Veterans report tomorrow and the first full-squad workout is set for Friday.
Normally, the 2 days of practice before the veterans arrive are crucial to bringing rookies up to speed, so they can function in concert with the vets, who are much better-versed in the workings of the offense and defense. As first-round offensive tackle Lane Johnson noted this week, that really isn't the case this time.
"Usually, some of the vets'll tell you what training camp is like," Johnson said, when asked if he is curious about what awaits. "This is their rookie season with Chip. We're all kind of wide-eyed and trying to learn."
Regardless, Kelly said yesterday, "anything we can do [with the rookies] is better than not doing anything at all." The music was muted for much of yesterday's workout, which was largely devoted to teaching.
"What we don't want to do . . . is run these guys in the ground, so when the veterans show up, we've got a guy who took too many reps in the last few days and he's got to sit for a few days," Kelly said. "But they're still getting reps, and a real emphasis on the fundamental aspects of the game."
There were supposed to be 30 Eagles practicing yesterday - rookies plus all the quarterbacks, plus veterans coming off injury - but only 28 took part in drills. That was because rookie punter Brad Wing and rookie running back Matthew Tucker failed their conditioning tests Monday.
Wing and Tucker, who worked out on a side field, will take the test again tomorrow, Chip Kelly said. Until then they are on the nonfootball injury list.
Not being able to complete a position-specific group of sprints in the mandated time frame might not be the best way to start your NFL career, under a coach who is known for his emphasis on conditioning. Wing, competing against two-time Pro Bowl punter Donnie Jones, and Tucker, the only one of the Birds' five RBs with no NFL experience, might have further lengthened their already daunting odds.
"If you can't pass the condition test, how do you expect to get through one of our practices?" Kelly asked. He outlined a scenario wherein an unprepared player couldn't make it through practice, and "now he's falling down and hurting somebody else."
"It's more of a preventive thing," Kelly said. "But there is a certain physical fitness level that you have to be at . . . to get through our practices, and those guys aren't there now."
Chip Kelly said there would be no team discipline for offensive tackle Jason Peters, who got his drag racing and resisting by flight charges reduced to driving with improper equipment in Louisiana recently, Peters paying a $656.50 fine. "On a speeding ticket? No," Kelly said . . . Center Jason Kelce, coming back from a knee reconstruction, took part in yesterday's workout . . . You could kinda sense that rookie offensive tackle Mike Bamiro, the 6-8, 340-pound project the Eagles signed last week, had never done some of the drills offensive-line coach Jeff Stoutland was putting his charges through yesterday. Bamiro got the most correction of any of the rookies . . . Tight end/halfback James Casey only missed part of the spring work with a minor knee scope and could have waited until the vets report tomorrow, Kelly said, but Casey is allowed to be here, because of his injury, so he came and is working full strength.
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