By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles are about to enjoy a month off before training camp. How the players use their time off the field could determine roster spots at the end of the summer.
The Eagles finished off their second day of a three-day minicamp, and a break is on the horizon for the players after several rounds of off-season workouts. Head Coach Chip Kelly praised his players for their work ethic, but said many of them could gain an advantage with what they do away from the practice fields at the NovaCare complex.
“Everybody has the same amount of time during the day,” said Kelly. “You can either spend your time, or invest your time. That’s what we’re trying to get the players to understand. We all have 24 hours in the same day. If you want to go play video games and watch TV and do all of those other things, you’re going to get beat out by the guy that’s doing the little things that are going to make the difference.”
Rookies are learning what it takes to keep up with the veterans both on the field and in the film room. Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews says he will be ready once training camp arrives.
“You never want to come to training camp like you’v e lost a step,” Matthews said. “You’ve got to come back in the same shape. It’s a great group of guys Coach Kelly has brought into this organization. Everybody is going to be working just as hard, still eating right and doing the things you need to do to be a good pro.”
The team concept has been evident since last season, with the players endorsing Kelly’s system. Many believe the release of DeSean Jackson was related to an inability to buy into the team concept. Running Back LeSean McCoy said he learned from Jackson’s release.
“This is what I took out of it,” said McCoy. “No matter how good a player is, it’s a team. If you can’t buy in, than anything is possible.”
McCoy and the Eagles will wrap up their off-season workouts on Thursday, and Kelly says the team has shown the commitment needed to produce the right atmosphere in the organization.
“Guys are in here challenging themselves to get better,” Kelly said. “There’s been a constant improvement from when we got here on April 21st and from where we are standing right now, and they want to improve.”
The team has yet to announce the start of training camp, but it is expected to begin at the end of July.