As the whole nation now knows, the Philadelphia Eagles love to go at a break-neck pace if they can. Head coach Chip Kelly loves everything uptempo and fast with no wasted moments on the field.
The real question is can this offense last a 16-game season? Kelly has brought in all sorts of out-of-the-box methods and ways of thinking with him to Philadelphia. One of those is a sports-science coordinator. That is unprecedented in the NFL. Kelly is treading on new ground with his methods of recovery and incorporating science into football. The man behind the curtain is Shaun Huls. He is an ex-Navy Seal with expertise in the sports-science field and it is his job to help players heal and recover in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
His job, while under the radar, is important because rest and recovery are crucial elements in getting veteran players to have the necessary stamina and longevity to run at this type of pace for 16 games.
Kelly loves to do everything fast. In college, he had 90-100 players at his disposal to sub in and out and play at an almost limitless pace with 18-22-year-old kids no less. At this professional level, 46 players dress on game days. It is a war of attrition. You are also dealing with some players in their 30s. These aren’t kids anymore. This is their livelihood.
It’s certainly new working conditions for Kelly. All that being said, I certainly think this can work at this level of football. The zone-read and uptempo offenses are very much in vogue in today’s game of pro football. Whereas the college game used to steal concepts from pro football, it seems to be working in reverse now. Professional franchises are doing everything they can to be innovative and find the key that opens the door to the next breakthrough in offensive football.
Kelly believes he has the keys to that door. He may not have all the right pieces in place to open that door just yet. Once he does, though, he may not need a key. He may just knock that door down altogether.