August 03, 2015
Man, it’s good to have football back.
The Eagles began preparing for the 2015 season in earnest on Sunday at the NovaCare Complex as training camp got underway. Before we get to practice later today, here is most of the important information from Day 1. As was expected, there is a lot of ink being spilled over Chip Kelly’s team.
1. Jimmy’s practice notes not only include a section on Sam Bradford’s rough first day, but also some A+ artwork displaying the evolution of the quarterback’s knee brace.
2. The Brandon Boykin trade on the eve of training camp was going to be a topic of conversation regardless, but the nickelback’s comments to CSN Philly brought back the pesky race issue that Chip Kelly hasn’t been able to quite shake in the last year or so. Yesterday, Kelly was confused by what Boykin had to say about him on the way out.
3. Speaking of Boykin, a sixth-round pick who had a nose for the ball in college has the inside track on replacing him in the slot.
4. Also speaking of Boykin, almost everyone’s reaction on Twitter after hearing the news was, “Mychal Kendricks is next.” I know it was mine, but not so fast, my friends. What Kelly and Bill Davis do with the inside linebacker rotation will be interesting.
5. Good to see that an influx of cash hasn’t changed Dez Bryant all that much.
ESPN’s Louis Riddick, a local guy that worked in the Eagles’ front office, was at yesterday’s training camp and tweeted out some observations. Here are a few of them:
Talked with #Eagles DT Fletcher Cox: said there is zero truth to the accusations surrounding HC Chip Kelly being racist.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) August 2, 2015
Skill level in #Eagles secondary from last year to this year at corner not even worth comparing. They have MUCH more to work with in '15.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) August 2, 2015
Ryan Mathews is a better athlete w/ better natural run skills than D. Murray. Have always felt that. Compare side by side, it jumps out.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) August 2, 2015
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com listed Riley Cooper as one of his “15 potential surprise training camp cuts.” Jimmy opined in his training camp preview that while Cooper is still relatively safe, he isn’t a 100 percent slam dunk to make the team. Here is what Rosenthal had to say:
Letting go of Cooper would require Chip Kelly to admit a mistake just a year after a five-year, $22.5 million contract. Cooper is due $4 million in 2015, which isn't an outrageous figure. But what if he is essentially the No. 6 receiving option behind Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, Darren Sproles, and Josh Huff?
On the other side of the state, Boykin clarified his original comments about Kelly. From Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“When you’re a player, you want to be able to relate to your coach outside of football, so when you’re not talking football scheme, I want to talk to you about whatever,” said Boykin, who is African-American. “There would be times where he just wouldn’t talk to people. You would walk down the hallway and he wouldn’t talk to you.
“I’m not saying he’s racist in any way. As a player, I wanted to be able to relate to my coach a little better and I feel like a lot of guys in that locker room feel the same way. Of course, when you’re in the organization you’re not going to voice your opinion. But, for me, I’ve always been a guy of honesty. You be honest with me, I’m going to be honest with you. I felt like that honesty wasn’t there all the time.”
This was covered a bit in the practice notes, but The Sanchize didn’t get any first-team snaps on Sunday, which makes you question how much of an actual quarterback competition this really is. From Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post:
If the Eagles are indeed going to have the quarterback competition coach Chip Kelly promised last month, it wasn’t apparent from the first practice of training camp Sunday.
Former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford took all the snaps with the first-team offense, leaving ex-Jet Mark Sanchez — thought to be Bradford’s top competitor — to work with the second team while Tim Tebow and Matt Barkley got the scraps.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann