Dave Fipp has one student in particular that is standing out in special teams meetings. Perfect attendance. The first person to arrive. Attentive. Diligent note-taker. That student also happens to be his boss.
“He’s been in every single special teams meeting I’ve had since I’ve been here ,” said Fipp of Chip Kelly. “It’s great. He sits in front, he takes notes. He’s a great example for the players.
“I wouldn’t say it’s odd for him to be in meetings, but the frequency and the attention and the note-taking, that’s a little bit different.”
Kelly is decidedly hands-on during practice sessions as well. As we’ve written about previously, he’s always working with the punt returners, trying to get them to take the perfect angle.
“When we’re back there you just hear him buzzing in your ear,” said Damaris Johnson. “He’s back there, wants us to field the ball, make good decisions…Just really getting behind the ball and coming through it like an outfielder in baseball. [Hence why he called on the Atlanta Braves for help.] He gives us a lot of good tips. He’s acting like he was an All-American punt returner or something. But I just like coach back there. I feel that he’s really interested in getting the best out of each player.”
During the special teams portion of practice Monday, there was an entire drill dedicated to handling a fake punt.
The attention to special teams detail generally paid off at Oregon. The Ducks didn’t punt much (17 times all year) but were not very generous when they did, yielding just 55 return yards all season (3.24 average), per cfbstats.com. They ranked 13th in the nation in punt return average [13.50]. He was not blessed with a particularly good kicking game, as the Ducks converted just half of their field-goal attempts in 2012. Alex Henery is likely to help in that department.
“His commitment level [to special teams] has been outstanding. He’s been as good as any coach as I’ve been around,” said Fipp. “He knows it’s important and that there are big plays in that part of the game that impact the game. That message is being relayed to players, and that’s huge.”
McCoy, Kelce Sidelined
LeSean McCoy (knee) and Jason Kelce (ankle) left practice early. Both spent time near the trainers table before heading for the locker room, but the scene was too casual to suggest that the Eagles were seriously concerned about either player. Both are considered day-to-day.
Zach Ertz (shoulder) returned to the practice field. Jason Peters (hamstring) sat out, and spent most of his day on the stationary bike.
There were over 19,000 fans in attendance for Monday’s practice at the Linc. Five hundred members of the armed forces were on hand for Military Appreciation Day. Players signed autographs for the military members afterwards.
The two practices at Lincoln Financial Field have brought in a total of approximately 50,000 fans.
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