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.”
Plenty more to get to from OTAs.