Kelly On Joint Practices: Belichick Called Me

The Eagles announced their training camp schedule earlier today, and it included a pair of joint practices with the New England Patriots on Aug. 6 and 7.

Asked how the arrangement came about, Chip Kelly said, “He [Bill Belichick] called me. I didn’t call him. He called me.”

The Boston Globe reported previously that Kelly had visited Gillette Stadium three times and discussed the up-tempo, one-word no-huddle with Belichick.

At the owners’ meetings in March, Belichick called Kelly a good friend, but downplayed any influence the Eagles’ head coach might have had on what the Patriots are running.

“I’ve known Bill for awhile. I used to go visit the Patriots when I was in college,” Kelly said. “I’ve got a ton of respect for him. When he presented it, it just makes sense. You’ve got to prepare for your first preseason game anyway. Instead of us trying to give looks to our defense of what the Patriots’ offense is going to look like, the Patriots’ offense can give us some looks.

“We’ll cooperate and spend some time in terms of how we’re going to practice together, but when he presented the idea to me – he’s done it before I think with the Buccaneers with Greg [Schiano] and the Saints – it sounded like a good idea to us. And they’re coming here, so it really doesn’t upset our schedule whatsoever, so I think it’s a positive thing.”

The practices are scheduled to take place at the NovaCare Complex and will be closed to the media. The two teams face off in a preseason game at the Linc on Friday, Aug. 9.

KELLY DOWNPLAYS TEACHING LESSON WITH VICK

Michael Vick said last month that Kelly had taught him how to carry the football so he wouldn’t fumble so much.

But Kelly today downplayed that notion.

“I didn’t teach Mike how to carry the football,” he said. “He was swinging it loose one day, and I told him to keep it tight. He’s been playing football for a long time and has played for a lot of really, really good coaches. I think Dan Reeves may have said something to him when he was in Atlanta.

“It was just reiterating fundamentals, and it’s like that with everybody. When I see someone carrying the ball loose, I want to make sure they carry it tight. That’s our job. I didn’t teach him anything that he hadn’t learned before.”

Vick has fumbled 32 times in his last 35 games.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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