The Eagles ended their spring training sessions - not practices, as was the "old-school" term - and headed their various ways until training camp begins on July 25 when the coaching staff reports to the NovaCare Complex.
And while the various observers made sure to jot down those who stood out during the on-field work and projected roles for players on the roster, the note worth making was another gem from head coach Chip Kelly in his final media briefing prior to camp.
When asked about how he will "brace" for the 35 days off before training camp begins, Kelly said, "I don't look at this as I need a break from what we've just done. I mean, this is our life choice and we enjoy it, so it's not like I can't wait. This isn't like Fred Flintstone with the ‘Yabba Dabba Doo' and we're trying to get out of work. It's another day, and we'll finish up with some different things before we get some time off. But I think anybody that's in our situation that coaches isn't like, I can't wait to get out of there. I think most of them can't wait to get back in there."
It's just brilliant stuff. Kelly owns the podium. There has never been a head coach in the years I've covered the Eagles - let's start with Buddy Ryan in 1984 - who has such a command and who is both entertaining and informative in a press conference setting. Kelly makes you want to hang on every word. He's quick, he's literate and he's well-versed enough to quote pop culture. Kelly has a photographic memory when it comes to football, he never ducks a question and he's just ... fun.
Anyway, here is how I look back on the Eagles head coaches I've covered with regard to their press conference skills ...
At times, Buddy was awesome. Go ahead and Google 'Best Buddy Ryan Quotes' and you will find some lines that make you laugh. When he said that running back Michael Haddix was so overweight he "looks like a reject guard from the USFL, he's so fat," we all laughed.
But Ryan had an element of "mean" in him. It was his way of motivating players, by calling them out to the media. He also divided the organization with his lack of respect for former Owner Norman Braman, the "man in France."
Ultimately, Ryan had no answers for why he didn't win a playoff game. I loved that Ryan resurrected the franchise during a "dead" period. The Eagles needed his energy and his bravado. He huffed and puffed and the Eagles became a playoff team. They just never advanced past that first round.
Ryan had the sharp tongue and, boy, did the fans love him. Covering Ryan at a press conference was certainly entertaining. The recollection here is that he didn't have enough answers to satisfy the situation, though.
Beyond the "there are no cookbook answers," Kotite didn't have much to say that continues to resonate. He was put into a very tough situation, following Buddy's Bluster, and Kotite was immediately on the defensive with the Philadelphia media.
Kotite's tact, then, was to say very little. And that infuriated the fans who never really took Kotite to their bosoms (in a football way, of course).
It was a no-win situation for Kotite, and he didn't win in the press-conference game. He had some good moments as a head coach, but he isn't remembered as a strong interview.
No coach in the history of the world has ever stood in front of the media and told as many bawdy and wildly entertaining stories as Ray Rhodes. He loved the audience. He didn't consider boundaries and, honestly, the way Rhodes conducted press conferences in the 1990s would never fly in this day and age.
But Rhodes had his moments and he was a blast. He had chaw in his mouth and he let loose. He accepted responsibility for when the Eagles played poorly and he poured out all of his emotion every time the press saw him.
It wasn't enough to win big, though. The big-picture answers weren't there for Rhodes. He cursed and ranted and generally cared little for the consequences.
He opened his press conferences with an injury update and then offered very basic, to-the-point answers. Reid wasn't in the business of entertaining the media during press conferences. He protected his players to protect the sanctity of the locker room.
Hearing Reid for 14 years became repetitive, of course. He knew it. He also knew that winning was the important objective and his press conferences became, over the years, less and less informative.
It wasn't a strong point for Reid, to put it mildly. Get him in a national setting or in a one-on-one interview and he was relaxed and funny and even interesting. Not so in group press conferences. Reid understood the jobs the reporters had, and he tried to give them what they needed, and not a bit more. That just played out less and less acceptable as the years went along.
The best I've covered so far. Kelly is relaxed and has a great sense of humor with the media. He seems to have fun in the group settings. He has a good back-and-forth with reporters and he respects the job they have.
Kelly is the king of the Eagles head coaches when it comes to press conferences, from this perspective. I look forward to hearing what he has to say, and it seems fans feel the same way.