Will Kelly Run a Physical Training Camp?

Jason Avant’s theory makes sense.

Chip Kelly has preached competition for months now. In late July, when the team returns for training camp, the new head coach will resume the player evaluation process to find the best 53. While he’s certainly conscious of taking care of the players from a health standpoint, Kelly will want to see how they compete with the pads on.

“It has to be in some sorts, especially when you have a new coach,” Avant said, when asked if he’s expecting a physical camp. “I think it’s a tone-setter. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be physical. But at the same time, Coach Kelly is very, very cautious about overdoing things. So we’ll see which angle he’ll take. We don’t know. Hopefully it’s physical because we need that. But yet, at the same time, enough where the guys can recover and recuperate.”

That balance is something Kelly has undoubtedly already spent countless hours sorting out. He made the decision earlier this offseason to move camp from Lehigh to the NovaCare Complex, a move that scored points with many of the players.

“I think it’s a comfort thing,” Jeremy Maclin said. “Chip Kelly’s message was basically: I trust you for 16 games, possibly more, throughout the season. Why can’t I trust you during training camp?

“I think that’s real. I think the guys who are going to screw up in training camp, not going to do what they’re supposed to do, are the guys that you don’t want on your team.”

For the past several years, when national reporters would stop by Lehigh, they would consistently note that Andy Reid ran one of the more physical camps in the league.

Maclin said he’s not sure if that will carry over under Kelly, but he knows the tempo that was introduced in the spring is here to stay.

Avant, meanwhile, expects the physicality to stem from players vying for roster spots.

“When guys are competing for jobs, when it’s a new coaching staff, it’s going to be a physical camp,” he said. “So it needs to be physical. …It’s going to be the nature of the beast when you’re trying to impress coaches for the first time. Guys are going to hit people by accident. So you can’t get mad about it. It’s going to be like that this camp.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • JofreyRice

    I feel like a lot of people credited Reid’s physical training camps to the late-season success the team enjoyed for a lot of his tenure. It seems like efficiency & intensity have been the hallmark of Kelly’s practices so far; maybe training camp adds the dimension of physicality–I do think there is something to be said for that, particularly when gathering info to pick the best OL & Front 7 on D.

    • cliff henny

      might have been too physical, often got off to slow starts. one thing i’ll always give reid credit for, is he knew how to manage a 16 game nfl schedule. the games before bye week’s were little rough and 1 road afc game was a definite no-show (and this fustrated me to no end!). but he got them thru it, he was never too high, never too low, and saved players mentally and physically for last 6-8 nov/dec push. also helped he had 5, 20 and JJ.

      • Richard Colton

        Contrast it with Rich Kotite’s powderpuff football training camps, a reason our guys were so fresh at the beginning of those camps. Loved seeing the birds get out 4-0, hated seeing them fade in December.

        • JofreyRice

          aw, come on, Bubby Brister & Heath Sherman were a deadly one-two punch during those late season pushes. Unfortunately, they were assaulting people’s fandom, and turning them into Philadelphia Area Cowboys Fans (ugh).

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, that’s certainly possible. With the consistent 1-3 games the team came out flat for just about every year, it’s easy to imagine there were points in the season where he consciously allowed the intensity & focus to drop a bit, in an effort to gear up for the stretch run at the end. Tom Coughlin seems to do something similar w/the Giants, it seems from the results.

        Reid gets so much respect from the national writers. I’m really curious to see how he manages without JJ. He took over a better situation than he left in Philly, in terms of roster talent, and certainly a much better team than he took over as a first-time head coach. He did a lot of good things in Philly, but I dunno if he can reproduce that without a near HOF D-Coordinator running that side of the ball. I thought he overpaid for Alex Smith & the his choice of basically swapping out Eric Winston for Eric Fisher was questionable at best. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Andy124

    With so many jobs on the line, stakes higher than ever for the players, I expect to see a lot more chipiness than ever in TC.

    • Chris

      i see what you did there

  • GEagle

    What I like about Chip Kelly is as a first year NFl coach he isn’t going to come in and really prove he belongs coaching NFL players. What I mean by that is he won’t care bout doing this the traditional way that NFL coaches have done things just to prove he belongs. he will look at everything NFL coaches have done, and only use what he believes in…It’s Not going to be a case of, I need to have these players kill each other because that’s what every new Coach has done in year 1…If the “science” backs up traditional NFl coaching ways, Kelly will implement it…If not, he will do it his way..

