The Unknown Side of Sports Science

Posted: September 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 194 Comments »

Today we’ve got a guest column from Mark Saltveit, the Chip Kelly guru from Oregon. Mark wrote about Sports Science and took a look at an interesting question…are there consequences to all the benefits the Eagles get from that program?

* * * * *

By Mark Saltveit

There’s a guy in Atlanta who hotwired his kitchen stove so that he could make a proper pizza using the self-cleaning cycle, which gets you up to 800-900º instead of the usual 525º. He melted down a couple of ovens in the process, but today Jeff Varasano’s restaurant is rated as one of America’s “elite 8” pizzerias by Rachel Ray.

Chip Kelly is doing something similar with the Eagles, reinventing the entire training process with amazing results, and it’s hard not to be excited by what he’s getting out of his players. But as injuries pile up, it might be wise to ask whether he’s melting a few ovens himself.

Veteran cornerback Cary Williams got a lot of ridicule for complaining that practices are too hard, and he deserved it. (He apologized yesterday for going public, but didn’t disavow his comments.) Chip Kelly is not the first coach to push his players hard, and he’s not the first one to win by doing it.

Williams’ griping just sounds like excuses from a 29-year guy who seems to have lost a step, and wasn’t that great to begin with. (Nnamdi Asomugha was 30 when his skills quickly deteriorated.) Williams gave up the two longest receptions in Sunday’s game against Washington, and didn’t even practice much last week; he was limited with a hamstring injury. So why was he so tired?

Cary is almost guaranteed to be a free agent next spring. Besides his declining performance and what Chris Wesseling calls “jabbering,” his contract balloons to $8 million in 2015, and the Birds can definitely do better in the free agent market for that kind of money. It’s hard to understand what he thinks he’s accomplishing by announcing that he can’t handle rigorous workouts. It just makes him sound old.

So Cary Williams’ complaints seem pretty worthless. And yet, maybe we should take a breath and ask whether the Eagles’ cutting edge sports science program might be pushing players a bit too far.

Williams’ specific arguments don’t make any sense – not only are the Eagles 3-0, but they’ve outscored opponents 74-24 in the second half. Cary claims that the Birds “have no legs” at the start of the game. Where do they get new ones during halftime?

Against Washington, the defense faced 45 first half snaps, but at the end of the game safety Malcolm Jenkins (26) and slot CB Brandon Boykin (24) ran around like excited toddlers and shut Washington down.

But let’s face it. The whole point of sports science is getting more out of players, and it’s possible that the Eagles are taking too much out of them. The team was remarkably free of injuries in 2013 – according to Football Outsiders, they had the second lowest total of Adjusted Games Lost at 33.6, and nearly half of those were due to Jeremy Maclin’s ACL tear in training camp.

This year, however, has been a disaster. By the end of the Washington game, Philadelphia was missing three of its top four inside linebackers and four of seven offensive linemen to injuries.

Because the Eagles are venturing into unexplored territory with their heavy practice reps, year-round (voluntary) training and sports science, they should reconsider whether pushing players to the extremes of their ability is leading to injuries or shortening careers.

Chip Kelly had great success at the University of Oregon with his fast tempo and sports science approach – a combination of old-fashioned good nutrition and hydration with high-tech monitoring and workout machines. But college rosters are twice as big as those in the NFL, and the Ducks used extensive rotation (especially on the defensive line) to keep players fresh.

Just as importantly, college players are young. The Ducks didn’t have any 30-something veterans to keep healthy, but the Eagles have 12 (almost one-fourth of the roster). The average age of the injured offensive linemen (Kelce, Mathis, Barbre and Tobin) is 28, and it’s fair to wonder if Sports Science director Shaun Huls needs to dial down his program for the viejos. Then again, the injured ILBs are 23, 23 and 25. So perhaps age isn’t the issue.

At his press conference Monday, Chip Kelly noted that the Eagles monitor each player and individually tailor their training on a daily basis. In fact, this is the main point of the elaborate machinery used in the sports science program – not to build strength and quickness faster, but to gauge player’s recovery from traditional workouts. (They also fill out a daily questionnaire about how they feel and report any soreness or injuries.)

If you listen closely to players’ comments about sports science, the word “recovery” comes up again and again. Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll recently told Tim McManus of Birds 24/7 that

We have a whole staff dedicated just to getting us to recover. Every single day when we come in here in the morning, we have assessments that we do to monitor how our body is feeling from the day before and I think that’s something that no other team in the league is doing right now. It helps us as far as eliminating injuries that most other places you wouldn’t be able to recognize until it’s too late.

Last year, Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB described several of the machines that the Eagles have invested in, from the OmegaWave machine to Polar Systems’ heart monitors. She wrote that

The Polar system generates post-workout recovery reports, with a timestamp for when an athlete can next handle more training. … And the Omegawave system uses an electrocardiogram transmitter and a pair of electrodes that tap into the central nervous system to measure stress, fatigue and capacity for aerobic or anaerobic exercise.”

The Eagles are very tight-lipped about the program, but competitive runner Susan Legacki reviewed the OmegaWave system last year for Lava Magazine, and gave a great description of how it works.

Each morning the machine gives you scores in five categories: cardiac readiness, resting heart rate, stress, recovery pattern, and adaptation reserves. The last two scores in particular tell you whether you can handle a high-intensity workout, or should back off to prevent injury.

In Legacki’s case, the machine helped her train through (and heal) a foot injury coming off of one race and building up to another. Mostly, it tempered her burning desire to get back training with a caution that injury risk was higher than normal on two of the five days.

So, in theory, the sports science program is designed precisely to avoid workout injures and should help players, not hurt them. And yet, a source in Nike’s research department told me that the Omegawave – which has been available since the late 1990s — has never really caught on, in part because there is no solid evidence that it works as advertised.

I’m not saying that this is some kind of Flowers For Algernon-type deal, where the same technique that improves ability leads to quicker deterioration. But the Eagles may be putting too much stock in unproven technology, and the size of their injury report is some real-world data that should make them be cautious moving forward.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t Maybe it works for most players, but not for everyone. We just don’t know.

There is another, more subtle possibility. The sports science program may lead to injuries precisely because it works so well. I’ll explain.

Much has been written about how stretching before exercise does not actually prevent injuries, in part because the increased flexibility allows athletes to extend themselves further, and because stretching appears to mask muscle pain.

In a similar way, sports science may be the victim of its own success. Players can do more, and with the excitement of the game and the rewards for elite performance, they may be pushing their bodies further than is wise, into dangerous territory.

Consider the screen pass to Jeremy Maclin Sunday, an 80-yard touchdown brought back to Washington’s 40 due to an illegal block in the back by Eagles center Jason Kelce. The penalty obscured an incredible sprint by Kelce. At 6’3, 295 pounds, he was running neck and neck with speedy WR Maclin (6’0, 198) sixty yardsdownfield from the line of scrimmage.

That is phenomenal athleticism, and I have no doubt that sports science helped make it possible. But Kelce left the game just after halftime with a sports hernia that will likely keep him off the field until December. The exuberance of an emotional game and his ability to run faster and longer than anyone else his size may have led him to literally bust a gut in the pursuit of victory.

Is sports science leading to injuries, or simply allowing players to push themselves further, into the red zone? We simply don’t know. It’s way too early to say.  But as impressive as the results of Chip Kelly’s programs have been, the Eagles need to be cautious about how hard they push their players. They don’t have that many ovens left on the roster.


Mark Saltveit is the author of “The Tao of Chip Kelly” (Diversion Books: 2013) and the upcoming “Controlled Chaos: Chip Kelly’s Football Revolution” (Diversion Books: Nov. 2014).  He writes regularly about health and science for the Oregon Bioscience Association, and about football for Philly.comBleedingGreenNation.comIgglesBlitz, and  His work has also appeared in Harvard Magazine and the Oregonian newspaper.


194 Comments on “The Unknown Side of Sports Science”

  1. 1 Kevin said at 12:20 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Great Article Mark – Tommy thanks for sharing!
    To me, this is definitely a chicken and egg discussion or the ultimate Catch-22. You can argue that Kelce got hurt because he had the ability to push harder than he should and an increased range of motion and strength from the training. You can also argue that Mathis didn’t tear an ACL only an MCL because the training gave him additional flexibility, strength and stability when he got rolled up on.
    Injuries tend to be a random occurrence. What will be interesting is to track it over time and see what injuries are occurring and try to determine if they are unfortunate circumstances (getting tangled in a mess) or are they over use or over extension soft tissue injuries. In any case, I would say that the training provides an advantage and overall will contribute to longer player careers on average.

