Kelly talks QB reps, Sopoaga trade

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
3:00
PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles coach Chip Kelly offered a bit more insight than usual into how he prepares his quarterbacks during the week.

That became an issue Sunday, when rookie quarterback Matt Barkley was forced into action for the second week in a row. Even though starter Michael Vick was nursing a cranky hamstring that had kept him sidelined for two weeks, Barkley got only the usual limited practice time with the first team.

Kelly’s practices are closed to the media, so there is some uncertainty about how he conducts them.

“When you go into a game, your backup quarterback doesn’t get a lot of snaps on a daily basis,” Kelly said. “Today we have 60 snaps for our offense. Our starting quarterback will get 48 of them and our backup quarterback will get 12 of them.”

Kelly received some criticism for calling a naked bootleg for Barkley on first-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Barkley revealed Tuesday that it was a play he’d never run in practice.

“He may not have run that play,” Kelly said, “but it’s a naked play. The route combination doesn’t matter. We’re always just trying to dress it up and do it in different ways. Has he run 'naked' since he’s been here? Yes, he’s run 'naked' since he’s been here. There’s a guy in the flat and a guy on the drag. Was it specifically that call? He may not have run that rep in practice.”

Kelly said the offense runs four “low red zone” snaps in practice and the starter gets all four of them.

Ultimately, Kelly called a play that asked more than his rookie quarterback was capable of handling, and a turnover resulted.

Serving youth: The trade of Isaac Sopoaga Tuesday was more about the young players behind the veteran nose tackle, Kelly said.

“We felt like we had a couple of younger guys that we had to continue to get in there,” Kelly said. “Clifton Geathers is a great example. He played 13 snaps on Sunday against the Giants and he had three contacts with the ball. He’s a guy that just keeps getting better. Bennie Logan is a guy we need to see more of. Damion Square is a guy who was up for the first two games -- when you watch practice, Square, Logan and Geathers need more reps.”

Sopoaga was credited with 18 tackles, one for a loss, and three quarterback hurries in eight games. The 32-year-old was dealt to New England before the trade deadline, along with a sixth-round draft pick, in exchange for a fifth-round pick.

No tear for Vick: Kelly said the MRI of Vick’s left hamstring showed no new injury or more severe tear.

“It’s hurt in the same spot,” Kelly said. “We’ll monitor it and see how he goes. I don’t anticipate Mike being able to play this week. The one thing I know about Mike is he’s unbelievable when it comes to rehab and listening to [the medical staff]. There’s nothing new from what happened last time.”

Phil Sheridan

ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter

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