By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles were back at practice Sunday after enjoying a day off. The head coach liked what he saw on Sunday.
With the first preseason game set for Friday, the Eagles appear to be getting more comfortable with Chip Kelly’s system.
“I think these guys have really settled in,” said Kelly. The way we want to practice is always faster than game. We’re getting the ball down faster because I always believe you can slow down. I think it’s hard to speed up. When we get into game‑like situations, hopefully it’s a little easier for them. But they’ve been fantastic in terms of assimilating to the style of practice that we want to practice in.”
With the absence of Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, several other receivers have needed to step up. Arrelious Benn returned to practice on Sunday after missing time with a knee injury. Kelly was impressed with Benn’s performance, and the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer realizes he has a chance to earn more playing time.
“That’s why I’m here,” Benn said. “Football is all about opportunity and timing. The next guy has to step up. You’ve got to have that mentality and be able to know what you have to do and then step in and do it.”
Meanwhile, the battle for the starting quarterback job continues. Kelly said it will be until at least Wednesday night before he makes a decision as to who will start in Friday’s preseason opener against New England. However, Vick doesn’t believe the starting quarterback on Friday will indicate who starts the first game of the regular season.
“I don’t think whoever starts on Friday will determine the starter (for the season),” said Vick. “I don’t think Chip is that far ahead. We’re not that far ahead. We just want to make sure we take care of our business this week. Obviously, it’s a big week for us.”
Nick Foles also isn’t worried about who starts on Friday. He says he’ll be focused no matter when his number is called.
“We’re all ready to play no matter who takes the field,” Foles said. “It will be exciting to go back and play football. I’m excited to watch all of the quarterbacks play when I’m not in. When I play, I’ll be ready.”
Tackle Jason Peters returned to practice after missing time with a slight hamstring injury, but left practice early when he re-aggravated the injury. Rookie Tight End Zach Ertz missed practice with a shoulder injury.
The Eagles will practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday.