Here come the slew of stories about how Doug Pederson’s normal practice pace is better than Chip Kelly’s up-tempo pace. Never mind that the Eagles haven’t played a game yet and are still around two months away from actual training camp… there’s a narrative to explore, and sure enough, resident Chip Kelly-hater, excuse-maker, and fan-criticizer Lane Johnson is ready and willing for a quote. From CSN:
While it was often noted how Kelly’s uptempo attack put pressure on his own defense, rarely was any mention made of the added strain it put on offensive personnel, as well. After all, they were running a higher number of plays than average too, which Johnson admits may have had an adverse effect on his performance and that of his offensive line mates.
“I can speak for myself, I can speak for a lot of the guys on the O-line, we don’t have any rotation, it’s us the whole year,” Johnson said. “You go so fast for so long, there’s only so much your body can do before ultimately it’s going to fail you. I don’t care who you are.
“But I think we’re taking a better approach this year. We’re getting our work in, but it’s a better approach.”
“It just helps the offensive line. Guys want to jet up the field and rush and try to get off the ball quick, and if they do that and the ball’s not snapped, then it’s gonna be five yards for us. We try to incorporate that. It’s different for us because we haven’t had that the past few years with Chip. We just got up there and snapped the ball, tempo operation, so I think it’s definitely going to be to our advantage.”
BREAKING: Athletes happy that the coach isn’t pushing them in practice.
What goes unmentioned here is that Chip’s up-tempo practices, sports science initiatives, and smoothies had players better conditioned relative to the competition – at least early on, until the rest of the league began to catch up – and, in theory, was a net positive for the offense late in games. I heard no one complaining about the Eagles’ offense being tired in 2013, when they surged into the playoffs in November and December.
I’m not defending Chip anymore. I don’t care. There are totally reasonable ways to critique his offense… but I’m going to vomit if I have to read about the pace of practice for the next three months. Jesus Christ. Here’s the whole story: Doug Pederson is about as innovative as my ugly fucking thumb and he will bring traditional football tactics back to the Eagles, for better or worse.