Camp Kelly Gets Going

Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »

There is no use avoiding it. Let’s talk about the QB competition.

It sounds like both Nick Foles and Mike Vick had good days, which is the ideal answer. You’d rather have 2 good options than to be picking the lesser of 2 evils.  Both players got reps with the starters. Writers tried to keep track of who did what.

Jeff McLane has his numbers here. On Twitter, he said Foles was the more impressive QB.  From the article:

Vick completed 22 of 27 passes with one interception to linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Foles hit on 20 of 24 throws and appeared a bit sharper in terms of getting the players set at line and getting the ball out of his hand quick.

Jordan Raanan put his numbers into chart form. Nicely done. He’s got the same stats, but also offered some details.

…the quarterbacks started slowly. Michael Vick threw an interception to DeMeco Ryans on the first play of 7-on-7s. Meanwhile, Nick Foles completed two of his first four passes while struggling with his accuracy. He was fortunate not to have a pair of passes picked off early in the practice. One actually turned into a catch on a deep ball down the right sideline when DeSean Jackson made a juggling reception for the play of the day.

Geoff Mosher had an interesting nugget on Foles in his piece.

Foles looked sharp on 24 throws, completing 20. He was the only one of the three quarterbacks to finish without an interception. On 18 reps with the first offense, he completed 13 of 14 passes.

It sounds pretty even after one day.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama posted his practice notes. Lots of good nuggets in there. I’ll pick out a couple, but go read the whole piece.

• There were plenty of opportunities to watch the OLBs in pass coverage today. Not that “Best OLB in coverage” is a position, but if the Eagles had a “Best OLB in coverage” competition similar to the starting QB competition, Connor Barwin would be named the winner, as in right now. That’s not to say that Barwin is a stud in coverage. There was one play in which Brent Celek ran a post pattern, and he simply ran away from Barwin, although he did play the pass well on other occasions that didn’t require a straight-line sprint. At a minimum, Barwin is functional, and looks the most comfortable, by far.

• Russell Shepard had two diving catches today. One was on a short laser that he had to react quickly to. The other was about 20 yards down the field. Shepard was often the last guy off the field during OTAs and minicamps, taking as many reps as he could get on the Jugs machine. It may be paying off for him.

Glad to hear that Shepard’s extra work is paying some dividends. He’s still most likely headed for the practice squad, but this young man has NFL ability. He just needs to develop some positional skills.

As for the OLBs and coverage…Cole and Graham need reps. They’ll be better in 3 weeks than they are today. Give them time to learn.

Chip Kelly noted in his PC that he and the coaches understand there is a lot of learning going on, especially now at the beginning of camp. They don’t expect Trent Cole to be a good cover LB any more than they would expect Nick Foles to be a good option QB or Ifeanyi Momah a polished WR. Players need time to learn. They need reps on the field and then coaching off of it.

* * * * *

WR Arrelious Benn did suffer some kind of injury. He left practice and didn’t return. It wasn’t a dramatic injury that got everyone’s attention so hopefully it won’t be too serious, but it was his knee. And Benn has had knee issues in the past.

Cary Williams left practice early after tweaking his hamstring.

* * * * *

Danny Watkins talked to the media today and said all the right things. You can watch him doing some OL drills in the piece. Danny has a big advantage this year due to the fact he’s a good run blocker and Kelly wants to run. Danny was highly inconsistent as a pass blocker. As you may recall, Andy Reid liked to throw a pass or two.

* * * * *

Kurt Coleman and DeMeco Ryans had the INTs today.

DeSean Jackson had the highlight play, with a juggling catch down the field. I don’t think anyone has video of it. I’d love to see the play.

* * * * *

Chip Kelly spoke to the media. PE.com has the PC. He had some good stuff today.

Kelly talked about QBs and running. “Touchdown. First down. Get down.” That’s what they teach QBs. If there is open grass, run it. When contact is “imminent”, get down. Kelly said that durability is the most important ability. You need the starting QB to stay healthy and stay on the field. His QBs in Oregon were durable.

