Chip Kelly's sports science methodology is paying dividends with Eagles veterans 11 weeks into the season. Image Courtesy of RedskinsXtra.com
Long before Chip Kelly's repetitive plays and at times over-exuberant in game aggressiveness were on display and prior to the Eagles posting a 6-5 record leading into the bye week, it was Kelly's sports science that ruled the day on sports talk radio and in daily columns.
Protein infused smoothies replaced junk-food Friday and Taco Tuesday.
Players were asked to wear sleep monitors to bed each night and recommended to get a full eight hours of shut-eye each evening.
There were heart monitors to be worn in practice and the entire training regimen was turned on it's ear by Kelly and his coaching staff.
Now, with the Eagles riding high in first place in the NFC East with five games remaining, the players who have been asked to do all of the above, and practice on Tuesdays (traditionally the weekly off-day), are heaping praise on Kelly and his sports science.
Many players who you would expect to be feeling the aches and pains of an NFL season made it clear on their way out of the Novacare Complex for the week -11 games into the season- that they've never felt fresher.
Brent Celek is a seven-year veteran and at age 28 is considered an elder statesman in the locker room, and with it come the more than bumps and bruises of the territory of a lengthy career.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “I just hope that it keeps going. We’ve got five more games. Hopefully, more after. Just take it one week at a time and continue to take care of my body on those off days.
“He wants you to sleep better,” Celek said, “wants you to eat right, and he wants you to take care of your muscles. It makes sense to me.”
On the other end of the spectrum is rookie Earl Wolff.
While Wolff is sidelined with a hyper-extended knee, he says he hit his rookie wall in week six but now feels refreshed thanks in large part to the sports science methodology.
"I felt terrible after the Giants game," Wolf said. "I thought my rookie wall hit, but a couple of days later I felt fresh again. I have to thank Coach Kelly for that and honestly I feel like eating better and doing all of the recovery stuff we do like lifting and drinking shakes after practice, stretching every day before and after practice it all really, really helps."
While his tactics have never been tested before at the NFL level, Kelly looks at these results simply as business as usual.
“I'm not surprised,” Kelly said. “I mean, that's part of the plan. It's a well-thought-out research plan. It's not just, ‘Hey, let's try this.’ So it's a two‑way street in terms of they have to buy into it and they have done an unbelievable job buying into it, because we're not with them 24-7, nor should we be with them 24-7.
“We've got a bunch of guys that want to be great at what they do. They understand not only what they do here during the day, but what they're not doing here during the day has a great effect on you being able to respond on Sundays. And they've bought into that, and I think that's a credit to those guys."
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.
BUY EAGLES MERCHANDISE UP TO 70% OFF!!!
Eagles Have Winning Attitude According to Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly on Hazing: We Don't Do Any of Those Things Here
Eagles Rookies Hitting Their Stride