Eagles Notes: Kelly On Sam Bradford, Mychal Kendricks
Chip Kelly addressed the media prior to Thursday’s practice. Before we get into it, a big thank you to Josh for crushing it over the last few days in my absence. Per your suggestions, I’ll consider treating him to a Del Frisco’s steak to show my appreciation. (On second thought, I have another mouth to feed now, so hopefully he’ll settle for a Shake Shack burger.)
Also, Tucker’s last day was Saturday. He did a tremendous job for us. Big things ahead for the T-Man, and we wish him well. Adam Hermann will be jumping in with both feet on Monday.
Now onto the press conference highlights:
— Kelly did not tip his hand as to how long he intends on playing Sam Bradford Saturday. The plan is to meet this afternoon to discuss the rotations.
“I just think daily progress,” said Kelly, when asked what he wants to see out of Bradford between now and the opener in Atlanta. “We’ve seen that on the practice field. I think he’s better than when we started on August (2nd) and I think he’s continuing to get comfortable with what we’re doing. I see him not making the same mistakes. I think he’s a really coachable guy and has a great understanding of the game of football; he’s played in a couple different systems so I think that benefits him and you look at that as a positive. We continue to see continual growth with him which I think is important.”
Bradford fired high on a couple passes in his preseason debut against the Ravens and suggested afterwards that he was a little amped up. Were the two connected?
“Yeah, you could tell he was a little amped up. He probably wants that throw to Riley [Cooper] back where Riley was behind the DB and tried to change Riley’s angle a little bit; we don’t want to change angle for depth,” he said. “But that’s understandable, not having played football for a long time, that’s kind of a natural feeling we would anticipate him having.”
— Kelly said the team chose to sign Mychal Kendricks to an extension now “because he’s a really good football player, and we like him [contrary] to a lot of people’s writings. We think he’s a really good player, I’ve always thought he was a really good player and we want to build our future around the guys that fit in terms of what we do.”
Kelly dismissed the idea that Kendricks (6-0, 240) isn’t an ideal measurables fit.
“He actually doesn’t fall short in our areas. Really the biggest thing for us is weight at the inside linebacker spot. We’ll take anybody from 5-11 to about 6-4, so he fit exactly what we’re looking for in terms of parameters. And when you look at him from change of direction, vertical jump, broad jump, speed, he’s off the charts. He fits exactly what we’re looking for at the inside linebacker position,” he said.
“His physical attributes lend him to being a three-down linebacker which everybody is looking for. It doesn’t matter what defensive system you’re in, you value the guys that can run, physically be able to run with tight ends and running backs and also be big enough and strong enough to take on offensive linemen. Mychal can do all those things, and that’s why we extended him.
“I don’t think he has a lack of height. He’s right at six-foot — he’s the same height as Navarro Bowman and a lot of the really good inside linebackers in this league. When I made a statement two years ago of ‘big people beat up little people,’ that doesn’t mean that I want 6-11 inside linebackers. Mychal fits into all our parameters from a height-weight-speed standpoint. He’s actually kind of a prototypical guy that we’re looking for.”
— Asked if there has been any more communication regarding Terrell Suggs‘ hit on Bradford, Kelly said he talked to NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino briefly on Tuesday, and was told the league would be sending a video out at the end of the week.
“I think we all understand it,” said Kelly. “Any quarterback when he’s handing the ball off there is a threat of him — it doesn’t matter what run play, I could be handing the ball off underneath the center — you have the ability to get hit.”
— Josh Huff is back at practice, Kelly said, after missing two days for personal reasons.