Someone asked about DeSean Jackson and Kelly got excited. It sounds like he and DeSean are definitely on the same page. Kelly praised DeSean for showing up in great shape and being ready to go. DeSean is a special talent, but he’s got to have that talent show up more in the form of production rather than potential. If Kelly has DeSean motivated and locked in, watch out.

DeSean muffed a couple of punts early on, but caught the ball very well on offense. He really seemed to get the attention of everyone watching practice today. This could be a great sign.

Kelly joked at one point that if he calls 20 read-option plays with Nick Foles in the game, he should be fired. Kelly then went on to explain that the offense is big enough and versatile enough that it can be tailored to the players. The team will practice everything this summer so that the coaches can see which players function well at various parts of the scheme. The coaches will then make evaluations and adjust the offense accordingly, once roster moves and the depth chart are done.

I think it would be safe to say that Kelly likes Jason Peters. Check out some of what Kelly had to say.

“I don’t think there is a player like him in the world to be honest with you,” head coach Chip Kelly said Friday. “Someone that big, that fast, that athletic. I catch myself in practice just kind of going, ‘Wow.’ He’s 350 pounds and he runs like he is a tight end. He’s an exception to every rule, so I don’t think studying guys who have had Achilles injuries and saying, ‘That guy would be like Jason.’ He didn’t have any ill effects when he was here during the spring and he hasn’t shown anything, he’s not getting any extra treatment or anything like that. He’s been cleared 100 percent.”

A healthy Jason Peters will have a tremendous impact on the 2013 Eagles. From everything that I’ve seen and what has been said, Peters looks like he’s all the way back. Great to see #71 out there doing his thing. He is a special player.

* * * * *

A reminder…the Eagles Almanac is available for download. Just cost $10.

I wrote a piece on how judging the Eagles defense will be different under Chip Kelly.

I wrote about the 1993 season, the Eagles first without Reggie White. That was such a weird time.

I also did a short 2014 Draft preview, listing some players to watch during the upcoming season.

There is a tremendous amount of good material from Sheil Kapadia, Mike Tanier, bountybowl, Derek Sarley, Tim McManus, Jimmy Hack and so many more.

And if you don’t buy it…Jimmy will cry. He’s a very delicate flower, as you can tell by how I always have to say nice things about him.

_


  • Weapon Y

    Tommy, I noticed that Brandon Graham still didn’t get any reps with the first team in either 3-man or 4-man fronts. Are you worried that either he’s not adjusting well to the new defense or that Davis is giving him the Jim Washburn treatment all over again?

    • John Gurney

      Davis had a press conference yesterday and from what I recall he holds Graham in pretty high regard.

      • Weapon Y

        I’m not insinuating that Davis is a bad guy or a jackass like Washburn was. I’m disappointed that Trent Cole is getting all of the reps with the ones and not having to compete for the job. I’d understand if they split reps and then Cole looked better. I just don’t think it’s obvious one way or the other who is better as an outside linebacker. They both have a lot to work on with pass coverage, and they’re both gifted pass rushers.

        • TommyLawlor

          Graham is backing up Barwin at SAM, from what I understand.

          • GEagle

            I’m surprised that the Eagles didn’t claim Obrien Scofield off waivers after the Cardinals released him…Anyone remember if Scofield and Billy Davis paths crossed at Arizona, or was Davis already gone by the time Scofield was drafted?….When we cut Powell, I figured Obrien was on his way to Philly……Anyone know if someone else claimed Scofield yet?

          • Media Mike

            I think you’re 100% correct on that. I’m not sure who actually functions as Cole’s backup on that side, but Barwin / Graham is on the SAM side.

          • GEagle

            We shall see about that. My guess is that Barwin is irreplaceable and Graham ends up playing more snaps then Cole does at Predator. I think Cole has more left in him than we might think so it could be 55%Graham, 45% Cole… if all three stay healthy then my guess for the snap count at the end of the season ranks:
            1)Barwin (most snaps)
            2)Graham
            3)Cole
            4) your guess is as good as mine lol

          • Anders

            I think Graham ends up as Cole’s backup and somebody like Chris McCoy that can cover ends up as the back up SAM

          • Media Mike

            That is a strong possibility. Also, don’t rule out Cole being traded to a 4-3 team for a mid -round pick and Graham becoming the starter over there.

