With the hire of Doug Pederson as the new Eagles’ head coach, one big thing that we overlook now is where training camp will be held come late summer. Chip Kelly moved training camp to the NovaCare Complex from Lehigh University. He also made the practices closed to the public and to the media, save for a couple minutes in the beginning of the practices.
So, now with the Andy Reid disciple, Dougie P, at the helm, what does this mean for training camp? Will they continue
For the people who loved taking that trip to Lehigh to watch the practices and just hang out, there may be hope. Reid changed the training camp regimen when he arrived at Kansas City in 2013.
The trend now-a-days is to stay home for camp. The Chiefs instead are traveling to St. Joe, which Reid doesn’t mind at all.
“Well, I do like it,” the Chiefs coach said. “I like the idea that we’re all here together and there are not a lot of distractions up here. You have your food right across the street, training complex up the street just a bit. You’re all housed together, meeting rooms and everything. Everything is right here. I like that. It eliminates some of the distractions and brings in a little bit of camaraderie. It gives you guys something to look forward to.”
This is one of those things I hope Pederson learned from Reid and continues to implement on his own. Yeah, Lehigh’s further away from most of us, but if Pederson opens the practices back up to the fans, it might just be worth it to take that trip again. And keeping practices open to the media will bring us even more information that Chip so often loved to hide from everyone.
However, a move back to Lehigh for training camp may prove to be too difficult for the organization, especially considering most NFL teams don’t go away for camp anymore. And when the Eagles moved camp back to Philly, it sounded like it was for good.
The decision was a very difficult one for the entire organization, noted team president Don Smolenski.
“There are so many people at Lehigh University who went above and beyond to accommodate us and to make Training Camp a special place for fans to travel each summer to get an up-close look at the team,” Smolenski said. “We especially want to thank and recognize Joe Sterrett, Dean of Athletics, who opened the doors for us 17 years ago and has been supportive every step of the way and Mary Kay Baker, Director of Conference and Special Housing Services, who was there for us on a daily basis to make sure everything ran smoothly. It’s people like them who made this such a difficult decision for us.
“The city of Bethlehem has been part of our lives every summer for the past 17 years.”
But, efficient access to all the facilities at the NovaCare Complex – from the training room which is equipped with everything from a hydrotherapy pool and access to an MRI machine, weight rooms with state of the art equipment, an indoor practice venue, video and computer equipment that utilizes network infrastructure – has become a necessity for the team.
Yeah, yeah, that’s all well and good. If you’re gonna keep training camp at the Linc, then open it to the media and the fans. That’s all I ask.