Training Camp Report: Philadelphia
All the latest news from Philadelphia's Training camp with head coach Chip Kelly.
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Cary Williams was on the sidelines for most of the practice and Arrelious Benn:
COACH KELLY: [Director of Football Media Services] Derek [Boyko] will get you the updates afterwards. I didn't have a chance to talk to our trainers. He'll get you those when they have a chance to go inside and see what's going on with those guys.
How much did the intensity pick up having the full team here?
COACH KELLY: Obviously. We were very, very slow when we had the rookies in here. I think we had 29, [with only a few] at some positions. We didn't have the running backs. Obviously, it was a lot different tempo. Our tempo before today was all teach tempo. There was no real group work. We got 11 on 11, seven on seven. We did one on ones today, a lot of real good work. I'd say it really ticked up.
Now that you're able to kind of have the defense play man-press, bump-and-run. What drills does that allow?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, everything. We couldn't the entire spring, you're not allowed to press. You're not allowed to do one on one, pass rush, or anything from a one on one standpoint. It either had to be seven on seven or 11 on 11. So more is better than less.
I would think there would be more pile ups in 11 on 11 than one on one. So this was the first time. We wanted to make sure we started off on the first day with one on ones because we haven't pressed since we've been here as a staff and our receivers need to see it as much as our DBs need to do it. We got some good work in today. We'll continue to do it every day when we're out here, whether we're in full pads or not in full pads. It's a drill you can do without being in full pads.
How does it feel for you to be a first-year head coach, first full day of camp, going out there, something you looked at your whole life to be able to come out here and do it in the NFL?
COACH KELLY: I really didn't. It's no different than the spring. The only good thing is the rules don't restrict you in terms of what you can do.
We spent more time in the spring saying, 'Hey, we can't do that. Back off, don't press, because you're going to get in trouble and they're going to cancel practices on you.'
That part was good that there weren't really any restrictions from a time standpoint. The rest of that, didn't really think that way.
You have Zach Ertz out there, and some opportunities for him on the first team. He missed most of the spring camps. Did he first have to come out here and demonstrate he knows the playbook? Did you know he knew everything?
COACH KELLY: It doesn't matter. You're going to go. Your time's up, you're going to go. If it happens to be with the ones, it happens to be with the ones. I said it since the day I walked in here. We're going to play as many guys as we can. They're all going to get the reps, and we're going to evaluate you.
We're not picking and choosing and saying it's the ones in, we can't put Zach in there. If he's going to play for us, he's going to have to play with the ones. He's a smart kid. He did a real good job.
We'll see when we look at tape, did he make any mistakes? He's been good in meetings. He's been good in the two days we had rookies. He obviously was really behind just because of the rule.
The one thing you knew with him and Jordan [Poyer], both really, really sharp guys, and they worked at it so you could tell they had their head in the playbooks when they were away, and now it's good that we get a chance to actually work with them.
You don't get them extra reps to make up for what they missed?
COACH KELLY: No, same exact thing.
Were you content with the way everyone came into shape?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, guys did a great job in the conditioning test. Two guys that didn't pass, two young guys that didn't pass did pass yesterday. So everybody was full-go.
Really happy with how they ran yesterday. It was impressive. So it proved to me that these guys are pretty serious and they did their work over the summertime because it's a real simple deal for us. If you didn't pass your test, didn't matter who you were, whether you were a rookie or you had been here for ten years: If you didn't pass your test, you weren't going to practice.
Everybody is practicing, and everybody passed it. The young guys probably had a little bit of a wake-up call, but they did a good job yesterday with it. For the group to come in like that, I was impressed with their conditioning at this point in time.
With the read option, quarterback runs he has a gap and he runs. Ideally, should he just take what the defense gives him, or do you want him to make as much as he can? As if he's a running back?
COACH KELLY: We tell our quarterbacks, 'Touchdown, first down, get down,' depending on really what the thing is. I don't want them taking hits. I don't want them running people over. I also don't want them to hook slide when there's seven, eight more yards they can gain. It's trying to get a feel for how far they can go, if they're going to do it. That's always been the mantra as I've taught this thing: 'Touchdown, first down, get down.'
Is Kenny Phillips practicing without restrictions?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he ran the conditioning test yesterday. He's full-go. He's going.
Going back to Jeff's question, how do you balance that with someone like Michael (Vick) who has ultra athleticism and for all these years being able to get away from defenders?
COACH KELLY: You balance that with everybody. I didn't say you don't get away from defenders. I said, 'Touchdown, first down, get down.' If you've got open grass and there's nobody in front of you, hopefully you run all the way. The first one is touchdown. If you can go 60 yards and run it in, then God bless you.
We're not telling him to hook slide. I'm just telling him, when contact is imminent, our guys are not 250 pound bowling balls that are going to run you over. They've got to understand the best ability is durability, and they've get to get up and play the next snap.
