Wake-Up Call: Chip Explains Unorthodox Ways

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly recently sat down with Ross Tucker and Bill Polian for a wide-ranging conversation that covered some pretty interesting ground.

Some highlights:

— Kelly was asked by Polian how he has gotten the players to buy into the the up-tempo style of practice. Kelly said the starters were sold on the training methods because of how good they felt on Sundays. As for the the rest of the roster…

“If you’re a two or a three, you want to be in our camp because you get more reps than anybody else,” he explained. “Part of our goal is, and I told them on the first day: ‘I want all 90 guys in this room to make our team. The reality is 53 of you are and eight will probably be on the practice squad, but if you don’t make our team, the next goal is let’s get you onto another team.’ Because of the reps we get in practice, our guys get a chance to develop a little bit better.

“So I think the younger guys like it because they are getting a ton of reps, the older guys like it because they know we’re monitoring them, and on an individual basis we may back off. We may take Brent Celek out of a team period on a Tuesday afternoon because of the scientific data we have on him.”

— Science also goes into the way a week of practice is set up in-season. Unlike most teams, Kelly has his team practice on Tuesdays. And instead of a walkthrough the day before a game, the Eagles have more of a run-through.

“We actually start insertion on our next opponent on Tuesday. We’re probably just a day ahead of everybody, so red zone is on Thursday instead of Friday where it normally is in the NFL. Friday we’re cleaning it up and Saturday we’re back out on the field running around a little faster than most people do, it’s not a walkthrough day for us. Sunday we go play.”

What’s the thinking behind a Saturday practice?

“Just our research through science that you need to get the body moving if you’re going to be playing. We used the same formula when I was at Oregon. I spent a lot of time on how to go about it and how we think you should train. It worked for us there and we used it here. If it didn’t work here than we would have changed but I believe it worked through our first season and our players are really invested in what we’re doing right now.”

— Kelly also touched on Nick Foles and how the dynamic has shifted now that Foles has more job security.

“When you have quarterbacks competing for a job and you ask them what they like and what they don’t like, they like everything because I think they’re afraid to say they don’t like something because maybe Coach thinks I don’t understand it,” said Kelly. “I think he has a comfort level with us now where it’s, ‘I’d rather throw this than that.’ I’ve always been, what is the quarterback comfortable throwing? It doesn’t matter what plays we like because we’re not playing the game.

“I think he is not only getting a better understanding of the offense and how it runs, but a better understanding of what he can really excel at.”

Plenty of nuggets to be found. Give the entire interview a listen.


Sheil’s practice observations from the first open practice.

“Emotions got going and one thing led to another.” My notes from yesterday’s camp.

Some great photos by Jeff Fusco of Monday’s practice at The Linc.

Chip Kelly revealed his least favorite part of the NFL.

Donovan McNabb is worried about Nick Foles‘ consistency this year.

Sheil digs into three interesting leftover thoughts from Billy Davis‘ press conference.


Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com says the Eagles’ defense isn’t as bad as many think it is:

In 2013, the Eagles allowed an average of 23.9 points per game, good for a not overly impressive 17th in the league. That number is a bit misleading, however.

In 16 games last season, the Eagles defense was on the field for 196 drives. They allowed a touchdown on just 37 of them, meaning that opponents got into the end zone on 18% of their drives against the Eagles. By comparison, the Seattle Seahawks defense allowed their opponents into the end zone 10% of the time. The worst defense in the league statistically, the Minnesota Vikings, allowed their opponents in the end zone 27% of the time.

Jeff McLane says that the odds are against Jordan Matthews having a giant year as a rookie.

Since Randy Moss in 1998, only five rookie receivers have eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in their first year – Anquan Boldin (2003), Michael Clayton (2004), Marques Colston (2006), A.J. Green (2011) and Keenan Allen (2013).

On average, 18 first-round receivers over the last five years have caught 43 passes for 592 yards and four touchdowns in their rookie seasons. Seventeen second-rounders averaged 27 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns.


Day off for the players. We have something cooking on Riley Cooper.

Don’t forget to pre-order your Eagles Almanac.

PDF: $10
Paperback: $25

Josh Paunil contributed to this post.

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  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    Listening to this interview now. It’s good stuff.

    • JofreyRice

      The only bad part is the windup of commercials Tuck has to do at the beginning of every pod. I know he’s got to make a living, and I appreciate that he stacks them all up at the beginning, but it’s still a bit annoying.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        Yeah it is. Almost as annoying as opening pages and having to minimize the banner ads right away, or seeing monster truck ads. Wait a minute….

  • Bullwinkle

    “It doesn’t matter what plays we like, because we’re not playing the game.” This is uncommon common sense that can be applied to the operation of all organizations in general. If only managers understood this and used it to improve results.

  • Soybot

    We don’t need 1000 yards from our lord and savior J Matt. 55/800/6 would do quite nicely, thank you.

    • bill

      Was thinking along the same lines. If he puts up 45/700ish/6, with visible improvement as the season goes along, that’s going to be a big year. The keys, to me, are the TDs and the improvement; it’s less about the first 8 games than it is about the last 8. He needs to be efficient, as I don’t think he’ll get a ton of looks in this offense over the season. Certain games, depending on the matchups, he’ll get more, others, less. Just take advantage of what looks he does get. If he can do those things, he’ll have a major impact on the offense.

