Kelly Reveals Training Camp Details, Structure

Last month, Chip Kelly sat down with reporters and offered insight into how he plans on running his first training camp in the NFL.

“It’s going to be the same thing we did here,” Kelly said, referring to OTAs and mini-camps. “It’s not like we’re going to drastically change from what we did. If we did, then basically, we’re kind of full of crap on what we did in the whole offseason. It’s more of the same in terms of what our approach is.”

The major difference, of course, will be that the players will have pads on. And there will be an added intensity with roster cuts and the preseason right around the corner.

Below is a breakdown of what to expect.

KEY DATES

Rookies report to the NovaCare Complex on Monday, July 22, and their first practice is July 23.

The full team reports on Thursday, July 25, and the first full-team practice is Friday, July 26.

The first preseason game against the Patriots is Friday, August 9.

Rosters must be trimmed to 75 players by 4 p.m. on August 27. And then again to 53 by 6 p.m. on August 31.

Click here for the full training camp and preseason schedule.

HITTING

Kelly must balance a couple factors when deciding how physical he wants his camp to be. On one hand, he’s stressing competition and wants players to know they’re fighting for jobs and playing time. On the other hand, he’s well aware that this is just the beginning of a long season, and he wants his guys healthy when the real games start.

“That’s the big Catch-22 for all coaches, is how much work do you need to get done, but also you don’t want to injure your own players in practice,” Kelly said. “But that’s kind of a fine line. It’s the toughest one I think coaches have to handle. How physical can your practices be, because the game is certainly going to be physical. But you always kind of keep your fingers crossed that you’re not going to get anybody hurt in practice.”

In college, Kelly had scrimmages, but no preseason games. He indicated that seeing how players react in full-contact situations against other opponents will factor significantly in making roster decisions.

“If you can’t be physical and hit people, then it’s an entirely different game,” he said. “So the offseason is an entirely different game than the preseason, just for that fact.”

Asked if there will be tackling to the ground during training camp, he said, “We’ll have some scrimmage situations.”

The guess here is that Kelly’s camp won’t be as physical as Andy Reid’s, but he’ll pick his spots to push players.

LOGISTICS

Kelly made the decision to hold camp in South Philly instead of Lehigh.

“I just think we have everything here, so the fact that we would pack everything up and move, I think that didn’t make sense to me,” he said. “All our video stuff is here, so … all our [internet] servers are here, so you’re dealing with portable laptops and hoping to get practice on them. You have issues when it rains, where do you go? Our training facility in terms of how we want to lift … why would you move everything and go somewhere else?”

Part of the reason Reid held camp at Lehigh was to build camaraderie among the players, who were stuck with each other during every waking moment. Here, all of the players will stay in a nearby hotel together at the start of camp. The veterans will then be allowed to move back out and stay with their families.

All of the meals will be eaten at the NovaCare Complex.

“Meetings are here. Everything’s here. The only thing they’re going to do at the hotel is sleep,” Kelly said.

TIMING

The main practice each day will take place at 12:30 p.m.

“That’s when we play,” Kelly explained. “Twelve or 14 of our 16 games are played at 1 o’clock.”

A reporter jokingly asked Kelly if he’d practice in the evening before night games, but the head coach answered seriously. It was clearly something he had thought about.

“No, because I think it throws your schedule off a little bit to do that just for one day,” he said. “If we were going to play six or seven games consecutively at that time, we would try to change our schedule slightly.”

STRUCTURE

The actual practices will likely look similar to what we saw in the spring. They will be up-tempo with music playing, and the goal will be to maximize reps. Most of the one-on-one teaching will take place in the classroom.

“If you stop one guy in a drill, then there’s 21 other guys standing around, so how much time can you spend on the field?” Kelly said. “Our educational philosophy is: I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, and I do and I understand. And so we want them doing it. You can only talk so much and show them so much and tell them so much; they have to actually do it.

