By Steve Kelly
Chip Kelly’s Eagles teams were known for their “chuck and duck” offense, run so quickly that huddles were passe.
It sounded good, and defenses were on their heels, but players’ legs, especially those of veterans, paid the price.
Newbie coach Doug Pederson will implement a plan that will be more player friendly during training camp.
The Eagles wore down as the season went on last year. A lot of it was due to the excessive reps that players took in practice. Some of the veterans such as Jason Peters (above) were primarily affected by the tempo.
Peters is appreciative of how Pederson will be open to the suggestions from the veteran players.
“The last couple of years, there wasn’t a lot of vets [on the Eagles],” Peters said, when asked about Pederson’s playing experience being beneficial to the team. “Any vet that stood up and had something to say, we got rid of him. But Doug was a player here, and he understands veteran players. He understands the game, so I think it’s better.”
The veteran players will get scheduled days off in hopes of conserving them for the backend stretch of the schedule. Pederson believes this is an effective approach.
“I plan on giving these guys rest throughout not only training camp but throughout the season,” Pederson said. “It’s something with veteran players that the longevity of the entire season, especially offensive and defensive linemen, that I think you’ve got to be smart with those guys.
“I think you have to give them time to rest throughout training camp. Obviously, the style of camp is going to be a little bit different than what they’ve been used to, and so I think with all of that and his recovery where he takes care of himself once he’s off the field during the day will really help him in his longevity this season.”
As Peters pointed out, having played the position, Pederson can relate to how the players feel as they go through camp. He knows when to give them a break that will allow them to come back strong and maintain a high level of play.
“I know what they’re going through,” Pederson said. “I was one of those guys for so long, and even though I was in a different position, I see the wear and tear and the grind that these guys go through every single day.
“This is a physical game and it takes them an entire week to recover sometimes. The more you can — when they get to this stage of their career, it’s not about the physical rep anymore, it’s about the mental rep.They understand their roles, and you just give them the time and the rest to be ready on game day.”