Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly spoke prior to the team's training practice on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014. Kelly touched on a number of topics.
Cary Williams controversy
Number one, we practice against another team because overall ‑‑ I mean, obviously, I appreciate Cary's input, but I think the value that you can get for every single player and every single coach in terms of what we are doing to get a chance to go against another scheme and another team, I think it's really beneficial, as long as you and the other team are on the same page. And I thought it worked out really well for us last year. We have a good understanding of what both teams are trying to get accomplished in those couple of days.
I understand where he's coming from. We do a lot more huddling when we are in those situations. We don't signal as much obviously because of situations like that. You know, that's understandable.
Williams missed practice on Sunday with "soreness" but many thought Williams was being punished for his comments about calling the New England Patriots "cheaters." Williams expressed he was against open practices because he felt they gave away information. Kelly doesn't seem to worried about that.
I think a lot is overblown on that point. They get every single film of every game we have ever played. So you know, I don't think they are getting anything ‑‑ it's not something that we do in practice that we are not going to do in a game. I think when people break it down and obviously people have all of our preseason games and playoff games from last year, they are going to see what we do.
We had the conversation the other day, we are always evolving. So there's things we are going to do in practice in the second week of August that if we were ever to play them it would be in the last game of the year, sometime in February, that I think I would imagine our team and their team would be a lot different than they were when we faced them in August.
Sometimes there's analysis by paralysis. If we end up ‑‑ it would be a great situation that we get a chance to play them in the Super Bowl. And they're going through practice tape and get a chance to see one play that we ran once on a Tuesday in August that we bring out in the third quarter with a minute 32 on the clock and they are prepared for it, then God bless 'em.
Matthew Tucker and running back depth
Obviously [Matthew] Tucker is ahead of those guys. We are really happy with Tuck last year and came on as the season went along for us. So he's kind of firmly entrenched in that fourth spot right now behind those other three, and then it really goes back and forth on a daily basis between [David] Fluellen and [Henry] Josey and where they are.
And a big test for those guys will be this Friday many coming up against the Bears when you get to see them in game action, because the full contact, taking it to the ground. All that other stuff will occur on Friday night and that will be a little different for them. They have to understand, not only the running back spot, but especially if you're going to be down the depth chart at the running back spot it's your contributions on special teams so we'll see where those guys fit in on that standpoint, [special teams] coach [Dave] Fipps' group.
It's a little interesting to mention Tucker by name but not totally unexpected. Tucker spent a few weeks on the team's practice squad before being stashed away on the 53-man roster for the remainder of the season. Tucker has struggled with some drops in training camp. He's currently benefiting from the fact Chris Polk (hamstring) is missing time but he hasn't done anything to separate himself yet.
When will Jordan Matthews be with the first team?
At some point in time, when you feel comfortable. The one thing you don't want to do with anybody is just throw them out there and then he doesn't know what he's doing.
A lot of the scripting that goes on in terms of play calls, the play calls are different for the ones and the 2s and the threes. It's not ‑‑ doesn't matter who is in there right now. We are trying to give those guys a chance to be successful, give them confidence and get their feet underneath them a little bit.
But you can call certain things with our 1s, but because they have all been here before, by and large they have been running with that group right now, so they are pretty comfortable doing it and you can dial up any play you want. But if it's something that we touch base on in practice but we have not gotten back to and now we are in practice seven or eight it may not be as quick for him on the recall standpoint.
So we are just trying to get him as many reps, get him on film, let him get an understanding of what we are doing. He's doing a great job of learning but you'll eventually see that as he continues to improve here.
Matt Barkley's progress
Matt has done a nice job this preseason camp. He's continuing to grow, continuing to get better. I think he's been a lot better understanding of what we are doing so his decision-making I think really, it's starting to get there.
I think a lot of times when you're a young quarterback, you want to impress so when you get in there, I'm going to force this thing in there and try to fit one in a tight one and take the shot down the field instead of doing probably what should be done is a check down and I think he's getting a little more comfortable with that.
The one thing he realizes, he's got to stay on the field. So if you're taking shots down the field and you miss a few of those, then you're off. It happens all the time. G.J. [Kinne] gets into it a little bit, being the fourth quarterback, he may sit for 25, 30 minutes in practice and then he gets in and G.J. is the classic gun sling. When he gets in, he's going to let it rip. They could have eight guys deep in coverage and he's still going to try to get it down the field. I've been really happy with Matt in terms of his progression since we got him a year ago.
Barkley has been up and down but he's looked better than he did in the spring.
DeMeco Ryans is still the starter but Najee is getting some first team reps
Nah, we are not giving any veterans a break but we know what DeMeco is. DeMeco is going to be our starting linebacker on day one so we don't know as much about Najee [Goode]. I think one of the things that you struggle with from an evaluation standpoint and we spent a lot of time on it yesterday as a staff and personnel meetings is, kid is ripping it up against the threes but what's he going to do against the 1s.
There's a lot of guys that look good but when you put them in with the first group, all of a sudden they don't look as strong and that's where we are just trying to get an idea of who is ‑‑ you obviously have two good linebackers in Mychal and DeMeco but where is our depth behind them and who is it going to be?
And Najee has done a really good job when he's been put in those situations so we are starting to get a little bit more comfortable with him. But it's not like, hey, let's get DeMeco off the field because we are afraid of reps for him. What we are really trying to do is see how some of those players do when they get a chance to go with the 1s.
It's happened at all levels. You see a guy rip it up with the 2s and threes and then you put them in with the ones and so he disappears a little bit. Maybe he's not as dominant. I think that's what everybody is a little leery of in preseason. You see a guy in preseason and he's got ‘X’ amount of tackles or ‘X’ amount of catches but he did it against the threes and fours and all of a sudden he's the talk of camp but he can't do it when the competition steps up a little bit and there is a difference between the ones and the 2s and the threes.
The Eagles have been giving Najee Goode some time with the first unit but that doesn't mean he's going to take over for Ryans full time. Yet.
Arrelious Benn update
It's been good to see Regis because Regis, [Maclin] and [LB Jason] Phillips went down and you never really got a chance to see them. I think most of them were ‑‑ I don't even know if Reg got, I think he went down just when we started practicing with the Patriots and never played a preseason game for us.
The one thing about all three of those guys is it was evident to us how important it was just to see how hard all three of them worked in the off‑season. They were here every single day rehabbing with [head athletic trainer] Chris Peduzzi and the trainers to put themselves in that position.
He's in a lot better shape this year than he was last year coming into camp, and he's starting to show up and make plays like all those guys that I think are battling for three, four, five and six or however many at receiver. The ability to play special teams is important and I think Regis' size really helps him from that standpoint. He's a big, physical guy, so he's a guy that we are really excited to see what he's like when we finally get him in a preseason game this Friday night.
Benn has struggled with some drops in camp but there's still time for him to earn a spot. Somehow I never realized Benn was called Regis / Rejus.