“When you go to some practices and they only get 15 reps at something and they only ran one play one way just to the left, the right tackle never got a rep at it. And then you expect him to execute it in a game, you know. Who’s to blame? Us, because we didn’t probably put him in that situation. We had a chance to see what just happened to him. We’re trying to get as many reps as we can and then be efficient with cutting our practice tape up, so that when we go into our meetings usually what they did well you don’t have to repeat that because they have it.”

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  • borntosuffer

    “He indicated that seeing how players react in full-contact situations
    against other opponents will factor significantly in making roster
    decisions.” It still hurts to remember how good DRC was looking in practice BEFORE they put the pads on. I still think he is your first pick if you’re playing two-hand touch.

  • DunedinEagle

    Like the common sense logic. Still waiting to see how some of this plays out but I’m interested so that’s a start. Agree with the Hinkie reference below.

  • Davis DeBrady

    amazing this guy actually has a clue about football and not the menu at Jim’s Geno’s or Pat’s!

  • Shawn Williams

    Sheil, do you think that chip kelly will run the k-gun offense.and if so can you and tim post a arictle about what the k-gun basically is for us readers.

  • PaoliBulldog

    The one question I’d like CK to answer is why he thinks the secondary, as presently staffed, is good enough to stop RG3, Eli et al. I just don’t see the talent or the depth. Hoping the Eagles can once again turn the Bills into their AAA team and pry Jairus Byrd loose.

    • cliff henny

      PBD, i’ve thought about this, and only thing i can come up with is every coach has a position they seem to value less than others. reid barely even cared about linebackers. or giants, they seem to piece-meal o-line together every year, yet it works. maybe kelly think a strong front 7 will make a better secondary. agree with you, unless cox or graham is wrapped around qb in 2 secs, that secondary is going to exposed

      • I’m not sure I agree with Chip not valuing the secondary. If you look at most of the free agent acquisitions, they’re patchwork guys that are here to fill spots until Chip can draft his own guys and bring guys through the Eagles system. The Eagles secondary got addressed more than any other unit on the team in the off-season with 4 new potential starters. While the caliber of these additions is meh at best, I think we can agree it won’t take much to be better than the abysmal unit we had last year. These guys aren’t ballhawk play makers, but at the very least they’re sure tacklers and physical players which will be a welcome change from out ballerinas last year.

        Personally, I’m glad the Eagles didn’t go on a spending spree to buy a secondary. As we know from DRC and Nnamdi, you don’t always get what you pay for. DB’s are an extremely odd breed, and it’s much better to have guys you’ve brought up through your own system who were taught to play the way you want them to. While there were definitely a lot of good safeties and corners on the market that we passed on, many of them commanded crazy deals that I don’t think they were worth, particularly Dashon Goldsons in TB.

        I said this pre-draft and I stand by it.. I think Chip’s focus this off-season was doing what he knows best.. getting his offense in place. I think there were too many unknowns with players switching schemes on defensive that Chip wants to see how the cards fall before we do anything drastic on defense, be it spend high picks or give out some big contracts. Was it the players in secondary or was it how they were used? Can Cole/Graham play OLB? Can Curry be effective in this scheme? Do we have anyone on the roster that can play 5 tech? etc. etc. While you can figure some of this out in practice and from old film, this is stuff you can only really get answered definitively on September 9th and onward.

        In no way is this an endorsement of our secondary, but you just can’t fix everything in one off-season. While not great, a healthy Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung can be an average tandem. People like to harp on Chung, but when healthy he’s a decent player. He’s a hard hitter, vocal leader and can contribute on special teams. Health is obviously the biggest concern for both of these guys.

        All in all it’s going to be an interesting storyline to watch this offseason.

        • cliff henny

          very true, see how it plays out. i meant for this yr, not 2 or 4 down the line. only move i havent agreed with is chung. i think he is good, till he take a bad angle, then it’s huge issue. that’s why he got bench, bill just couldnt stop his horrible angles.

