Manchester’s Chip Kelly growing wise in second NFL season
FILE - In this April 13, 2013, file photo, Buffalo Sabres' owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim Pegula, pose for cameras during groundbreaking ceremonies at First Niagara Center before an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Buffalo, N.Y. The Sabres owners said in a statement on Friday, June 20, 2014, that they have a strong desire to see the Bills stay in Buffalo, and aren't ruling out making a bid to buy the franchise. The statement was released a day after a person familiar with the sale process told The Associated Press the Pegulas were among prospective buyers who received a non-disclosure agreement and background on the Bills from a law firm representing late owner Ralph Wilson's estate. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2014, file photo, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly looks on before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in Philadelphia. Already known for his innovative ideas, Kelly offered some deep philosophical thoughts during Philadelphia's minicamp this week. Beyond the X's and O's, Kelly sounds more like Aristotle or Plato than an ordinary NFL coach. (AP Photo/Michael Perez, File)
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly speaks at NFL football minicamp, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
PHILADELPHIA – Chip Kelly is turning into the Aristotle of the NFL.
Already known for his innovative coaching ideas, Kelly offered some deep philosophical thoughts during the Philadelphia Eagles’ minicamp this week.
The defending NFC East champions had full participation at all offseason practices and workouts for the second year in a row, prompting a reporter to ask Kelly if his program is starting to run itself.
“We had full attendance last year, but just depends on what model of organization you want,” Kelly said. “Do you want blind obedience or informed acquiescence or self-governance. If you have self-governance, I think the individuals have more invested in what’s going on because they have a say and they have a stake in it, and we are moving toward that model, but I don’t know if we are totally there right now.”
That’s no ordinary coach speak.
A day later, Kelly was asked if those words represented his “credo” or if he learned it from someone else.
“I’ve learned things across, over time,” he said. “I didn’t make that stuff up, so I think there are different organizational models you can look at to how you want your organization to run, and I said we’re moving toward that. I didn’t say we’re at that. In my many years of experience and studying high-performance operations, I couldn’t tell you exactly where that one came from, but it’s always resonated with me.”
Kelly also shared valuable advice that not only can help his players improve, but would benefit people in any walk of life.
“Everybody has the same amount of time during the day and you can either spend your time or invest your time and that’s what we are trying to get our players to understand,” he said. “It’s how you allocate your time. We all have 24 hours in the same day and it’s what you want to do.
“If you want to go play video games and watch TV and do all those other things, you’re going to get beat out by the guy that is doing the little things that are going to make the difference between making the team and not making the team.”
Sounds like strong words of wisdom for everyone from rookies to established veterans.
“When we talk about investing in yourself, we are challenging them to understand every action you have has consequences to it,” Kelly said. “They can be positive or they can be negative. If at the end of the day, your goal is to make this football team or your goal is to be a starter or your goal is to be an All-Pro, you have a say in that matter. And that’s what we are trying to get across to our guys in terms of that.”
Kelly arrived in Philadelphia with a reputation for being an offensive genius after a successful stint at Oregon, where he led the Ducks to a 46-7 record and four straight BCS bowl games in four years.
He brought his fast-flying, up-tempo offense with him, but adjusted his system to fit his quarterbacks – the mobile Michael Vick at first and then pocket-passer Nick Foles.
But beyond the X’s and O’s, Kelly also had an unconventional approach. He introduced sports science to the Eagles, stressed proper nutrition and better sleep habits. He held practices on Tuesdays, an off day for every other team in the league. And those practices are fast-paced and run with loud music blaring through speakers on the field.
Players quickly bought into everything Kelly preached, a major reason why the Eagles went from 4-12 under Andy Reid in 2012 to 10-6 and division champs last year.
“There was just a culture change,” Foles said. “I think that the young guys are really doing a good job following the guys that were here, and the guys that were here last year are really doing a good job stepping it up.”