Camp Notes: A Day At Franklin Field

Chip Kelly
As Chip Kelly made his way into historic Franklin Field, a fan in the stands a stone’s throw away screamed out, ‘Hey, Chip!’ The coach shot a quick look up and saw a shirtless man with arms spread wide, eager to show off an Eagles tattoo just below his neck that ran shoulder to shoulder.

Later, Kelly went to the edge of those stands as Eagles chants rained down, taking extended time to shake hands and chat up the crowd. He autographed a couple jerseys on his way out and posed for some photos and a little conversation with those that requested it before hopping onto the team bus on 33rd street. The players followed suit.

Some 28,000 fans turned out for Sunday’s practice to see a memorable blending of present and past. It was the most intimate setting for a training camp practice that we’ve seen since Kelly was hired and the scene shifted from Lehigh back to Philly.

Prior to practice, a host of Eagles alumni were introduced as current players lined up on either side to greet them. The group included many that played on these fields, including Tommy McDonald, Pete Retzlaff and Chuck Bednarik. “Concrete Charlie” was the last one introduced and drew a loud ovation as he made his way through the line with the assistance of a walker.

“It’s great to see guys who have done it in the past,” said DeMeco Ryans. “Great to see Chuck Bednarik, a guy who got it done on both sides of the ball, a college award named after him. It was special meeting him.”

“We always talk about the tradition of what the Philadelphia Eagles are all about,” said Kelly. “Obviously the turnout you have here is awesome. A chance to get out in front of the fans. To be able to play in a special place like this, it’s neat for them to be able to understand the history of the team.”

The Eagles practiced in shorts Sunday since they were just a couple days removed from the preseason opener with the Bears. Nick Foles, for one, said he was glad to be back at it after a rough outing in Chicago.

What was he working on?

“Just making smart decisions. If I don’t have it, throw it away. Staying on time. Moving in the pocket,” he said. “It’s just the little things, getting back to what I was doing last season — just moving in the pocket and making good decisions and moving the ball.”

Riley Cooper returned to practice but didn’t take part in all team drills. As such, the first team receivers included Jeremy Maclin, Ifeanyi Momah and Brad Smith. Foles looked better overall but still does’t seem quite in sync with his wideouts.

“I felt good about today. I want to progress, look at the game film from today’s practice and make it even better tomorrow,” said Foles.

The Eagles have a short practice Monday before heading up to New England for their joint sessions with the Patriots. Kelly said there will be a couple physical practices with the Pats on Tuesday and Wednesday and then a lighter day on Thursday in front of Friday’s exhibition game in Foxboro.

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  • 370HSSV 0773H

    It’s a shame we allow stadium names to be sold to banks and corporations instead of naming them after sports heroes. The Linc should be named after Chuck Bednarik.

    • ICDogg

      Then it would be nicknamed “The Bed”!

      • 370HSSV 0773H

        He did put Gifford to sleep when he knocked him out.

        • MediaMike

          A fitting end to any player, coach, and/or fan associated with the New York Giants.

  • MediaMike

    Truly a shame the fans aren’t able to get this type of access on a daily basis as was the case as Widner, West Chester, and Lehigh.

    • Johnny Domino

      If it makes them better, I’m OK with it.

      • MediaMike

        I understand that side of it, but I think it knee caps the fan-base long term via not allowing kids a deep connection with the players. One of my best friends has a completely ridiculous story about Andre Watters getting his own car mixed up with my buddy’s father’s car and dancing around the cars in the West Chester parking lot. I feel for today’s kids that won’t get those types of stories.

        • Johnny Domino

          Got a couple of those stories as well, but for every one of them you’ve got one about guys hanging between sessions at some dive bar in Chester, a certain funky QB having problems mounting his motor scooter in the Alibi’s parking lot in WC or the fellas on a midnight van tour of Bethlehem.

          Sorry, but Chip has just blinded me with science.

          • MediaMike

            All part of the charm of camp, but the guys looking to get themselves into trouble seem to do so anyway.

  • NickS, Combine Warrior

    I’m really starting to believe that Momah has the inside track for the 6th spot.

    • MediaMike

      Momah getting the start over a lot of other guys, at the very least, was a warning to the rest of guys that the 6th spot isn’t just going to be given out.

    • John E. Zang

      I’m all for it. Benn is made of glass, Maehl just lacks talent and/or size, Brad Smith doesn’t have much upside and the rest are raw rookies and maybe Boone or Pratt could end up on practice squad.

    • I’m thinking Huff and Matthews haven’t absorbed enough of the playbook to be useful out there. Can’t be talent. Mohmah is garbage.

      • damrvrhunter

        Its Momah. Do you have to be that harsh ?

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        We like, in order, 1) Measurables, 2) Scheme fit, 3) Talent

      • jshort

        One teams trash is another teams treasure.

      • Mitchell

        Momahtron was the only guy catching first team balls on Friday it seemed like. I think it says something that Foles would go to him twice. At this point he may be better than Benn especially after starting ahead of him. Plus that size and speed combination is just so damn intriguing. He has shown a ton of growth so far so I dnt see why we can’t expect a bit more.

