Avant’s Advice: ‘Just Do As He Says’

Jason Avant‘s first impression of Chip Kelly actually came second-hand. When he pulled up to the NovaCare complex gates Thursday, the security guard was raving about the new head coach.

“He was like, ‘Hey man, did you meet Chip Kelly yet? He’s a great guy,’” said Avant.

“For him to say that, he had to come out of his car or stop and talk to him, so that says a whole bunch about him.”

Avant then went in to meet Kelly himself, and came away impressed. He was one of a handful of Eagles on the premises to greet Andy Reid‘s successor.

The veteran wideout is a team player through and through, and about the least of your worries when it comes to mindset or willingness to adapt to a new situation. We know, however, that there was a chemistry and a culture problem on the 4-12 Eagles last year, and it was difficult for Reid to get everyone pulling in a common direction.

Is Avant confident that his teammates will follow Kelly, who is unproven at this level?

“If they’re wise, they’ll do what he says,” said Avant. “But I think they’ll do just fine. Especially offensively, you can’t ask for a better opportunity. He has proven that he can win. If you can win at New Hampshire and Oregon, you can win football games. Those guys will surrender their wants for the will of the team.

“That’s the biggest thing is to buy in on what he’s saying, and if the ownership is backing him 100 percent I’m pretty sure you need to get on board as well. I think that’s wise as a player; a new coach is coming in, you shouldn’t give him any problems. Just do as he says and if you buy in, it will work out.”

Some of the players acknowledged once the season ended that maybe some of their brethren got a little too comfortable under Reid, and that a shakeup would put everyone back on their toes.

Howie Roseman said a couple weeks back that normal turnover on a roster is 15-18 players. Who knows what that number will be this year. Kelly has a unique approach and, while he is willing to adapt to personnel, he’ll still want his kind of players. Defensively the Eagles could switch to a 3-4, which also would force some tweaks. Safe to say, the roster is going to look much different from 2012 come opening day.

The veteran players that make the cut will be forced to adapt, and will be key in making sure all the changes work.

“The biggest thing we need to do is believe in the system and trust in the coach, said Cullen Jenkins, via CSNPhilly. “If the veteran players buy into it that helps out a whole lot because then they can mentor and help teach the younger players.

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