Chip Kelly's Up-Tempo Practice a Hit With Philadelphia Eagles

By Matt Lombardo
Matt Lombardo – Rant Sports

All Chip Kelly‘s practices are missing is a live performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, Nicki Minaj, or Ozzie Osbourne.

The first notion that there is a new business as usual during Philadelphia Eagles practices is the blaring music that booms over the typical traffic sounds of South Philadelphia surrounding the team’s Novacare Complex.

With an eclectic mix that features everything from AC/DC to Duran Duran with LMFAO in between, the sound track for Kelly’s practices is set by several rock concert type speakers that set the tone for the team’s non-stop practices.

“There’s a lot of science behind it,” Kelly explained “I got 12 minutes left in this thing, so I can’t really get into the details.”

The music switches and varies with each type of drill along with an automated voice that signals when the players must move from one station or drill to another.

“I’m used to an up-tempo practice and music from college,” rookie quarterback Matt Barkley said. “But it’s good to see Chip doing it in the NFL.”

It’s hard to argue with the music motivating players to focus and keep moving even while on the sidelines, the benefits could go even further than that. During road games, it’s likely the Eagles will need to rely on the hand signals that were used by coaches on Monday amid the roar of 70,000 fans just as Monday with the noise of the music.

Speaking of keeping moving, there is very little down time for the players even when on the sidelines.

During the team’s first practice of OTAs, there wasn’t a single huddle and a play was run roughly every four seconds.

“Honestly,” Nick Foles said. “It only took a day or two to adjust to this [kind of] practice. I like it; I ran a no-huddle offense in college.”

The music is just the latest adjustment that has swiftly changed the culture at the Novacare Complex after the head coach instituted players wearing heart monitors at practice, mandating sleep regiments and providing custom blended protein smoothies after practice.

Kelly admits, though, that these kind of practices will not be the norm all season long.

“Nobody on our team will complain about not getting reps,” Kelly explained afterwards. “This is all about evaluating, we won’t practice quite this fast in season.”

As for practice itself, it was all about maximizing time for each player on the field. There was even a drill where all five quarterbacks threw to five different receivers at the same time.

It is clear that the first-year head coach isn’t anywhere close to naming a starting quarterback and Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley and Dennis Dixon saw plenty of practice time Monday.

One of Vick’s greatest flaws as a quarterback is holding onto the football for nearly 3.2 seconds per play, and even during seven-on-seven drills Monday the 32-year old waited too long for plays to develop and was forced to scramble while Foles and Barkley showed little fear firing the ball into tight windows with accuracy.

Much remains to be seen about this football team and who will be lining up under center week one against the Washington Redskins, but one thing is for certain; there is much to be excited about the new way Kelly’s Eagles goes about their business.

Who knows, perhaps even a rooftop Rolling Stones concert during training camp at the Novacare Complex will break out one day.

All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.

Matt Lombardo is also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter


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