        • It doesn’t. It means Mohmah happened to be the X or Y on that particular play and the X or Y was the first or second read. Seriously guys, its like 2013 didn’t happen. Mohmah isn’t an NFL WR.

          • Travis Papa

            You are acting like 2014 isn’t happening. Ppl can progress and make strides. He did show some nice hands on Foles 1st pass to pull it out of the ground. Give a guy a chance it’s not like he has wronged you on a personal level.

          • He’s a side show. The back-up center debate (will it be Molk or Vandervelde?) is more important to this team than if Mohmah winds up being the 1st WR cut or the 3rd WR cut.

            The only way Mohmah makes this team is if Jeff Lurie fires Howie and hires Sam Hinkie.

          • Mitchell

            O yeh? Well I say he is because he is playing in the NFL and receiving tds. I guess we’ll see how it plays. I get your caution with him though. I’m not quite ready to put him in canton either!

          • you’ve got me there. he’s definitely one of the top 2,560 players in the NFL.

      • eaglespur

        Momah wouldn’t have received all that preseason playing time if the coaches thought he was garbage. He may be garbage, but he’s at least shown them enough that they wanted to push him forward a bit to see what he can do. He seemed to be off of his route in at least one play, but maybe he wasn’t the one out-of-place… the coaches know, though. If he is healthy and does his job, he just might survive the cut-downs.

        • He’s garbage. He’s out there because: A) 2 WRs are in walking boots. B) 2 WRs are rookies and C) they’re keeping Maclin in a bubble for some reason.

          • eaglespur

            hey, good points, I get it. These pro coaches know what they’re doing though, and most of them don’t have enough tenure to be able make a reach when promoting players, so if they promote someone they’ll have to have a reason and consensus for it. Even if garbage is competing with garbage, the coaches are going to pick the garbage with the least stink. There’s a cheer for you: “We stink less!”

      • dnabrice

        I was with you on the Momah is not a player train, until I saw him make numerous catches at practice. He had a great corner grab, and I think he’s starting to utilize his size a little more. It will be a great story if they can turn him into a productive player.

    • ICDogg

      I don’t agree, I think it’s still Maehl, but I think Momah is ahead of Benn. Momah is going to have to show something on special teams, I think, to surpass Maehl.

      • Travis Papa

        Honestly with maehl the old saying applies “you can’t make the club in the tub” he hasn’t been practicing so hos ST contributions are useless. Momah gets the 6th spot. He looked very active in the gm downfield blocking and caught 2 balls everything else is correctable.

        • he isn’t a good Wide Receiver. is that correctable? I’d take Maehl, Benn, Pratt, Smith, Murphy, Cunningham over Mohmah. He’s no better than the 9th WR on this team.

          • Travis Papa

            He can catch run routes and block. If the coaches see fit to have him run with the 1st team over many other options they must be seeing something you are not. Maybe maehl is the 6th but it’s not happening if he aint healthy and momah is healthy. Just don’t be shocked when momahtron runs wild on the nfl.

          • agree with everything except “catch.” Yes. I’ll be shocked.

          • ICDogg

            I disagree, as Momah has improved a lot from last year, and has attractive upside potential. I don’t expect him to make the team but I no longer think that it is a crazy thought.

    • Weapon Y

      I’d be thrilled if Momah made it, but I’m still thinking Maehl gets it because of special teams. Momah might be the better receiver, but that won’t be enough. He should at least get on the practice squad though. That’s more than most people expected from him, and an amazing accomplishment in itself from how low in the pecking order he started from.

      • Mitchell

        I’m really interested as to how good is Jeff at special teams and at what point mesuarables and potential out weigh special teams contributions.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Gotta publish pics of the old school guys. Bednarik was beheading Giants the year I was born. And when I played Pop Warner ball, I would pretend I was Tommy McDonald when I caught a TD pass.

  • RG

    Tons of fans packed into the stands into the east endzone at Franklin Field, but the Eagles ran all the offensive plays into the west endzone where there are no stands. Couldn’t figure that one out. Fans left early cause it was boring watching the D-lineman do the same drill over and over. Loved Beau Allen’s energy.

    • hokieduck

      Chip complies with the league requirements about media access and open practices. That said, he absolutely disagrees with both from a strategic standpoint, thus will make those required opens as vanilla as possible.

    • hokieduck

      Chip complies with the league requirements about media access and open practices. That said, he absolutely disagrees with both and will make those required opens as vanilla as possible.

  • Tom w

    Sure seems like momah is ahead of Benn and pushing Maehl. I been to all three practices and momah sure seems much improved from last year. He also seems to have developed a chemistry w foles which can’t be understated. W brad smith and huff being very adept at special teams, I see no need for Maehl aside from being a chip guy but we already have Braman and maragos for that and bair and hart. Making conclusions on momah based on last year seems silly … The kid has definitely developed.