Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Washington Redskins 37-34. Post-game, one would expect the entire team to be in celebration mode. However, the victory was quickly soured when Cary Williams, Eagles cornerback, went public about how “burnt out” he was from coach Chip Kelly’s practice regimen.
Chip Kelly came from Oregon to Philadelphia with little experience and that’s when skepticism began. Fans were hopeful for a change after the former Eagles coach, Andy Reid, failed to get the team to the Super Bowl after 14 seasons. Of course when anyone is going to be under the public eye and scrutinized, they are going to try everything in their power to prove that they are the best.
Sports science is a study of principles aimed to improve sports performance. So far, Kelly and his sports science techniques have paid off with the season that the Eagles are having so far. Because of this, people would easily overlook the injuries that have increased if it means going to the Super Bowl.
Even though the nutrition planning, sleep monitoring, conditioning and sweat watch is definitely helping players step up to the plate, the number of injuries keeps rising.
The offensive line is down to two starters, right guard Todd Herremans and left tackle Jason Peters. Left guard Evan Mathis and right tackle Allen Barbre are both out on injured reserve. Even the Eagles’ best defender, Fletcher Cox, is out with limited play time with an injury.
Just a few weeks ago, reports were being predicted about the Eagles’ offensive line and they were not good. Philadelphia’s week one starting offensive line included 3 of 5 players who were rated at the top of their position but due to; age, increasing injuries and the high level of practice, there is no doubt they would sink this year.
Williams seems to be the only one complaining. The remainder of the team know they need to suck it up, train hard and keep going if they want to be the best.
“I’m just going to be honest with you. It’s hard to go out there and fight for 60 minutes when you’re fighting throughout the week to make it through one practice,” Williams said. “I’m not the only one, I’m just the only one that’s man enough to stand up here and talk to y’all. It’s obviously, in my opinion, an issue in our starts.”
CBS Philly reported that Kelly’s regimen proves to be working for the Eagles. No one has had anything bad to say about Kelly besides Williams. Eagles Defensive Coodinator, Bill Davis voiced his perspective on their approach.
“We train in a great way. The sports science we have, the way we analyze it, there’s no concern. I actually think we’re the strongest team in the fourth quarter, and it shows,” he said. “We keep finishing the games; where others don’t have it in the tank, we have it in the tank. It shows.”
Based on the results of this early season, Kelly’s sport science and preparation tactics are working.
“I’ve been with 10 different organizations, and it’s not even close. So there is zero concern. It’s the opposite of that; there’s complete confidence that we are the strongest team in the fourth quarter.” Davis added.
The Eagles offense ran 73 plays in Monday’s game while the Redskins had 72. It does not seem like that much of a difference but when looked at the league average, it is actually pretty high. So far this season, the league average of total plays has been around the 180 range.The Eagles are fourth on the list of a total of 213 plays in just the last three.
There is no doubt that Kelly works his players hard. From his success at the collegiate level coaching at Oregon, a school he took from mediocre to a perennial national power, he knows this is the way to go if they want to be at the top by the end of the season.
Anyone can argue in order for a team to perform better, a coach needs to go easier on them. A coach is not paid to be an athletes friend, he’s paid to train them to be their best and lead them to victory. Each player should have been aware when they signed their contract that it would be hard work.
It does not matter if the other teams start training as hard as Kelly’s team. The head coach’s sole task is to help his team do the very best and if it gives them the upper hand, then he should completely do it.
This season is also crucial for him as he’s going to be under watch constantly for every football move he makes. The other players might eventually complain but what Williams did was unnecessary. His job is to win and be part of a team, not try to be on vacation during the season. It is like the old adage; no pain, no gain.