Eagles Notes: Chip Kelly isn't buying the hype on draft, combine

Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly smiles as he watches Training Camp at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 28, 2014. DAVID MAIALETT / Staff Photographer
Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly smiles as he watches Training Camp at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 28, 2014. DAVID MAIALETT / Staff Photographer
Posted: July 30, 2014

Chip Kelly values the NFL draft. He just doesn't understand the hype surrounding it.

Expounding on an interview with the MMQB website, the Eagles coach identified the draft hype as the one thing in the NFL that has surprised him.

"Literally from the day the Super Bowl ends until the draft . . . that's all everybody talks about," Kelly said before Monday's practice.

He also said the signing-day hype in college was misguided, pointing out that few of those players immediately contribute. In the NFL, Kelly conceded that one or two rookies have a noticeable effect during their initial seasons while the others are developing.

Like a comedian working the room, Kelly then shifted his topic to the annual scouting combine.

"There's times at the combine where I fall asleep," the former Oregon coach said. "So I don't know why people watch it on television. They are running 40-yard dashes."

Hype of this nature does not extend to newcomers in other lines of work, Kelly said.

"If someone is a rookie coming into the newspaper thing, I don't think you all just start applauding and saying, 'Oh, my God, the savior is here and our paper is safe because we just signed a kid out of Northwestern because the kid has really good prose,' " Kelly said. "But in football, it seems to be the biggest deal in the world, and if a guy is not an all-pro in his first year but he was drafted in the first five picks, obviously he's a bust. But I don't think that's the case."

Open practice

The Eagles held their first open practice Monday at Lincoln Financial Field, and about 15,000 fans attended. Some were from the armed forces, who were welcomed as part of military appreciation day.

At the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles have several fields for practice. At the stadium, they are confined to one field. This is the second year the Eagles have held training camp this way, and Kelly said the open practices did not hurt the team's efficiency last season.

"Sometimes you need a little bit more space from a drill standpoint, but once we get together for team and seven-on-seven [drills], it doesn't really change," Kelly said. "It's actually good, I think, for our players to get a different venue. Shakes it up for them a little bit."

The next open practice is Aug. 3 at Lincoln Financial Field. The team will practice Aug. 10 at Franklin Field.

Injuries

Four players did not wear pads for practice: nose tackle Bennie Logan, wide receiver Riley Cooper, running back Chris Polk, and center Julian Vandervelde.

Logan is dealing with a hamstring injury and missed practice over the weekend. The other injuries are unknown.

Safety Keelan Johnson remains excused from training camp while dealing with his arrest in Arizona. Johnson, 24, was arrested after Tempe authorities said he pushed a police officer following a bar brawl, according to several reports.

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