Why Chip Kelly has a different practice schedule than the rest of the NFL
Published: Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:01
by Zach Barnett
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:
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.