PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles head coach Chip Kelly still plans to hold joint practices with the Patriots next week, even with the knowledge that cornerback Cary Williams doesn’t enjoy such fraternizing with NFL enemies.
“I appreciate Cary’s input,” Kelly said. “I think the value that you get for every single player and every single coach in terms of what we’re doing -- to get a chance to go against another scheme and another team -- I think it’s really beneficial, as long as you and the other team are on the same page. And I thought it worked out really well for us last year.”
Williams said Friday that he didn’t care for the disruption in routine, that it was better to practice with teammates and reserve the external work for the preseason games.
“I understand where he’s coming from,” Kelly said. “We do a lot more huddling in those situations, we don’t signal as much, obviously because of that. That’s understandable.”
The Eagles and Patriots did not face each other in 2013 and won’t during the 2014 regular season. That means the only chance for the Patriots to learn anything useful from the practice sessions would be if the two teams happened to meet in the Super Bowl.
“A lot is overblown on that point,” Kelly said. “They get every single film of every game we’ve ever played. I don’t think they’re getting anything. It’s not something we do in practice that we’re not going to do in a game. So I think when people break it down, they’re going to see what we’re doing. We’re always evolving. There’s things we’re going to do in practice in the second week of August and if we’re ever to play them, it would be in the last game of the year sometime in February.
“I would imagine our team and their team would be a lot different than they were when we faced them in August. There’s a chance for everything, but that’s a lot of tape to go through. Sometimes there’s analysis by paralysis. It would be a great situation if we get to play them in the Super Bowl. If they’re going through practice tape and see one play we ran once on a Tuesday in August that we bring out in the third quarter with 1:32 on the clock and they’re prepared for it, then God bless them.”
The risk is miniscule. Williams’ point was that the reward was as well. Kelly disagreed. He said he learns something from seeing his players in different situations, and this is just another opportunity.