phase II (Aprill 22-May 13). Phase III is marked by the start of OTAs.
Because Kelly is new, the Eagles get an extra minicamp — the one to be held from April 16-18. And while the Birds get to start their offseason program today, the rest of the NFC East must wait until April 15.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sheil gives some thoughts on the Eagles possibly trading down in the draft.
Again showing his preference for big men, Kelly and the Eagles signed 6-7, 239-pound wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah.
Veterans are bracing for a new up-tempo way of life.
Jason Kelce gives us some insight into what makes Connor Barwin tick.
A health update on some key members of the offensive front.
In his weekly diary, EJ Manuel details his workout for the Eagles.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jeff McLane believes the Eagles will likely pass on Geno Smith.
Much was made of the Eagles brass – with special guest Jeffrey Lurie along for the ride – working out Smith in Morgantown a few weeks back. But for a coach who keeps his cards close to his chest – Kelly won’t even reveal what his defensive front seven will generally look like – the team’s openness about the trip is suspicious.
Maybe Kelly genuinely likes Smith. More than likely the trip was a mirage, and the Eagles will pluck some nontraditional, non-marquee quarterback whom Kelly believes he can still win with.
Smith is visiting the Chiefs today.
Tommy Lawlor talks about Mychal Kendricks‘ future under Kelly:
I think the Eagles scheme will be key in understanding Kendricks’ future. If the Eagles go to a pure 3-4, that could hurt Kendricks. You prefer 3-4 ILBs to have some size so they can take on blockers. Kendricks is 240 pounds and has some thickness, but he’s not great at shedding blocks. If the Eagles play the 4-3 Under, Kendricks would have a natural home at WILB. This player is protected by the NT and DT. They’ll keep him clean and let that LB run to the ball and make plays. Karlos Dansby had this role in Arizona and thrived.
Offseason workouts begin. Kelly finally gets the chance to start molding his players.