Sports Science at Forefront of Chip Kelly's Innovation for Philadelphia Eagles

By Ryan Wenzell
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been talked about Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly‘s high tempo, warp speed offense, but at the forefront of his innovation on the game of pro football is his reliance and incorporation of sports science and cutting edge technology into the game of football.

Kelly hired sports science coordinator Shaun Huls to spearhead the effort to involve sports science and technology into an everyday player’s routine — the first hire of this kind seen in the league. Huls helps document players’ nutrition, their habits in the weight room, and hooks them up to technology to gauge their heart rate, acceleration, and explosion on the practice field.

This really helps Coach Kelly and his staff learn who is cut out to play in his uptempo style that requires world class stamina and athletic ability and who is lagging behind.

The real question is will it help his team win football games? Kelly incorporated similar tactics at Oregon and his team was highly successful every year that he was head coach there coming within a whisker of winning a National Championship.

Kelly is going to use every advantage he can at his disposal to help his team win football games. Whether that is eliminating Taco Tuesdays — an Andy Reid staple — in favor of smoothies and other more nutritionally beneficial choices, limiting full padded practices to avoid injuries in training camp, or hooking up each player to cutting edge technology to monitor each players’ habits, athletic ability, and cardio in regards to playing in his frenetic offense, he will do it for the good of the football team. He will also do it explaining to each player on the team the method to his madness so that each individual on the 53 man roster can fully understand the benefits of what Coach Kelly is infusing into his program.

Kelly is certainly ahead of the curve in many ways in his inaugural season as the head coach of the Eagles. Most importantly, will it ultimately translate into victories on the scoreboard? Only time will tell.

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