Kelly: Vick Ranked No. 1 In Offseason Program

Chip KellyChip Kelly might have been a bit hesitant to praise one quarterback too much when Michael Vick and Nick Foles were competing for the top spot.

But now that he’s named Vick the starter, he’s willing to let everyone know what’s impressed him about the 33-year-old signal-caller.

“What I’ve learned about him is how passionate he is about this game,” Kelly said. “He has not missed a day. He’s here every single day. You listen to our strength and conditioning guys… I asked them the other day who’s from top to bottom, if you could rank our guys, and he was by far number one in terms of his attitude, work ethic, helping other players, everything. In terms of weight-room, off-field things. I’m not in the weight room every single day with those guys, but I always get input from them of what’s going on in there. Every facet of what you’ve asked him to do since he’s been here, he’s been outstanding at.”

Back in May, Tim wrote about Vick’s offseason training regimen, which included work with a ninja stick. He may no longer be at his athletic peak, but by all accounts, Vick is doing everything in his power to battle father time.

DESEAN BUYING IN

Back in the spring, DeSean Jackson had to have a little sit-down with Kelly to figure out why he ran practice the way he did.

But since then, Jackson looks like he’s on a mission. The speedy wide receiver has had an outstanding summer and seems to have a great understanding of the Eagles’ new offense.

“I think DeSean’s had a fantastic camp,” Kelly said. “He’s been out there every single day. I think he’s improved, he’s getting stronger in the weight room. He’s another guy that’s kind of bought in to what we’ve asked him to do and helped make himself a better player. I’m excited to see him once the real season gets along because I think he’s a huge advantage for us because he can create some mismatches out there.”

Jackson and the Eagles’ starters are expected to play at least the first half Saturday night against Jacksonville.

TRA JOINS COACHING STAFF

Kelly officially announced that former Eagles left tackle Tra Thomas will join his staff as an offensive assistant. Thomas has been with the team all offseason as part of the Bill Walsh minority program. And he’s impressed Kelly enough to warrant a full-time role.

“One thing about Tra, when you sit there and watch film with him is just how much he studied tape on his own and what he learned about the game,” Kelly said. “And I think he’s imparted that to a lot of the young linemen that we have. Part of being really good up front is developing that talent. I think having someone like Tra around here will help us really develop those young guys. But I think he’s got a bright future coaching and we’re excited.”

SCHEDULE CHANGE

The Eagles will no longer get Tuesdays off during the regular season.

“Our players’ day off will be Monday after the game,” Kelly said. “And then we’ll practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and play.”

We’ll try to chat with some players after practice and get their opinions of the new schedule.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.