Kelly Addresses Media After First Training Camp Practice
Running back Matthew Tucker and punter Brad Wing spent the first day of training camp on a separate field, barred from participating in practice after failing their conditioning tests. It’s not easy to get in a coach’s doghouse before practices even start, but showing up out of shape is one way to do it.
“Your goal in life is to play in the NFL, and you have to get past a conditioning test to do it,” said Kelly following practice Tuesday. “Ball’s in their court.”
Kelly’s conditioning test involves a series of sprints with a rest time in between. The test varies by position, so special teams wouldn’t be held to the same standards of skill players, say.
“It’s really a health thing,” said Kelly. “If you can’t pass a conditioning test, how do you expect to get through one of our practices? We’re not going to put someone out there that’s not ready to go. It’s a preventative thing…There’s a certain physical fitness level that you have to be at — a minimum standard level that you have to be at to get through one of our practices, and those guys aren’t there right now.”
Kelly joked, “We’re talking about passing a minimum standard here. We’re not talking about qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team.”
Tucker and Wing will have another chance to pass on Thursday.
Some more from Kelly’s presser:
— On getting rookies and selected vets on the field for two days before the rest of the team shows up.
“Anything we can do with them is better than not doing anything at all. Obviously it’s different than a normal practice for us, we’re only out here for an hour. What we don’t want to do is run these guys into the ground, so all of a sudden when the veterans show up we’ve got a guy who took too many reps for the last two days and has to sit for a few days.”
The practice only consisted of about 30 players and was toned down considerably from what we saw this spring. That will change on Friday.
— Kelly said that the pads will come on for the first time Sunday.
— Jason Peters will not be disciplined following his arrest this summer for drag racing and resisting flight. Those charges were reduced and he just had to pay a fine.
“[Discipline him] on a speeding ticket? No,” said Kelly.
— Overall feeling on Day 1:
“It was good. We knew we had to slow things down from a teaching standpoint. We only had a couple kids at certain positions; we only had one inside linebacker, one outside linebacker, two corners, one safety. [Practice was] technique-oriented, get guys back and just spend some time, because sometimes I think once you get to Friday, you’re back into scheme and there’s 90 guys flying around you, these young guys can use as much practice as they can.”
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