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Early Birds: Chip Kelly on facilities, public practices, and training camp start date

1) Chip Kelly wants practice to be efficient, so he should hope there's not heavy rain or storms during training camp. The Eagles have three outdoor practice fields at the NovaCare Complex, plus additional space. The indoor facility is not even a full-length field.

With 90 players on the roster, the 80 yards of space in the training bubble make for tight quarters. During Kelly's first spring with the team, he noted that they "don't have a big indoor facility," so there are things they cannot accomplish such as special teams work. That was part of his rationale for practicing in the rain. It's even cramped practicing on the 100 yards at Lincoln Financial Field during open practices. 

Kelly said he would like a bigger indoor facility, but he does not know the plans. Owner Jeffrey Lurie is aware of the interest.

"They told me that when I got here we have a small bubble and we'd like to get a bigger one," Kelly said. "I don't know where that is."

When the Baltimore Ravens join the Eagles for practices before the second preseason game, Kelly must especially hope for good weather. He said the smaller indoor facility has "not really" been a problem to date, but he was most concerned when they practiced with the Patriots two summers ago.

"We've been lucky," Kelly said. "The only time I was really worried was when we had the Patriots here in training camp because if it rained, now you're trying to put 180 in there and you certainly can't do that."

During the spring, the Eagles rescheduled one of their practices because of the forecast. Kelly said his preference was to practice outside, so he would have cancelled it anyway with better weather the next day. But if forced inside, it would be better to have Oregon's facility than what he has in Philadelphia.

"Obviously if your indoor is bigger, you can do more things," Kelly said.

2) Speaking of open practices at Lincoln Financial Field, Kelly said he is not the reason why the number has decreased from four in his first season to three in his second season to two this season.

"I have zero to do with that," Kelly said. "Just make sure everybody writes that down. Swear to God, I have nothing to do with any of that. That is not me, 100 percent."

The open practices this summer are Aug. 4 and Aug. 9.

There's not an ideal solution for the general public to watch training camp practices when they're in Philadelphia because of restrictions at the NovaCare Complex. At Lincoln Financial Field, the practices are on a tighter field (Kelly spoke about some of the adjustments during his first year with the team) and the organization must also consider availability and dates.

3) If the Eagles traded for Marcus Mariota -- or drafted any quarterback -- then there might already be training camp practices this summer.

Training camp cannot begin until two weeks before the first preseason game, which is why the Eagles hold their first practice on Sunday. But there can be a camp for rookies before that date. The Eagles used to hold early practices for rookies under Andy Reid. They also used that structure during the first season with Chip Kelly as head coach.

Kelly said the only reason they had the rookie camp during his first year was because Matt Barkley was a rookie quarterback. Without a rookie quarterback last year, the full team reported at the same time for the start of camp. The same is true this year.

"If we had a rookie quarterback, we'd have a rookie minicamp, but we don't," Kelly said.