Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly Conversation Heats Back Up

Nothing but positive vibes emanating from the NovaCare Complex at the moment, as you might expect. The Chip Kelly era is still drenched with that new car smell. Players are energized and eager to impress the new head man. His ideas are fresh and untapped. Optimism and anticipation rule, as they should.

Where it gets interesting is when theory becomes practice, when the players get knee-deep in the process of changing their training, their approach and their mindset. Kelly is introducing a whole new operation to the Eagles, and in some respects, the league. He will ask veteran players, who have made it this far doing things one way, to buy into his methods even though they haven’t been tested on the NFL level.

The opening of the offseason program marks the very beginning of this experiment. The entire NFL community is watching intently to see how it plays out.

It seems inevitable. Whether out of stubbornness or otherwise, you would imagine some leftovers from Andy Reid‘s crew will not adapt to the Kelly Way. It could take some time before the new coach has the right collection of like-minded players.

“I don’t think you can institute a complete culture change and implement everything Chip wants to accomplish just by having one training camp and one offseason,” said Jeffrey Lurie at the owners meetings, when asked about his expectations in Year One.

Some predict a good deal of resistance to the new wave. Others believe the new wave has roots in the old school, and will be welcomed by the modern-day athlete.

Bill Walsh was always labeled with West Coast Offense. Nobody talked about the way Bill Walsh practiced, the way they had meetings, the way they traveled, the way they slept. Chip Kelly is into those little nuances,” said Chris Mortensen in a roundtable discussion with Mel Kiper and Trent Dilfer.  “He’s into lifting differently. Their practices are going to last about an hour and 20 minutes. You don’t think players are going to like that? They are going to be fast-break practices. And their meetings aren’t going to last too long.”

Added Dilfer: “He’s opened a bunch of new ideas, a bunch of new concepts, the science of athletes, how players learn. He values competitive temperament, values all of these things. But he says listen, there is also a tradition, a history that has taught us valuable lessons of how the game is supposed to be played, and I will adhere to those.”

It is telling that the simple opening of an offseason training program  would generate so much interest and conversation, both locally and nationally.  Whether Kelly’s time in Philly is spectacular or a spectacular flop, this is a story that will be followed closely.

“I think it’s the most exciting hire since I’ve been covering the league,” said Mortensen.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Jason Peters told reporters that he is motivated and healthy.

Brandon Graham also addressed the media, and got posed the big question: Is he now an outside linebacker?

Eric Fisher in the first round, EJ Manuel in the second? The latest mock draft roundup.

One national writer has some harsh criticism for Geno Smith.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Smith responded to the accusation that he does not have a strong work ethic.

It’s untrue in all things,” Smith told Jim Corbett of USA Today. “I heard about it [Monday] night when my quarterbacks coach called me to tell me about it.”

His old quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital, who now has Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, said Smith is a student of the game.

“I was laughing with Geno about it Monday night and I said, ‘Welcome to the business,”’ Spavital said. “I’ve been around Geno for two years. I thought he was one of the hardest-working quarterbacks I’ve ever been around.

“You have people who are about ‘What can football do for me?’ Geno is about ‘What I can do for football?’ If you take the game away from him, I think he dies. He is a dream come true for a coach.”

Nnamdi Asomugha found a home in San Francisco.

COMING UP

We’ll speak to DeSean Jackson and Nick Foles today, and pass along what they have to say.

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  • GGeagle21

    Listening to JP yesterday pumped me up! Cant wait to hear ST. Nick and DJKidd

  • borntosuffer

    Hard to figure out what took so long for Nnamdi and the Eagles to make a decision when he signs for 1.35M and no guarantee. How much less could the Eagles have been offering? Didn’t the Eagles have to be thinking – “Ignore the 4M, it’s gone either way. What is this guy worth for the season?” Did they really come up with an offer worse than 1.35 with no guaranteed money?

    • DutchEagle

      Was thinking about that too. I don’t think the Eagles were ever serious about keeping him, they just waited until they had his replacement ready. Not that I mind though..

    • Myke Lowery

      Or did they offer him a bit more.. Then he balked and tried shopping his services. .. and found the best deal was less? Hence why he was on the market so long

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Nnamdi wanted out of Philly, so much so he’s willing to play on a contender for peanuts under what is virtually a one year, prove it contract.

      We’ll see if he meets the challenge he set up. If he has a rebound year, he’s going to make up any money he forfeits in 2014, if not he walks off into the sunset.

    • David J Daniels

      The Nnamdster wants nothing to do with football anymore. He wanted to get back home to NoCal and retire without feeling as though he screwed over the Niners by asking for a huge guarantee and then going out on the field with half effort.

    • goeagles55

      It has been reported that they waited until the new league year started to cut him due to salary cap reasons. It gave them more flexibility.

      • borntosuffer

        I can believe that. But, I thought I remember it being reported that the two sides had talked and the Eagles made some sort of offer. Maybe @Myke Lowery has it correct that Nnamdi overplayed his hand.

      • knighn

        I don’t know what kind of offer the Eagles made to Nnamdi or if there was much of real desire to keep him at all. For all we know the deal that they offered Nnamdi was for LESS than the 4 million guaranteed they were already going to give him, with incenitves for good play. That’s all speculation.

        What we do know is that the Eagles waited until the start of the league year to cut Nnamdi. They had to. They already carried all of last year’s cap space into this year. If they cut him before the start of the league year, they would have effictively gone over the cap for last year which, as we know, is a big No No!

    • jabostick

      I’m guessing a few things came into play. Eagles didn’t really want him, he gets to move back West, he gets a more ‘player-friendly’ fan base, he more likely can shed his history of playing on losing teams, and he’s got a great defense around him that should be able to better hide his flaws and highlight his strengths.
      If he and the Niners have a good season, he can call Philly an aberration/blame the Juan experiment, and cash in next year

  • Andy

    Nnamdi doesn’t need any guaranteed money from the Niners. The Eagles are paying his salary this year.

  • JofreyRice

    Wow, from 15 mil a year to a 1 year peanuts contract. I can’t believe the Niners even paid him that much. Being that he’s just being signed to compete, and not actually as a starter, it does make some sense. So glad the Eagles decided to just pay him to walk away. Hopefully, they’ll get the “burned” smell out of the secondary in 2013.

  • southy

    If I remember correctly any guaranteed money would just eat into the $4m he’s owed by the Eagles.

    • takeo

      No, however the deal wt 49ers would be structured, the Eagles should still give him 4 M$

    • jabostick

      Ha good point. If that’s the case, he gets to look like a man on a mission of redemption while making sure he makes the Eagles pay as much as possible.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Can’t really think of any vets that wouldn’t buy into Kelly’s ways. I think just about all of them are sick of losing and are open to just about anything.

    • jabostick

      Agreed. I think if he came in last year (after the 8-8 season where you could make the case that they deserved to be 10-6 or whatever) he might see resistance. Last year proved that the players perceptions of themselves didn’t match reality. I think they were humbled big time and I think many know that their jobs arent safe