      • peteike

        great point, Maclin has never been afraid to mix it up in traffic, just tentative after the catch at times.

        • peteike

          oops that reply was supposed to be for Joe above your comment.

    • TNA

      I would say for the Eagles, blocking is priority 1A and receiving production is 1B. More blocking early in the year and then more receiving later. But the key is blocking. Avant’s blocking led to several touchdowns last year. JMatt needs to be able to more than replace that.

      • myeaglescantwin

        Don’t worry about that.

        Chip proved he wants the best runblocking WRs he can find. Each of the guys we expect to have a large impact are excellent blockers that can put a hat on people.

        Everyone is talking Matthews, I like Huff too. I think he looks like the next Steve Smith (CAR).

        • anon

          Huff could be nice, it’ll be interesting to see if Mac has toughness needed for WRs in this scheme.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I think Mac will perform.

            I believe his “Self-Tacklin'” is a function of self-preservation. Generally, to my recollection, he’s always done it in traffic with potential tacklers coming from the side or rear. Having played the sport I can say that those are the types of hits that you can be easily injured on. Look at Shady; he pulls everything in like a turtle when the alarm clock goes off in his head. He doesn’t get hit from behind or in the legs very often due to this trait.

            I think in a heads up play that Maclin will have no issue putting his body out there whether it be blocking someone or trying to get through / around a tackle.

    • MagatBrackendale

      Wouldn’t mind if the yards were fewer and the TDs greater though.

  • UKEagle99 à l’orange

    I’m not sure I get Elliot Shorr-Parks thinking although I appreciate that he’s going against the tide and bigging up the D.

    On the one hand he says we were 17th in points allowed and then goes on to quote “opponents got into the end zone on 18% of drives” smack bang in the middle of the best (10%) and worst (27%)… so mid table, same as points allowed…

    • IG:blkboyflyy

      He does so because he’s giving readers an alternative & also to let them make their own decision at the same time.

      • UKEagle99 à l’orange

        Actually it makes more sense if you read the whole article, however lines like this don’t help “In fact, if you take away the 52-20 loss to the Denver Broncos –” You can’t just ignore the worst losses to prove your point but at least he acknowledges that.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          I suppose if you provide the math that shows it to be an outlier in the literal sense or if you also eliminate the best performance, you can justify it (imo).

          • Bert’s Bells

            Right. If you have 17 games and say 16 of them were under 30 points with one game over 50 points its acceptable to toss out the 50 point game as an outlier.

            By the same token if you have 17 games, 16 of them are over 17 points and one is a shut out you should toss out the 0 point game.

          • paul from nc

            Actually, you shouldn’t disregard any game as an outlier, good or bad, in such a small sample as 16 games.
            The only possible adjustment should be if a player is injured that would make a huge difference in your team. Example – GB – was a completely different team without Rodgers. Taking the 16 game averages for their Offense is a meaningless stat. You need to have two separate categories – with him and without.

  • JofreyRice

    Another good part of that interview is when Polian asked Chip how he reacts to teams trying to “slow play” the Eagles, like the Chargeers did. Chip basically said that it comes down to execution, and that he didn’t mind at all if a team tried to bleed the clock on the Eagles, because it just meant they had to score less to win if the opponent wasn’t trying to maximize their opportunity to get points quickly. Referenced a game at Oregon where UCLA tried the method and the Ducks won 63-13–holding the ball for only 19 minutes of the game.

    He really is an impressive individual. Polian clearly has a ton of respect and admiration for his theories and habits.

  • myeaglescantwin

    So we now have a coach that is actually using scientific reasoning to be smarter than the rest of the league,,, rather than just assuming he is smarter than the rest of the league.


    • TNA

      There’s a WSJ story on the Giants using GPS.

      ” ‘Coughlin is definitely on the forefront of the GPS,’ right tackle Justin Pugh said Sunday.”

      Sure he is. Every single team is doing this now. Last year only a handful of teams were doing it.

      What’s that phrase again? MUTATIS MUTANDIS

      • A Roy

        With Mutatis Mutandis, Kelly can Carpe Diem, as opposed to AR’s Mea Culpa.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          In the last two months alone I have now seen Latin, dimensional analysis and quantum physics used as the basis for discussion/humour on this site.

          Outstanding stuff.

          • MagatBrackendale

            As long as there is no algebra i’m fine. Id est.

      • myeaglescantwin

        what exactly does that do for players??

        Show who’s not hustling?? after chip’s offseason, i don’t think we need to worry about that.

        He’s ahead of the times with things that don’t mean anything.

  • Chuck Dougherty

    can we get a transcript of the interview? I can’t hear what they are saying.. :-(

  • macadood

    love the senior citizen jab at old man Celek!

  • Dominik

    “Just our research through science that you need to get the body moving if you’re going to be playing. […] If it didn’t work here than we would have changed”

    Oh Chip. How nice it is to hear you talk. And no, that’s no man crush. Or is it?

  • Tom Kazansky

    Damn, don’t we have more flattering pics of Chip?