      • PaoliBulldog

        I can’t imagine that CK would tolerate a subpar secondary. Glover Quin wasn’t much more expensive than Chung (5 yrs/$23.5M versus 3 years/$9M), and I’d much rather have Quin. The fact that the Pats let Chung walk scares me. I just hope the Eagles make more moves.

        • Why would Chung want to go back there? He was in Belichick’s dog house because of his injuries and he wasn’t going to get on the field behind Wilson and McCourty. Eagles offered him more money and a better situation, plus playing for his old college coach. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

        • cliff henny

          ok, subpar is alot different than order of importance. cant roll out scrubs, but we had many many wholes to fill. i’m just wondering like you too why we havent addressed it other than guy w/ 1 leg and NE casteoff. my best guess is he think a good front seven makes a back 4 better, can take lesser talent and have it perform to nfl level easier than other positions, ie like giants do w/ o-line.
          .
          chung is really on a 1 yr 3m contract. still seems like alot to me for him, but no where near his signed yrs and max sal, pretty much like every nfl contract

  • Very interesting piece at GCobb. Brian Dawkins thinks Nate Allen is the most talented safety on the Eagles, and think’s he can still be a good safety in the NFL.

    http://gcobb.com/2013/07/13/brian-dawkins-still-believes-nate-allen-can-be-a-good-safety/

  • Bob A

    I’d like to ask the other posters something because i”m not sure how I feel about it. I’ll preface what I’m about to say by mentioning that Sheil and Tim’s work on 24-7 is the best Eagles coverage by any print journalists in the area by a huge distance. But I’m a little uncomfortable with something I’ve been seeing the last few days. It appears that both guys interviewed Chip over a month ago about certain items, and then sat on the info for a month, even referring to the info as “embargoed” in one post. Then they posted it this week. I’m not sure if the purpose was to have something to write about during this dead period, or because Chip wanted it that way, or what the purpose was. Isn’t a journalist obligated to get the info to the fans when they have it? Or is this common in that profession? I’d be interested whether other posters even noticed this and if they feel the same way.

    • It was odd, but it wasn’t just Tim and Sheil, all the other beat writers had released this info on the same day. So either we’ve got collusion going on amongst these guys or the Eagles PR guys put a gag order on this interview for a certain amount of time. I’m going with the gag order. Seems highly unprofessional by the Eagles, I’d love to hear their reasoning behind this.

      • Bob A

        Thanks Adam , I wasn’t aware that other writers had done it too, Must be an Eagles PR thing, like you said .I agree with you that if the Eagles did this, I’m not too thrilled, especially with the bland nature of the info that was sat on.

        • theycallmerob

          Especially concerning his comments about Vick and the “we’re in it to win it, and the best QB will step up”, my best guess is that Kelly saw the fallout from Vick’s “starting QB” controversy. The man is not stupid, he knows our media runs with those things. It was (and still is) all over the message boards, not to say Kelly is personally tapped into those.

          But I definitely can picture Kelly agreeing to answer some questions about the structure of camp and his mentality on playing time, so long as the media gave the players a few weeks off from having to read all this and get hounded for their reactions.. Or to make it more relevant, now that we’re closer to camp.

          • Dominik

            Re: ” It was (and still is) all over the message boards, not to say Kelly is personally tapped into those.”

            Maybe Kelly has a “message board coordinator” who tells him how the fans are reacting to different scenarios. Maybe this coordinator is even commenting on a regular basis here, and Kelly tells him if he doesn’t like the direction of the comments. Wanna guess who it is? :D

          • Dutch. Chip Kelly, epic troller.

          • theycallmerob

            G-d save the queen

          • theycallmerob

            Safe to rule out the canadians, I doubt Kelly splurged for a work visa

        • I asked Les Bowen on twitter. His response:

          “Idea was to have something for the opening if training camp. He didnt want to do it, say, this week. So we did it at end of minicamp.”