  2. 2 Mark Saltveit said at 12:36 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Thank you very much, and good points. Good/bad luck is definitely an issue. We just don’t know yet if last year was extra good luck, or this year is extra bad luck, or both or neither. We’re off the map here.

    To be clear, I support the sports science program, and it clearly seems to have helped the entire OL return from their 2012 injuries faster. And the extra reps in practice help develop depth. Both last year when Peters and Kendricks were briefly out, and this year, I think the Eagles have done better than anyone could have imagined with unheralded bench players.

  3. 3 suthrneagle said at 3:09 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    In the USA, particularly for the nfl, sports science seems to be new,and innovative. But with a little click of a mouse, anyone can see that it has been around, and in use, for close to 20 years…

    The European College of Sport Science (ECSS) is a sport scientific society founded in 1995 in Nice, France, dedicated to the collection, generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge. The spirit of this non-profit organisation is to Share your knowledge.(wikipedia)

    European College of Sport Science
    Abbreviation ECSS Formation January 2, 1995;
    Legal status non profit organisation
    Purpose sport science
    Location Cologne, Germany
    Affiliations with several sport science and sport medicine institutions and associations

  4. 4 Wedgetail said at 4:10 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    What a nice young institute.

    Australian Institute of Sports, est. 1981.

    Chips sports science guy at Oregon was from the Brisbane Lions Aussie Rules club. I’m sure chip learned all about keeping footballers healthy. We have a longer season and just as many body demands in our codes and sports science has been used for decades here.

    Another interesting point is that the training may currently be giving the players ‘dead legs’ but deliberately. Being in peak condition for 5 months is not possible, 1 or 2 months is more realistic. The program will be ramping the players gradually up towards peak fitness at the moment which may leave the players a little more drained, but which should lead to good results in December.

  5. 5 RobNE said at 12:20 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    unrelated (sorry Mark), but could we sign a OLB in free agency and (in the future post Ryans) have two faster guys in Kendricks and Smith be our ILB’s? That would be more symmetrical right? Or do we need a thumper like Ryans?

    having two faster guys seems intriguing. For when, you know, we trade for Dion to be the OLB as GEAGLE keeps predicting.

  6. 6 GEAGLE said at 4:05 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    We are drafting Kendricks lil brother this year,.. Two Kendricks flying around at ILB should be all the speed we need, to go along with a few more years of thumper Meco’s service..
    And you know DION is coming! Probably Arik Armstead replacing Vinny Curry..

    Thinking our front 7 will be nasty after next offseason

    Need to find a safety if our coaches think Wolff isn’t tough enough to play thru injuries he could be playing thru… We initially wanted Wolff to take the Job from Nate… Wolff isn’t progressing like the coaches would have liked, I’m sure….

  7. 7 Mark Saltveit said at 11:06 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Devon Allen has been tremendous so far but he can’t go pro for another year or two.

  8. 8 GEAGLE said at 8:40 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Yeah, he been killing it in track too

  9. 9 NinjaP said at 11:19 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Why would anyone want Dion? He is a jack not a predator. Kids that typically suck at rushing the passer in college never figure it out in the pros. Actually a rather decent correlation of the good pros having dominating seasons as pass rushers and playmakers before reaching the NFL.

  10. 10 GEAGLE said at 5:22 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Why would we want Dion? Lol because an OLB with his ability either costs you 50mil in free agency or a top 10 pick lol… Silly us! We want him because we want to be the smart team that plays him in the right position and gives him the coaching to realize that talent..,
    Low risk, high reward…why the hell wouldn’t we want him? Because he didn’t provide instant gratification playing out of position for the dolphins? he was a raw player who no front office people expected to pay off as a rookie..

    Since we won’t have a top 10 pick. And we ain’t spending 50 million on other teams free agents, sounds pretty silly to scoff at adding a OLB talent like him

  11. 11 NinjaP said at 7:05 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Well i think talent is too strong a word to describe Dion.

  12. 12 Michael Winter Cho said at 12:33 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Cool, Mark,–Tommy, thanks for the guest posts.
    I was having a conversation on a previous thread with Avery about the sports science stuff. It all sounds good, but there needs to be a lot more data that it actually works in a significant way at this level. Half a season’s anomalous performance isn’t nearly enough.
    Last year, the shakes were being given some credit for our remarkably healthy season. This year, we’ve been remarkably unhealthy. Occam’s razor suggests that all this can be accounted for by randomness-luck.
    That being said, if it’s something that the players believe in and helps them focus and take things seriously, it can’t hurt. Probably better for you than a cheesesteak or tacos loaded up with ground beef, shredded cheddar, and sour cream.

  13. 13 Michael Winter Cho said at 12:35 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I asked the guys at Football Outsiders if they would be interested in looking at the Eagles and seeing if they could find any evidence of performance boost, relative to other teams, in the 2nd half. A bunch of emails asking for the same thing might inspire them to look into it–

  14. 14 Mark Saltveit said at 12:39 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Good idea. I don’t know if they ever look at college teams, but Oregon has 5 full years of data under this program too. Off the top of my head, I remember the Ducks alternating between periods of remarkable health and big rashes of injuries. The DL was really beat up when the Ducks lost to Stanford in 2012, down 3 or 4 top players.

  15. 15 mtn_green said at 12:56 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I think injuries are too random to create patterns even over any years. Even once you have the data, what do you do with it, NFL is secretive, all players have injury histories, do you treat home injuries, game injuries, conditioning injuries or practice injuries different? Almost an art than a science.

  16. 16 BlindChow said at 12:56 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Plenty of teams have had seasons with an above-average number of injuries. The 2013 Giants led the league in most games lost due to injury. Obviously there was no correlation with sports science in NY.

    Right now there just isn’t any evidence tying the Eagles’ practice methods to their current injury list.

  17. 17 ICDogg said at 5:56 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    And even if you could demonstrate there was a significant difference, you still couldn’t pinpoint exactly why with certainty. For example, they don’t tackle to the ground in training camp. Maybe that would be a reason for less preseason injuries as opposed to, say, sleeping better or using some type of machine.

  18. 18 Anders said at 2:37 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    the Giants are often in the top of players lost to injuries.

  19. 19 bridgecoach said at 8:54 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I take issue with the point that we have been “remarkably unhealthy” this year. Because of Sports Science, our team is the best conditioned team in the league- everyone is in great shape. But football is an injurious sport. Injuries happen and will continue to occur regardless of conditioning. But as Saltveit discussed, the prime benefit of Sports Science is to hasten recovery times. No one has allusions of injury resistant football players.

  20. 20 mtn_green said at 12:39 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Chip has a lot of innovations, one of them is to practice at game speed, similar conditions as a game. As any eagles fan or ducks fan who watched another teams training camp, I saw NYJets on tv, of the 4 hours if training camp probably an aggregate of 3:30 they’re idle standing around waiting for a rep. They practice serially, one QB throws then next, instead of all QBs throwing at once, thereby doubling or tripling reps. Cary said he felt like he’d played two or three games in practice, this might have been what he was talking about.

    Conditioning is separate from the practice conditions. Conditioning and science has a big focus on recovery and not reaching the pinnacle where you see fatigue. That is one of chips innovations, it used to be more weight more speed more strength is always better, but not in chips science program.

    Chip feels there is a huge advantage to practice in as close to game situation as possible and in getting as many reps as possible and I would think he is not going to change that program, other than holding individual players out for parts of it because their situation calls for it.

    Even though some vets may ‘feel like they’ve played two games by Sunday’ I don’t think chip is willing to lose advantage of playing in game like conditions and extra reps, so players have muscle memory as to the techniques and game situations. Older vets will sit out as trainers and players deem necessary.

  21. 21 Mark Saltveit said at 12:43 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    As someone (I forget who) pointed out on Twitter, I’m sure Brandon Boykin would be more than happy to take over and give the old man a rest for as much of the game as he wants.

  22. 22 mtn_green said at 12:52 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I think chip knew that vets from other programs would balk at not being able to stand around three quarters of the time and that was part of his reasoning to recruit hard workers (Sproles, Jenkins) ex ducks (Maehl, Smith) and high character guys (Barwin). Williams would generally fit in that first category, but in his 8-9 year career he was used to a certain pace, chips program makes him feel like he’s played 2 games a week.

    Wierd thing is that AR used to do full contact two-a-days for weeks, players would chide about the difficulty bit not out-and-out complain. New CBA really limits practice.

  23. 23 Maggie said at 7:28 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    The post might have said “for as much of the season” as he wants.

