It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the Chip Kelly era will be vastly different for the Philadelphia Eagles than what took place under the Andy Reid regime.
The latest notion that the winds of change have gusted through the Novacare Complex are the joint practices scheduled during the team’s training camp this August. Kelly and the Eagles will welcome Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to the team’s South Philadelphia headquarters for two open practices on August 6 and 7.
“Bill [Belichick] called me,” Kelly explained after practice. “I believe that they have done these things before and it sounded like a good idea. We’re playing the Patriots anyway in the pre-season and this way the Patriots offense can give us the look of the Patriots offense instead of ours doing it.”
Philadelphia last participated in open practices in 1998 when Ray Rhodes‘ team welcomed the Buffalo Bills to Lehigh University for practice sessions and a scrimmage that was open to the public at the campus’s Goodman Stadium. Buffalo was coached by Wade Phillips at that time.
Meanwhile, the Patriots held joint practices with the New Orleans Saints last season in Foxboro and again in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers, leading up to those two preseason contests.
The difference between the upcoming joint practices and the ones the Eagles had in 1998 is that these sessions will be closed to the public. However, the Eagles do intend to invite selected season ticket holders that will be chosen at random by their sections at Lincoln Financial Field.
New England and Philadelphia kick off the pre-season on August 9 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles open training camp at the Novacare Complex when rookies, free agents and selected veterans report on July 22, and the full squad must report on July 25.
Matt Lombardo is also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.