Camp Notes: Chip’s A Special Teams Junkie

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 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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  • BillyP

    One part of the Damaris Johnson quote is very telling, “I feel that he’s really interested in getting the best out of each player.” I don’t think that impression is exclusive to special teams. I think it is across the spectrum and a key reason for Chip Kelly’s success. If each player believes it, they will trust their coach (buy-in to schemes, etc.) and work very hard for them

  • cliff henny

    imagine the look on d-jax face the first time kelly corrected his punt catching. probably a cross between ‘what the f do you know’ and ‘wait, the head coach even knows there’s special teams practice’

  • PsychoPathetic1

    Our problem the last couple of years is most (not all) of the players thought they were too good to be playing ST’s, and weren’t putting 100% into it. Chip is watching for those players that don’t want to give 100% and they will be the 1st ones shown the door.

    • EaglefaninAZ

      One can hope.

  • EaglesFanInExile

    It was reported that Brad Wing failed his conditioning test at the start of camp. Has he passed since then, is he practicing, or is he history?

    • BlindChow

      He passed a couple days later and has been practicing.

  • Special teams can win (or lose) a game for you. Not enough people (coaches, players) take it as seriously as they should. Glad to see Kelly expects excellence in ALL areas of the game.

  • Alex

    I dont know about anyone esle, BUT I CANT WAIT TO WATCH THIS TEAM PLAY SOME GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!! BIRDS BABY!!!