Kelly excited about Wolff in second year

PHILADELPHIA -- While Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly was focusing on the players selected in the 2014 draft, he also took some time to reflect on one of his players taken in last year’s draft.

Since the Eagles gathered on April 21 for workouts, safety Earl Wolff has caught Kelly’s attention.

Wolff, a safety who was picked in the fifth round last year from NC State, flourished at times last season before suffering a knee injury Nov. 10 at Green Bay.

“How did I feel about it?,” Kelly said of Wolff’s knee injury. “I was sad because Earl was coming, you know. But I think the statement and more than one person has made to me, it looks like we have the old Earl because he's flying around right now. So I don't know if sometimes the injury is a little more severe than was expected. We didn't think it was going to be as long as it was, and I'll give him a ton of credit, because he worked his tail off to try to get back out there. But it just didn't respond the way we had hoped it would respond. But the guy that's been here since April 21, Earl's been flying around.

“You know, he like a lot of the guys, it's that jump from being a rookie to a second year player is a big deal,” Kelly continued. “You know, there is a renewed sense of confidence, whether it's Earl or (Zach) Ertz or Bennie (Logan) or Matt (Barkley). The guys we brought in last year. Now all of a sudden they're not looking around trying to figure out where to go. They're jumping right to the front of the lines and doing things. But right now we're really excited about Earl.”

Wolff came back to face the Chicago Bears on Dec. 22 but hurt his knee again and remained out in the regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

Kelly was asked whether there was a question if Wolff could play through the injury.

“No, not at all,” Kelly said. “We legitimately just watch him work out. There was a difference between him being able to run full speed. Because when Earl runs full speed and jumps full speed, you can tell. He was definitely injured. So there was no question from us at all.”

Wolff will have plenty of competition this season with the additions of Florida cornerback-safety Jaylen Watkins and Stanford safety Ed Reynolds in the draft to go along with free agents Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Maragos.