Eagles Wake-Up Call: Depth Chart Leftovers

Chip Kelly has warned repeatedly not to draw any depth chart conclusions in May.

And he has a point.

Practice is about getting players acclimated to the offensive and defensive schemes. Reps, reps and more reps.

Having said that, there were a few surprises on Monday, the first time practice was open to the media.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the positions of note.

Quarterback: As T-Mac explained yesterday, it was a mixture of Michael Vick and Nick Foles with the first team. Jeremy Maclin said last week that Foles was “sprinkling” in with the starters, but I’d say it was a little more than that. There were clearly defined portions of practice where Kelly wanted Foles running with the starters. In other words, we are where we thought we were. It’s open competition, but Vick is still the favorite.

Right tackle: Instead of No. 4 overall pick Lane Johnson running with the first team, it was second-year player Dennis Kelly. This one seems pretty close to meaningless. Johnson hasn’t had much time in the program and got on the field with the second team. If this doesn’t change by August, we can discuss it more. But the truth is, it will probably change by next week.

Outside linebacker: Trent Cole and Connor Barwin ran with the first team, and Brandon Graham played with the twos. As we’ve talked about previously, Graham was easily the team’s most productive pass-rusher last year. But the coaches have to figure out what Graham and Cole are capable of as they make the switch from defensive end.

“With the outside linebackers, they have to be able to rush the passer, set the edge and drop into coverage, but we need to evaluate them rushing the passer, setting the edge and dropping into coverage, so that’s what this whole process is about,” Kelly said.

Don’t get me wrong. This is clearly an area to watch. But I believe Kelly when he says they need to figure out what they have in Cole and Graham right now as outside linebackers.

Cornerback: Curtis Marsh joined Bradley Fletcher with the first team. But that’s because Cary Williams just got married and is on his honeymoon. I’ll be surprised if Williams isn’t the starter when the season begins.

Marsh didn’t show much under the previous regime, but he’s 6-1 and ran a 4.46 40 coming out of college. Maybe Kelly and his staff are encouraged by the tools they have to work with.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Inside a Chip Kelly practice with what I saw, heard and observed.

Full details on the QB competition from T-Mac.

DeSean Jackson sounds like he plans on being the Eagles’ punt returner.

The Eagles depth chart outlook series continues with a breakdown of the defensive line.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

According to Paul Domowitch of the Daily News, Donovan McNabb will retire as an Eagle during the team’s Week 3 matchup against Andy Reid and the Chiefs:

McNabb confirmed Monday on his radio show on NBC Sports Radio that he will be retiring as an Eagle in September. He said the team has suggested doing it on the 19th when Reid, the man who selected him with the second overall pick in the 1999 draft, will be there.

The Eagles have not yet made an official announcement, and did not return a message asking for a comment.

Bo Wulf of PhiladelphiaEagles.com has the full playlist from Monday’s practice:

You’ve read all about it. You’ve seen the tweets. Heck, if you live close enough in South Philadelphia, you might have even heard it with your own ears. We’re talking, of course, about the blaring music at Eagles practice under head coach Chip Kelly.

Throughout practice, save for the occasional “teach” session, the players and coaches conduct business with loud music in the background. Kelly’s use of music during practice dates back to his time in New Hampshire and he says, “There’s a lot of science behind it.”

COMING UP

Plenty more to get to from OTAs.

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  • http://twitter.com/THEKID_ Mike Jehle

    First, great coverage the last couple days Sheil!

    I may just have been so beat down by Reid that Kelly may have the same effect on me after 14 years…but what a difference in press conferences.

    What a novel idea using sarcasm (with a smile) to be funny instead of Reid using it with a glare to try and prove how much better or smarter he is than everybody.

    I’m not saying I could coach the Eagles better for one day much less 14 years, but why in the world when everybody is out to beat you anyway, would you want the local media and fan base against you? Never understood that about Reid and KC will find this out in a hurry.

    I know this year is going to be tough and who knows, maybe we surprise…but I am very much looking forward to the future with Kelly & Roseman running things together instead of the iron first of Reid.

    • nicksaenz1

      Theres just one huge difference for Reid, and that’s the press. He’s gonna have like 8 reporters to talk to as opposed to the media mob he saw here. I’m not sure they’ll care as much about the time being theirs.

      • CJ

        that’s a great point. if it took 14 years to get him out in Philly, he’ll have to retire to get out of there. They’re not used to winning, and Manning and Rivers in that division, expectations will be low for quite a while, the fanbase isn’t nearly as rabid as here, and the media won’t turn on him nearly as fast.

        He’s found quite a gig. If he can eek that team into the playoffs 5 times in 10-12 years and put together one nice run in there to an AFC championship game, he’ll be immortal.

        • nicksaenz1

          I agree with you mostly, except on 2 things. 1, from what i’ve heard in the past, that’s a relatively intense fanbase and arrowhead is a very tough place to play, and 2, i think the expectations are higher than you assume. this is a team with 5 or 6 pro bowlers on it. they were expected to be in the playoffs last year and shat the bed big time. while it’s not philly, i wouldn’t underestimate the fans or the expectations

    • Richard Colton

      you mean the “doughy fist” of Reid? Always thought he was a more of a “pastrami fist in an amoroso glove” kind of coach.

      • nicksaenz1

        that eagles green in there was just a bunch of broccoli rabe

  • GEagle

    Still can’t find anything on how Kenny Phillips knees looked

    • aub32

      That may be a good thing. Sometimes, no news is good news. If he were crippled and carted off, there would efinitely be a mention of it.

      • GEagle

        Very true guys….I’m just so concerned with how he was moving, and how much speed he has left….anyone hear anything positive coming out of yesterday about Benn and Momah?

        • Brent E. Sulecki

          heard Benn mixed in with 1st team. which in this offense is common. i did hear all wrs took part in just blocking drills. very different from the past

          • GEagle

            I was surprised that Benn wasn’t getting looks as a return man on ST

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            T law has a nice read to on practice yesterday

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            Nick Miller got a look on returns #16..small versatile wr…its actually funny some things ive read as far as special teams says Wing was crushing punts..and another one said Donnie showed a stronger leg than Wing. how can it be different like that

    • borntosuffer

      I heard he beat Shady in a Harlem Shake contest at practice.

      • CJ

        I demand a do-over. Phillips had a head start.

    • Brent E. Sulecki

      was runnin with 2nd team les bowen reported. coleman and phillips. and allen and chung takin 1st reps. guess you will find out if they decide to give him off a day of practice. then prob. his knee started swelling or something. today will be able to tell. maybe he gets some 1st team reps and knee is reacting well

    • CJ

      presumably still attached, otherwise it would be news.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Felix Jones officially an eagle. Chipper must have saw lack of depth at RB. at least veteran wise.

    • Septhinox

      Or he wanted more competition.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        right

      • Jason N.

        Yeah I’m leaning with probably more competition for Bryce and Chris…

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    Sheil, it’s pretty difficult not to draw conclusions about the depth chart when the Eagles most disruptive pass rusher has been regulated to running with the second team.

    The validity of all positions are open to competition has to come into question when you notice Brandon Graham sitting on the side lines as the apparent 1st team defense is on the field.