Just about 36 hours after the NFL opened for business, Andy Reid officially opened Eagles training camp at Lehigh University. The coach was peppered with the questions about the rumored Kevin Kolb trade and the impending DeSean Jackson holdout, but refused to give any answers on either front. He would only say that he's spoken with DeSean Jackson, but would not elaborate.
As for the stuff he would comment on, he addressed the changes in the way the team is allowed to practice. There are no more two a days with contact, which is something Andy Reid has always believed in.
"The morning practices will be very similar, once we get into day three, of what we had before as far as time goes and format." Reid said, "I told you that on day three I was going to keep the pads off them in the morning. That format will be the same that we use on day four, and the same format we've used in the past. That part is going to be very physical and still be the same type of thing. This is a sport where you make contact. The afternoon practices where you have the 10/10/10's and special teams, you can't have that anymore. That's not how it works, it's the walkthrough period. You can do the walkthrough in the morning or the afternoon. The next practice is out of pads and you have to do a walkthrough just like we used to with our eight/eight on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the season. Players are fast pre-snap and then cautious after that."
He was also asked what affect the lockout will have on the incoming rookies this year.
"Well, it's going to be a catch up game for them. That's where your OTAs come in handy. It's equal opportunity all the way throughout the league. I'm not going to dwell on it, and we have a plan for that. We're going to go for it. I'm sure everyone else has their plan, and we have our ideas. I told you before that in that case and with new players coming in from other teams, it's going to test your teaching ability. As coaches, we made sure we went back and detailed things another inch so we get in there, there's not a lot of wasted words and time. We can get it to the players and make sure we give it to them to take these complex concepts and simplify them the best we can so that these guys can execute them quickly by the time they break the huddle and shout."
And finally, he talked about why he felt it was important to hold camp up at Lehigh rather than at the NovaCare complex?
"Well whoever asked the question about the continuity, I love coming up here because it puts everybody together so you're talking about players who don't know each other, haven't gone through mini camp, maybe this is even more important to come up here; they're housed together and they have to make it work. When you're up here there are not a lot of other things going on. And so you sit around after your meeting and you talk and socialize and review your playbooks. To do all those things that you do I think it brings the team together a little bit."