With Philadelphia Eagles training camp essentially over –and a mere 20 minutes of padless training open for view– Chip Kelly took the podium to chat with the local media. Here are the highlights from this morning’s Kelly presser:
It’s no surprise that one of the foremost concerns for Kelly following Saturday’s game was the late hit that Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs delivered to Sam Bradford‘s surgically repaired left knee. Kelly wasn’t shy, and didn’t hesitate to air out his grievances a bit:
This is a fair and well measured criticism by the Eagles head coach. If you watch the replay, Bradford didn’t fake, he didn’t read the end, there was nothing” read option” about the play. Bradford handed the ball off, Suggs came in like a bat out of hell and launched into Bradford’s knee (which is illegal in and of itself).
Kelly went on to –in what Jimmy Kempski pointed out as an uncharacteristic move– challenge the authority:
If you’re Chip Kelly this is the way you want to play your hand; call out the league in a diplomatic yet slightly passive aggressive way, and back it up with logical reasoning to sell a point. If the league goes by the ruling that Blandino conveyed, it’s open season on any QB who hands off out of the shotgun. That includes Aaron Rodgers, Peyron Manning, Tom Brady, and other face-of-the-league type players that the NFL works to protect.
In regard to evaluating Sam Bradford’s play, Kelly had this to say:
Bradford looked rusty on Saturday, there’s no getting around that, but he did display some of the tangible traits that has had Philadelphia abuzz with anticipation. Bradford’s release is lightning quick and his arm talent shined through despite rushed footwork. He made good decisions, protected the football, and looked a little lighter on his feet navigating the pocket than I would have anticipated. He was entirely up and down, but all things considered, it was a solid performance.
Miles Austin is back on the field:
As are the vaunted trio of Eagles linebackers (who have yet to see any preseason action):
A few others, however, appear to be sitting this one out:
Marcus Smith, as previously mentioned, could potentially miss the remainder of the preseason. Kelly seems impressed with Smith’s first outing, but understandably feels the evaluation is incomplete:
Zach Ertz, on the other hand, continues to miss practice as expected. The staff hopes to have him back for the season opener against Atlanta.
Rasheed Bailey is a player that Kelly singled out for praise today. Bailey’s prospects have gained steam since the start of the preseason games; he could be a prime candidate for the practice squad:
And finally, Kelly addressed the right guard battle:
It’s apparent that the job is Andrew Gardner‘s to lose at this point, whether Chip continues to be coy about it or not. He’s eaten up the vast majority of first team reps in camp, and continues to take the field with the starters during the games. I think this one is pretty much wrapped up. As Lane Johnson said, he’d prefer to know who his partner would be by the end of the second preseason game. Well Lane, I think you can pencil in Andrew Gardner.
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