With mandatory minicamp done and the pre-training camp dead period underway, the Eagles roster is scattered throughout the country for some rest and relaxation. In five weeks, all 90 men on the Eagles squad will return to Philadelphia for what should be an intense training camp. And while the players are on vacation, the team's coaching staff is hard at work, preparing their strategies for the upcoming season.
Chip Kelly, who enters his first NFL training camp, knows that his job has very few breaks and he embraces the year-round schedule of a coach in the league. "There is a ton of work," said Kelly to reporters this week. "There is work every day. You're never done. You've never arrived. There is always something to do. We have a yearly schedule, so we know where we're supposed to be and what has to be broken down and when we're reporting back here and all these things."
Going from college to the pros can lead to big changes in planning but Kelly seems to understand the reality of the situation. Much like in college, the Eagles new boss is preparing his players by the book. "You have them for four hours a day in college," said the former Oregon Head Coach. "In the offseason program you have them for six, and in minicamp you have them for eight. But there is more you can do in college for the offseason than there is here, and there is more you can do in the summertime. Our players in college all work out with our strength coaches in the summertime. But in the NFL they're kind of on their own."
Despite the rules and regulations for the players and coaches, Kelly and the Eagles strength and conditioning staff have worked out a plan for the team while the two groups are apart. "They have a program, [created by] our strength and conditioning coaches [for] what they can and can't do," said Kelly. "By league rules, it's not like we can say, ‘Let's meet at these certain times.' They can lift here, but we can't have any instruction with them or anything like that. They're on their own to work out."
Players will be trusted to workout and stay fit, because Kelly wants to get the most out of every man on the roster. He has challenged them to make the most out of their opportunities, even when they are away from the NovaCare Complex. "I expect them to be professional and prepare like this is their year," said Kelly. "You have an opportunity. So there is a responsibility that goes with that. So it's, I believe, a privilege to play in this league, and with that privilege goes responsibility. So I expect our guys to work their tails off."
For the Eagles sake, the players better share the views of their new leader or this could be a very long year for Philadelphia sports.