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Why Chip Kelly has a different practice schedule than the rest of the NFL

Grantland (and FootballScoop!) contributor Chris B. Brown (perhaps better known as @smartfootball) had a new piece Thursday about one of his favorite subjects - Chip Kelly. The crux of the piece is how Kelly, once ridiculed by the NFL at large for being different, is now changing how the NFL does business. Perhaps the best example of what makes Kelly different is his practice schedule. 

For years now, the standard NFL practice schedule has dictated that Monday is dedicated to cleaning up the previous day's game, Tuesday is an off day, Wednesday and Thursday are for heavy game preparation, things begin to ramp down on Friday, Saturday is a light walk through in preparation for a Sunday game. Rinse and repeat 16 times over, year after year after year. 

Kelly doesn't do that. 

As Brown writes:

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Hear Kelly explain it himself on the Ross Tucker Podcast: 

"We give Monday off, and then we're back here on Tuesday and that really starts our week," he said. "A little bit of a clean up of the last game we played, really just making corrections. I don't think you need to show them every single play from the game before. With the advent of all the technology they have I guarantee every single one of our players has watched the game themselves before they get back in here on Tuesday. They all have iPads, they all get the games downloaded to them. We spend a little bit of time on correction and then we move on to our next opponent. We start insertion to our next opponent on Tuesday. We're probably a day ahead of everybody. Red zone's in on Thursday instead of Friday where it normally is in the NFL. Friday we're cleaning it up and Saturday we're back on the field running around a little bit faster than most people do. It's not a walk-through day for us. And then Sunday we go play."

Bill Polian asked why Kelly pushes his team so hard on Saturday. "Through our research through science, that you need to get the body moving if you're going to be playing," said Kelly. "We used the same formula when I was at Oregon. I spent a lot of time studying how to go about it and how we think that you should train, and it worked for us there, and so we used it here. If it didn't work here we would have changed it. I believe that it worked through our first season and our players are really invested in what we're doing right now."

Kelly also proudly noted that his team was almost completely healthy through his 11-5, NFC East-winning debut season, saying, "Almost every day last year we had our entire roster - 53 players and eight practice squad players. There weren't many weeks where we didn't have everybody up."

Like everything else that he does, Chip Kelly practices differently because it works. If he didn't, he'd change it. 

Jump to around the 13-minute mark. 

Video: Liberty unveils new unis, and now has 27 uniform combinations

During a team meeting on Tuesday night, a new set of uniforms was revealed to Turner Gill's Liberty squad.

The new additions, plus the introduction of a matte red helmet, bring the total possible number of uniform combinations to 27. You can see all of the variations here, and at the end of the video below.

Judging from this reaction, the players were pretty stoked about the new options.

The red helmet with the eagle on the side looks really sharp, and having so many options at the FCS level is a great selling point on the recruiting trail. We also understand that Coach Gill normally lets the captains pick a uni combo for each game, which is a pretty cool perk in itself.

liberty1 liberty2

liberty3 liberty4

 

Video of the Day - Matt Canada mic'd up at NC State

Video: Mark Richt nails a backflip from the high dive

Georgia's Instagram account posted a video of Mark Richt executing an impressive backflip from the high dive earlier, that is so worth sharing.

Okay, so it's actually more of a "back-fall" than a "backflip", but either way he gets a 10 from me for the guts it took alone.

The "Confidence Factor"

Earlier today I saw a note about this historical fundraising results at the University of Mississippi and something about the numbers caught my eye.

First, have a look at the raw numbers. Note, these are overall fundraising number for the entire university. Athletics would be just a subset of these numbers.

2004  $59 million 
2005  $61 million 
2006  $68 million 
2007  $65 million 
2008 $80 million
2009 $78 million
2010 $69 million
2011 $68 million
2012 $123 million
2013 $115 million
2014 $118 million

The two things that caught my eye were the step ups in 2008 and then again in 2012. Well, hmmm, what could have led to those increases? 

Now look at the same numbers with the annual results and notes from football added.

2004  $59 million  4-7
2005  $61 million  3-8
2006  $68 million  4-8
2007  $65 million  3-9 (Ed Oregron's final season as HC)
2008 $80 million 9-4 (Houston Nutt's first season as HC)
2009 $78 million 9-4
2010 $69 million 4-8
2011 $68 million 2-10 (Houston Nutt's final season as HC)
2012 $123 million 7-6 (Hugh Freeze's first season as HC)
2013 $115 million 8-5
2014 $118 million  

It is clear to me that making a change in football (typically a university's most visible team), and seeing a positive change, rejuvenates the base and provides excellent momentum upon which smart schools capitalize. Clearly, Ole Miss has done an excellent job capitalizing on their recent momentum in athletics.

This afternoon I called Ole Miss director of athletics Ross Bjork to get his take on the numbers and he had a great take on this. Listen to Ross describe the "Confidence Factor":

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