Eagles Wake-Up Call: Early On, Players Embrace Change

DeSean Jackson and his teammates had grown accustomed to doing things a certain way at the NovaCare Complex.

From 1999 to 2012, it was the Andy Reid way.

But change has now arrived in the form of Chip Kelly. In the coming weeks and months, players will be asked to step out of their comfort zones and embrace change in a variety of football-related areas.

“First day, we had the team meeting, you could kind of sense the urgency,” Jackson said. “This is what it’s going to be, and it’s on you guys to get the information and dissect it and make the change and make the difference. One thing I can say, he’s letting us be professionals. We have to take accountability to do our jobs.”

Kelly’s changes extend well beyond offensive scheme. By all accounts, his program is going to feature some stark differences from others around the league. Early on, the one aspect that has the attention of players is the pace – during training and in the weight room.

“The workout today was up-tempo,” said Jason Peters on Tuesday. “A lot of drills, different stuff that we normally don’t do. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be real up-tempo.”

Added Brandon Graham: “The first day went pretty good. I think we were in here three hours. It was real short, but real fast. I think that’s what he was trying to preach. It’s going to be a lot of fast things that we’re going to be doing, just as far as meetings, practice and the weight room.

“Everybody didn’t think we were going to run as hard, but we did. You should be in shape when you get here. It felt good to get good work in. The lift was a little faster, less rest.”

Speaking of rest, Kelly said earlier this offseason that athletes should get between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night. Asked when the last time was that he slept that much, Jackson said, “Probably when I was 12 years old. He’s definitely telling us the philosophies so far, how we’re going to be doing certain things. Sleeping, nutrition, practice schedules.

“Even with our workout training, some days we’ll hit it real hard. A day like today [Wednesday], we come in, we don’t hit it as hard. That’s a real good situation to have a coach understand the players’ body. You’ve got to understand he’s coming from a big-time college where they have scientists and all these tests running on the athletes and things. So in addition to what he’s trying to bring here is a system that I think will really help, not only on the field, but individually for your health, just to kind of keep you away from injuries and just strengthen up your body as a whole.”

The Eagles are only three days in, but so far, so good.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Nnamdi Asomugha talked to the San Francisco media for the first time, saying he wished things worked out differently with the Eagles. T-Mac has the recap.

More draft visits for the Eagles, including Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, Alabama’s Dee Milliner and San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar. They’ll also check out Oregon OLB Dion Jordan and West Virginia QB Geno Smith.

Jackson hinted at a new role under Kelly. But what’s realistic? Here’s the breakdown.

Nick Foles believes he can fit with Kelly. Tim has the full story on the second-year QB.

Kelly and the Eagles are generating buzz around the league.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

A league source has confirmed to T-Mac that the Eagles have put running back Dion Lewis on the trade block. Lewis was inactive for six games last season and played a total of 60 offensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus. Originally a fifth-round pick in 2011, Lewis has 36 career carries for 171 yards.

It’s difficult to imagine a team giving anything up for Lewis, but perhaps if there’s another GM looking to unload a player, the Eagles can find a partner.

Mike Patterson has a new home, signing with the Giants. From ESPN New York:

“I’m happy to be a part of the Giants,” Patterson said in a team release. “They have a lot of good players. It’s going to be good. I’m happy the Giants signed me and believe in my talents and allowed me to be there this year. I’m looking forward to this opportunity.

“It’s good to be (reunited with Cullen Jenkins). He’s a good player and I enjoy his company. It’s going to be great. They also have other players I played with in college (Terrell Thomas and Keith Rivers, his teammates at USC), so I’m happy to see those guys.”

COMING UP

Three weeks from the draft. Lots to get to. And we’ll also hear from DeMeco Ryans.

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  • GGeagle21

    Man, our players are going to love chip

    • George

      depends how many we win

      • GW.Fisher

        6 wins while building the roster Chip’s way would be a sucessful year, anything else would be a bonus. I have a feeling the O will put up points (esp if it’s Peters, Herremans, Kelce, Mathis Fisher/Jockel up front. The D will take some work and that will determine how far we progress this year. That Billy Davis is a huge step up from Juan (and how far up from Todd?) isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement…

        • GGeagle21

          Yeah cause Fisher/Joekel are the only way we can get a good Oline..FYI: Philly will LOVE billy Davis

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          I like that line up, however, Mathis and Peters work well together so I wouldn’t flip Mathis to Right Guard, just slide Herreman over. If we’re attacking using a scheme feathering the run, that is a strength for the Eagles and I expect no less than 8 wins from that offense.