    I don’t really know what “his way” is yet, but I do expect it to be well researched and different. It’s always going to be physical when trying to impress a new coach, and physicality is going to be a staple of a chip Kelly team, but I guess the way to describe my expectations of Camp Kelly is a SMART level of Physicality…I expect him to do a ton of research into how physical you can be, while also keeping our guys fresh and trying to limit injuries…How that Materializes, your guess is as good as mine. but Regardless what Kelly wants, dudes are going to come out to hit, it’s just the nature of the beast when it’s a real competition and playing time is available to be won!!

    • hokieduck

      Oregon just built two 50′ icing pools that the players will walk through after practice. I am sure that this was a Chip scientific decision to drive the inflammation out of the extremities and cool down the blood. I hope to see some things like that added to the Eagles facilities. The guy believes in science.

  • theycallmerob

    “Chip Kelly’s message was basically: I trust you for 16 games, possibly
    more, throughout the season. Why can’t I trust you during training camp?”

    This seems in line with the comment from Vick yesterday re: the players’ respect for Kelly. I don’t see Kelly to be having much trouble with the college to pro transition, at least from the player management standpoint.
    It’s one thing to have a “fresh start” after a decade and a half, but it’s a bonus to be so excited and curious about the new coach. Can’t wait for pads

    • G_WallyHunter

      I think about this multiple times daily. This is damn exciting. For some reason in December when the verdict was in and Kelly was staying in Oregon, I was happy, I didn’t want Eagles taking a risk on a college coach, I actually rooted for Gus he seemed like a GREAT fit (as many of you will agree). Now, I’m so happy we’re sitting here with Chip instead of Gus or Sumlin or Lovie Smith or whoever…. Chip’s proven to be everything he was hyped up to be, his intelligence is so apparent that if you don’t realize it then you are pretty dumb, the guy’s a mastermind. When I heard he was single and 49 years old… lol that just points to his dedication. Sleeps, Eats, Breathes football and no woman could ever put up with that… can’t wait

      • GEagle

        As one of the most annoying leaders of the legendary Gus Bus, I can’t disagree…As much as I wanted Gus Bradley, there is literally NOTHING that Chip has said or done to make me think that we don’t have the RIGHT coach In Philly…

        with that said, I expect Gus to turn that pathetic franchise around in a coupe of year…but It certainly seems like Philadelphia has the right leader in place, and I haven’t felt this way since like 2007 lol,

        I have my strong beliefs, but always keep it real!!!

        • theycallmerob

          I enjoyed Gus as well, though I don’t feel too bad that he’s down there in Jax with Cyprien. Maybe the two of them will come to wreak havoc and stick it to A. Luck for years to come. At least Jerrah wasn’t smart enough to fire Garrett and grab him.

          • G_WallyHunter

            ya lol Jax can do whatever they want doesn’t concern us. It would be nice to see that franchise finally turn it around, maybe Babin will help them out ..

          • GEagle

            @Rob: LOL at Jerrah not being smart enough to can Garret when there were some decent coaches available.Heck I would have taken Bears coach from Canada, over Garrett..
            @Wally: If a man wants to have strong oppinions, then he has to keep it real when he is wrong. Continue to argue a point when you know that you are wrong, just because you don’t want to be wrong is a terrible weakness in a man…I will debate my beliefs all day, but the moment I realize I’m wrong, I never have a problem saying, you know what, you are right!!! …If I was always right, this would be boring. I learn more about football by people disagreeing with me, and making good points that I have no choice but to go back and research…that’s how I grow!!!

            If I can’t admit when im wrong, then I’m no different then blowhards like Dutch lol

          • cliff henny

            gus vs chip isnt necessarily a right/wrong situation, eagles just went in a different direction. i have no issue with fans having strong beliefs(in fact, you should), as long as they are rational, and if they are being irrational, just admit you are being irrational. i have irrational hate for coleman, nothing anyone can stay to talk me out of having to see him cut. why foles vs vick is so annoying

          • GEagle

            Yeah, I don’t see it as a right or wrong either..Both had merits. We basically Chose “Program Builder” experience instead of “NFL” experience…nothing wrong with it on paper

          • G_WallyHunter

            exactly lol this blogging is fun and all but people have to can the stubbornness when it’s necessary and admit they’re wrong lol especially when people are clearly proven wrong.