            I really want to see Trent Cole become Pro Bowl Trent Cole again, but age, injury, salary, and new system might all be conspiring to take him out of the mix here.

          • TommyLawlor

            Cole won’t be traded. Huge cap hit. Eagles save money by keeping him rather than cutting or trading him.

          • Media Mike

            Tommy:

            I guess a potential moving on from Cole is a matter of picking one’s poison when it comes to a cap hit. If he doesn’t work out, and I’m not suggesting that I believe it to be the case, wouldn’t the cap hit now have to be weighed against carrying a player on the roster who isn’t working out as one would like?

            The Eagles Cap web site has Cole down for a $5.3 million cap hit and $6.4 million worth of dead money if cut. Cutting Cole would net a $1.1 million dollar loss on this year’s cap (on which they’re $20 million under), but save them $6.6 million on next year’s cap. In 2015-17, Cole’s hits are $11.6, $12.6, and $14. I doubt he ever sees those numbers unless he’s playing at a career high level.
            In any case, I’m rooting for Cole to have a great year and be here, but if he looks lost this pre-season it might be a matter of a slow rip vs. a fast rip on the salary Band-Aid. I’m a fast ripper.

          • GEagle

            Even if Cole isn’t a good fit for us moving forward. I don’t see him being moved at all. theoretically you could say well moving him is like purchasing a draft pick, but what kind of a draft pick is a team ally going to give up for him? Draft picks are like Gold. You see a guy like Anquan BOldin, who has the ability to get the niners over the hump and win a SB, and all the ravens got for him was a 6th round pick…I value 6th and 7th round picks more than the adage fan, but when you look at ur roster…buying a 6th or 7th round pick probably isn’t worth more than a situational pass rusher, which Cole can still be even in a worst case scenario…If you trade away Cole right now, and Barwin or Graham get injured, what the hell do we do then?

            When you run a high paced offense, there will be times when defenses won’t get much of a breather and we can’t go into the season with only two pass rushers at one of the most crucial positions on the defense. Even if Cole is never capable of covering a TE, I would feel much more comfortable with Trent on the field, instead of Phillip Hunt

    • GEagle

      Finally, we No longer have to hear reporters talk about us in terms of a two gap 3-4, since there is NO shot in hell that we have better personel for a two gap 3-4, then a 4-3U….Like I have been saying, single gap 3-4/4-3U this year, and down the line,aye we can talk two gap 3-4(although I don’t understand why the hell we would ever want to waste cox talents as a two gapper)…Cox is a Play Maker!! not a guy like Sopo who does the dirty work so other teammates can make plays!

      • Media Mike

        We’re sharing a mind on this as well. Plus Benny Logan isn’t a two gap player either.

  • makarov123

    ” Kelly then went on to explain that the offense is big enough and versatile enough that it can be tailored to the players.”

    How many games into the pre-season or regular season will we be before the experts at NFLN and ESPN “get” this? Kelly basically said from his first press conference that the offensive scheme will be designed to fit the abilities of the players on the roster. Yet, all we’ve heard since is “he’ll love Vick since he’s a running QB.”

    • Jamie Parker

      Don’t worry about what the “experts” on NFLN and ESPN say or think. They know just as much, or less, as anyone else. It doesn’t matter what they think. What matters is what Chip Kelly thinks, and how each player executes.

  • TommyLawlor
    • GEagle

      I really enjoyed the Kelce piece that PE aired during yesterday’s episode of TC live…Kelce talked about last years injury and how he felt he was letting everyone down, and he also had one of the best quotes of the entire offseason:
      “The great part about getting a new Coach is that it Forces every single player to re-establish his value to the organization”..After hitting rock bottom, that statement is music to the ears. he elaborated on that statement about how when you have a long tenured coach, if you aren’t performing that well, coaches still might have a certain level of trust in you, so you can get complacent..and how having a new coach forces everyone to start all over again establishing how the organization views them, And how it should really prove which guys are ready to win some football games….
      I can’t ever recall such a late round draft pick, who’s play and leadership off the field, from day one so closely resembled that of a pro bowl veteran of 8 seasons…man, we really need good health for Kelce doggy dog!…and Yes, “The TODDfather” has an epic haircut that only he could pull off!!!.

