Camping out: Eagles key issues at Camp Kelly

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles
Will Nick Foles or Mike Vick be handing off to LeSean McCoy this season?

The first training camp under new coach Chip Kelly begins this week at the NovaCare Complex. Rookies report Monday, followed by veterans on Thursday. The first full-team practice open to the public is scheduled for Friday. Here are some things to keep an eye on:

Running the show » Mike Vick or Nick Foles? It’s the most asked question in Philadelphia since Pat’s or Geno’s? Hopefully, we’ll have an answer in the next few weeks. Foles appeared to have the edge in spring practices, getting a few more reps while receiving higher praise from the coaching staff. He’s more accurate. He gets the ball out quicker. However, Vick still has a certain wow factor attached to his 33-year-old legs. If Vick can improve his accuracy and stop throwing interceptions — two very big ifs — he’ll emerge as the starting quarterback.

Amazing new offense » Chip Kelly’s up-tempo, no-huddle offense has become the stuff of legends. Skill players, namely LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, have to be salivating at the possibilities. McCoy was downright giddy when he was asked about in April, saying the offense “looks amazing.” Kelly has installed a new signaling system so coaches can get plays in faster — remember, his Oregon teams averaged 20.9 seconds per play. Look for tight ends running receiver routes, running backs catching bubble screens and quarterbacks picking up blockers. We know it worked in college, but can it work in the NFL?

Secondary concerns » Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams are the favorites to win the starting cornerback slots after the Eagles lost last year’s starters in free agency. The safety position is where things get interesting. Incumbent starters Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen were drafted by Andy Reid, so they’ll have to fight for respect. It won’t be easy, either. Kelly brought in well-established veterans Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung, then drafted rookie Earl Wolff. This should be the biggest battle outside of quarterback.

Flipping the switch » The defensive line is loaded with question marks. As the team transitions to a 3-4 defense — or at least some hybrid form of it — they’ll have to work with the chess pieces on the board. The Eagles’ defense is currently constructed as a 4-3, so to make this experiment work guys like Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will have to drop back in coverage, as outside linebackers. Can they do it? Jury is out. It will probably be harder for bigger bodies, like Antonio Dixon and Cedric Thornton, to make the final cuts.

Culture club » Chip Kelly isn’t just installing a brand new offense, he’s created a whole new culture. Players are required to get 10 hours of sleep each night — lights out at 11 p.m., although Kelly admits he’s not tucking anyone in — and feed their bodies the proper nutrients. (Kelly’s assistants provide personal smoothies for each player based on their varying needs). The coach even appointed a former Navy SEAL trainer as Sports Science Coordinator to help with strength and conditioning.

Welcome to the new nest » The city of Bethlehem might not like it, but Eagles fans have to love having the hometown team back in South Philly for training camp. Most practices remain open to fans, including five specialized sessions at Lincoln Financial Field. Kelly knows how important it is to connect with the fans. He’s also scheduled a joint practice with the New England Patriots, while choosing to start at 12:30 every day. If this heat wave keeps up, players might be searching for Andy Reid’s pickle juice jar.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street at around 8:50 p.m.

Local

Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

Movies

Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).

Movies

Piano from 'Casablanca' up for sale at auction

An iconic piano featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 Hollywood classic "Casablanca" is expected to be the highlight of a sale of film…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Movies

Interview: Michael Douglas likes playing jerks, like in…

"And So It Goes" star Michael Douglas talks about being shocked that he never does period movies and opens up about Edgar Wright leaving "Ant-Man."

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.