PHILADELPHIA - Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was working on his moves both on and off the practice fields at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday.
He was standing on the sideline between plays when the "Cha Cha Slide" started playing over the giant speakers. Immediately, he followed along to the song, taking "two steps to the left, two steps to the right, two hops this time" before sprinting onto the field and breaking off a 10-yard run.
Minutes later, as Lakeside's 1980 hit "Fantastic Voyage" was playing, the horn sounded to end the most interesting - and at times, bizarre - series of offseason practices in recent memory.
The music was just part of a routine under new coach Chip Kelly that included protein smoothies after practices, sleep testing and menu changes in the cafeteria. This week, assistant coaches brandished giant fly swatters to simulate pass rushing lanes.
"We made those at (the University of) Oregon," Kelly said. "It's the exact height of a 6-foot-4 defensive lineman with his hands up. You can't throw over everybody, so you have to throw through throwing lanes."
Today starts a seven-week break for the players before they report back to the NovaCare Complex for training camp. Rookies are due July 22, followed by the rest of the team three days later.
In past seasons, coaches and players would take some time off to relax, maybe go on a vacation. Former coach Andy Reid, for example, would traditionally go on a trip with his family and join fellow NFL coaches Mike Holmgren and Brad Childress on a getaway. Former safety Brian Dawkins was a fan of cruises.
Kelly has no plans to go anywhere except his office.
"This is my vacation," he said with a smile. "I have a lot of work to do. I have to break down film of our first four (regular-season) opponents: Washington, San Diego, Kansas City and Denver. The players also have a schedule to follow, though they aren't allowed to be here. It's on them, it's up to them now, and we'll know if they've followed the schedule when we get to training camp."
Quarterback Michael Vick may play a few rounds of golf and visit family and friends in Newport News, Va., but most of his time and energy will be devoted toward working out and getting more comfortable with Kelly's offense.
Vick will compete against Nick Foles, rookie Matt Barkley and Dennis Dixon for the starting job during training camp and the preseason. Kelly has repeatedly resisted the temptation to name a starting quarterback and has had Vick and Foles splitting almost all the reps during the workouts.
"It's tough," Vick said. "I have to continue to be a professional and put my feelings and emotions to the side and just continue to compete. But it's hard. I would be lying if I said it wasn't, but that's just what I have to deal with, and I'm going to keep dealing with it until I see otherwise."
Trent Cole, who loves to hunt and fish, will find a way to spend a little time indulging those two passions, but he's more concerned with making the transition from defensive line to outside linebacker.
Cole might still play some defensive end, the position he's manned for the Eagles since 2005, but may also be asked to drop into coverage in defensive coordinator Billy Davis' 3-4 scheme.
"If they want me to play linebacker, I'll play linebacker and if they want me to play defensive end, I'll play defensive end," Cole said. "I've got to make sure I prepare for the season in a different way this year. I have to maintain my weight, work on my drops and I'm going to try to get together with some receivers and see if I can cover them.
"This is a new challenge for me and for a lot of the guys who were used to doing things a certain way. I've got to make sure I fit in wherever they want to play me. I'm a competitor and I'm ready to rise up to the challenge."
Kelly was pleased with the progress of the team during their offseason sessions but didn't place much stock in their individual performances.
He'll get a better read on what kind of talent he has when training camp opens.
"I had no expectations," Kelly said. "I wanted to see us get better every day and I think we did that. But football is a physical game. A lot of guys look good in shorts and T-shirts. A lot of guys are tough when no one is tackling them. We'll find out more when we put the pads on."
Extra point: Eagles defensive tackle Bennie Logan, a third-round draft pick, agreed to terms Thursday on a four-year contract. That leaves two rookies, tackle Lane Johnson (first round) and Barkely (fourth), as the only unsigned players.
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