How do you think the quarterbacks, Nick Foles and Michael Vick, sharing the first-team reps, how do you think they came into this challenge with the quarterback competition?
COACH KELLY: The way I hoped they would. They understand it's a competition, and the best guy is going to win it. All through their careers, they've had to compete. I think there's a little bit even more satisfaction when you actually go out and win something than when something is handed to you.
The great thing about them, one of the best qualities about those guys is they're unbelievable competitors. It's a healthy competition. They're both pulling for each other. They know at any moment, if one guy's named the starter, the other guy better be ready to go. He's a chinstrap away from going in. They still have to both prepare, and all of them have to prepare like they're going to be the starter because you don't know how it's going to shake itself out.
I think it's a real healthy competition, and those guys have really embraced it. That's what makes those guys special. It's a fun thing to watch, to be honest with you.
What have you seen today so far? I know it's early.
COACH KELLY: It's early? What day is this?
I just want to see those guys go out there and compete and watch film, really what decisions they're making, where are they putting the ball? Are they accurate? Did they make the right decision? Sometimes not throwing the ball is the right decision because everyone was covered. We're not turning the ball over, and we're protecting and giving ourselves the opportunity to take another snap.
It's not a one sentence, it's not a one paragraph. It's more than that. There's a lot that goes into it, and we're going to make sure we take our time in the evaluation.
But until we put full pads on and those guys are live, we're not going to find that out. So we're not going to make any decisions that are going to be based on practice in the NovaCare. We need to get into Lincoln and have people tee off on them and go after them.
There's a lot of quarterbacks that can stand back there and look pretty when they're wearing the red jersey. You take the red jersey off and it's live, they're different guys. We're going to have to see those guys in the heat of battle.
Did Matt Barkley and his unit that he worked with get more reps than during the mini camps?
COACH KELLY: We went one, two, threes, just like we went through the mini camp.
Same number of reps, even for the threes?
COACH KELLY: I don't know the count. Four with the ones, four with the twos, four with the threes. We get into competition things, you stay on the field depending if your offense executed and you get a chance.
When we're in just early, we always just go sets of fours, one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, depending how much time is on the clock.
In terms of Sunday's practice, how is the structure going to be different?
COACH KELLY: Just like this.
With one field? It's just like this?
COACH KELLY: We've just got to tighten it up, but it's the same exact practice schedule. It will be the same exact thing. Individuals; we'll do three on two, one on ones. We've just got to be conscious that we can't spread out. We got to do some cooperation.
I think some of our drills need to tighten up a little bit. Obviously, the DBs can't do 60 yard range drills at the same time the receivers are throwing deep balls. We've got to cooperate a little bit more on individual, but the team structure will be the same. In the structure of practice, it's the same schedule we had today.
You guys are moving from a wide nine four three to a three four. Talk about the versatility you get from that type of an odd man front. How much of the read option in the NFL factor into that?
COACH KELLY: I don't think it I don't equate the two. I don't think one became the other. I think there's a versatility in the three four defense that you like, but, again, I think when Billy [Davis] said it, we're going from a wide nine to a three four. When do we get to a three four, I don't know.
We may have to stop at being a one gap over and under defense depending upon still making an evaluation of what our guys can do. We haven't been drafting for this and converting some of those defensive ends to see what they can do. But if our job is to do a great job of figuring out what they do best and then playing to those strengths.
So where we land on that realm, I can't exactly tell you until we get a chance to see those guys. I don't think it's because of the three four, to be honest.
In the gap, the three four would be one end of the spectrum?
COACH KELLY: It really goes from a wide nine to a two gap three four, and where we end, I don't really know. We're moving in that direction, but where we go really depends on us making a real thorough evaluation of how those guys at the outside linebacker are playing.
I think we feel better about what we have on the D line, I think we did a good job of getting guys like [DL Isaac Sopoaga] in here and getting guys like Benny [Logan] in here. We feel like we're a little bit stouter inside than when I first got here in January.
But, again, trying to find those outside linebackers is kind of the key. I think Trent did a nice job today. It's a transition for Trent. It's a transition for Brandon. It's a transition for Phillip [Hunt]. How much they transition. We've still got to play with the roster we have. How far it goes, I don't know. That's really the big question for all of us as we continue to go through the evaluation period.
With the three guys you mentioned, you know they're doing stuff they haven't done in years.
COACH KELLY: We're conscious of that. We understand. I don't think it's something that they're going to pick up like that because, if they've never been asked to do it Brandon dropped a little bit in college. Trent dropped a little bit, I think, when Sean McDermott was here because they were doing a lot of zone stuff and dropping the end into coverage, but that was a long time ago.
It's like anything. For everybody, no matter who it is, offensively, defensively, it's a whole new offensive system, it's a whole new defensive system, it's a whole new special teams. We're aware of that.
