Chip Kelly talked about the upcoming Training Camp when he met with the media a while back. The details got released last week. Here are some things that stood out.
On whether or not he needs to “mark his turf” in his first camp: “I’m not that deep. I don’t ever think that way. I don’t think of signature moments and those things. We’re just trying to give our team a chance to envision what they have to do. I get up every day, and we have a vision of what this thing’s supposed to look like, and we keep working towards that vision. I think sometimes if that’s the way you think, then you may be a little full of yourself, to be honest with you. Maybe if you had a bunch of guys with you that were bucking the system, you would say ‘This isn’t the way it’s going to be.’
“But again, these guys have been fantastic since day one, so there hasn’t been a time where I’ve had to say ‘Hey, here’s why.’ I think these guys, they want to win. That’s the one thing that was extremely evident from the first conversation I had when I got here in January, to every single day when these guys are here. They want to win, they want to prepare and that’s the fun part of this job. I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but that part has just blown me away as far as how receptive these players have been, but the bottom line is that’s what they get judged at. We’re all going to be judged the same way, and that’s did you win or did you lose, so it’s a lot easier when we’re all going in the same direction, as opposed to fighting it.“
Ike Reese said on Twitter that Andy Reid’s first TC was the hardest of his NFL career”by far“. Reid was new to being a head coach and new to the Eagles. He probably felt the need to set the right tone.
I think Kelly is different. He brings such a strong reputation from Oregon that players are going to listen to him. And he ran such a different set of OTAs and minicamps that I think players understand the Reid era is over and it is Kelly Time (sadly, not as awesome as Hammer Time). There is no need to do anything special. Kelly is natually different, for lack of a better phrase.
On mixing up the hitting during practices: “You have to. There are certain amounts of work you have to get done, but you can’t go full-go every single day. You still have to be cognizant of that fact that you have to prepare for a season and prepare for games. That’s the big catch-22 for all coaches is how much work do you need to get done, but also you don’t want to injure any of your own players in practice. That’s kind of a fine line and it’s the toughest one I think coaches have to handle. How physical can your practices be? The game’s certainly going to be physical, but you’ve always sort of got your fingers crossed that you’re not going to get anybody hurt in practice.”
Kelly’s answer got a few people talking. It sure sounds like his camp won’t be nearly as physical as Reid’s. We have no idea if that is a good or bad thing. Many NFL teams dialed back the contact in camps in recent years. The main thinking was, as Kelly touched on, to avoid getting your players hit too much.
You must go live in practice to get players in the full flow of football. Also, it helps to evaluate players. You can’t tell much about interior linemen (O or D) without hitting. Sure, Jason Kelce has a magnificent beard, Evan Mathis is a sexy beast and Isaac Sopoaga makes a mean spinach dip, but you don’t know if they can play until you see them violently punish each other on the practice field, each man hoping to destroy the soul…the very will to live…of the man across from him. Until the play is over 2.7 seconds later. That’s football.
Kelly has thoughts on several other subjects. I think it is interesting that practices will take place at 12:30. He’s trying to get players body clocks set for 1pm kickoffs. This is interesting. We don’t know if it will work or not. The idea is based in logic, but you never can tell if something like that will make a difference.
I’m going to miss Lehigh, but I totally get Kelly’s thinking behind having camp in Philly. As I’ve stated before, I’m all for anything that will help the team win. As long as Kelly delivers 5 Super Bowls in the next 8 years, he can do whatever he wants.
I’m all about being fair and reasonable.
Tick tock, Chipper.
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Rookies report next week. Can’t wait.
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That hack Jimmy Bama did a QB write-up as Part One of his Training Camp Preview. Watch the video clip he links to at the beginning. Jamie Dukes is such a jackass that it is truly astounding. It’s like combining Beethoven, Einstein, Picasso and Megan Fox’s greatness and turning it into an evil super power. Clearly facts are not his Kryptonite. We’ll have to find out what is.