  24. 24 Michael Winter Cho said at 2:18 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    What is this about not reaching fatigue? I play tennis and would be interested in hearing about useful training modalities to increase my stamina.

  25. 25 suthrneagle said at 3:21 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    try running marathons. that`ll increase your stamina

  26. 26 anon said at 4:13 PM on September 24th, 2014:


  27. 27 suthrneagle said at 5:36 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    you laugh, but i`m serious

  28. 28 anon said at 5:57 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I thought you were being sarcastic.

    I’ve always learned that high intensity interval workouts are best for increasing stamina, especially if you place them at the end of your normal workouts. Weights or plyo at the end of a workout are also great. As a sprinter I had a coach that made us do a LOT of distance work, in addition to it being terribly boring I don’t think it made me “faster”.

    Feel like you’d run into more injury concerns with marathon running (depending on body type), but i don’t doubt running long distances makes you more fit.

  29. 29 suthrneagle said at 6:49 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    ok, then train however those long distance runners train,cause it`s not your average athlete that has the conditioning to run 26 miles.
    how many miles do tennis players run when playing a 2 1/2 hour match?

  30. 30 Maggie said at 7:34 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    There is an increasingly large body of research being done to indicate that long drawn-out workouts or runs are not very effective for either conditioning or weight loss.

    Just one of dozens of sites to check out. Research done in many countries and facilities. PBS ran a program on this topic a few months ago.

  31. 31 suthrneagle said at 8:53 PM on September 24th, 2014:


  32. 32 suthrneagle said at 12:09 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    ok, `ll look into it

  33. 33 Michael Winter Cho said at 7:16 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I ran CC and 2 milers in HS, and indeed, I could play tennis or basketball all day. 20 years later and not in great shape, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game. Just yesterday, a serious amateur tennis player told me he was gunning for sub 5 minute miles, doing three 7 mile runs a week, and training with multiple 400m intervals (I think he said 25!). Given my advanced age and somewhat brittle constitution, that’s way more pounding than I’m interested in putting on my joints.

  34. 34 suthrneagle said at 12:03 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    “run like a Kenyan

    Physiologically speaking, hill running…
    1) Increases your aerobic capacity that enables you to use less oxygen at increasingly longer distances.
    2) Improves your running economy that enables you to use less oxygen to run at a faster pace.
    3) Increases your stamina that enables you to run farther at a given pace.
    4) Builds strength in your gluteals (buttock), quadriceps (front of thigh), gastrocnemius (upper calf), and soleus (lower calf) muscles.

    Biomechanically speaking, hill running…
    1) Improves your stride length (from uphill running) and your stride frequency (from downhill running).
    2) Increases your ankle flexion that enables you to “pop” off the ground more quickly, so that you can spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.
    3) Teaches you how to run relaxed.

    When planning a hill workout, choose either a short hill that may take 30 to 60 seconds to reach the top or a long hill that may take two to three minutes. The short hill will also help you with your sprint speed and anaerobic capacities, while the longer hill will help your endurance and mental fortitude. Both distances will improve your form on flat ground too.

    The number of intervals will depend on your level of training but aim for approximately four to eight short hills or three to four long hills. After you reach the top don’t stop short, but instead “run-through” the finish line at the top. Then catch your breath and recover slowly back downhill. Wait until your heart rate and breathing rate gets back to where it was before or approximately two to three minutes. Then begin again. Be careful with downhill running as it is an eccentric contraction meaning that the muscle is lengthening while it shortens, truly playing a tug-of-war with itself. And downhill running can be very injurious to your knees, so try not to “pound” the road during your recovery. You can run one hill workout every one to two weeks. Make sure you stretch well before and after.

  35. 35 Mark Saltveit said at 11:09 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    The Eagles follow the philosophy that your training should match your desired movements, so no wind sprints or stairs, yes to short (4-6 second) bursts of intense running with movement. Just like games

  36. 36 suthrneagle said at 12:06 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    makes sense…practise what you

  37. 37 kaninfaan said at 12:41 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    1. the long td to desean was not cary williams fault. it was good
    ole 29 peekin in the backfield.
    2. any and all speculation about the effects of “chip kellys sports science” without insider knowledge of training loads, intensity, periodization, tapering, etc… is worth absolutely nothing.
    3. go eagles!

  38. 38 suthrneagle said at 3:22 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    the long td to desean was because of the missed tackle.

  39. 39 GEAGLE said at 4:03 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Don’t let facts get in the way 😉

  40. 40 Maggie said at 7:37 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I would add the caveat that Williams ALWAYS seems to expect “help” or complain because he didn’t get it. Surely a quality corner is expected to cover a wideout by himself from time to time?

  41. 41 GEAGLE said at 9:38 PM on September 24th, 2014:


  42. 42 BC1968 said at 8:57 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    He could’ve at least made the tackle, guess his legs were tired.

  43. 43 Mark Saltveit said at 11:12 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    It’s interesting that people were complaining about the Jenkins pickup because he had few interceptions, but didn’t account for the two-gap 3-4, where safeties aren’t responsible for gap control in the run and so can ballhawk. He had as many INTs in first three games (2) as he had all last year. Heck he only had 6 in 5 years at New Orleans.

  44. 44 GEAGLE said at 8:38 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Coaches seem to have hit a home run with a player who is better in their system, then the one he was playing in..

    We also don’t have elite pass rusher that can carry us, we have to pressure QBs as a team. Jenkins was the best blitzing safety in the NFL last year. So far we have seen Billy send Boykin and Nate on a few blitzes! but soon we will start calling Jenkins name and sending him after QBs,, highest pressure percentage out of all safeties last year…
    Jenkins will go down with Barwin as one of the really smart free agent sigjings

  45. 45 Anders said at 2:39 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    There was nothng fancy about Jackson’s run that meant Williams had to miss the tackle.

  46. 46 kaninfaan said at 12:30 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    If everyone BUT Demeco Ryans goes for a drink on a run play; would it really be Ryans’s fault if the run goes for a first down?
    Nothing fancy about getting run over by the entire o-line, a fullback AND the guy with the ball…
    Eg. there is no need for anything fancy if crucial personel is out of position.

  47. 47 Anders said at 12:54 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    But Williams “mr tough guy” failed to tackle Jackson who is one of the lightest players in the NFL

  48. 48 Mark Saltveit said at 12:41 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    For anyone interested in the Chip vs. Cary Williams angle to this story, I published a sassier piece today at BGN, “Chip and Cary: The Odd Couple.”

  49. 49 mtn_green said at 1:22 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Damn Mark you’re everywhere:

    On the same day!!

    Next you’ll be on the only other websites I visit birds 24/7 and

  50. 50 RobNE said at 1:26 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Mark I liked your back and forth with the Redskins blogger last week. You showed a lot of Philly attitude for a relatively new fan.

    Also, getting on the chive could be tough.

  51. 51 Mark Saltveit said at 2:49 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Thanks. I’ll check it out, and put in a word for me. I like to think I’m adaptable.

  52. 52 Mark Saltveit said at 1:50 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Thanks! It’s my birthday, so I guess people are being nice to me (for now).

  53. 53 mtn_green said at 2:14 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Some people drink beer, some people eat cake, Mark floods the eagles blogoverse.

  54. 54 mtn_green said at 2:14 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    And happy birthday.

  55. 55 anon said at 4:11 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    happy birthday!

  56. 56 P_P_K said at 2:34 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    A well written piece. Round of applause.

  57. 57 NoDecaf said at 12:45 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I guess the real litmus test isn’t how many are injured, but how fast they are ready to play.

  58. 58 mtn_green said at 12:52 PM on September 24th, 2014:


  59. 59 BlindChow said at 12:59 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Hey Geagle, you gonna let him talk this way about Your Man Cary Williams??

  60. 60 GEAGLE said at 6:11 PM on September 24th, 2014:


  61. 61 Mitchell said at 1:20 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I’m just thankful we have WAY more depth this year than last year!

  62. 62 mtn_green said at 1:24 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Carrol and Jaylen, hurray.

    Jenkins is huge, obviously.

  63. 63 Mitchell said at 1:25 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Even though our ILB back ups are hurt, can you imagine if we didn’t even have that kind of depth?

  64. 64 RobNE said at 1:27 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Chip’s building a program!

  65. 65 A Roy said at 8:50 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Don’t get too excited. We still had Casey. Matthews at ILB during the game.

