Even though Kelly is entering his third year as the Eagles head coach, fans have more to look forward to this season because of the massive overhaul the head coach took this year. With number the of new starters on the team reaching double digits, this is first time we will truly get a glimpse of what Chip Kelly thinks the Eagles should look like as a team.
Kelly has always gone back to his values that we have all heard… culture beating scheme, technique beating talent, and that chemistry is everything. Kelly shipped out players that he felt weren’t performing at the necessary level or bucking the system that he was trying to put in place. The list is long but here are some of the bigger names since Kelly’s start: DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Trent Cole, Jason Avant, Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis, Jeremy Maclin, Nick Foles, and more.
A lot of these players were fan favorites and left many scratching their heads trying to figure out what was going on in eastern Pennsylvania. However after talking to those in the locker room you started to hear more and more, almost a reflection of Kelly’s ideology. Players that remained on the team have been buying into Chip Kelly 110%, following his sleep regimen, following his diet, and follow his workouts rigorously. Because of this extreme dedication to the avant-garde system that Kelly is running has allowed these new additions to almost seamlessly mesh into the locker room and playing field.
However, the test will be on the defensive side of the football. We all know that Kelly’s offense will score points as he has shown literally since his first regular season game against the Redskins where the Eagles were up 26-7 in the first half. We will find out if Chip Kelly can make magic happen again, remember after Kelly’s first season Philadelphia Lost to the New Orleans in the post-season. Kelly said the largest problem was the special teams unit, which was ranked in the bottom third of the league that year. During the 2014 off-season Kelly specifically addressed our ST players and the changes made an extreme difference in the year following. In one year Kelly took our special teams from one of the worst in the league to the best. This year the young head coach has yet again added to the unit and has focused heavily on the defense, taking one of weakest areas and giving it tremendous depth (ILB). Adding players in the players through the draft and free agency our secondary had only one returning starter with SS Michael Jenkins.
If week two and three of preseason (Ravens and Green Bay) are ay indicator of how in sync our offense is, we have a lot to look forward to. For those who were unable to watch these games the scores told the story pretty clearly. Eagles dominated all facets of the game, outscoring opponents 63 – 14 in the first halves of these two games alone. The most 1st string play came in the first quarter of Green Bay where Eagles were heading in the second up 25-0, with Bradford throwing 3 touchdowns to 3 receivers in a perfect showing. Monday night on prime-time TV Kelly and company travel to Atlanta and face the Falcons for the season opener. Will the Eagles look like the Island of misfit toys or will the “Chip Kelly Experiment” continue impress with insanely quick results?