The veterans joined the rookies as the Eagles assembled for their first full team minicamp today. The scene was very similar to the practices Chip Kelly ran at Oregon with loud music blasting as the team ran through one quick drill after the other.
Kelly says there's a lot of science behind the methods he uses as at practices, but overall the idea is to practice in the manner they're going to play.
"Obviously we know we can't practice full speed for the entire time we're out there, so it's got to be short bursts, but the game of football is short bursts," Kelly explained. "It's really an anaerobic sport when you look at it, because you're going hard for five to six seconds and then you're taking a break, and that's what we're trying to get accomplished with these guys.
It was noted that both Nick Foles & Michael Vick evenly split first team reps at QB as did Dennis Kelly & Lane Johnson at RT. However, Chip repeated a few times that it's only May 13th and therefore very early to make any predictions about position battles.
I got quite a kick out of Chip's response when he was asked whether he was satisfied with Johnson's progress so far.
"Yeah, he's been here three days, so for three days he's been the best offensive tackle we've ever drafted."
Today was also the first chance for us to get a look at what the Eagles might do on defense. We've seen lots of talk about a 3-4 or 4-3 under, but the fact is that none of it has been confirmed or hardly even discussed by any coaches. However, today it was clear that the team was working on more 3-4 concepts. Kelly said that's just what they were working on today.
"Yeah, just depended on what was being installed today, so I wouldn't read totally into it. We'll play some three down, we'll play some four-down. I know the whole last team period was all four down, but that was scripted to be all four down. It just depends on what we're working on."
Part of the evaluation going on today was how the outside linebackers performed their duties in the the 3 man front.
"Our outside line ‑‑ if we're playing in a three‑down scheme, our outside linebackers will be asked to do both things. But we have to figure out who that is, and that's part of the whole process. With the outside linebackers, they have to be able to rush the passer, set the edge and drop into coverage, but we need to evaluate them rushing the passer, setting the edge and dropping into coverage, so that's what this whole process is about."
We'll have lots more from the Eagles first OTA later this afternoon.