PHILADELPHIA - Eagles coach Chip Kelly was more interested in discussing the future than the past Tuesday.
Kelly deflected a couple of questions concerning the NCAA's investigation into possible recruiting violations during his tenure at the University of Oregon and instead chose to reflect on the first session of the Eagles' three-day minicamp at the NovaCare Complex.
According to The Oregonian, the university released documents admitting that Kelly and his staff committed at least one major violation. The school has proposed to the NCAA to insititute its own two-year probation for the Ducks' football program and a reduction of one scholarship for each of the next three seasons.
Kelly issued a statement earlier Tuesday.
"I am aware of the recent reports and of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the NCAA and the University of Oregon," Kelly said in the statement. "While at Oregon, I know we were fully cooperative with all aspects of the investigation and I will continue to contribute in any way that I can. But until the NCAA rules on the matter, I will have no further comment."
After Tuesday's practice, Kelly said the investigation had "absolutely no impact" on his decision to take the Eagles' job after spending the previous six seasons at Oregon as head coach (2009-12) and offensive coordinator (2007-08).
Kelly, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, defensive coordinator Billy Davis and the rest of the coaching staff spent Tuesday's workout teaching their new systems to 74 returning veterans, free-agent acquisitions and trade pickups. The practice was closed to the media and none of the players were available for comment Tuesday.
Kelly is expected to institute a read-option offense similar to the one that he used to light up scoreboards at Oregon. He revealed that Michael Vick and Nick Foles both took their share of reps with the first-team offense Tuesday and Dennis Dixon, who played for Kelly at Oregon, also got in some work.
"The depth chart is not a big deal at this point," Kelly said. "It's more like a seating chart than a depth chart. This was day one and we're just trying to implement our offense and defense while also trying to be as efficient as possible. We just wanted to get a lot of reps in on the field and start teaching these guys. We still have a long way to go, but so far, so good."
Because of the versatility aspect of playing quarterback in that kind of system, it was widely assumed that Vick would have the first crack at being a starter, especially since the Eagles re-signed him to a one-year contract instead of cutting him.
However, Kelly has continued to praise Foles since replacing Andy Reid. Kelly also has a background with Dixon and did not rule out the possibility of taking a quarterback in next week's NFL draft. West Virginia's Geno Smith has received a lot of attention from the Eagles in recent weeks.
"The best quarterbacks are the best quarterbacks," Kelly said. "Sometimes there's this misconception of what I'm looking for at that position. I just want a quarterback who's going to help us win."
The main defensive challenge is finding players to fit the system and vice versa.
Kelly indicated that Davis will not rely exclusively on a 3-4 or 4-3 alignment. They seem to lack depth in the front seven of a 3-4 setup. Isaac Sopoaga is the only traditional nose tackle and DeMeco Ryans is the lone established inside linebacker. They need someone to join Fletcher Cox at defensive end and have to find spots for Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Mychal Kendricks as either defensive ends or outside linebackers with Connor Barwin.
"Our job is to identify the strengths of each player, find out what he can do best, and play to those strengths," Kelly said. "This was just the first day and I thought it was a good practice with good tempo and energy. It was exciting and fun just to get out on the field."
Extra points: Kelly said center Jason Kelce, linebacker Chris McCoy and tight end Evan Moore were limited, but left tackle Jason Peters was a full participant. Peters, a five-time Pro Bowler, missed all of last season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon. ... The Eagles also have practices today and Thursday.
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