1. By Saturday at 6 p.m., the Eagles will have to cut their roster down to 53 players. When Kelly took the job, he provided Howie Roseman and the scouting staff with a blueprint of what he was looking for out of different positions. Their job was then to accumulate talent. But now that the roster needs to be trimmed, Kelly confirmed that he has final say on picking the 53 who are staying.
“We’re on the same page on everything,” Kelly said of his relationship with Roseman. “There’s hasn’t been a decision that’s been made personnel-wise since I’ve been here where I felt one way and he’s felt the other way.”
Does Kelly expect there will be a time when that’s not the case?
“No, it’s a utopia,” he joked. “It will always be on the same page.”
“When you analyze it, there’s never been a situation when we’ve been going from it’s this guy or that guy and then two guys are standing on soap boxes saying we’re going one direction and not the other direction. I think when you have guys who are professional and can see the other side of it and understand how it fits in the grand scheme of things, I think he sees big picture, I see big picture. I think that’s why we get along so well.”
Jeffrey Lurie and Roseman talked earlier this offseason about how they want the Eagles to be a “coach-centric” organization. With Joe Banner and Andy Reid gone, Roseman is clearly leading the charge on the personnel side. But when final decisions are made on who to keep, it’s Kelly’s call.
2. Even though the opener is less than two weeks away, Kelly said there are still jobs up for grabs as the Eagles prepare to take on the Jets Thursday night.
“There’s a lot up in the air right now,” Kelly said. “I think every chance you have an opportunity to see our guys compete – and obviously the games are different than the training sessions out here – it’s a last real good shot of us getting an opportunity to see how they react in that environment. It’s as close to the regular season as you can get. So it’s a huge night for all of those guys.”
Several factors will go in to Kelly’s final decisions. One is special-teams play, and another is versatility. For example, Clay Harbor has been practicing at both tight end and wide receiver. Allen Barbre at guard and tackle. Damion Square at nose tackle and defensive end.
There’s been a method to Kelly’s madness in regards to moving guys around so much.
“When you only have 46 guys active on gameday, you’ve got to have versatility in your non-starters because there’s just not enough numbers,” he said. “If you’re two-deep at every position, that’s 44 excluding specialists. At some positions, you’re gonna carry a third. You’re gonna carry a third running back, so where does that spot come from? It’s gotta come from somewhere. When you’re talking about making a 46-man roster, that versatility part is huge for guys that aren’t starters.”
3. And finally, Kelly explained the Win The Day mantra that became so popular at Oregon and now has made its way into the Eagles’ locker room.
“Just about embracing the process and that’s what it’s all about,” Kelly said. “I think too many people see too far down the road. You can talk about championships all you want, but if you don’t take care of what you’re supposed to be taking care of today, it doesn’t matter what your long-term goal is.
“Just really making sure that you’re focused no matter what your long-term goals are, to be on the short-term and what can I get accomplished today? Maybe we just weren’t smart enough to look long-term. We can control what we can control today and if we do it, go to bed, get up tomorrow and do it again. It’s about being consistent with your behavior and I think too many times, everybody talks about the big picture. But they neglect to look at what the small picture is. It’s an accumulation of things on a daily basis that gets you to where you are a year from now. It’s not try to jump to a year from now. It’s take care of what you can today and what you can control is just today.”