Kelly To Check Out Manziel, Evans

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Bowl-Duke vs Texas A&M

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and team president Don Smolenski were on the same flight out of Orlando yesterday, both headed back home to Philadelphia.

Chip Kelly, however, said he was going on the road. And it looks like he’ll be attending yet another Pro Day:

This will be Texas A&M’s second Pro Day. Per reports, the only participants will be Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans.

Kelly has attended several Pro Days this offseason. Sometimes, he’s the only NFL head coach in attendance. So why does the Eagles’ head coach think it’s important to see the prospects up-close?

“I just think it’s another tool in your toolbox,” Kelly said. “It’s an opportunity to go see guys work. It’s similar to the combine in a way, but I think the combine’s a little bit more generic in terms of what they do. You can certainly tailor drills specifically in that if you’re trying to see something. Just another evaluation. It’s not any more or any less, but I think for me if the opportunity’s there to go see him work out one more time and do something in front of people, then why wouldn’t you go see him do that? I don’t think it can hurt you to have too much information on somebody.”

Kelly added that it’s a chance to get to know the prospects on a personal level and presents a more comfortable environment than the combine.

“You get a chance to visit with him and talk to him, see him in different settings,” Kelly said. “And then also visit and talk with their coaches and trainers and other people that have been around the young man for four, five years. I think sometimes when you really analyze what goes on at the combine, that’s kind of difficult for those guys. They’re thrown in for three straight days and they’re marching around in their underwear, people are staring at them, poking and prodding at them, asking a million questions. You get a 15-minute interview as your chance to talk to them.

“I think sometimes when you can get ‘em back onto their campus and get a chance to see them in their environment, you get a better understanding of what they’re like as a player and a better feel for kind of who they are. So when you’re making your decisions, you’re making educated decisions, not just going, ‘What about this guy? I don’t know. I never met him.’ It’d be really tough for me to weigh in and say, ‘We’ve gotta draft this guy…’ and jump on the table for him. Based on what? I watched six games and somebody in a report said he was a good kid? I’d rather be a little bit more hands-on where I can weigh in when we’re having those discussions about the draft of how I feel about the player. But it’s hard for me to weigh in if I’ve never seen him or talked to him.”

Updated: Kelly was indeed in attendance. ESPN showed him talking to Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, analyst Bill Polian and others.

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