Brandon Graham just spent the past few months getting to understand the entirety of Chip Kelly’s system, from the new coach’s diet-and-nutrition program to his defensive schemes to the breakneck speed of Kelly’s practices. Graham, making a transition from defensive end to outside linebacker in his fourth season, is also trying to get to 255 pounds by training camp. The last thing he wants is to reverse all the work he’s put in by coming into training camp with pounds packed on. “That’s why I’m staying here [in Philadelphia], so that they can monitor it,” he said. “So that when I come to camp it’s like I’ve already been here. I’m not going anywhere.” Not all of the Eagles are staying behind for the next six weeks, but several have echoed Graham’s sentiment about the importance of showing up in shape when training camp for the full team starts July 25 at the NovaCare Complex. In the past, players who reported to camp with some extra flab could work off the pounds in the weight room or integrate back into game speed by the middle of camp. It helped that former coach Andy Reid ran a notoriously brutal camp that featured more tackling and live speed than most NFL teams. But the ramifications for arriving to Kelly’s first camp in poor shape could be steeper, for a variety of reasons. First, the pace of Kelly’s practices are much faster than most NFL practices. Second, several starting jobs are up for grabs as the new coach puts his stamp on the team. Being unprepared to practice at the right speed could mean the difference between a starting and backup job, or a roster spot and unemployment.
Next goal for the Eagles: Stay in shape
CSN Philly | Jun 11