Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One Eagle is ahead of schedule

By John McMullen

PHILADELPHIA - When talking about Sam Bradford, Chip Kelly likes to remind everyone it's June. When chatting about Kiko Alonso, the Eagles' coach doesn't have to worry about calendars.

Eagles ILB Kiko Alonso
Philadelphia's quarterback rotation remained the same on Tuesday at minicamp as Bradford, the presumptive Week 1 starter, and Mark Sanchez split reps with the first team during 7 on 7s while Sanchez continued to handle things with the No. 1s in all the team drills.

Bradford, who continues to rehab from two ACL tears over a 20-month period, flashes the arm talent that made him a former No. 1 overall pick, but looks unsure at times with his footwork and lags behind all of the other QBs when they sprint from drill to drill.

The Eagles' inside linebacker rotation also remains the same with Alonso, who is also coming off a torn ACL, working in all drills with nary a hitch in his giddy-up nor a brace on his knee.

Alonso, who was acquired in the trade that sent Shady McCoy to Buffalo, has taken over in the middle next to Mychal Kendricks as DeMeco Ryans continues to work his way back from his own injury, a torn Achilles.

Asked if he is struggling with anything stemming from the ACL.Alonso, the PFWA's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013, was succinct: "No," the University of Oregon product said. "The biggest thing (is the mental hurdle), forgetting about it, because when you come back from, you have it in the back of your mind. It's best to forget about it and just cut loose."

Alonso has done exactly that, not shying away from any work with his new team despite the fact that it is only June.

"It's important to be out here because I have to learn the way they do things and get a feel for the guys lined up next to me. Chemistry is a big part of this game."

The fact that Alonso has a history with Kelly from their days in Eugene certainly doesn't hurt either.

"I'm noticing a lot of similarities scheme wise," he said. "It's nice not to have to learn a completely new playbook. Now I can just keep getting reps and keep learning."
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