And here is the very difference between Chip Kelly and Andy Reid. Chris Brown, writing for Grantland:
Kelly’s team uses the latest wearable player-tracking technology, and his staff monitors the resulting data in real time to determine how players should train and when they become injury risks. “On an individualized basis we may back off,” Kelly said recently. “We may take [tight end] Brent Celek out of a team period on a Tuesday afternoon and just say, because of the scientific data we have on him, ‘We may need to give Brent a little bit of a rest.’ We monitor them very closely.”
At least so far, it’s worked. In addition to their on-field success, the Eagles were also the second-least-injured team in the NFL last season, according to Football Outsiders.
Just as important, the players think it works. “What happened with our players is all of a sudden when we started to get to game day every week they were like, ‘Wow, I’ve never felt this good,’” said Kelly. “And I know every guy, to a man, in December — Todd Herremans, DeMeco Ryans, Trent Cole, guys who’ve been around a long time — said I’ve never felt this great in December.”
The Eagles are different in how they practice, and also in when they practice: On the day before games, Kelly’s Eagles conduct a full-speed, up-tempo practice, rather than the leisurely walk-throughs run by essentially every other team in the league. “Through our research, through science, [we learned] that you need to get the body moving if you’re going to be playing,” Kelly explained. “We used the same formula at Oregon and I spent a lot of time on how to go about it, how we think you should train, and it worked for us there and it worked for us here.”
And now, Andy Reid, on his players killing each other in practice:
“He’s one of our leaders on our team,” Reid said of the 31-year-old Johnson. “We’re in the dog days. He’s not the youngest guy. For him to strut around – I’m loving that now. I’m OK with that. He’s trying to get everybody going, both sides. A little tattoo like that right there – that gets everybody going. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s going to happen.”
“The last 10 days, we were tackling to the ground. We did it every day,” Reid said. “This week, now we’re working long-drive periods where it’s more ‘thud.’ But those backs are still getting banged around when they come through there. They’ve got to expect to get a shoulder on them. That’s how it rolls.”
Sports science vs. thud. Who you got?!
Go read the Grantland article, because it’s given me a massive boner this afternoon.