  66. 66 Dominik said at 2:42 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Amen. We improved depth at most, but not all positions. ILB is still extremely weak (in the sense that I don’t think there have been 5 ILBs in this league who played more than 10 snaps this year and are even worst than Casey M.). Thankfully, O-Line turned out to be better than expected (they played poorly, but for 3rd and 4th stringers, well, it was okay if you limit your expectations, which you should).

  67. 67 GEAGLE said at 4:01 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    True that… It’s one thing to think you have decent depth, but our depth is actually being tested..and so far backups are holding up admirably and it’s a testament to coaches training methods giving backups so many more reps than most coaches give their reserves..

    3-0 is impressive as is, but considering the amounts of injuries to extremely important players, it’s really amazing that we are able to persevere thru so much and still be 3-0, 4-0 after this weekend

  68. 68 Dominik said at 2:48 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    “but our depth is actually being tested..and so far backups are holding up admirably”

    Honestly, against the Redskins it was all Foles, imho. Of course, Gardner, Kelly and Smith are not even your OL # 6 or 7, so you have to have low expectations. They fulfilled those, it was bad, but it wasn’t the end of the world. That’s a good thing. But let’s not pretend we can many games with that lineup. Foles can’t always win with Shady having 1,2 YPC (and that’s 95 % O-Line play, imho, even Shady can’t do anything if there’s no movement, Chip said that as well). He needs the running game, at least for now.

    Considering the ILB depth, I wouldn’t call it admirably.

    Excited to see Tobin this week. I have hopes for him, he should be our 6th or 7th (depends on Barbre) best OL if they would all be healthy.

  69. 69 JJ_Cake said at 1:27 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Thanks for the insightful post Mark. Lot of sound reasoning.

    Even though Chip is revolutionizing things with his implementation of the sports science, his coaching calls and strategies are helping us win as opposed to Reid and Marty calling plays or mismanaging games that hurt teams.

  70. 70 eagleyankfan said at 1:53 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    wow. what a piece. Great stuff. I would imagine Chip(et al) will be measuring everything they are doing so they have baseline data to compare with in the future. Right now, there’s nothing to compare their data with.
    Love the way Kelce plays….

    and Happy B-day. You can take the rest of the day off. Not you T-Law — back to work for you!

  71. 71 Mark Saltveit said at 2:51 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Thats the thing about being a pioneer. You have a jump on everyone else, but you’re kind of in the wilderness. No one knows what the risks are.

  72. 72 Mac said at 5:05 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    They are attempting to “control” for some risks by measuring bone structure of players. As a person with a light bone density, but who has never broken a bone (but has dislocated a few things) I wonder if they can discover a way to study the sturdiness of a person’s soft tissue components (like ligaments).

  73. 73 ACViking said at 5:14 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Start with McCoy’s knees.

    They allow him to do things that shouldn’t be possible.

  74. 74 Mark Saltveit said at 6:24 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Interesting, hadn’t heard that. Pointer?

  75. 75 Mac said at 11:56 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    They are measuring wrists, ankles, and possibly other joints… which are an indicator of bone density and using those measurables to help decide how much muscle can be added to a players frame (potentially). But I haven’t heard if there is a way to measure the strength of a person’s ligaments and such. I think ACViking is on to something.

  76. 76 Mo Gravy said at 3:39 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Mr. Saltveit, if I understand your argument it is that as an athlete through training approaches his maximum physical potential perhaps his risk of injury increases and the length of his career decreases. Let’s assume that to be true. It does not necessarily follow (as you seem to imply) that the rigor of training should be reduced to reduce injury risk and increase career longevity. For example, such a course might well produce a steady stream of above average teams but never a Super Bowl winner. Consider the analogy of motor car racing. The ideal race car arguably would have its performance maximized (subject to rule constraints) so as to cross the finish line and then immediately fail. This may require rebuilding the car for each race, but if many wins result that extra cost and effort can be justified. Similarly, a football team playing at maximum potential may only win the Super Bowl once every five (or even ten) years, but most fans (and owners) would undoubtedly prefer that to finishing in the playoffs every year but never winning the Super Bowl. I doubt whether the relevant science has reached (or for that matter will ever reach) the precision necessary to make such judgements. That being the case, my instinct would be to err on the side of maximizing overall performance.

    P.S. Your mention of the memorable short story/novel/movie “Flowers for Algernon” shows that you are well read whatever the acuity of your sports science analysis.

  77. 77 CrackSammich said at 4:29 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Just a reminder that these are people that we’re talking about. With kids, wives, girlfriends, parents.

  78. 78 Mo Gravy said at 5:04 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Mr. Sammich, your admonition suggests you are not in accord with the current Zeitgeist which, like the great scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla, regards Man as nothing more than a colony of “meat machines”. As an agnostic I hope you are correct but fear that you are not. Pax vobiscum.

  79. 79 Michael Winter Cho said at 7:13 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Your noble sentiments aside, I read his comment as meaning there were many uncontrollable and unknown factors present in this experiment, along the same lines as “If I had perfect knowledge of every particle’s location and motion, I could perfectly predict the future.”

  80. 80 anon said at 4:35 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    good points. i think that’s accurate.

  81. 81 Mark Saltveit said at 6:28 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Your points are well taken. To be clear, I am NOT arguing that sports science is bad or burns up players more quickly. I support the program and think that most like it will improve both healthy and performance, and extend players careers.

    All I’m saying is that we’re in the wilderness here, and some humility about what we don’t know is in order. Last year, it looked like sports science was golden and nothing but good. But since we have no baseline, the sudden rash of injuries is a good reason to take a second look.

    It may be purely bad luck. Then again, last year’s healthy may have been purely good luck. We just don’t know yet.

  82. 82 A Roy said at 8:47 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Sample size is just too small to tell at this point.

  83. 83 Mark Saltveit said at 11:14 PM on September 24th, 2014:


  84. 84 suthrneagle said at 6:35 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    i think your reference to high performance racing cars is good, but not to the extent of needing to rebuild after every race. More like fine tuning, and replacing/repairing damaged parts.

  85. 85 A Roy said at 8:45 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Another good movie, based on “Flowers” was Phenomenon, with John Travolta and Kyra Sedgewick.

  86. 86 Mark Saltveit said at 11:14 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Didn’t know that, interesting.

  87. 87 GEAGLE said at 3:51 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Lol I wouldn’t go writing articles debunking everything that comes out of wacko Cary Williams mouth..emotional cat, I’m sure he didn’t mean half the things he said the next day…
    But good read

    Waiting for season two worth of data before I start looking for trends and trying to judge the impact of our training,,
    John Elway was sure picking jaws brain about all our training and sports science methods

  88. 88 ACViking said at 5:12 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    It’s one thing to hire away another team’s coaches.

    It’s far different hiring away staff whose jobs involve cutting-edge science.

    If the Eagles have not required the training staff and consultants to sign confidentiality agreements, then the front office is asleep.

    What Kelly’s training staff is doing is creating intellectual property — which is generally off-limits to the public and competitors.

    That’s quintessential “trade secret” information that, by agreement and statute, can easily keep employees from going to competitors.

  89. 89 GEAGLE said at 5:25 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    True that… But I also think that by the time a team hires one of our coaches and they find out what Chips doing, we could be on to something new.
    Media is always trying t find out about our sports science, but I’d be even more interests in finding out what we added this year, that we weren’t doing last year..
    But you are right, Chip is pioneering implementing the latest advances in sports science to better train football players..

    But for example, Miami now knows what Chip was doing last year. I’m sure we already added things that we weren’t doing when Billy Lazor was here. By the time someone finds out what we are doing in 2014,the 2014 season will be over,.,so we should always be ahead of our coetitors until they hire someone who will try to stay ahead of Hulls

  90. 90 RobNE said at 5:30 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    This shouldn’t be all that hard. Call up the Europeans/Australian teams etc. in other sports, fly them over, ask questions. It’s not easy, but it isn’t like Chip is inventing this stuff from scratch.

    Still, I’d rather no one ever talk about this. If Jaws is talking, I’d ban him from the training rooms.

  91. 91 anon said at 5:41 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Yeah there’s nothing new under the sun. The question is how much do you want to put in resources toward the program? Some teams may look at us and say was the investment worth it?

    I do think if we continue to play significantly better in the second half of games for the rest of the season people will start to look more closely at the way we train. Problem is, as chip says, it’s not one thing or the other its EVERYTHING they do as part of the program. So how committed are you? Are you willing to eschew everything you know as a coach to do something that someone else is doing?

  92. 92 suthrneagle said at 6:43 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    exactly, the knowledge is out there for all who want, but how it`s being applied is what separates Chip from the rest.

