Nearly all of the media focus so far has been on Eagles players believing and trusting in Chip Kelly's new system. "Buying into" the Chippah is seen as crucial to the team's immediate and long-term competitive future.
I tend to think in opposites. I'm wondering about Kelly's need to "trust" in his players. By now he's seen enough to form a coaching opinion on what he's got in personnel. He's probably looking very hard at the players he inherited from the Big Red regime and wondering if they can be "trusted" with a new playbook, new verbiage, new techniques and a different tempo. He may have already decided there are some guys he can't "trust".
It's a funny word—Trust. It implies a two-way belief system. It also implies confidence in each other.
In football, you add the elements of "competence" and "good decision-making" to the trust formula.
Perhaps the best exercise for testing trust on both sides of the white line is the two-minute drill. Kelly has been running a lot of two-minute drills this past week in practice.
It's hard to tell from practice video if Kelly likes what he's seeing or doesn't. The reality is probably a lot of both.
Thursday's practice was held indoors due to wet and rainy conditions, as you probably know by now.
Nick Foles made a comeback and earned some trust points. Shaggy was on the money after a rough day Wednesday. He took 19 reps with the first team. He looked good in the two-minute drill. Vick and Barkley had so-so outings. Still, the real trust by Kelly in any of these QB's can only be earned when the live hitting—and the possibility of being hit or sacked—begins in the preseason games.
I'm guessing Kelly is losing trust in his receiver candidates. Nick Miller, Will Murphy, and Emil Igwenagu all dropped passes that were well-thrown by Matt Barkley. Greg Salas and Ifheanygood Momah each had a Shaggy pass bounce off their hands.
DeSean Jackson left practice early with a minor toe injury. It could mean nothing—or it could mean here's a potential trust problem on both sides of the street.
B.J. Cunningham was waived (injury settlement) and Arrelious Benn remained sidelined with a knee injury.
Kenny Phillips finally ran with the 1st-team defense at safety. He didn't stand out one way or the other, according to most observers. I'm sure Kelly doesn't trust him–yet.
Cary Williams finally ran at cornerback after a week spent nursing a hamstring injury. By all accounts he put on a strong performance. The trust meter goes up on Williams…
Jason Peters is still out with a hamstring injury. Our own Bored commentators Jerky and Brizer called that one weeks ago, predicting the All-Pro left tackle would have more problems with hammies and knees than he ever would with his reconstructed Achilles tendon.
This Peters situation puts a lot of trust issues on the other O-linemen, as you can imagine. Lane Johnson at left tackle?— that's where he lined up Thursday.
Even Hagrid (Dennis Kelly) has been set back (really bad pun) with a lower back strain.
Still plenty of time left to build up trust points on both sides of the ball…and from within the coaches' meeting room.
Here's a look at Thursday's practices provided courtesy of NJ.com: