That’s why when Bill Belichick called him up and brought up the idea of joint practices, Kelly decided his old pal might be on to something.
“A lot of times when you’re getting into that game, you spend some time during the week going over what their looks are,” Kelly said.
“We don’t have to install the Patriots’ look because we’re going to face them in practice. The game-plan aspect of it is we’re going to spend a couple days practicing against them, then go play a game on Friday.”
Kelly and Belichick spent about an hour on the phone Monday morning going over the details. The Patriots and Eagles will practice with each other on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week at the NovaCare Complex. They’ll then square off in the first preseason game Friday night at the Linc.
It’s another step in the evaluation process for the Eagles. Kelly and his staff are still trying to figure out how all the pieces are going to fit – the final 53, the starters, the scheme, the quarterbacks and so on. In the spring, Kelly said he wanted to wait until the pads came on to properly evaluate his personnel. Now that the pads are on in practice, he’s indicated that the true test will come during preseason games.
“We’re still evaluating now,” Kelly said. “I’m talking about a final evaluation. Every single day we’re out here looking at them in terms of what they can do, what they can’t do, how are they picking up what we are doing. It’s an ongoing process. I believe the component of them being in a live situation is a huge part of it.
“Is it the sole deciding part of it? No. Our decision won’t be just made on how they perform in the first two preseason games. It will be everything leading up to that. It’s almost like you’re in college, you take your tests, then you have a final. Your entire grade isn’t on the final, it’s over the course of the semester, so to speak.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
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If you haven’t purchased the 2013 Eagles Almanac, what are you waiting for?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com asked Eagles players for their favorite Kelly-isms:
“‘Let the world see what you want them to see,'” running back LeSean McCoy said. “Good plays, bad plays, you let the world see that. Same thing off the field. Whatever you may tweet, however you may act in public, that’s what the world will see. So always be thinking about what you want the world to see.”
The fact that everybody seems to have his favorite speaks to the number of these mini-mantras Kelly employs, but also to one of the central teaching tenets he learned from former NFL coach Tony Dungy when he approached him, before taking this job, about the challenges of coaching professional players as opposed to collegiate ones.
Derek Sarley of IgglesBlog.com takes a sneak-peek at Kelly’s offense:
And here’s the other thing, a lot of the base plays in the Kelly offense … for two years we’ve been running them. Our quarterbacks generally handed off rather than reading the defense, but the day Andy Reid brought in Howard Mudd to coach the offensive line was the day the Eagles became primarily an inside/outside zone running team.
We’ll chat with members of the Eagles’ scouting department this morning and then get back onto the practice fields this afternoon.