Three Eagles Leftovers
Chip Kelly called it a notebook. Cody Parkey said it was a binder.
Either way, the head coach is impressed with the way his new kicker charts his performance on a daily basis.
“Practice and games, makes and misses,” Parkey said. “I go in and watch what I do good, what I do bad and what I can improve on every day. If I’m having a bad day of kicking, I can go back and say, ‘I went 10 for 10 this day. What did I do here? What I did do on the bad day?’ Compare ’em so when I come back the next day, I know what I need to do to better myself.”
As part of his daily routine, Parkey now watches all his kicks on film with special teams coach Dave Fipp. In addition to charting makes and misses, he takes notes on mechanical strengths and weaknesses. He’s been doing it since his college days at Auburn and believes the daily evaluation will serve him well at the NFL level.
“It’s one of those things that can be overlooked,” he said. “You can kind of get lazy and be like, ‘I’m kicking really good right now. I don’t need to take notes.’ But I think it’s really important for me to do so in case I have a bad day or if I’m doing really good, what did I do that’s really consistent?”
The Eagles acquired Parkey from the Colts in a trade after the fourth preseason game. In his debut, he connected on field goal attempts from 51 and 28 yards away. He also notched touchbacks on five of seven kickoffs.
On Monday, he’ll be back at Lucas Oil Stadium, but with a different uniform on this time.
CHARTING WADE SMITH’S PROGRESS
Kelly constantly harps on the importance of the Eagles’ offseason program. So when the team signs a guy like offensive lineman Wade Smith in September, it’s fair to question how soon he’ll be able to get up to speed.
“We monitor him in practice, and obviously monitor our guys very closely in practice, so we’ll get an idea and a feel for where he is,” Kelly said. “He’s in good shape when he came in here. He demonstrated that to us when he was here on Tuesday. So he got a feel. I don’t know if he’s game ready in terms of being able to play 80 snaps. That may be hard pressed. But he was in a camp. It’s not like he’s been sitting home and not done anything. He’s gone through a preseason camp.”
Smith was with the Seahawks during the summer. He’s taking most of his snaps at guard, but is rotating in a little bit at center also.
The most likely scenario for Sunday is that Dennis Kelly will get the start at left guard in place of an injured Evan Mathis. His performance will likely determine whether the Eagles turn to Smith in Week 3 against the Redskins. The 33-year-old played in a zone scheme with the Texans and just has to get the Eagles’ communication system down.
He said the biggest difference with the Eagles is the sports science emphasis.
“It’s a big emphasis as soon as you come in the building,” Smith said. “Doing your weigh-in, checking to see if you’re hydrated and your heart rate and all that type of stuff. So that’s different. As far as the no-huddle offense, I’ve been in no-huddle offenses before. It’s just kind of learning what the signals are and what means what. That’s the biggest thing.”
Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis called a good game in Week 1. Of course, he was going up against Chad Henne and a below-average offensive line.
A stiffer test comes Monday night against Andrew Luck and the Colts.
I asked Chip Kelly what he likes about the way Davis calls a game.
“I think Billy’s just sharp,” he said. “He’s got a great feel for the game itself. He knows, just like any really, really good coach, he knows the strengths of what he’s calling and he knows the weaknesses of what he’s calling. So if he’s getting beaten with any type of package that they’re running offensively, he knows that it’s because I’m in this coverage, I need to change it and get to this. Because even though I’m going to give up something else, you can’t call something that’s going to cover everything. But Billy, the one thing about him that’s impressed me is he has an answer. He also knows if what you call, if they have the answer, hey, tip your hat to them and then let’s go back. That becomes a chess match that goes on in the game.
“If you’re running the ball and we can pack guys on the line of scrimmage and they hit you with the play-action pass, you kind of know you’re vulnerable to that. But if you know in your film study that a play-action pass is coming, you put yourself in the right call for it. I think he does a great job of communicating that to our guys on the field. They feel comfortable going into the game and understanding the game-plan that he’s put in.”