Three Eagles Practice Leftovers

Jeff MaehlIt was just a light walk-through without pads today, so no observations. But here are three practice leftovers.

1. Chip Kelly said the Eagles starters will see increased action Thursday night.

“We’re trying to get our ones more work in both the first and second quarters now,” he said. “We’ll see how that plays itself out. Does that mean it’s gonna be by series or whatever? It depends how many snaps and how long the series’ are.”


Nick Foles will get the start after Michael Vick had his turn last week. Kelly emphasized that he'll divide playing time up by number of snaps, not by number of drives or quarters.

Jason Peters is unlikely to play, although Kelly said he's "very close." LeSean McCoy (knee) and Cary Williams (hamstring) are both expected to be in the lineup, barring setbacks.

Matt Barkley is expected to enter the game in the second or third quarters

2. Kelly talked about the defensive line and confirmed that the Eagles plan on using a rotation up front.

"A lot of times with the D-Line, because of how this game is played, we're gonna be playing all six if we keep six on the active roster," Kelly said. "So it's not like he's the starter and he's gonna play and the only time the backup gets in the game is when somebody gets hurt. I think in that position particularly you'll see that a lot more in the NFL. People are starting to rotate some defensive linemen to keep them fresh just because it's such a tough position to play."

Against the Patriots, Bennie Logan and Damion Square impressed the coaches. Vinny Curry also played really well.

"I think everybody knows that when Vinny got drafted here, is that he's a very, very good pass-rusher," Kelly said. "So it's a matter of now seeing him do the other things. We know Vinny can pass-rush. I think he showed that the other night. And that's part of the evaluation. But you also have to be able to, for all those guys, what are they like in the run game? What are they like in all situations?"

Kelly was asked about Fletcher Cox as well. The 2012 first-round pick was outstanding in the Eagles' 4-3 front as a rookie. In his first preseason action playing in a 3-4, Cox did not play well. Of course, he was only on the field for 16 snaps.

"We don't cater our defense to one guy because there's 10 other guys you have to worry about," Kelly said, when asked if Cox is better suited for a one-gap scheme. "There's a lot of different things when you go through everything, we're gonna try to play to the overall team strength, what are we best at?"

3. New wide receiver Jeff Maehl was at practice today, although he could not participate because Nate Menkin still had to pass his physical with the Texans.

Maehl started his career at Oregon as a safety before moving to the offensive side of the ball. Kelly, who was his offensive coordinator for two years and his head coach for two years, praised Maehl for his toughness.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't in the back of my mind that if I didn't get an opportunity there [Houston] that maybe Chip would give me one," Maehl said. "I was a little shocked that it happened this early. But like I said, I'm happy to be here."

Maehl had a 30-to-45 minute conversation with Kelly this morning, and he was able to watch the offense on the field this afternoon.

Asked if he saw a lot of differences with the Eagles' offense and Oregon's, he said: "Not necessarily. The new terminology, new signals. Obviously he's gotta tone it down a little bit running the quarterback. You're not going to be able to do that in this league. But I think Chip's such a smart guy and he loves football so much that he's going to figure out a way to put us in the best position to make plays out there."

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