Chip Kelly has warned repeatedly not to draw any depth chart conclusions in May.
And he has a point.
Practice is about getting players acclimated to the offensive and defensive schemes. Reps, reps and more reps.
Having said that, there were a few surprises on Monday, the first time practice was open to the media.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the positions of note.
Monday was the first time the media were allowed to watch Chip Kelly’s Eagles practice at the NovaCare Complex.
Below is a first-person account of everything I saw.
There was one sequence during Chip Kelly‘s blindingly fast practice Monday where all five quarterbacks dropped back at once. Five receivers running five different routes down the same stretch of field. Music blaring in the background. Five QBs side-by-side. Five snaps, five reads, five throws. Five balls darting through the air simultaneously.
As Kelly promised, there were plenty of reps to go around as OTAs got underway at the NovaCare Complex. That’s what happens when you are moving non-stop for two straight hours. Players rotating in and out. One play rolling right on top of the other. Enough throws to tire out multiple arms.
Still, there needs to be order amid the controlled chaos, even in what the head coach has termed a wide-open quarterback competition. When individual drills gave way to team exercises, it was Michael Vick that was typically the first signal-caller in, followed by Nick Foles and then Matt Barkley. Foles got a healthy amount of work with the first team, though, and Kelly made the case afterwards that the reps with the ones were virtually split between Vick and Foles.
DeSean Jackson is looking forward to getting back to being a weapon on punt returns. And LeSean McCoy doesn’t know Matt Barkley’s name. Here are some notes from NovaCare today.
We will get our eyes on a Chip Kelly practice for the first time today, as the Eagles kick off OTAs at 10:40 a.m.
Rookies who got their first taste of Kelly’s up-tempo style over the weekend couldn’t help but comment on just how fast-paced it was. You could tell some were caught off guard. Now, with the room still spinning, they’ll be thrown in with the veterans to compete for a roster spot — or in some instances, a starting job.
“I advise you guys not to blink,” said Jeremy Maclin on what to expect today. “It’s going to be fast. It’s going to be a lot of guys flying around. I think you’ll see a bunch of people in different positions. That’s the joy of this offense. I can play every position on the field.”
Here are three specific things we’ll be honing in on, assuming we can make sense of the blur:
Five single mothers arrived at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday afternoon thinking their sons had been selected to participate in a community service project with Jeremy Maclin.
But instead, they were surprised with gift baskets, words of thanks and pledges from their children.
Ifeanyi Momah knew of Harold Carmichael before he arrived in Philadelphia for his workout with the Eagles.
At 6-7, 240, Momah had done his homework on other tall wide receivers, looking for a blueprint or two to follow. As he walked the hallways of the NovaCare Complex for the first time, he was stopped by Carmichael, the Eagles’ director of player programs.
Russell Shepard is probably as happy as anyone to be through the draft process and onto an NFL practice field.
Not only did the LSU wide receiver go undrafted in late April, but got off on the wrong foot with the team that eventually scooped him up — the Eagles — by telling a Louisiana radio station that he signed a deal with Philadelphia while the draft was still ongoing. Teams are not permitted to negotiate a contract until the draft concludes. A league representative told Birds 24/7 that they were looking into the situation to determine the facts. The Eagles had to put out a statement denying Shepard’s claims.
It wasn’t an ideal first impression.
Two punters were selected in the fifth round of last month’s draft. Brad Wing was not one of them.
The LSU product, who eventually signed on with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent, sat at home in Baton Rouge, La. with his parents, little brother and fiancee without receiving a call.
On talent alone, there’s little question about whether Wing (6-2, 205) warrants a spot in the league. But in an uncommon twist, the punter’s off-the-field transgressions are what scared teams away. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Wing was told by LSU that he was no longer welcome on the team, even though he had two years of eligibility remaining.