Remember when Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams criticized Chip Kelly and complained that the team was practicing too hard immediately following their Week 3 win over the Washington Redskins? (Of course you do.)
Well, that criticism seems like a thing of the past now. According to Williams, the Eagles weekly practices on Wednesday and Thursday are now shorter than they used to be. As a result, Williams says players feel better. Via Birds 24/7:
"We shortened a couple days. We've taken a couple portions out of practice of both days. We've got a different schedule. We practice three days a week really and everything else is a walkthrough, tempo-type thing. He's shortened some of those down," said Williams.
"Physically, I definitely feel a change. I think a lot of guys feel the same way. Chip is definitely understanding that, he understood that, and he came out and said that is probably the reason why we came out and did what we did and played at a high level [against New York.] But we also had a great week of practice, so despite whether it was a shortened practice, we still put emphasis on the small things, technique, fundamentals and being sound in that."
Now, Williams did note that he's not sure it was specifically his criticism that made the schedule change. It seems possible Kelly had already planned to tone down the team's practice workload as the season progresses. Evidence from last year suggests this planned decrease may be the case. The Eagles replaced pads (full contact) with shells (non contact) later on in the season.
Originally planned or not, the approach seems to be working.The Eagles defense is coming off a high-level performance where they shut out the New York Giants offense in a Philadelphia win, 27-0.