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MailTribune.com
  • Belichick a fan of Chip Kelly

  • Bill Belichick has known Chip Kelly since Kelly coached at New Hampshire, but the two are coaching against each other for the first time this week. Belichick said they have "been friends for a while" and praised Kelly's program at Oregon.
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  • Bill Belichick has known Chip Kelly since Kelly coached at New Hampshire, but the two are coaching against each other for the first time this week. Belichick said they have "been friends for a while" and praised Kelly's program at Oregon.
    But Kelly's offense at Oregon is different from the one he's expected to show in Philadelphia, and Belichick had his first exposure to the Eagles system on Tuesday. The two teams practice with each other again today and play in the preseason opener on Friday.
    "We'll see how it all plays out here, but he's a very innovative, creative guy," Belichick said. "He's got a great mind, he's smart and I think he'll take advantage of whatever resources he can. We'll see what that is. I'm sure he'll give us plenty of trouble."
    Belichick said he's had "several conversations" with Kelly since Kelly became the Eagles head coach. That included the combine in February, the owners meetings in March, and phone conversations ever since. Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as Patriots head coach, called Kelly "a really solid coach a solid guy."
    "This has been an outstanding organization through the years," Belichick said, "and I'm sure that Chip will have them in a very competitive situation next year."
    One similarity to the Patriots when Belichick took over in 2000 and the Eagles under Kelly is that both teams transitioned from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 base defense.
    "I personally never felt like it was that big of a deal," Belichick said. "People called us a 3-4 team when I was the defensive coordinator with the Giants and Lawrence (Taylor) rushed 85 percent of the time, so everybody treated us like we were a four-man line, but to the media and the fans it was a 3-4, and vice versa."
    Belichick's point was that there's a player who's going to play on the end of line of scrimmage and rush, whether that's a defensive end or a linebacker. He said the spacing is important, but there are different fronts that teams play and he speculated the Eagles will play both an even and odd front.
    Eagles
    Wide receiver Riley Cooper returned to the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday after a four-day excused absence to undergo sensitivity training after he was caught on film yelling a racial slur before a Kenny Chesney concert.
    Cooper, in his fourth year out of the University of Florida, seemed remorseful during an eight-minute press conference with the media after the Eagles and New England Patriots began what will be a three-day practice routine before Friday night's preseason opener.
    "It's great to be back doing what I love to do, play football," Cooper said. "I realize being in the NFL you have responsibility to behave on and off the field. I realize that."
    "I realize how many people I hurt, how many families I hurt, how many kids I hurt. It's going to be tough. I'm going to live with this every day the rest of my life. It's one of those things you can't let affect your play on the field."
    Video of Cooper's racial slur surfaced Wednesday. He was immediately fined an undisclosed amount by the team, but was not suspended. Ironically, two days earlier he was promoted to the starting lineup after Jeremy Maclin suffered a season-ending injury.
    Last Friday, Eagles coach Chip Kelly announced that Cooper was given time off to seek counseling. Kelly did not put a timetable on his return. Four days later, he was back at practice and caught two touchdown passes against the Patriots' defense.
    "My concern wasn't how he practiced," Kelly said after practice. "It's just him with the team itself and to get the chance to make sure he got to talk to every single guy so that they understood how we felt, what he did, and understand that he's truly sorry for what he did."
    Cooper said he talked to every one of his teammates, face to face, and apologized.
    "I told them I don't want you to forgive me. That puts the burden on you. I want it all on me. I apologized," he said. "They could tell it was from the heart. They know I'm not that kind of person. It feels good to have the support of the guys."
    Packers
    Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the rest of training camp after undergoing a procedure on one of his knees.
    The Packers are hopeful he will be ready for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener at San Francisco. Nelson had not practiced since Thursday, missing Friday night's practice and Saturday's scrimmage.
    Left tackle Bryan Bulaga also suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament Saturday. Randall Cobb, the leading receiver last year, has a biceps injury. Cornerback Tramon Williams has been sidelined for more than a week with a bone bruise in his knee, and cornerback Casey Hayward hasn't practiced because of a hamstring injury. DuJuan Harris, the starting running back at the end of last season, has yet to practice because of a knee injury.
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