Michael Vick Is Taking More First-team Reps than Nick Foles, Unless He Isn’t

Michael Vick Is Taking More First-team Reps than Nick Foles, Unless He Isn’t

For the first time since Chip Kelly became the Eagles head coach, the media was invited to watch one of his famous up-tempo practices on round one, day one of organized team activities. Much of the discussion afterwards was about just how “fast” and “frenetic” the sessions really were, or regarding the eclectic soundtrack to which the workouts were set.

There has been some talk however over whether or not Kelly has already tipped his hand somewhat in relation to the club’s current quarterback situation. Jeremy Maclin told reporters last week that Michael Vick took the majority of first-team reps during pre-draft mini-camp. Now PhiladelphiaEagles.com insider Dave Spadaro says Vick took most of the reps as the starter on the first day of OTAs – and most of the scribes in attendance seemed to agree.

Via Les Bowen of the Daily News, the head coach does not concur.

"He hasn't," Kelly said. "Count them up. Someone charted them, I would imagine. He and Nick [Foles] 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 depth chart or do anything like that."

That said, the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane thought the admittedly very early depth chart at quarterback went like this: Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, Matt Barkley, G.J. Kinne.

Is Vick getting more first-team reps than Foles or not? Probably at least a handful, for sure, something Chip even acknowledged was possible. But then again at one point all five quarterbacks were described as throwing a ball to a receiver running the exact same route at the exact same time. The coach has said on numerous occasions there are plenty of reps to go around, and from the sound of things, there are.

In other words, it’s almost certainly far too early to get a read on the situation under center, and in many regards it still lends the appearance of the open competition the head coach promised. Based on Tim McManus' story for Philly Mag, both Foles and Barkley were upbeat after practice, and Bowen even observed that Dixon looked comfortable under Kelly for the first time since their Oregon days together.

>> An Eagles Practice Comes to Life [PE.com]
>> Shock and Awe: Chip dazzles scribes [Eagletarian]
>> Observations from Chip Kelly’s first open practice [Birds’ Eye View]
>> Chip Kelly’s Quarterback Competition Is Underway [Birds 24/7]

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."