          Our problems over the past several years has been on defense. I’m not seeing any improvement that equals wins by the new additions and believe it’s going to take more than one draft and pre season to import the proper personnel. You can win in the NFL with a leaky defense but you have to have a solid attacking offense. I expect a vast improvement over last year’s 4-12 mark, I don’t see a lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball.

  • GW.Fisher

    Good for Patterson. Class act, and stand up guy after a loss.

  • nicksaenz1

    What’s this concept called “accountability” that DeSean was talking about? I don’t recall this being a part Reid’s system. Help?

  • corry

    I hate to see Patt with the Gmen but I’m glad he got signed and is getting to continue his career.

    As far as embracing Chip, I’m sure the players are ready to move on. A 4 win season is hard to swallow as a competitor so they’re likely open to his theories and training for now. The real test will be if they get into a multi-game losing steak. Will they still buy in? I’m sure there will be some players weeded out in that situation.

  • BlindChow

    I hope Dion Lewis gets a chance somewhere. He always seemed to do well in what little playing time he had here.

  • DLawrence55

    Whoa…this sounds like football Scientology

  • JofreyRice

    If Kelly brings the Oregon attack to the NFL, which I have a hard time believing he’s not going to do, it would be unique to the pro game. It’s going to be something defenses haven’t seen. Right now, NFL teams are employing elements of what Kelly did at Oregon in separate ways. The Patriots, Broncos, & Ravens, to name 3, used the uptempo no-huddle, or ultra-up tempo offense, in NE’s case, to keep the D on it’s heels, but ran pass-tilted attacks to do so. Other teams are spreading to run, like the Redskins, Seahawks and Panthers. No one in the pros is doing both simultaneously, which is where Kelly could exploit teams unprepared for the combination.

    Chip Kelly’s Oregon offense in 2012 had a lot more in common with what the Seahawks & Redskins were doing than the Patriots, schematically IMO; spread-to-run zone-read with the QB as a running threat and a lot of plays that looked identical: IZ/OZ read-options and play passes off the same blocking action. Scheme and concepts are more fundamentally meaningful to an offense than pace.

    • peteike

      yup, best part I am looking forward to is actually the running game. I could not stand watching Reids bland run calls esp on crucial downs. I want to see Kelly really get creative with the run calls, I love when coaches do that. I find it to be a huge advantage in terms of getting 3 or 4 yds or even 1 when needed. Also, when you are getting chunks of yards on the ground it just opens up the passing. That is where I think he can take advantage of his schemes. I agree that Oregon offense seemed very much like the read option with skins etc. and hence keeping Vick and bringing in Dixon. You get the idea that he wants that running threat for his QB to get those 4-6 yds when the defense is showing a certain look. That is the part I have reservations about in terms of QB play. Will he sacrifice accuracy and pocket awareness for the running ability. Yet to be seen.

      • JofreyRice

        I think Chip will want to run the read-option. I was listening to Chris Brown of SmartFootball, and he was talking about some of the things Oregon was able to do when Mariota came on board. Apparently they have a zone-read scheme called “bash” that they run several plays from, where on the read-option portion, the RB & QB have flipped assignments. The QB still reads the backside end, but runs the Inside Zone play, depending on what he does. If the QB decides to give to the RUB, the back takes the handoff, and runs to the outside, as opposed to the inside, if the rest of the defense crashes down to stop IZ.

        Apparently, that wrinkle gave defense fits. I think that kind of simple yet effective play on the traditional run game is what makes Kelly tick, and I think he knows you have to have a QB that can run to make it happen. We’ll see how the competition shakes out, but I think Foles is at a severe disadvantage.

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

    “You’ve got to understand he’s coming from a big-time college where they have scientists”

    Awesome quote.

  • peteike

    “Kelly said earlier this offseason that athletes should get between 10
    and 12 hours of sleep each night. Asked when the last time was that he
    slept that much, Jackson said, “Probably when I was 12 years old”

    haha that is so true, adults just dont sleep that long and I have to completely disagree with this thinking. Too much sleep can make you feel a lot worse than getting your avg 8 hrs. I find it myself to be more harsh on the body then getting less sleep but of course everything in moderation. There are even studies and that iphone app that wake you at the correct times per your rem cycle. I think they just want the players to get a lot of rest to recover etc, maybe not actual sleep.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaime.gadson Kaime Boss Gadson

    Very excitedfor the season. It’s good to see a new era.