  • P_P_K

    Since we’re now going to talk about it, Nick Foles is my guy. He’s got some experience under his belt in a very tough situation last year. If he has a good tc, put him under center, commit to him for the year, and see what kind of game the young man really has. Even if Vick looks great, no one expects him to be here in 5 years so he’s not our future, and I truly can’t imagine him, at 35, suddenly becoming the qb we need. Matty B ain’t going to be ready to be #1 by Sept, especially if he spends the time he should with his pretty new wife. Go #9!

    • TommyLawlor

      It would be very convenient for Foles to win the job. Vick isn’t part of the future.

      • Media Mike

        Correct. And Vick’s lack of proper play ended coaching stints for Reeves, Mora Jr., Petrino (indirectly), and Reid. Chip Kelly is not ignorant of Vick’s past.

        • Anders

          Actually an injury to Vick ended Reeves time with Vick and that was most likely the biggest mistake (Reeves had a little control over Vick, where Mora had zero control)

          Reid had nothing to with Vick, but rather a combination of poor culture and poor drafting

          • Media Mike

            You don’t think Vick contributed to that poor culture? Vick, much like Nnamdi, said all the right things but where was the commitment to:
            – ball security
            – learning how to take himself out of harm’s way on hits
            – improving as a reader of Ds and/or decision maker in throwing the football
            I don’t question Vick’s work ethic at all, but I don’t think he was applying that work ethic to learning how to be a better player.

  • phillychuck

    Chip’s most interesting comments during the PC were on the defensive scheme. Talked about the range of defensive fronts going from a wide-9 to a 2-gap 3-4. Said he wasn’t sure we had the personnel to go all the way to a 3-4, and that we might end up in some kind of under front like a 4-3 under.

    • TommyLawlor

      Bill Davis talked about that on Thursday.

      • phillychuck

        I knew I shouldn’t have gone on vacation…

      • GEagle

        Tom,
        What did you make of Lazors comments?

        Ridiculous amounts of high praise for Foles and Barkley…when it came to Vick, all he had to say is “I was in Atlanta back when Vick was there, and today he throws the ball just as hard as he was back then(paraphrasing)…sounded odd to hear mountains of praise from two QBs, and then a sentence about Vick..

        Of Course, this is probably just me being Team Foles guy, trying to read to much into things, but I did strike me as Odd

  • TommyLawlor
    • SteveH

      Tommy, I get the sense that your frustration with idiots in the media is growing at an alarming rate. Better pace yourself because I feel like this whole Chip Kelly/QB battle situation is going to bring out the worst in the Sal Pals of the world.

      • TommyLawlor

        Probably good advice.

        • GEagle

          I got the sense earlier in the week that Chipwas already getting snippy and frustrated with Sal(Chip reads what the media writes)…and after Sal acting like a Blow Hard yesterday on ESPN, it’s going to be interesting to see how Chip addresses him today

          • OregonDucker

            Chip has little patience with media jerks. Expect Chip to handle such clowns differently than others. Should be real entertaining.

          • GEagle

            Yes Sir, I expect Sal Pal to get put in his place in the near future

    • Weapon Y

      Sal has stooped to Jamie Dukes levels of ignorance. It’s one thing to be very openly pro-Vick. It’s another to completely make shit up just to make yourself sound good.

      • GEagle

        What struck me as extremely odd about Sals comments was that the past few weeks, Sal has been pushing Team Foles very Hard!! So, I expected him to puff out his chest, and cherish being the first national voice who goes with Team Foles. I expected him to exaggerate for Foles, yet it was the opposite yesterday and that struck me as very weird

  • Anders

    Im the only one that gets annoyed that only Raanan actually talked about Foles near ints? and also nobody talked about the several under thrown balls by Foles that was reported during the practice?

