First Posted: 6/6/2013
PHILADELPHIA — It’ll be a little quieter in South Philadelphia over the next month.
The sound of loud music pumping through the speakers at the Eagles’ practice facility will be silenced now that the team has completed its final minicamp under new coach Chip Kelly.
From practices that sound like hip-hop concerts to everything else, Kelly has invigorated the team with new ideas and a unique system. The former offensive mastermind at Oregon has enjoyed his first spring as an NFL head coach.
But he’s got a long way to go to turn this team around after a 4-12 season.
“There’s a ton of work,” Kelly said Thursday. “There’s work every day no matter what. You’re never done and you’ve never arrived so there’s always something to do. But we have a schedule. We have a yearly schedule so we know where we’re supposed to be and what has to be broken down by when and when we’re reporting back here and all those other things.
“We never ever feel like our work is done.”
Next up for the Eagles is training camp in July, and this year, it moves from Lehigh University to team headquarters here.
“We wanted to improve and I’ve felt like we’ve improved every day out here,” Kelly said. “Now, the onus is on the players to improve on their own over the next few weeks.
“I expect them to be professional and prepare like this is their year. That’s what I think they expect of themselves. This is your job. You lived your whole life to play in the NFL and now you get an opportunity and there’s a responsibility that goes with that. I believe it’s a privilege to play in this league and with that privilege goes responsibility. So I expect our guys to work their tails off when they’re not here.”
The biggest question mark surrounding the Eagles is at quarterback. Michael Vick, Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley competed in practices and each had chances running the No. 1 unit. Kelly made it clear depth charts mean nothing in May and June no matter if it’s quarterback or any other position.
“To make any decisions on who someone is from wearing shorts and T-shirts, doesn’t make sense to us,” Kelly said.
The Eagles lured Kelly away from Oregon to replace Andy Reid after 14 seasons in which the team reached the playoffs nine times, but failed to win a Super Bowl. Kelly first has to get Philadelphia back in contention before trying to end the franchise’s 53-year championship drought.
Under Kelly, the Ducks averaged an astounding 44.7 points per game in four years and went 46-7.
But the NFC East isn’t the Pac-12.
“I teach teams different that I coach,” Kelly said. “Some teams grow in different ways, but the one thing they have done and the challenge we have had was they have gotten better every single day. They are real inquisitive, they ask a lot of questions, they really take this seriously. It is real important to them. They have been great in the meeting rooms, they have been great in the walkthroughs, and they have been great in practice.”
The Eagles finished last in the division last season, and lost 11 of their final 12 games.
”For us right now it is just constant improvement and that’s what we have seen from them, and that’s what we want out of them, and that will continue to be that way,” Kelly said. “You never arrive in this game so if you think you arrive you are going to get passed quick.”