In many ways, the Chip Kelly era really began on April 1st when he was allowed to hold his first team meeting as Eagles head coach. Until then it was all draft preparations, free agent moves, organizational issues... But this week, the coaching began.
For Kelly and the rest of the new staff, the focus is clearly forward. They weren't here last year, they don't care what happened, for them last year is irrelevant. So their task was to get the players to move on as well. So far, it seems that they are not only ready but eager to put 2012 behind them.
DeMeco Ryans says he isn't even interested in discussing 2012.
"I don't even want to talk about last year," said Ryans. "It's over. It's long in the past. Everyone starts new now."
Evan Mathis echoed the sentiment.
"Yeah, last year is a long time ago," said Mathis. "We're way beyond that ... thankfully. It's all about moving ahead and growing as a team now."
While it is important that guys learned some lessons from last year, it really is true that most of what happened no longer matters. There's an entirely new scheme and general philosophy of the game on both sides of the ball. There will be upwards of new 10-12 players (between free agency and the draft) with legit chances to win starting jobs. If you spend too much time looking back, you'll get left behind.
For the first time in 14 seasons, guys who were here last year are no further ahead than anyone else.