    (this is not suppose to bash Foles as Im a back fan, but it just annoys me that the media that are reporting aint giving every detail and seems to have some bias)

    • Weapon Y

      As someone who would like to see Foles win, I agree with you. He’s far from an ideal QB. I want his flaws pointed out in great detail. Many journalists in Philly are very anti-Vick and will do anything to make Foles look good.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jordan has written plenty of good things about Foles so there is no bias. Could be that Vick just didn’t have any near-picks.

      • Anders

        Yea, I think Raanan did a good job, but maybe I expected more out of the rest of the media.

        I mean several people tweeted about these things during practice, so thats why it annoys me even more that so far only 1 person have outlined the flaws from both QBs instead of just focusing on Vick’s flaws.

  • Ark87

    It was funny watching the Twitter feed that kempski put up on bgn. Everyone was mortified by the muffed punts until they noticed the returners had tennis balls in their hands. Saw one site’s notes later on that critized Jackson as rusty for muffing twice. Guess they missed it, oops.

  • Septhinox

    “And if you don’t buy it…Jimmy will cry. He’s a very delicate flower, as you can tell by how I always have to say nice things about him.”

    Jimmy’s gonna shuffle on your face for saying that now. :D

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m prepared to face the wrath of Bama.

  • TommyLawlor

    So, it’s 4am and the Fire Dept just left. Don’t worry…no fire. Had a water leak in the ceiling and landlord had me call them to shut off the water. Wonderful way to spend a Friday night. And no…Danny Watkins wasn’t one of them.

    • GEagle

      Danny continues to prove worthless!! JK…

      look I have no faith in Danny, but I really liked hearing him be accountable yesterday for the position he finds himself in….Hipefully he can develope enough to atleaste a servicable backup if emergencies occur

      • Media Mike

        I’ll disagree with you on Watkins. I think he has all of the physical tools to be a solid o-lineman in a more straight ahead manner. Mudd’s system didn’t work for him, but Stoutland’s stuff very well could. Watkins was a talent when they drafted him, but was ill-suited to what they asked him to do. Watkins has a very interesting opportunity over the next two seasons. He can play out the string on a very manageable contract to do one of two things:
        – be a high quality backup in a league where o-linemen miss a lot of snaps
        – be rehabilitated into a solid starting player in the event something catastrophic happens to Mathis or Herremans or if we decided Herremans isn’t worth his cap hit.

        • GEagle

          I don’t disagree with a word you said…but Watkins just hasn’t been able to put it together yet. In Fairness to him, he was no where near being put in the best position to succeed, and from what he has shown so far, it’s tough for me to have any confidence in him at all…However, I am not at the point where I think he is a lost cause. I think this new environment is a drastic improvement for Danny, and Hopefully, it will click for him. If Both Danny and Barbre can emerge has above average backups capable of stepping in fr 4 game stretch in case of an emergency, it would be a tremendous boost to this team…

          I don’t think he is a Lost cause yet, because Olinemen seem to have a longer shelf life in terms of age, then most of the other positions..But he is running low on time to put it all together and he HAS to prove something in this camp.
          ..
          I like to joke about Danny, but I’m reality I’m rooting for him Hard because he does have the tools to be a heckuva backup in an offense that wants to run the rock

    • P_P_K

      Hope you caught the leak before things got bad. When something springs while you’re not home, or deep asleep, you can find yur belongings floating in a big puddle.

  • GEagle

    Chip reads what the media writes…and he already seemed kinda condescending earlier in the week when talkin to Sal Pal, but after yesterdays absurd comments from Sal on his national platform…..I sense Chip’s boil is starting to bubble in regard to Sal, and It’s going to be interesting to see their next interaction

  • GEagle

    can’t wait to see tomorrows practice..

    BTW, How is that we aren’t talking about reports that Kenny Phillips is 100%??? What a boost to the defense it would be if that dude can play 16games at 85% of what he once was….If Kenny is really healthy right now, I wish chip would just guarentee him a roster spot, and tell Kenny to take care of himself. Obviously we need Kenny to put in work, but I wouldn’t want to see him fighting for his life dung all of camp and the preseason.

