Chip Kelly lives in the moment.
Chip is hit with questions at every press conference about the status of someone or some part of the team.
“Is the defense turning it around?” gets met with a generic answer. Maybe…”They played well last week.” The reporter is looking for something a bit juicier. They’d like to hear that the defense has turned the corner. They’d love to know a specific reason why, especially if it didn’t involve Bill Davis favorite word – technique.
Kelly isn’t giving answers like that. He doesn’t think like that. What you did last week is great, but what about this week? That’s the most important thing now.
This mentality worked wonders at Oregon. Young players are often prone to basking in the glory of a win or feeling the weight of the world after a loss. Kelly got them to focus on the task at hand. This helped Oregon to avoid losing bad games. Kelly had the team focused each week.
Is this the right mentality for the NFL? For the most part, I think it is. You want to get players to play consistently well, not ride an emotional roller coaster.
I do wonder how the team will respond when they face a big game. If Kelly is living in the moment, every game is theoretically the biggest game of the year. That’s great as a generic philosophy, but the NFL playoffs are a different level of football. Bowl games aren’t significantly different than regular season college football. Since every game in college football is big, getting to a bowl game doesn’t have the same feel as a team going to the playoffs.
The Ravens last year lost 4 of 5 games down the stretch. They were ice cold when January arrived. Those guys were able to step their game up in the postseason and won 4 games in a row, the last being the Super Bowl. Was Ray Lewis giving the same speech before those playoff games that he was in September or October?
I’m not one that believes you need fiery speeches to win, regular or postseason. I do think you sometimes need to be able to push buttons with a team. I’m curious how good Kelly is at this. The closest thing to a big game the 2013 Eagles have faced is coming up Sunday, with 1st place on the line. Since this is mid-October that doesn’t mean a whole lot, but it does mean something.
Kelly will have the Eagles focused on the moment. But he won’t have them thinking about Dallas or 1st place. The focus will be on “the moment”. I do think that can work in the regular season. I do wonder about the big games that pop up down the line. It will be interesting to see how Kelly deals with those situations and how the team responds.
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Les Bowen wrote about Michael Vick and how he’s saying different things this week, in terms of his injury status.
“If I had to go in the game [now], I could just sit in the pocket,” Vick said yesterday, as an “emergency guy.”
Vick acknowledged yesterday that his injury is “a bad pull” and “can be reaggravated quickly. Because mine is up so high, and the way I run, I gotta take precautions. I can’t overdo it, and if I [aggravate the injury], it’ll be another 2 or 3 weeks.”
This is very different from what he said prior to the Bucs game. Why? Les has a theory.
One thought on the Vick shift toward frankness is that if you talk like you’re on the verge of being OK long enough, and you still aren’t able to play, people start wondering why. Though it’s obviously an advantage to make an opponent prepare for two very different QBs, pretending a player is less seriously injured than he really is ultimately does the player a disservice. Vick, whose athletic courage has never been questioned, doesn’t need that.
I completely agree. No one will ever question Vick’s toughness, but the longer he and the team ran with the notion that he could possibly start, the more awkward the questions would get. Pre-game secrecy is a good thing, but there are times to set that aside and be honest.
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