Scrapping taco Tuesday. Forcing fast food Friday out the door. Mounting music up through the speakers at practice.
For Chip Kelly, unorthodox is a mantra. Kelly has revamped and reshaped the concept of an NFL practice. Other teams have been paying attention, as former Eagles coach Andy Reid is also playing music at practice. No wonder the NFL is referred to as the “copycat league.” For Chip Kelly, the peculiarity doesn’t stop there.
According to Geoff Mosher of Comcast Sportsnet, the Eagles mixed up a few positions at practice. WR Jason Avant and TE Clay Harbor played on defense for portions of camp. Avant worked with the defensive backs, and Harbor played with the linebackers.
This is similar to how Patriots coach Bill Belichick lines players up on both sides of the ball. Eagles fans can picture the image of Vince Young being taken down by WR Julian Edelman two years ago. The Patriots also trademarked the “tackle-eligible,” having used LB Mike Vrabel in this role.
This move is primarily to prepare for emergencies. As offensive players grow faster and stronger, more defensive injuries are likely. Chip Kelly is not about to get caught off guard, and is prepared for the worst. With the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday, Harbor clarified: “I’m a tight end, and for emergency situations, and just versatility purposes, for me, I’m learning.” Under Andy Reid, Jason Avant was slated as the emergency quarterback, should all active signal-callers be injured. While the situation never arose, Avant wants to be ready incase his team needs him, no matter where or when: “It’s one of those things that I work hard, and whatever that may be, and whatever the team wants me to do, I’ll do it.”