The events of last summer at Lehigh University were tragic and I don’t think any fan will forget Andy Reid losing his son to a drug overdose in the dorms. It was more than a decade of camps under Reid and you have to wonder if the message even had an audience anymore. The answer was given in a 4-12 season. Now, with the start of the Chip Kelly regime, the Philadelphia Eagles will see wholesale change in this important part of the season.
Kelly took training camp out of Lehigh and back to Philadelphia. He said he wanted to avoid packing everything and going on the road. He overhauled many aspects of the players and their experience at NovaCare. He sent a message that this was different, finally, something more than we’ve seen for so long.
On Birds 24/7, Kelly stated one thing that will make a huge difference this year:
“When you go to some practices and they only get 15 reps at something and they only ran one play one way just to the left, the right tackle never got a rep at it. And then you expect him to execute it in a game, you know. Who’s to blame? Us, because we didn’t probably put him in that situation. We had a chance to see what just happened to him. We’re trying to get as many reps as we can and then be efficient with cutting our practice tape up, so that when we go into our meetings usually what they did well you don’t have to repeat that because they have it.”
This makes me think of last year and how many pass plays you could guess, as a fan, seeing the offensive formation. How many times did we see the bootleg bomb to Desean Jackson? The same play that rarely ended up in a touchdown or catch.
Variety and smart teaching will make an impact on the field. Reid was set in his ways, to the point where the team suffered and he lost the locker room. Kelly is a fresh mind with a new perspective. This alone is a foundation for success this season and in the years to come.