        • G_WallyHunter

          lol most annoying leaders of the legendary and extinct Gus Bus… I do recall that, not that I cared about your annoyance but funny that you admit it. Good to know others feel that way, not like we have a choice anyways. But yes agreed, Everything CK has done or said has not only met my expectations but it has greatly exceeded them.
          I would hate to see a flop (as any of us would) and I doubt it will happen, everything he’s done just speaks to success, and as the Tao of CK Author said, the most important part is the players buying in, and that seems to be happening seamlessly.

      • Chip looks and sounds great, but lets ease up a bit. We’re in the honeymoon phase of the Chip Kelly era. Everyone’s buying in, everything sounds great, the wheels are turning, but we need to see how Chip and this team deal with adversity. Because I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of it.

        • theycallmerob

          “but we need to see how Chip and this team deal with adversity.”

          By speeding off in a camaro! Commish can’t fine what he can’t catch.

        • GEagle

          What am I supposed to do if he makes perfect sense? doubt him for the sake of doubting him?…Believing in what he is selling does not guarentee success…As much as I’m pleased with everything he has done, the moment he does something stupid I will be waiting to crucify him lol…but If the man makes sense, what can I say?…

          no matter how much we believe in him, I think we all understand that this isn’t a quick fix. It’s going to take a few years to really know if we have the man capable of taking us to the promised land…all we can do now is judge his actions and decisions…and so far, the man is passing the eye, or sniff test in SPADES!!!…which in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t mean much….but how can we not get excited about Logic and common sense aft these past two years….WHAT? They made WHO the defensive Coordinator? the OLINE coach? Hahahahah….Thanks to the past two seasons under Andy, I’m icing to appreciate and be excited for some good Ol fashioned LOGIC and COMMON sense lol

        • G_WallyHunter

          Yup I like your thinking. Let’s be a little conservative here. I am, I’m not getting carried away or anything, I’m prepared to sit back for a season or two of mediocrity. We’ll see. All I really mean is ya there’s nothing that has come out in news or in facts of his processes that has pointed to negativity in any way, everything has served a clear purpose and everything is positive, that’s what I’m excited about. I know damn well this could all change week 1 when the skins and RG3 lay a 50-burger on them at FedEx Field, I’m prepared for adversity. I’m just excited for all we know thus far, this change is something we as fans hardly remember, it’s exciting either way. We just have to keep the confidence levels tempered, as you said, until at least week 6 when they’re 6-0……. jokes

  • knighn

    It’s hard to tell, these days. In the 80s coaches would just start off training camp with a little Olivia Newton-John and players knew they were going to get Physical. Ah, the good old days…

  • GEagle

    Sheil…are you covering all the camp practices? If so,can we start a pool on training camp fights? Lol
    1) Which player gets into the most training camp fights total?
    2) which two players are involved in the first fight of the chip Kelly era?

    Who’s setting the Odds? Lol

    • Brent E. Sulecki

      and When does Vick get hurt or whine and complain.

      • GEagle

        I’m taking UNDERS in the Vick nonsense lol

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    All the CK lovers should do a little research on Spurrier’s term with the Skins. He was a better college coach than CK when he made the jump. His Skins teams scored a lot of points but were not successful overall. One of the weaknesses he faced is one that CK must deal with as well: a weak FO. Remember, it’s not just CK man a mano with other head coaches. When you play the Ravens, the Steelers, the Pack, and the G-men, you are playing their organizations and each has a great organization. Even if CK is the coaching messiah you all seem to think, the overall organization is just weaker. That’s a fact.

    • cliff henny

      have met spurrier about 8 times, have heard him talk about why he failed in the NFL. you are about 100% wrong. spurrier likes being in the spotlight, but not having it consume him. he plays 18 holes almost every day. he only visits maybe the top recruit or 2. he’s like leinert, he likes everything that comes along with being spurrier, but not the 100% all consuming dedication it requires to win in nfl. he flat out admits it, college is easier. guy walks on water to USC fans down here, and he eats it up. and spurrier is about as close to the biggest jerk-off cockiest arrogant sob you would ever want to meet. kelly’s personality and spurrier’s are about 180 degrees different.

      • Andy124

        Went to a Spurrier football camp when before my freshman year. He showed his face there for all of about 5 minutes at the end to thank us for coming.

        He wasn’t there for any of the drills, no teaching, no meeting and greeting, no fire-em-up speaches, none of that. His name was attached only to attract business.

    • eaglepete

      your bitterness towards howie is showing. Oh wait, the screen name gave it away. You hold onto that if it makes you feel better as a fan.

  • Jimbo99

    Let’s just hope the Eagles don’t wind up with training camp heroes that can’t beat anyone in the regular season ?