    I would like to see Chip guarentee him a spot and tell Kenny, Not to compete! Use TC to get mentally sharp, and dust the physical rust off. What a Boost he would bei

    • Media Mike

      I’d pump the breaks on Phillips until you see how that knee responds to:

      – game situations

      – week to week wear and tear

      I’m all for putting Phillips on the Runyan / Westbrook “practice” plan, but I cannot assume that he’ll be a viable player until I see it.

      • GEagle

        From all the reports we have been getting about Phillips in OTAs, No way, I expected the reports we got yesterday about him. ..For all we know, he might really be ok and the negative reports we got in OTAs about him missing time and not moving around that great were just precautions. I remember Battling this time last year about Demeco Ryan..So many fans that the Texans sold us a Lemon. I fought with these fans daily because he was moving sooo slow, that even if he was a lemon, there is no way in hell that he would be THAT much of a Lemon, so It was 100% obvious to me that he was coasting in practice and preseason games. A whole Lot of fans had to eat a nice chunk of crow when we kicked off in Cleveland, because of Demeco “The Godsend” Ryan!!

        This city has had stretches of being Starved for certain positions like WR, Kick returners, Safeties..but no where to the extent of how malnourished we have been in regards to LBs

  • GEagle

    Questions:
    1) Where is Brent Celek? I know he is there, but I haven’t heard a single peep about him. reports indicate that Ertz was looking sharp yesterday, and most people are very high on Casey. We emphasis speed and athleticism now, and Celek has become one of our slower weapons…How does he look compared to everyone else we are seeing go out and try to catch passes? while it’s alarming to me that we haven’t heard a peep about him barely all summer. I mean, Celek has talked and given interviews, but when I read practice reports, I rarely see anything about what Celek did that day in practice. There is an upside to not hearing a peep about him. Since I now worry about his speed compared to that of our other weapons, you would think that if Celek really stuck out in terms of being too slow compared to everyone around, it would have probably been reported. hoping the lack of Celek intel is just reporters taking good ole’ reliable Brent for Granted.

    2) We are still hearing how Momah is having trouble getting started, but once he gets 10 yards down field, he turns on the burners and you see what makes him so special. If he is never able to really correct this Do you think there is sill a place for a rare Talent like him on the goal line, ST, and has a deep threat used to stretch the field?

  • GEagle

    From the moment Lane was drafted, I have been waiting patiently for a reporter to get one of our coaches to compare Lane’s athleticism and Ceiling with that of Jason Peters. So while watching Chips press conference yesterday, I’m literally screaming at my computer for a reporter to ask the follow up question about comparing and contrasting Lanes potential with JP’s One of a kind ability. the perfect time for that question was after Chip pledged his bromance to Jason Peters yesterday…but unfortunately that question never came…sigh

  • P_P_K

    Jason Peters describes himself as going “full tilt.” Any objective perspectives reporting on him? I think he’s one of the keys to this season.

    • GEagle

      NOthing to report. the Boss Hog is back and ready to Maul multiple defenders on any given play. Dude was running hurdles in march at practice…when reporters ask him about if he is back, if he is ok, he doesn’t even know what they are talking about! he is sooo Back, that he doesn’t even understand what the reporters are referring to…it’s like the greatest thing I have ever heard lol..

      I think it’s safe to expect our Monster back!

      • P_P_K

        This is great news.

        • GEagle

          Yes sir!!!! Sorry to put a damper on your day, but Maclin was carted off the field with a leg injury that people are assuming is a serious.

  • GEagle

    ok, Color me Blown Away..Am I missing something? Do Kurt Coleman and I live in the same dimension? WTF is he talking about
    .What separates you from everyone else? “I make plays! I see things happen and I make em..I need to continue to be a Game Changer”…Does he realized that he was being asked about the safety position, and not special teams?

    I’m all in for playing with confidence and believing in yourself…but I can’t get down with delusional reccants of some past success that you imagine in your brain. You need to Continue To do Nothing!! You need to do significantly better than what you have done thus far…I just don’t understand how he could speak that way