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CHIP KELLY, SPORTS, AND LOYALTY

What are the Eagles doing? Ask Chip Kelly.

Chip and LeSean via offtherecordsports.com

Chip and LeSean via offtherecordsports.com

Their coach end runs the entire organization and ends up with the final say on personnel.

Chip Kelly trades or releases the sort of players other coaches pine for. And he does it more often than most.

Didn’t someone explain to him that he’s a coach. He’s the field guy, not the chemistry professor.

No one trades ‘skill position’ guys for lug nuts.

He was hired to coach the team. Now he coaches the coaches and back office and probably the owner.

Don’t expect everyone in the organization to agree with him. The trail leaving town is full of people who didn’t.

The old saw about ‘my way or the highway’ gets a workout in Philly. For some the highway looks appealing.

Why is that?

Imagine grown men monitored like reform school lock-ins.

Diet, hydration, sleep? He’s not there to make better citizens. He’s making football players from a new mold.

Veterans who’ve made their mark in the league go about their business the way they always have. Their habits and training have made them All-Pro.

Why should they change for some cocky college coach?

That’s just the sort of attitude that sends players down the road.

Chip Kelly wants his guys to understand and accept what he’s doing for them.

Want to feel better in the late season? Want to succeed beyond your personal goals? Most important, want to win a Super Bowl?

Guys that answer yes to these questions and more need Chip’s way. Marginal players looking for a roster spot on the NFL gravy train need to see him as the guy who’ll add more high earning years to their work life.

Follow Chip Kelly’s plan and you might even leave the league without a limp, a knee replacement in the near future, and the shortened lifespan NFL players now expect.

The game takes a toll on the best of the best. After their playing days age kicks in with a more exacting toll. Staying healthy early means creating good health habits for later.

Unless we’re under doctor’s orders do we focus on hydration? Calories? Rest? I don’t think so, and the state of health in America backs it up.

Most of us trust our belt holes to explain weight gains and losses.

If you were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars like the big stars, would it be too much to ask that you be prepared to play up to your potential?

The money league says yes, but guys are so good they can coast along without the intrusion Kelly makes with the Eagles.

In a league of big strong men from all over the country, how does one man make them conform to his ideas?

Apparently they don’t all conform. That’s the ticket out of town.

Instead of changing his message and turning into one of the coaches littering NFL recycle bins, Kelly takes another angle.

He seeks and signs guys he coached in college at the University of Oregon.

From oregonlive.com:

“Former Ducks now with the Eagles are: Brandon Bair, Kenjon Barner, Taylor Hart, Josh Huff, Josh Kaddu, Wade Keliikipi, Jeff Maehl, Casey Matthews (on the roster before Kelly came in) and Will Murphy.”

Add the strange trade-in-the-making of Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso for LeSean McCoy, a top running back.

Kiko is a Chip Kelly guy. He was suspended twice at Oregon. The last one was an indefinite suspension, the kind that sounds like a career killer.

But Kiko did his time and came back to earn the Defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl win against the Wisconsin Badgers and Russell Wilson, now with the Seattle Seahawks.

Kelly pulls strings on players to make them better. Instead of resentment, he wants guys like Kiko who know how lucky they are to be there.

Prima donnas with a bad attitude shuffle off to Buffalo.

Before tagging McCoy so harshly, do the numbers. He’s owed millions, Alonso not so much on his rookie deal.

On top of that, Kelly has seen what Alonso does to opponents.

If the big plans along with the hopes and dreams of football fans across the nation come to fruition, the Eagles will land Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and Kelly won’t have to watch one of his former players rack the best quarterback in college last year.

That would be a Chip Kelly nightmare.

With enough Oregon players Kelly has a chance.

He wants guys who play for the name on the front of their jerseys, not the name on the back.

Will he bring a title to South Philly? Bet a cheese steak on it.

About David Gillaspie
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