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.

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Paperback: $25

Josh Paunil contributed to this post.