  93. 93 Mark Saltveit said at 6:30 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Compartmentalization is another way to prevent theft. You know how Chip claims he doesn’t ask doctors for details, and just says “can they play or not?” Everyone thinks he’s lying but it may actually be the truth.

    There was no reason for Bill Lazor to be told the intricacies of the sports science. All he needed to get was the results, or perhaps specific information (have your QBs do this, and don’t do that.)

  94. 94 suthrneagle said at 6:37 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    kinda like his pay grade wasn`t high enough(?)

  95. 95 GEAGLE said at 7:07 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Exactly! Chips nuts, wouldn’t be surprised if he is handing out clearance levels to everyone that walks in the building like it’s the CIA lol

  96. 96 Mark Saltveit said at 10:58 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Or, “not my department,” or really like CIA “Need to know” rules.

  97. 97 suthrneagle said at 12:14 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    too many cliches to choose from,
    went with `pay grade` 🙂

  98. 98 GEAGLE said at 7:06 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Very true… I def wouldn’t be surprised if Chip uses this to not expose all his info to every coach that comes thru this organization….good point for sure..

  99. 99 bsuperfi said at 7:50 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Huh, the ip angle is an interesting one. We certainly don’t consider scheme to be ip, no matter how innovative it is. We don’t consider coaching techniques to be ip. We don’t consider the various aspects of a football program to be ip. The sports science angle is less observable to outsiders, but the secrets aren’t exactly airtight. Players talk. Enforceability would be a problem. Would the eagles start suing players and coaches?

    Just makes me wonder about the place of law and league policy in protecting and fostering any kind of innovation in the nfl.

  100. 100 D3FB said at 12:01 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Exactly. Baseball teams consider their in house sabermetrics to be IP’s. I would imagine it is very similar with the Eagles.

  101. 101 FairOaks said at 3:55 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I thought I remember Kelly saying last year that the sports science stuff really wasn’t about the major injuries like ACLs — those happen regardless, and are luck of the draw. It was more about the muscle pulls and another hampering injuries. I’m not sure which of the current major injuries were of the type which is targeted… maybe Kendricks’ calf.

  102. 102 anon said at 4:00 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    JMatt has an oblique. Mac and Coop and Polk were out all pre-season. I think the program is great but maybe he’s gotta pull back a little.

  103. 103 FairOaks said at 6:01 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Do no other teams have that type of injury? Don’t think it’s possible to prevent them. But if multiple players do feel their legs are “dead” at the start of the game, maybe some adjustment is necessary — which may be more of timing than amount. If their legs are fine in the second half, then it’s not an overall tiredness is it? They just need to feel that way earlier in the game…

  104. 104 Mark Saltveit said at 8:47 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Sorry to be stupid, but what IS an oblique?

  105. 105 D3FB said at 11:59 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    The muscle between your abs and your back.

  106. 106 Ark87 said at 11:24 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    My understanding of Coop basically missing the preseason was there was something going on with his foot and they wanted to make sure it completely healed before he came back in, like he could have participated, but he would be risking further injuring it.

    I came away feeling that he was held out of participation because of sports science rather than in spite of it.

  107. 107 anon said at 3:58 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    they are mentioning that tod bowles should get a head coaching job after his work in AZ this year — SMH.

  108. 108 ACViking said at 5:01 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    The defense Bowles coordinated last season in AZ performed very well.

    So far, the defense he’s coordinating this season in AZ is performing well — and without several players perceived to be key to last season’s success.

    I never understood how Mike McCarthy became such a hot HC prospect. His record as an OC was spotty at best. But the guy’s been a ringing success.

    Hard to forecast sometimes.

  109. 109 RobNE said at 5:29 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I think “we” did a good job looking for a program builder (who happens to be a great tactician too). Just because Bowles has a good season as a DC could mean very little re: his ability to be a good head coach.

  110. 110 ACViking said at 6:03 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    no argument there.

    great assistants sometimes make great HCs.

    great assistants sometimes are lousy HCs.

    And the converse, too.

  111. 111 Baloophi said at 4:52 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Nice post, Mark… and happy birthday!

    In terms of Oregon vs. Philly – I wonder if another consideration (in addition to younger players and larger rosters) is player tenure. Presumably – at Oregon – they’re expecting to get 2-3 years out of a player (30 games max?) before he graduates (or leaves early for the draft), versus the NFL, where the goal is to hopefully get maybe twice that length (and three times the number of games) out of a core player. I’m not suggesting that at Oregon they were dismissive of any longer-term effects of sports science and increased-stress practices (for lack of a better term), but simply that the smaller performance window calls for a different training regimen.

  112. 112 Mark Saltveit said at 8:48 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Good call. I think that’s definitely part of it.

  113. 113 GEAGLE said at 4:52 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Did anyone check out inside the NFL last night?
    Is it just me or has that show turned Into a complete joke?
    Phil sims was an idiot, but he and Collinsworth had a good balance of joking around and actually bringing some football knowledge to the table….with those two gone. I was kind of embarrassed for that show last night watching it. It has turned into such an unprofessional joke. You have the host trying to Segway and read of the TelePrompTer and you have Brandon Marshall! ED Reed, Micheal Irvin and Boomer Eisason acting like a bunch of idiot jokes who are all talkng over each other at the same time while the host is trying to Segway

    It’s like all they do is make dumb jokes and they are all trying way too hard to individually shine and out do each other… Boomer Eisason is HORRIBLE!! He tries way too hard that he comes off as fake, corny, Phil sims wannabe,

    The replays of the games they show is even starting to be horrible and it doesn’t do many of the games justice. They cut up replays and change the sequence from how it really played out in the games.. And they really don’t do a good job of chosing plays to show that accurately tells the story of how the game played out.
    I used to look forward to that show every week, and it’s just embarrassing what that show has turned into…. And I think the main problem is boomer Easiason trying way to hard and he comes off fake, he talks over everyone to make dumb jokes…. It’s just becoming unbearable, to the point where I feel like I now have to spend all week watching all the condensed replays of the games to be able to keep up with what’s going on in the NFL, because you know the media ain’t providing accurate accounts of games..
    Thankful for the NFL network condensing the games, into a one hour format and airing all the replays during the week…

  114. 114 anon said at 5:09 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    i’m impressed anytime ray lewis talks about the game. most of the ex players are terrible discussing xs and os but i think he’s really great. i’m fine with them just joking around and stuff. they’re athletes not jouranists.

  115. 115 GEAGLE said at 5:29 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Ray Lewis isn’t on the show…..
    You mean Ed Reed?
    Micheal “the Playmaker” I like because as a cowboy he doesn’t carry an anti philly Bias..
    I think it’s cool to get an active players perspective, Brandon Marshall…
    But I think Boomer ruins everything. He is really bad on the show, trying way too had…
    Loved hearing all the players agreed and were impressed by Jason peters protecting his QB…

    Inside the NFL has been a consistent part of my NFL seasons for as long as I can remember…and last night I was really turned off and disappointed by what it has become

  116. 116 RobNE said at 5:33 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I can’t stand any show. I sometimes can’t see the Eagles games, so I tape Sportscenter – when did highlights become mostly still shots with like one replay. Why would I turn on the TV to see still shots?!?!?!

  117. 117 anon said at 5:37 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    sportscenter is terrible.

  118. 118 GEAGLE said at 6:02 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    It’s really amazing how horrible highlights have become.

    I don’t even know where I can find highlights any more that accurately depict how a game played out..
    Lol it’s not exactly brain surgery. Shouldn’t be hard choosing the right plays to show and accurately portray wha happened in a game….but inexplicably you can’t even find that any more

  119. 119 Dominik said at 3:01 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    As a German soccer fan, I’m used to have pretty good highlight shows for soccer games. It’s like 6-8 minutes per game, showing all the important scenes of the game. Of course it’s better to watch the full game, but you get a feeling of what happened and you can’t expect much more.

    Why isn’t there a market for that in the US for the NFL? I watch Sunday Night Countdown and sometimes Gameday Final, but those are all just one or two minutes of highlights for each game. I never get a feeling of how that game went. Why not show highlights for at least 5 minutes? Not only TDs, but important 3rd down conversions and things like that.

    I simply don’t get it.

  120. 120 Maggie said at 3:20 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    TV has cut back on a lot of that type of programming because they think everybody in the world is on the Internet, has every type of device and doesn’t mind paying big bucks for data. It is inconceivable to the youngsters making these decisions that millions of people don’t even have a computer or ‘smart’ phone, and even many who do own such equipment don’t know how to use it.

