When Eagles players return to the NovaCare locker room in the coming weeks, they’re going to notice some changes.
Instead of having the space organized by positional groups, Chip Kelly has decided to mix things up. A quarterback might find himself next to a safety, a wide receiver alongside a linebacker, and so on.
“I think it’s going to help us blend a little better as a team,” said offensive lineman Todd Herremans, who hosted a fund-raising event for the Herremans Foundation Thursday night. “You’re with your position so much in the meeting rooms and everything like that. This will also have us hold each other accountable.”
In previous years, the quarterbacks were grouped together on the left side, along with the specialists, wide receivers, tight ends, running backs and linebackers. On the opposite side were the cornerbacks, safeties, defensive linemen and offensive linemen.
“If you look around the room right now, most of it is veterans next to young guys,” said center Jason Kelce, who attended the fund-raising event at the Linc. “So if you look around the room, that looks like what he was trying to do. Last year, I think the team lacked a lot of leadership. So instead of putting guys in positions together, or [if] positions are young and they don’t really have a leader yet, all of a sudden, everybody’s around older guys who have been doing it for a long time. I’m thinking that’s more of the idea that he was looking for.”
According to Herremans, Kelly’s Chief of Staff, James Harris III, is the one who explained the new set-up. Coaches have only been allowed to have limited communication with players, although that will change to some extent on Monday when offseason workouts can begin.
The feeling among players seems to be that the locker room switch is just the beginning. Asked to describe what’s different under the new regime, tight end Brent Celek said, “Lots of changes. Where do you want to start?”
All three players emphasized that they’re excited about the fresh perspective, adding that Kelly and his staff have explained their reasoning behind every move.
“I like all the ideas they’ve thrown at us,” Herremans said. “It sounds like everything that he does has a reason, and that reason is leading to winning and becoming a better team. I don’t think it’ll be hard for everybody to buy in.”
The mission statement for the Herremans Foundation is “To help where help is needed by providing resources for various charitable organizations, to effect positive change in our communities.”
Herremans, who’s been with the team for eight seasons, said the idea has been in his head for awhile.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and actually get a foundation started, but I had a hard time picking just one cause because I’ve been involved in so many things and affected by so many different things,” he said. “So we’re finally just like, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s make a foundation, and we’ll help out as many different charities as we can.”