For the Philadelphia Eagles, a lot of change is coming their way under new coach Chip Kelly. Fans will get an opportunity to see some of them when the Eagles training camp begins on July 28.
This year after 17 years of camp at Lehigh University, the team has switched to NovaCare Complex.
Eagles president Don Smolenski said of the change in venue via a team press release, “We are very excited to hold training camp in Philadelphia this summer. We organized the practice schedule at Lincoln Financial Field to begin in late July and run throughout the entire month of August so that our fans and their families would have opportunities to come and see the team up close.”
Five practices will be open and free to the public at Lincoln Financial Field. They will include two joint ones with the New England Patriots on Aug. 6 and 7. For the Eagles, they haven’t held a joint practice with a league team since back in 1998.
Here’s some key dates:
July 22: Rookies report to NovaCare
July 23-24: Rookie practice, 12:30 p.m.
July 25: Full team reports
July 26-27: Practice, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
July 28: Open practice, Lincoln Financial Field, 12:30 p.m.
July 29, 31, Aug. 1-2, 4: Practice, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 5: Open practice, Lincoln Financial Field, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 6-7: Practice with New England Patriots, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 8: Practice, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Open practice, Lincoln Financial Field, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 12-14: Practice, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Open practice, Lincoln Financial Field, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 18, 20-23: Practice, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 26: Open practice, Lincoln Financial Field, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 27-28: Practice, NovaCare, 12:30 p.m.
All of them begin at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 9 vs. New England Patriots
Aug. 15 vs. Carolina Panthers
Aug. 24 at Jacksonville Jaguars
Aug. 29 at New York Jets
There’s a few stories to keep your eyes on for training camp, beginning with the answer to the question, will new cornerback Cary Williams show up and perform? He was absent at the team’s voluntary OTAs for numerous reasons and had been quoted as saying via CSNPhilly.com, “there is life outside of football.”
This didn’t go over well in Eagles Nation and now eyebrows have been raised about his commitment after he signed in the offseason, a three-year, $17 million contract.
Keep in mind, Williams did attend the Eagles mandatory minicamp a few weeks ago and the Eagles staff thinks he has the talent to contribute to the team. Williams was most recently with the Baltimore Ravens from 2009 to 2012.
Then there’s the most talked about story, who will Kelly name as his starting quarterback?
Veteran field general Michael Vick said a few weeks ago that he’d like the coach name the winner before training camp. Vick said via CSNPhilly.com, “Hopefully, Chip makes a decision before training camp and we won’t have to answer that question so we can go out there as quarterbacks and just focus on this season and not answer questions about competition every day.”
This comes as Vick is battling for the top spot against sophomore Nick Foles. The two had a 50-50 split for first-team reps during the team’s recent minicamps; however, Kelly has said there’s no timeline to make his decision.
And in this case, three may be a crowd as rookie quarterback Matt Barkley has also been viewed as part of the competition even though he took third-team reps during the minicamps.
In a final story, back on the defensive side, there’s linebacker DeMeco Ryan. Last season under a 4-3 scheme, he had 113 total tackles, almost twice as many as the previous one when he player for the Houston Texans.
But with Kelly, the team has switched to a 3-4 defense. How will Ryan play under the change? He didn’t fare well under this with the Texans but will he find better luck with the Eagles?