The MMQB's Peter King attended the Philadelphia Eagles first training camp practice on Saturday, July 26th and had the chance to speak with head coach Chip Kelly. King made a number of interesting observations about Philadelphia's coach and team, including that Kelly reminds King of successful Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, in his weekly MMQB column. Read the entire article here. For now, here are some of the highlights.
Chip Kelly doesn't like the NFL Draft
The hype. [Director of public relations] Derek [Boyko] asked me the question and said I couldn’t say it … What’s the worst thing about the league? I said the draft. I mean, the hype that goes into the draft is insane. Totally insane. The biggest thing for me is that everybody thinks whoever you drafted or whoever you signed is now gonna be a savior. They come in just like me and you come in as freshmen in high school or freshmen in college, or your first year on the job at Sports Illustrated—you’re not telling people what to do, you’re just trying to figure out what room to go to. I think a lot of times the hype turns into really, really hard times for the individual who got picked, because there’s so many expectations of everyone building them up to be Superman because they had three months to write about them and talk about them. Then when they get picked, they’re a very, very good prospect, but there’s a learning curve when you go from any job out of college into a company. If you take a job at Wells Fargo when you get out of college, your first day of the job they don’t say, ‘He’s our first-round draft pick, he’s the savior to the company!’
"I think the byproduct to the hype that bothers me, is that to some guys it’s overwhelming for them. The NFL has their Rookie Premier and they’re out there getting all these pictures taken and they’re missing practice time to go out to California and they’re treated like gods, and I’m like, I don’t know if he’s going to start. That’s not fair. And the analysis … We drafted [pass-rusher] Marcus Smith in the first round, and Jordan Matthews in the second round. Then you listen to people around here that say, ‘Well, we don’t like their draft. If they had taken Matthews first and Smith second, we would give them an A.’ Who cares who went one and who went two? It’s almost like there’s a lot of scrutiny on Marcus Smith because he went one, but Jordan gets a pass because he fell to the second round. If you ask both those individuals, they have the same goals and aspirations and they’re training exactly the same way. It’s just how people perceive things, and I think a lot of that has to do with the hype.
It's hard to disagree with Kelly here. The buildup to the annual NFL Draft is often so long and drawn-out. Then the draft comes and the reactions to the picks can be so sensational. Marcus Smith II was apparently a "bust" and a "reach" just because fans didn't expect him to be drafted that high. Jordan Matthews was an instant Hall of Famer once the Eagles took him as a "steal" in the second. With Kelly being more interested in process than results, his disdain for the hype isn't surprising.
Other The MMQB highlights:
Loved this quote Kelly referenced regarding emotions: "I have a lot of friends who are Navy SEALs, and I respect what they do. Part of their ethos is ‘I don’t advertise the nature of my work, nor do I seek recognition for my actions.’"
LeSean McCoy was 10 pounds heavier in 2012 than he was in 2013.
More details about the success in the second half of the Eagles 2013 season. A few interesting stats. First 8 games: one back and two tight ends - 17%. Last 8 games: 33.4%. More Zach Ertz. ... Also: Eagles OL allowed 199 QB disruptions (sacks, knockdowns, or pressure) in the first 8 games, only 57 in the last 8.
It's an interesting read. Once again, check out the entire MMQB column here.