Eagles training camp officially got underway today with rookies and selected vets taking the field at the NovaCare Complex. Things will start in earnest Friday after the vets show up, but so far Chip Kelly is happy with how the team has returned from the break and appreciative of the chance to work with the young guys.
"It was good," he said of today's practice. "We knew we had to slow things down from a teaching standpoint. You've only got a couple kids at certain positions: you have one inside linebacker, one outside linebacker, two corners, one safety. So our plan was, as the coaching staff, to get out here for about an hour. Really technique-oriented, get guys back, and just spend some time, because sometimes once you get to Friday and you're back into scheme and everything's happening and there are 90 guys running around and everybody's flying around, these young guys can use as much practice time as they can. We haven't been with them since June, so it was good to get back out here."
"James and [Jason] Kelce both wanted to be here and be part of it," said Kelly. "So I left it up to both those guys in terms of what they wanted to do. But both of them were excited to be here and be part of it. They've been here all summer long, every day. Now we get to actually work with them. So it's good to get a chance. James missed a couple of days, but [he's] real smart, real sharp; you know, picked up where he left off in the OTAs."
Casey had arthroscopic surgery to clean out some cartilage in his knee. That procedure kept him out of the last week of OTAs. Kelly said that if it had been a gameday, he would have ready to play. Kelce's rehab has been much more serious as he works back from a torn ACL & MCL.
"I am completely ready to play. I've been feeling, pretty much, back to normal since that last mini-camp there during the off-season," Kelce said on WIP yesterday. "The strength-I can squat, dead-lift, do everything in the weight room just like I was able to do before. Obviously I haven't put pads on or anything, and that's one of the things I'm excited to do, to put those pads on and to make sure this knee feels a hundred percent once I'm hitting and blocking and doing everything that an offensive line player has to do in the NFL."