The Patriots are about to start practicing alongside the Redskins down in Richmond, Virginia on Monday. Next week, they'll do the same with the Eagles in Foxboro. That's two weeks of practice drills and 11-on-11 situations -- not to mention a preseason game at the end of each week -- all on tape.
Good chance for Bill Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff to do some scouting against a pair of potential Super Bowl opponents, right?
Eagles coach Chip Kelly explained to reporters Sunday that any plays used at this point in the season won't look the same -- be the reasons personnel or otherwise -- in the unlikely event that both teams meet again for the Lombardi Trophy in six months. Essentially, he insisted, there's no point in trying to read into a team's strategy when everyone is only two weeks into training camp.
"There's a chance for everything but that's a lot of tape to go through," Kelly said. "If you were to play them in our situation, it would be the 20th game of the year plus four preseason games, and then you're going back and looking at practice tape.
"Sometimes there's analysis by paralysis. If we end up ‑‑ it would be a great situation that we get a chance to play them in the Super Bowl. And they're going through practice tape and get a chance to see one play that we ran once on a Tuesday in August that we bring out in the third quarter with a minute 32 on the clock and they are prepared for it, then God bless 'em."
Eagles defensive back Cary Williams said last week that he didn't want to practice against the Patriots because in his eyes they're "cheaters." Kelly shrugged off Williams' assertion when asked for his reaction.
"I mean, obviously, I appreciate Cary's input, but I think the value that you can get for every single player and every single coach in terms of what we are doing to get a chance to go against another scheme and another team, I think it's really beneficial," Kelly said, "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. We have a good understanding of what both teams are trying to get accomplished in those couple of days.
"I understand where [Williams is] coming from. We do a lot more huddling when we are in those situations. We don't signal as much obviously because of situations like that. You know, that's understandable."
But Kelly isn't nearly as concerned as his paranoid corner.
"I think a lot is overblown on that point," Kelly said. "They get every single film of every game we have ever played. So you know, I don't think they are getting anything ‑‑ it's not something that we do in practice that we are not going to do in a game. I think when people break it down and obviously people have all of our preseason games and playoff games from last year, they are going to see what we do.
"We had the conversation the other day, we are always evolving. So there's things we are going to do in practice in the second week of August that if we were ever to play them it would be in the last game of the year, sometime in February, that I think I would imagine our team and their team would be a lot different than they were when we faced them in August."