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Chip Kelly Press Conference: Tebow has improved, more position battles

Today, the Philadelphia Eagles practiced at the NovaCare Complex as the team prepares for it's final game of the preseason against the New York Jets

Prior to practice, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly addressed the media.

Kelly thinks quarterback Tim Tebow has improved dramatically since the Eagles signed him in April. He notes that Tebow has worked hard to fix his delivery, which has also helped the quarterback become more accurate.

Over the course of this preseason, Tebow has acted as the Eagles fourth-string quarterback. He has thrown the ball 10-for-19 for 97 yards with zero touchdowns or interceptions. As for the ground game, Tebow has shown the ability to be an effective runner. He averaged five yards per-carry on ten attempts, including one touchdown run. 

"He's had a good camp," Kelly said. "He's got a big week this week. And then playing (Thursday) against the Jets. He'll be working hard for that."

Matt Barkley is expected to start against the Jets, and Tebow is expected to play the second half.

The Eagles still have some question marks, including starting right guard and both backup safety positions.

Even though Andrew Gardner has started each preseason game for the Eagles at right guard, Kelly has yet to declare him as the starter.

"Andrew has played really well in the preseason, but we haven't finalized that yet," Kelly said.

Kelly praised the versatility of backup offensive lineman Dennis Kelly. The fifth-year offensive lineman has played every position on the offensive line, except center. Kelly believes that this year has been the best camp that he has seen from former Purdue University product.  

Kelly is comfortable with Malcolm Jenkins and Walter Thurmond as the team's starting safeties, but he hasn't decided who will the backups will be yet.

Kelly was not impressed with the play of his second-string defense on Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers. He claimed there were too many penalties and they let the Packers drive down the field too many times. 

"We're happy with Malcolm and Walter," Kelly said. "After that we're still deciding who the third and fourth guys will be. When (Jerome Couplin) went down (with appendicitis) that set him back because he missed a few days. But he's back now. That's another to figure out in Thursday's game."

Competing with Couplin is Ed Reynolds and Chris Prosinkski. Chris Maragos is expected to make the roster due to his ability to perform on special teams.

Although Kelly contends that there is a possibility that tight end Zach Ertz will be available for week one of the regular season, maybe the team won't have to rush him back.  

Kelly is pleased with the development of tight end Trey Burton. Burton made the roster last season mainly due to his ability to play on special teams. Kelly noted that Burton had to adapt to the tight end position because he played quarterback, running back and wide-receiver at the University of Florida.

Burton had a breakout performance against the Packers on Saturday night, catching four passes for 21 yards, including two touchdowns. 

Michael Malia is a contributing intern for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Facebook (Michael Malia) or Twitter @Michael_Malia.


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