  121. 121 Dominik said at 3:28 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Concering data, it’s the other way around in Germany with soccer. It’s a dream come true for a soccer fan to get the kind of stats he gets in the NFL for free. You have to pay for it if you want those advanced stats for soccer.

    Re: the highlights being old school. Yeah, I know, has some highlights. I just hate their web player, it drives me crazy. If they could improve that, I would use that site more to get highlights.

  122. 122 GEAGLE said at 5:14 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    I have no friggin clue man and it drives me crazy,,
    How is it that a sport we go ape shit over, doesn’t provide a decent 4 minute highlight that really takes the time to show you the important plays that show how u how the game unfolded…??
    It’s really mind boggling… Even worse is that you have channels like ESPN and NFL network, and they won’t take a break from all their bullshit to take a few minutes to show a replay that does the game justice..

    I don’t get it, and it makes me so mad

  123. 123 anon said at 5:37 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    yeah i meant MNF cast.

  124. 124 ACViking said at 4:55 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Mark . . . .

    Great question.

    Followed by a excellent, inquiring response.

  125. 125 GEAGLE said at 4:56 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Looking like a good chance the Niners get back Anthony Davis and Vernon this week, which I could certainly do without..

  126. 126 Ark87 said at 4:59 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Great article Mark, the good news about any true science is that learning from the data their methods provide should be an inherent part of the process.At least if one of our methods is causing us to go awry, we should have some hard data to support changing the method. Hopefully they will use the science to always be looking for ways to improve on every aspect, never stubbornly settling into a certain way.

  127. 127 A_T_G said at 5:01 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    If the second theory is true, sports science isn’t going anywhere. The same argument could be made for cleats.

  128. 128 ACViking said at 5:07 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Speaking of cleats . . . .

    Once upon a time, the seeming annual rash of ACL injuries was blamed on the prevalence of Astro-turf.

    Now that Astro-turf’s gone the way of the Astro-Dome, what’s the reason for so many ACL’s?

    And imagine if Chip Kelly coached the Eagles at the Vet . . . where the Birds had the biggest psychological home-field advantage over any other stadium.

    Personally, I’ll still take Franklin Field for watching a game. In the top row you’re still close to the field. And a full house was way louder than the Vet or Linc.

    Missing amenities? Those are revenue-centric.

  129. 129 Mac said at 5:13 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    I think, simply stated it’s durability. NFL players are all created out of different but similar stuff put together in different ways. Because some have a better bone structure, I think it’s easy to assume some may have weaker soft tissue structure. They’re all amazing specimens playing a violent sport, and not everyone can withstand the collisions.

  130. 130 A_T_G said at 8:39 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    At least for a few more years. By then, all the major college programs will have their athletes replace all their soft connective tissues with synthetic replacements during their red shirt year.

  131. 131 suthrneagle said at 6:58 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    ahhh, the days before the net kept the extra points/fieldgoals from going into the waiting arms of the fans. Those i miss.

  132. 132 Mark Saltveit said at 8:55 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Remember last year? People were wondering if the new turf at Novacare ate ACLs.

    A_T_G: in the deeper sense, science just means trying things and judging them by the results of your experiments, not on the way things have always been done, or some theory that sounds smart but hasn’t really been tested.

    I’m hoping that they keep the science approach but realize that injuries are themselves a form of result, although it’s one with a lot of “noise” (randomness and outside factors) mixed in.

    Right now they’re testing certain machines + hydration and sleep monitoring + lots of reps with no line sprints + practicing on unusal days. if this combination turns out not to work, they can use science to find better ones.

  133. 133 SteveH said at 5:32 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Awesome article, very thought provoking. I just thought I’d point out that as with most things football related, their is a very very small sample size so its difficult to come to any real conclusions. If we could run 1000 virtual seasons using Chips sports science(tm) program and 1000 virtual seasons without it and compare number and type of injuries that way, we’d know. But as is… You know.

  134. 134 Mark Saltveit said at 8:55 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Good point. Chip has already named Foles starting quarterback for 1,000 seasons, so that variable will be controlled.

  135. 135 suthrneagle said at 9:59 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Foles looks to be extremely durable, tough as nails.

    For him to finish year 1,last Sunday needs to the last time he takes a beating like that. Even w/out that illegal assault, he was in pain.

  136. 136 Mark Saltveit said at 11:04 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    He can handle it, but that doesn’t mean he should.

  137. 137 suthrneagle said at 12:31 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    maybe Chip has a miracle healing bath `Wanted`s character Wesley Gibson used.

  138. 138 76mustang said at 5:36 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    While injury prevention is certainly an aspect of the sports science program, it seems more a by-product of the process, with the primary focus’ being performance, recovery, conditioning, and nutrition.

    Cary’s media spew and subsequent apology/better-understanding-of-the program-now backtrack is both a reflection of his personality, and of an adult learning style that may require extra attention to make sure the message is being heard and understood.

    The correlation between the Eagles sports science program data, and the special forces training data would be especially fascinating if one could get their hands on – it appears that Chip’s aim is to have special forces level personnel position groups capable of performing at the highest levels under mental and physical duress over the course of an NFL season and playoffs.

    Sports Science is Chip’s competitive edge.

  139. 139 RobNE said at 5:37 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    good post

  140. 140 Mark Saltveit said at 8:56 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Hey if you ever get that info, please share it!

  141. 141 Flyin said at 11:07 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    For the the right residuals, I’ll fabricate whatever you need.

  142. 142 76mustang said at 12:52 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Would be so interesting to see the data – thanks for another great read by the way…

  143. 143 Flyin said at 10:36 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    This is a remarkable statement…

    it appears that Chip’s aim is to have special forces level personnel
    position groups capable of performing at the highest levels under mental and physical duress over the course of an NFL season and playoffs.

  144. 144 Flyin said at 10:48 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    This statement has my mind thinking of so many things regarding the team and individual players.

    Maybe Cary’s incident is his low and he will start to really understand the meaning of this and rise. Or we are just renting him for the next 5 months.

  145. 145 Mark Saltveit said at 11:18 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    You might enjoy this column I wrote in 2013:

    Chip Kelly Update: Attack Like Navy Seals

  146. 146 Flyin said at 11:38 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Thanks for the link!

  147. 147 Michael Winter Cho said at 12:34 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Is there any evidence that Navy Seals perform at a higher level than pro athletes?
    Pro athletes have been practicing their skills and performing in competitive, stressful situations for often 10-20 years (assuming things started getting heavy anytime from 8-18 years old) against other supremely gifted human beings who have been tested under in the same fire. The ones who are being paid generally have passed these tests with flying colors (one reason why clutch is probably overrated–those who can’t handle pressure bowed out long ago).
    Seals start basic training at 18 and can call themselves a Seal after 1.5 years of training, in other words, practice. As hardcore and demanding this training is, how could it possibly compare to the many decade or more of experience, skill acquisition, and weeding out process that nearly any pro athlete has undergone? Note that I am not in any way disputing that Seals are effective, admirable, and tough-as-nails, just that they are operating at a higher level than NFL players.
    There are probably things NFL players can learn from Seal training. The biggest I can see is if they can get anything like the obedience, solidarity and will to support their teammates.

  148. 148 GEAGLE said at 8:14 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Really appreciate Shady attitude these days, “what would I look like walking around pissed off when we are 3-0?” Talking about if he is frustrated at his lack of production. Shady is a proud guy, who really worked hard this offseason because he set some really loft goals for this season. This can’t be easy for him, and I really appreciate how he is handling this and it’s a great sign that he “gets it”… Its a relief to see him handle this considering how some of our past stars would have made a big deal about winning while not producing on an individual numbers (MEsean Jaccson)
    Also want to give props to Bennie Logan who took a lot of crap from uneducated fans this offseason after the saints loss. Bennie is playing out of his mind right now. only NT in the NFL to lead team in tackles..16 in last two games against two teams that tried to run the ball down our throats. He had 3 solo tackles for a loss against Alfred Morris, who averaged 3 yards per carry after entering the game averaging 5 yards per carry… Bennie Logan, Fletcher Cox and Thornton are about to face their biggest NFL test to date, a desperate. BIG Niners OL who is going to try and run the ball right down our throats… Defensive Line is crucial this week, and it look forward to this opportunity for our puppies to step up and get some serious glory!

