The Eagles definitely were working on a read-option for much of Monday's organized team activity, the first such session reporters have been allowed to watch during the Chip Kelly era. The pace was frenetic; seldom did 10 seconds pass between plays. An eclectic mix of music, much of it loosely fitting under the dance music umbrella, blasted from huge speakers, except during "teach" periods when the music was muted. (A disembodied, robotic voice announced each period over a loudspeaker. There were 20 of them, in an hour and 40 minutes.)
It was hard to know where to focus, with so much going on, so many of us focused on the simplest, most important component -- the five guys in red jerseys who got quarterbacking reps.
Dennis Dixon, formerly of Oregon, more recently of the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad, seemed very much at ease getting his charges lined up and interpreting the barrage of sign language from the sideline. That edge presumably will melt away over the next few months. There were so many plays run, every QB got reps; Nick Foles got almost as many as Michael Vick. Fourth-round rookie Matt Barkley, who declared last week that he was here to compete for a starting job, seemed to be picking it up pretty well, putting passes on receivers' hands. I couldn't really tell you much about ex-Tulsa QB G.J. Kinne, except that he was wearing Kevin Kolb's old No. 4.
After the workout, Kelly said he is pleased by how quickly his players seeme to be picking up the systems.
"We've got a group of guys that are real eager," Kelly said. "They want to learn, and they've been attentive in meetings ... they've been fanstastic in terms of learning, wanting to figure everything out. Really happy with where they are right now."
Kelly challenged an assertion that Vick got more first-team reps than Foles.
"He hasn't," Kelly said. "Count them up. Someone charted them, I would imagine. He and Nick switched to different groups, so that's what we did ... again, it's May 13 ... we've got a long ways to go before we ever set a deptth chart or do anything like that."
So, does Barkley indeed have a chance to emerge as the starter?
"I would hope anybody that came into this place isn't sitting here and saying, 'I think I'm going to be a really good, solid backup.' I want guys to come in here and show us everything that they can do, and our job as a coaching staff is to put the best guys on the field the first game against Washington, that will help us win," Kelly said. "If that's Matt, that's Matt, so we'll see how that goes. But if anybody came in here and said they were really vying for a backup job, then they would probably be on the bus down 95 pretty quick."
Except, where there is an established starting QB, rookies often come in and say exactly that -- that they are here to learn, that this is so-and-so's team, etc. The fact that Barkley isn't being told to toe that line illustrates that the Eagles really don't have an established starter, as far as Kelly is concerned. Kelly had nothing to do with bringing Vick here or declaring him No. 1. The guy who did that is in Kansas City now.
On defense Monday, Trent Cole and Connor Barwin seemed to be the starting outside linebackers. (This is corrected from the original version of the blog post, which erroneously replaced Barwin with Brandon Graham, just to see if you were paying attention. Or because I couldn't read my notes.) The secondary was harder to parse, because offseason free agent acquisition Cary Williams got married over the weekend and wasn't here. Curtis Marsh seemed to get many of the reps Wiilliams would have gotten, alongside Bradley Fletcher.
Today on PhillyDailyNews.com: On the DNL blog, Rich Hofmann talks about the super-organized, hyperkinetic first day of open practice under Chip Kelly.