          So it was a combo of Chip not wanting to interview this close to camp, and the beat writers wanting to wait until closer to camp? Not sure if collusion or gag order. Or both? Can we get some legal experts on this?!

    • theycallmerob

      Bob, it appears you are correct re: the “embargo” on this matter. And in terms of who gave that order, Tommy has this to say:

      “Chip Kelly met with reporters a while back, but had them hold on releasing the comments. The media has now been allowed to release Kelly’s comments into the wild.”

      http://igglesblitz.com/2013/07/kelly-speaks/

    • Guest

      I read that Chip Kelly requested the information be withheld until now. I believe on igglesblitz.com

  • Pennguino

    Getting so pumped. Can’t wait. Love all of the position battles.

  • Jlowry71

    I’ve been very intrigued by what Chip Kelly is doing with the Eagles this year. Growing up as a kid I was always a fan of the Packers and especially Vince Lombardi… the book That First Season sits on my shelf and I read it often to see how he went in and changed the whole mindset of that team and organization and turned them into a lean efficient championship team. I see the same thing with what Kelly’s doing. I like how he goes into explaining to the players just why they’re doing something a certain way… changing the diet into a more nutritious selection, his detailed focus on the little things throughout the organization… if these players buy into this man’s philosophy they can shock and awe a lot of teams this season.

    I’ll be cheering them on, that’s for sure!

  • ben

    The man is a teacher who has thought through how human beings learn. The goal is not in the teaching, but in the learning. How we learn, how we retain what we learn is the most significent part of how we teach.

    The man understands it better than most teachers, who go to school to learn how to teach, but not so much about how we learn. Though innovative, any good teacher respects the learner as much as what is being taught.

    KELLY is a firm believer in fundamental football skills, blocking and tackling. No scheme works without strong fundamental. That he has a keen football mind and understands how people learn will produce success. Additionally, hiswillingness to think beyond standard procedures and his chess board concepts will bring winning.

    It is exciting to see such an astute mind in the NFL.

    The open competition for a roster spot and then playing time will either bring each player to a peak in performance or leave him without a job.

    I want to share more about how the learning curve and the competition will prove Matt Barkley to be the best QB and the next Joe Montana in another later post.

    • hokieduck

      Agree. His practices are legendary even though few have seen them much. Tony Dungy has watched a lot of practices at UO where his son is a WR. John Gruden almost worked as an assistant last year just to watch how Chip practices (as it was he came out and spent a week or so in Eugene). Bill Bellichick brought him to Boston last year and picked his brain and put a lot of his ideas into the Patriots playbook. These guys are all believers in how Chip Kelley operates.

      The breakdown of practices as on field repetition, repetition, repetition and in film teaching is, in and of itself, brilliant.

      • ben

        Duck, i last supported the LARAMS. They moved. Suddenly, the Philadelphia Eagles hire an innovative teacher, Oregon coach, Chip Kelly, and i have a team to follow!

        As a retired high school English teacher and basketball coach, i recognize a genius in Kelly, who is as thorough as the Montana sky and who knows stuff few think
        about.

        • hokieduck

          So, I take it you were not an Oregon Ducks fan, ben? If not you may not be aware of one of his mantras early on when he took over the head coaching job there. It will stand him and Philly fans in good stead here while the team learns his ways and schemes.

          “Water the bamboo.” Meaning, stay in the moment. Do everything you can do right this instant to be the best whatever you can be (he told these college kids to make up their beds in the morning as a zen practice of mindfulness… they did it).

          Keep watering the bamboo and in a few growing seasons all of a sudden it will jump!

          • ben

            Not a Duck fan? Hey, Chip Kelly made me a fan who never missed a game on TV. the man is superior to the inert corporate minds of the NFL.

            Additionally, Matt Barkley is Joe Montana and Kelly knows it!