July 23, 2012; Bethlehem, PA. USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addresses the media prior to training camp at Lehigh University. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
Last year was a decidedly un-Andy Reid training camp. Known for tough camps with lots of hitting, Reid was forced to pull way back on the physicality. Not only because of the new CBA rules, but because the players really weren't in shape and many didn't know the system.
The last thing you want is guys that aren't 100% physically and don't really know what to do out there hitting one another. That's a recipe for disaster. And what was the result? A soft team. That may not be the only reason, but it can't be denied that this team lacked a toughness that Reid teams have had in the past.
But this year, the camp Reid we've come to know is back and its a formula Andys knows works.
"The thing I can tell you is that it's football and we're going to get better at blocking and tackling by doing it this way and that's very important. This is the way we've done it, with the exception of last year. This is the way we've always done it and I believe in that. The players have been very positive with it and they're pushing themselves through, which is important."
You really get the sense that Reid blames at least some of the struggles last season on his inability to prepare the team the way he wanted. That's not going to happen this time around. Andy was pretty clear that the way this year's camp is being run is the best way.
"I think from a fundamentals standpoint, it's better. The blocking and the tackling; no matter how you cut this game, you've got to be able to block somebody, you've got to be able to defeat a block and then you've got to be able to tackle and everything works a little better on the back ends of the offense and the defense if you're able to do that."
While we certainly cringe at the news of the various injuries and hold our breath that nothing serious happens, its hard to argue with Andy here. His results speak for themselves and I for one couldn't be happier to see the real Camp Reid back.
Further, I really love his policy that forbids rookie hazing.
"These guys are men. This is their profession. In today's football, those rookies need to play. I don't need them looking over their shoulder at things. They need to get in and learn football, not learn their song of their alma mater. I don't need that."
It's all business at Lehigh this year.