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4 Reasons Why Eagles' Coach Chip Kelly is not Andy Reid

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A new era in Eagles football officially kicked off Monday as the rookies arrived at Chip Kelly’s first training camp. Although veterans aren’t supposed to report until the end of the week, most of the players seem to be coming early. While the players are quick to acknowledge what former coach Andy Reid had done for the organization, they have moved on and are eager to get things underway.

Photo: USA Today Sports

  

 There’s no holdouts or apparent drama....yet

 

Although it’s easy to say there’s no dramatic overtones just yet because the full squad hasn’t arrived, Kelly expects everybody to be at camp on Thursday.

 

One of the best things done before camp even started was the signing No. 1 pick Lane Johnson. Johnson told the Eagles he would be there at the start of camp. He lived up to his word and the two sides hammered out a deal this weekend. Reid’s training camps had a history of notorious holdouts (Terrell Owens, Danny Watkins, DeSean Jackson, etc.). Meanwhile, the Chiefs No. 1 pick Eric Fisher is still unsigned. Yep. Some things never change in Andy Land........

 

 

Kelly has already said he will not address the Jason Peters situation (New Orleans drag racing) and you haven’t heard much about the LeSean McCoy lawsuit  lately. The only scenario that could put an eventual damper on things at the moment is the quarterback controversy, but Kelly has been adamant that he won’t name the Eagles’ starting QB until he sees more in camp and possibly the pre-season.

 

   

Kelly plans to mix in some non-contact days in camp

 

Prior to the new rules in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, Andy Reid’s camps were arguably the most intense in the entire NFL. The pads NEVER came off, there was more likely a greater chance of injury, and there was no music being played (insert joke here).

 

As funny as it may sound, Kelly has blared everything from Nicki Minaj to AC/DC and Van Halen over the speakers at the NovaCare Complex during OTAs and the first two days at camp. The pace is beyond hectic, but according to some of the players, everyone is pretty much buying into it so far. From post practice personalized smoothies (try saying that three times fast) to talking computerized announcements and practicing with Nerf balls, what Kelly is doing has never been done before in the NFL. I guess Eagles' tight end Brent Celek wasn’t kidding after all. Kelly gets that there are also four pre season games and 16 regular season games in addition to camp. Will the practices be intense? Incredibly, but there seems to be a method to his madness.


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Kelly seems to communicate well- with everybody

 

Although some Eagles fans probably feel shortchanged that they can no longer make the pilgrimage to Lehigh, Kelly rationalized this and it made perfect sense. Why load up the pads, helmets and all the video equipment and drive and hour and a half down the road when they have everything they need right at the NovaCare Complex? While Kelly’s explanation sufficed, you can’t help but feel Reid’s response would’ve been much more to the point and curt- as in “Because I said so, that’s why.” I don’t really know Reid’s role (or lack thereof) in trying to get Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens to try and patch up their differences in the summer of 2005, but I get the feeling that something like this wouldn’t happen or be allowed to fester under Kelly’s watch. His early press conferences alone probably equal the combined transcripts of every Reid press conference over the last 14 years.

 

Where Reid might have exemplified a different persona behind closed doors with his players than with the general public, what you see is what you get with Kelly. He wants his players to let him know what they think is working and what isn’t. If the athletes feel like they understand what and why they are doing what they’re doing, half the battle is buying into what Kelly is selling and productivity will increase. Think of Kelly as a new CEO of a business. He’s got to check the infrastructure and see what works best and what doesn’t.  


 

Kelly’s offense will be diverse

 

Reid passed the ball an estimated 65% of the time. That number seems really low, but nonetheless, Kelly and his up-tempo offense will clearly utilize McCoy- one of the best running backs in the NFL. The number of times Reid sat on McCoy was astounding (as Billy Vargus referenced in our book A Snowball’s Chance.), but the way it looks, nobody will be doing any sitting with Chip Kelly at the helm.

 

Remember all those times when Reid insisted on “going air” time and time again, only to get the same results? Those days are a thing of the past and adjustments will indeed be made. One could easily get the impression that Kelly has a never-ending library of plays that will keep the opposing defensive teams edgy.

 

Yes, it appears the well-balanced attack has returned...finally!


 

Bottom Line:

 

You can’t argue with the overall success Andy Reid had in Philadelphia. You could argue it could have been better, but even though the players and fans are getting excited about this new era of Eagles football, it doesn’t guarantee anything. As interesting as his methods might be in the early going, Chip Kelly still isn’t a proven NFL head coach. Five years from now we could be talking about how ridiculous Nerf balls and music played during practices really were.

 

Either that, or Philadelphia could get lucky for once and actually have a true innovator on their hands.

 

We shall see.


 


 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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article: USA Today Sports