I think, if you're a good teacher, you don't get frustrated early. If people could pick it up like that, then everybody would do it. It's not. It's a hard transition. We believe it's the best thing for us.
I think it gives us a lot more versatility, and I think it causes a lot of problems defensively because you don't know exactly where that fourth rusher is coming from. But will we be able to get to the total package? That's a real question that hasn't been answered yet, and it won't be answered until we get going.
The good thing for us is we feel like we've got time. Four preseason games, and you're more than a month away from your first regular season game.
A guy like Cary Williams here, two weeks of OTAs and everything, were you kind of impressed that he came in like two days early?
COACH KELLY: That's a big misconception. He stopped by our office to say hi to us two days before, but he didn't report early. They're not allowed to report early. He didn't practice with us early. He was just in town and stopped by to say hello. A lot of guys did it. Kelce was here all summer. He's in our office all the time. Connor Barwin and all of that.
I read a story where it said he reported early. He can't report early because they can't come in early. His first day was yesterday in conditioning. But I'm confident in Cary. I think he's one of the guys in the secondary we have that's an experienced player.
He played on a Super Bowl team last year and is a heck of a player in this league.
First day here out here, and he really can't get through the whole practice?
COACH KELLY: Again, I don't know the final of that. [Public Relations Director] Derek [Boyko] will find that out when we go inside.
Just seeing if he had a chance.
COACH KELLY: It's a long time. We're not playing until September 9th.
In Jason Peters' case, what other information have you had about how a player that age and that size comes back from that?
COACH KELLY: You lost me there.
What have you heard about that type of injury for a player like him coming back?
COACH KELLY: I don't think there is a player like him in the world, to be honest with you, someone that big, that fast, that athletic. I think I kind of I catch myself in practice just going wow. He's 350 pounds, and he runs like he's a tight end.
I think he's an exception to every rule. I don't think studying guys that have had Achilles injuries and saying, hey, that guy would be like Jason. I know 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.
So he's been cleared 100 percent.
So that same athleticism you saw on film two years ago is applicable?
COACH KELLY: I've seen that. We kind of, as a staff, look at each other all the time when he does something, we just kind of look, wow. He's a pretty amazing athlete for a guy that size.
Chip, you talked about getting down - sliding down.
COACH KELLY: Get down. I didn't say hook slide. I just said get down.
Throughout his career, Michael Vick was never seemed to be able to go into a complete slide. Is that something that can be developed at this point in his career?
COACH KELLY: We'll see. I'm not going to predict the future, but I know what I know having our quarterback being able to play every snap is a pretty valuable tool for us. So it's something I think you've got to work on.
It's not something you can just say do this. It's like anything else. You can't tell a guy to take a five step drop and expect him to do it the first time. You've got to practice.
How about Nick's willingness to do something that he hesitated a little bit in high school. His willingness to do the read option?
COACH KELLY: His willingness to practice?
I mean, do it with
COACH KELLY: To be honest with you, if I called 20 read options with Nick Foles in the game, you should fire me. We're talking about practice right now. I think we've got to figure out who our quarterback is before we understand the direction of where our offense is going. We still have to practice plays.
Just like one guy may throw the deep ball to left better than the other guy throws the deep ball to left. When the other guy is in, don't call the deep ball to left.
Part of our evaluation is evaluating what they do well. If player X ends up being the quarterback, then our offense is big enough, now what part of the menu are we ordering from? We're not ordering from the whole menu if that's something he doesn't do well.
You haven't figured out what they do well yet, Chip?
COACH KELLY: Not really, to be honest with you, Sal. We've been out here in shorts and T shirts. We haven't had pads on. They don't get hit. Tell me who's going to stand in the pocket against a full rush. I haven't seen them do that.
Chip, DeSean Jackson had a couple of impressive catches. What interests you the most about him to see him out there on the field?
COACH KELLY: One thing about DeSean that I'm most impressed with is how he came back in shape. He did great in the conditioning test. It proves to me he spent a lot of time this summer investing in himself. That's what we talked about before I left, we said, the sky's the limit for him, and he could be a real special player in this league, but he's got to make that decision that he wants to be.
I think what he did, just watching where he is right now and his pace and tempo as he's running around practice right now, he's what we want. We tell that to our players all the time, we want our guys to be like super balls, not tomatoes. The super ball bounces all the time. He's the ultimate super ball. He bounces all around the field. You watch the looks he did just making our punt team better by fielding kicks back there and letting them learn how to cover it.
Real impressed with how he's approached it and how he came back to camp and excited to continue to work with him.
The punt returners were holding tennis balls as they were catching punts.
COACH KELLY: Just trying to teach them to catch the ball with their body not their hands all the time because sometimes you can't get the ball in proper position if you're always just reaching to grab with your hands. Just like using a weighted bat in baseball, trying to get a feel for doing it the right way.
They'll catch a couple without them so they know they're in a proper position from a fundamental standpoint, and then you take the ball away.