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.
The initial overhaul during the summer of 2011 didn’t work out, so the Eagles tried again this offseason.
Gone are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. In are Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.
During the draft, the Eagles didn’t find corner help early, but they grabbed Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer in the seventh round.
You can tell that Kenny Phillips isn’t able to just flip the switch. He was drafted by the Giants, played five years for them. He was wired to hate the Eagles, and now he is one.
“Yeah, it’s weird. It’s definitely weird,” said the veteran safety at his introductory press conference. “I can’t say I hate the Giants. When I was with the Giants I kind of disliked the Eagles. I guess I’ll learn to hate them.”
And the Eagles receivers?
“I didn’t like them,” said Phillips with a smile. “I respected every single one of them. I thought they had a great team. Maclin and Celek and DeSean, you had to respect those guys because they went out there and made plays. Practicing against them should be fun. I enjoyed playing against them — I just can’t hit them now. We have to be best of friends.”
It is important to remember that the offseason makeover is not yet complete. Free-agent signings and trades are still possible. The draft is more than a month away. But here is our best crack at how the defense would look with the roster in its current form.
Cary Williams knew his answer might raise a few eyebrows, but when the new Eagles cornerback was asked Friday who he modeled his game after, he delivered an honest reponse.
“You might not like this, but I model myself after Nnamdi [Asomugha],” Williams said. “He didn’t have much success here, but I don’t plan on going down that path. I always see myself as him because he’s a taller, leaner guy, and a guy that I actually liked with a skill set.
Cary Williams made headlines when he shoved a referee during a skirmish between the Ravens and Niners in Super Bowl XLVII. He was kicked off his first college team. He was suspended back in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
He has not, in other words, always walked the straight line.
The 28-year-old has also overcome his missteps to become a starting cornerback in the NFL, and most recently, a Super Bowl champion. He talked about his unique story with 97.5 The Fanatic Thursday.