    We are going to find out a lot about Molk this week. He should benefit greatly from a week of practice instead of getting throw into a game like last week. One of Molks limitations is his size, he is a smaller center who is about to be tested by a some big Powerful men in Ray mcDonald(woman beating piece of shit), Ian Williams and the scary Justin Smith….this is baptism by fire for Molk, we should learn a lot about how he handles himself

    Hey awesome to have you back, are you excited? Finally going to get your big starting opportunity in the NFL..isn’t that exciting?….now go block Justiv Smith LOL

  149. 149 A_T_G said at 8:36 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Past stars? Shady is a great example of how Williams should be handling things.

    Not achieving personal goals despite team success? Keep it to yourself and talk publicly about the team success.

  150. 150 GEAGLE said at 9:33 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    Great example…u r absolutely right

  151. 151 bridgecoach said at 9:11 PM on September 24th, 2014:

    And let’s not forget the psychological benefits of Chip Kelly’s sports science regiment. Philadelphia fans are filled with pride and confidence in our new coach. A huge part of that is due to the way he has taken control of this team, creating a championship culture and achieving widespread buy-in from his players. Our players believe it works. They believe fallen comrades will return. And the mental state of those who do suffer injury is more positive due to their belief that sports science will help get them back onto the field.

  152. 152 Anders said at 2:59 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Mark, that Kelce play had nothing to do with sports science. He did similar things in college. Guy is one of the most athletic OL of all time at the combine

  153. 153 Insomniac said at 5:13 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Yup. Sports science and conditioning is like an oil change and tune up. That doesn’t matter much if the player never had the ability to do it in the first place. These are the best athletes in the world and most of it is from genetics.

  154. 154 Insomniac said at 6:37 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Those were the days of having a great OL..

  155. 155 Tumtum said at 8:36 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Yeah not sure how much I buy sports science allowing guys to push themselves to injury. I think the fact is that this is a game where people get hurt.

    Also sound pretty unreasonably upset at CW for speaking against Chip. I doubt Carey is anywhere but here next season. He isn’t great but he is far better than the garbage before him. I don’t see the team finding two players better than CW to play outside, in one off season. Unfortunately, he is the best of a bad situation for the Eagles.

    Besides, if Chip can’t handle being challenged by a loudmouth player, then his reasoning probably deserves challenging.

  156. 156 Avery Greene said at 12:52 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    I don’t think he’s here next year at at price tag of $8 million. He’s not worth that on his best day.

  157. 157 Tumtum said at 12:53 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Value is subjective. It would be cool if they could upgrade that spot but I don’t see it happening.

  158. 158 GEAGLE said at 2:01 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Cary will be here. We won’t replace two outside CBs next offseason, especially when the free agency CB market is pathetic,..
    My guess is we renegotiate Cary’s contracts extending him for two years…. We will also draft an outside CB with the hope that by year two, he will be ready to take Cary’s spot, so that we can cut Cary after next year..and if they don’t like Jalens outside CB potential than we will need to draft two CBs.. But after 2015 we need both Cary and Brad off the books, so we can have to outside CBs on cheap rookie deals, which is what will allow us to pay Boykin to stay here as a nickel

  159. 159 GermanEagle said at 8:46 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Guys, I need your help.

    I am currently abroad and won’t be back in the US before Sunday, 8pm. By that time the Eagles game will be over.

    Any way I can watch this game later? Please note that remote recording is not possible since I don’t have a hard drive with my current TV provider.

  160. 160 GEAGLE said at 8:48 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    You can download torrent of the game when It’s over if you have decent virus protection.. You have to download free,version of Utorrent and then use Piratebay to download a torrent of the game…. This is free

    You can stream it live using wiziwig (but I assume u will be traveling while it’s airing live)

    next week you will have to keep your eyes on NFL network for when they air the condensed version of the replay

  161. 161 GermanEagle said at 9:05 AM on September 25th, 2014:


    When does NFL network normally ‘re-air’ these games?

  162. 162 GEAGLE said at 12:18 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    You can find a torrent of games an hour or two after the game ends on Piratebay! by Monday morning they will have a torrent of all of Sundays games up..

    All week long, NFL network re airs condensed, one hour versions of Sundays game…I can’t tell you a specific day or time that they will air the eagles game, but if you check NFL network listings, I’m sure they will air the eagles games 2-4 times from Monday to Wednesday of next week…..

    I check the NFL network listing Monday morning, and I DVR all the hour condensed versions of the game I’m interested that it again tues and Wednesday…and by then I have watched all the NFL games of the previous week that interest me

    I’ll make sure I post times and dates of NFL network airing the eagles game next week when I see it

  163. 163 P_P_K said at 3:53 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Be very careful about downloading a game from a pirate site. They slip in malware all the time. If you can find a stream you’re probably ok.

  164. 164 GEAGLE said at 5:09 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    If you have decent anti virus you are fine on pirate.
    I have Kaspersky and I been using those torrents for years and have never had any problems… But I def wouldn’t use it if your protection isn’t up to date
    Wiziwig is prob the best stream

  165. 165 mtn_green said at 2:17 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    NFL game rewind. $40 watch any game on demand. Pretty cool. Game is available at after Sundays last game. Or after Mondays game.

  166. 166 GEAGLE said at 8:46 AM on September 25th, 2014:

    Interesting game tonight… After what that piece of shit Baker did, and Desean, I can’t believe I’m forced to root for the giants tonight.
    We have the skins a really demoralizing loss, hopefully they can’t overcome it in time to win a Thursday game.. I’d love to see the skins lose again tonight.
    Don’t give them anything to celebrate besides their crappy lil win against the jags

  167. 167 Avery Greene said at 12:55 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    This is a tough game for the Skins, so I think the Giants win. This was a very emotional game in Philly and taxing to come back to another division game 3 days later. Plus, if they lose – they will go on to lose the next 2 games (Sea, AZ) and their record will be 1-5.

  168. 168 GEAGLE said at 1:49 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Agreed… Not only was that an emotionally draining loss we sent them home with, but that was a very physical game where two heated rivals beat the crap out of each other..sure players were banged up this week and now they have to play on a Thursday…thats friggin tough, and I doubt the skins are mentally tough enough to persevere….. We will In essence have given the skins two losses by beating them Sunday lol since we made it very difficult for their bodies to recover to play on a Thursday….. And while I would LOVE to see them lose again, and send their season spiraling out of control…. Because we play the Giants soon, I’d rather them not gain momentum winning two in a row, but i doubt the skins can pull this off..

    Weird game for an eagles fan. My emotions want those pieces of crap scumbag skins to lose again and not experience any success whatsoever, but my brain wants the Giants to lose to not let them gain momentum and hopefully cause doubt in that locker room about the new offense….. But most likely the giants will win tonight….

    Best case scenario: another extremely physically taxing NFC east battle, were players get banged up on both sides…a nice, long, grueling game that ends in a tie lol..two teams beat the crap of each other, lose a bunch of players to injury, and neither team goes home with a win…lol that would be such a satisfying Thursday night game…
    Even if the Giants win, they have a brutal schedule coming up:
    @ Eagles
    @ Cowboys

    So after this skins game they have a nasty next 6 games..

    Redskins next 6 games are
    Seattle sucks on the road, they better not let skins win
    Both the Cowboys and Giants have to go to Seattle.. Those games should be fun for eagles fans.
    After traveling to the Niners we have to worry about losing a trap game at home to the rams, then Giants come to town, and then we get to enjoy the much needed BYE WEEK.
    Hopefully we don’t lose any more players before the bye week..
    By the time the bye week is over, we will be getting Kelce back a game or two later!

  169. 169 mtn_green said at 2:16 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Tie game is best.
    Plenty of tired demoralized players, not trusting their coaches.

  170. 170 P_P_K said at 3:52 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Even better than a tie is both teams lose.
    If not, I’m going with my newfound hatred for Wash and pulling for the Giants.

  171. 171 RobNE said at 2:32 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    On BGN all the writers pick the Skins. I just think the Skins are better. So I want Giants to win (to knock Skins back), but I doubt it.

  172. 172 GEAGLE said at 2:46 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Skins are a 3point favorite (obligatory 3 points for home team)…

    Interesting game considering the circumstances……
    Normally after the emotionally draining loss on Sunday, I would never pick the skins, but how the hell can you trust that giants team? Figured everyone would jump on their bandwagon this week since the offense started to click Sunday, but I don’t trust Eli and this giants team…and I’m not at all sold on Kurt cousin.. Two weeks in a row he started on fire completing his first 10-12 passes and then he struggled in the second half going average of 10/23 the rest of the way these last two weeks and wasn’t able to complete a single 3rd down in the second half against us,
    Our offense struggled in the passing game, the reliable Donnie Jones, shanks a punt at the worst possible time..all the skins needed was to pick up like 7 yards to get into FG range at the end of the game against us, and they weren’t able to gain a single yard,,give our defense some credit for stepping up, but also blame Cousin for falling apart and being innacurate in crunch time against us.,..

