By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The off-season workouts are over for the Eagles, but the head coach will still have football on his mind during the break.
The Eagles wrapped up a three-day minicamp on Thursday and have completed their off-season program. They will have 35 days off before returning to South Philadelphia for training camp, but Chip Kelly isn’t looking at the break as a time to decompress from football.
“I don’t look at this as I need a break from what we’ve just done,” said Kelly. “This isn’t like Fred Flintstone with the Yabba‑Dabba‑Doo and we’re trying to get out of work. I think anybody that’s in our situation that coaches isn’t like, I can’t wait to get out of there. I think most of them can’t wait to get back in there.”
While the Eagles won’t be back at NovaCare until July 25th, many of the players plan on staying sharp before camp begins. Center Jason Kelce will look to combine relaxation time with football before he and his teammates get back to work.
“We spent a tremendous amount of effort during this off-season getting in shape,” Kelce said. “We’ve done a lot of hard work, so it would be foolish right now to get away from football completely and lifting completely. You can’t just knock it out for 35 days. You’d really be going backwards.”
The players expressed an upbeat attitude during the off-season workouts. Offensive Lineman Lane Johnson is happy with what he and his teammates accomplished, and believes it will pay off during the season.
“The team is headed in a good direction,” said Johnson. “We did well in the weight room. Our bodies are in good condition. I just think that we’re a long ways ahead of where we were last year.”
It appears the Eagles will follow the lead of their coach and will still have their focus on football before getting back together in July. It is hard to imagine Kelly shutting off football for 35 days.
“I love the game of football,” Kelly said. “I have a passion for it, so it’s not like if a conversation comes up three days from now about football, I’m on vacation and I don’t want to talk about it. I’d probably be the one starting the conversation.”
Kelly also announced the team will practice in New England with the Patriots the week of their preseason game with New England in August.