By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The pads were on for the second straight day at Eagles practice, but contact remains limited under Chip Kelly.
The head coach is not running tacking drills which involve players getting brought down to the ground. It is a far cry from training camp workouts in the past, but Kelly believes the real hitting should take place when the preseason games get underway.
“It’s not really the two guys that get tackled,” said Kelly. “It’s what’s chasing it. We’re trying to keep everybody in every situation up. Obviously, if I’m blocking my guy and I’m trying to finish to the whistle, but two guys in front of me fall, that’s where the biggest thing occurs. It’s the pile-ups.”
Offensive Tackle Jason Peters has returned from a season-ending injury suffered during the 2012 off-season. Peters is happy about the new tackling rules Kelly is using in the early days of camp.
“It’s better,” Peters said. “Everybody here is a professional. We know how to tackle and hit. It’s not good to hit your own guys. Guys can only get injured that way. We’re just going to hold off until we get a game going.”
Meanwhile, the battle for jobs continues to heat up. One of the more competitive battles is taking place at safety, where as many as seven candidates are getting a chance to show what they can do on the field. Rookie safety Earl Wolff is happy every player is getting an equal chance.
“It’s an open competition,” said Wolff. “I feel like every safety is a pretty decent safety and everybody’s doing pretty good. It’s going to be a tough decision, but I feel like everything will open up even more during the preseason. That’s when I feel like people will start to separate themselves.”
Nate Allen is one of the returning safeties battling for a starting job. Allen says no matter who wins the jobs in the secondary, the players must form a bond which will carry over to the season.
“You’re still jelling as a team,” Allen said. “You’ve got to become a unit and you’ve got to have that chemistry while your out on the field in the preseason.”
The Eagles will have a day off on Tuesday before returning workouts in South Philadelphia on Wednesday.