There is an old joke. A buddhist monk walks up to a hot dog vendor and says, "Make me one with everything."
Let's take a look at Chip Kelly's "one-with-everything" philosophy that can be summed up in three words, "Win the Day."
The nice thing is the emphasis that is placed on preparation. It has the ultimate say in deciding the order of who gets to go on game day. The philosophy of "Win the Day," is a synthesis of the total commitment and focus required to win, almost like playing for a Stanley Cup. I have always seen winning a Stanley Cup predicated on resolve, moxie, will, refusal to be defeated, etc. and I guess I've always seen winning a Super Bowl much differently.
Part of it comes from growing up where my first real memories of the Super Bowl were some of the biggest blowouts delivered by the likes of dominant 49ers and Cowboys teams. To me that demonstrated that the Super Bowl winner was always a team that was head and shoulders a better team, almost like the Super Bowl was just a glorified professional match between the football equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals. Over the years, even though recent Super Bowls have been won as much on will as on sheer talent (David Tyree,) that view has remained.
I see Chip Kelly coaching the Philadelphia Eagles to be as fluid and dynamic as a Stanley Cup hockey program. The characteristics of a team able to drink from Lord Stanley's Cup are a total commitment and a willingness to outrace somebody to the boards and take a crushing hit to get a teammate off the hook for a wayward puck. There might be individual names on the backs of jerseys, but every player sells out every play for what is on the front of that jersey. At almost any point, any player on the bench can take the place of any player on the ice, and not miss a single beat. Their single identities are completely dissolved in the execution of each play.
The fast-paced nature of Chip's practices, the open competition, the versatility of the offensive pieces, limiting defensive substitutions, getting up to the ball and calling the play based on the defensive alignment, all of this suggests a fluidity reminiscent of a dominant hockey program.
The team will be constructed of selfless players who love to play the game. These players will see the days leading up to game day as instrumental to success on the field. During the week, the purpose is to present a greater challenge to themselves than the opponent ever will. And when they begin to gel, when they begin to surmount their challenge from within, the philosophy of Win the Day will take root. The translation to the field will thus be fluid and natural.
The hot dog vendor fixes up a delicious dog loaded with all of the fixings. The monk hands him a twenty and thanks him. The vendor smiles and puts the bill into his pocket. "You're welcome," he says.
"What about my change," asks the monk?
"Change comes from within," the vendor replies.
As the talking heads are so quick to inquire about the particular nature of the offense and the defense, they are missing the skeleton key that will unlock the future. Three simple words. Win the Day.