    I have no idea how this game will go… Giants OL sucks…will the skins OLBs get pressure on Eli, or are the OLBs drained from the eagles game? So many questions sorrounding tonight’s game,

  173. 173 GEAGLE said at 1:22 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Everyone bashes our corners and talks about this being Cary and brads last year! but have people seen the pathetic CB market in next years free agency?
    Some of the only realistic options for the Eagles are already starting to sign extensions keeping them from reaching the open market.
    Most of the other 25-27yr old cornerbacks hitting free agency this year are all like 5’9 and 5’10 like Houston’s Kareem Jackson! jets Kyle Wilson, Broncos Chris Harris or New Orleans Patrick Robinson who is getting torched this year
    . We aren’t replacing Cary with an ok 5’10 CB. That’s just not going to happen.

    This will NOT be a good year to go shopping for CBs. The best CB,that Fits Chips criteria of 6ft long outside CB in the 25-27 range is San Francisco’s Chris Culliver 6’0 200lbs 26yrs old who isn’t even anything special….This isn’t a high character choirboy, and besides being younger, I don’t really view him as a real improvement to Cary and Brad… There’s no one else to sign,..

    The one kid I was holding my breathe about who I thought we would like was 25yr old Cortez Allen and the steelers extended him to a 25milion dollar deal like a week ago..

    There aren’t any free agent CBs to upgrade Cary and Brad this year! and the eagles aren’t dumb enough to go into 2015 contending for a Super Bowl starting rookie cornerbacks… So the BEST REALISTIC situation for us, is renegotiating/extending Cary and Brad for two more years while spending draft picks on outside CBs.. But instead of being short sited and just assuming rookie CBswil be able to hold up during a year we are contending for a SB, we continue to start our veteran corners on the outside until the Cbs we draft prove that they can no longer be kept on the bench, that’s how we have a smooth transition to young CBs without dealing with CB,growing pains during a year we are contenders..
    And if by the end of this year you are comfortable starting Nolan Carrol, than you only have to bring back one of the two outside CBs..preferably Cary, but who knows how that renegotiation will go….Cary is ATleast under contract, Bradly will be an unrestricted free agent, and I worry that the CB market will suck so bad that teams are going to want to bid on Bradley even tho he isn’t anything special … Figure we need to Cary veteran CBs for one more year and year two we can start the CB we draft this year… So after 2015, or starting outside CB will be signed for 3-4 years to cheap rookie deals, which is EXACTLY what will allow us to pay Boykin to stay as a slot CB…

    I don’t think you have to spend a first or second round pick on a CB, but you need to have added one or two big, long Outside CBs by round 5 this year…

  174. 174 Tom33 said at 2:09 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Saw “Inside the NFL” on Showtime this week. Regarding the Chris Baker hit, all 4 former/current players (Ed Reed, Michael Irvin, Brandon Marshall and Boomer Esiason) called the Baker hit on Foles a cheap shot and praised Jason Peters for protecting his guy. Later on they made fun of Cam Newton.

  175. 175 GEAGLE said at 2:15 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    They made fun of Cary Williams too

  176. 176 anon said at 4:28 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    pollard still wishes someone would play him at safety

  177. 177 GEAGLE said at 2:53 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Kendricks didn’t practice as an ILB today, but he simulated the RUnning back for the ILB drills and was moving around much better according to the media..
    Doubt he plays, if he doesn’t practice at all this week, so bad news, he probably doesn’t play Sunday, good news, we will probably get him back for Rams game,,
    Kelce: Hoping we get him back for the Monday night home game against Carolina on Nov 10th

    Mathis: I would love to get him back for thanksgiving day Cowboys game. Not only do I want him to play in such an awesome thanksgiving game, but in would like him to get the rust off in that game, because 10 days later we play Seattle. having 10 days off in between games, would be a great opportunity to ease Mathis back in…so I’m really hoping we get him back for thanksgiving Nov 27th..

  178. 178 RobNE said at 3:08 PM on September 25th, 2014:


  179. 179 GEAGLE said at 4:16 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Full participant

  180. 180 botto said at 3:29 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    watched the game again and the one thing that stands out to me is how fast and tough maclin looks.
    did we just never see him sprinting up the seem with Andy calling plays or what?
    he looks like a legit number one reciever. Much rather have him then djax, no doubt about it.

  181. 181 P_P_K said at 3:51 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Did some research on the stats so far between Maclin and Jackson.
    JM – 16 rec, 296 yds, 3tds
    DS – 14 rec, 198yds, 1td
    81 of DeSean’s yds and his lone td were on the crappy coverage play against the Eagles

  182. 182 anon said at 4:24 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    you could have had both — there was cap space for everyone!

  183. 183 botto said at 4:33 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    don’t want both. after this weekend i saw djax for what he is a self absorbed me first immature weakass

  184. 184 GEAGLE said at 5:05 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Idiot was on twitter celebrating his TD against the eagles lol
    Lol and Acho is the friggin man, for posting that pick of Desean during the fight

  185. 185 GEAGLE said at 5:04 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Even in the first two weeks when people were bashing our WRs, Maclin was still making some BIGTIME catches…dude has a crucial 4th quarter TD in back to back games to help us beat colts and skins…
    And he should have a nice game against the Niners secondary that has been lit up by the Carfinals and Bears.. Not only will we make plays downfield against the Niners, but Soon, the threat of Maclin will start giving shady the space to get going…

    Maclin certainly looks like the best he has ever looked. He no longer looks like self tacklin Maclin! he looks like he is playing with more toughness. We used to rip on his blocking, but he has done a great job blocking down field(think the Sproles run vs. Colts)..
    I feel bad for him that Kelce got that screen called back! that would have been an awesome TD for him… I was in awe of his breakaway speed on that play… Mac is going to have a monster year

  186. 186 GEAGLE said at 4:14 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Saw trend that home team blows out the visitor in Thursday night games..Something to continue to keep an eye on.

    If this holds true, than there has to be a correlation that points to the team that has to travel on a Thursday game doesn’t have enough time to recover to be ready to play on a Thursday..

    Curious to see what happen in tonight’s game with such a short travel distance (didn’t seem to matter in the ravens/steelers Thursday night outcome) for the Giants…and how Sundays emotionally draining loss to the eagles effects the skins who according to the trend should blow out the Giants… If this trend was in danger of ending, tonight’s circumstances would probably be the best bet..
    But if this holds true and the skins end up winning by 10 points, then I’m going to have to start betting football, and just take the home team every Thursday lol

  187. 187 mtn_green said at 5:33 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Hoping for a tie.
    How about 4 to 4. Two safeties each.

  188. 188 Maggie said at 7:35 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Don’t think either defense is that good!

  189. 189 GEAGLE said at 7:55 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Hoping for our rivals to get as banged up as us

  190. 190 mtn_green said at 6:03 PM on September 25th, 2014:


  191. 191 GEAGLE said at 6:14 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Nolan Carrol is getting extra first team reps this week, but he has been subbing for both Cary and Brad, so instead of replacing one in the lineup, I think they are just going to start rotating him in on the outside, instead of just playing him when we are in Dime

  192. 192 GEAGLE said at 6:17 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Hype for tonight’s UCLA vs, Arizona state… Keeping a close eye on Mykal Kendricks brother and big WR Jalen strong….hopefully Hundley plays

  193. 193 GEAGLE said at 8:03 PM on September 25th, 2014:

    Smh.. Can these ridiculous commentators marketing the skins as the 4th best Defnse and second best offense? What a joke! I get that it’s their actual ranking but come on, we all know they won’t even be top 10 in either category.. Like get real..,you got a solid front 7 but your secondary is putrid. 3/5 of your OL is solid, you got some skill players… But come on, your new wonder QB starts off good and ended the last two games only completing 10 or his last 23 passes or so…

    I understand mentioning their rankings but when you know it’s not going to last long, stop pumping them up about these rankings every two minutes..

    When you say the eagles are the top ranked offense, ATleast you can fathom us maintaining that ranking all year..everyone knows skins can’t keep these high rankings..get real..
    Deon sanders is a clown, but he just dropped a hot line: “a fan only blows when you are hot”

  194. 194 Raul Estrada said at 7:38 PM on September 26th, 2014:

    “viejos”….lol…That’s exactly what Cary Williams is. Change his last name to “Grant” and he’s already in the grave.