Nearly 19 months after he was hired to be their head coach, there's still a fascination surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles' Chip Kelly (ESPN The Magazine's Seth Wickersham has a feature on him in the NFL preview issue). He's innovative, unique and unafraid to buck trends; for example, he gives his players Monday off instead of Tuesday.
Even if it's a small sample size, it's still hard to argue with Kelly's results, as he led a worst-to-first turnaround in Philly last season. But there are still some misconceptions about Kelly and his offense. We're going to take a deeper look into the Eagles' offense, examining pillars of its success while trying to separate some myths about it at the same time. This was done through film evaluation and picking the brains of NFL assistant coaches who faced Philadelphia last season.
The pillars include staple plays, the importance of tempo, execution and personnel mismatches, plus the often-overlooked offensive line.
It starts with tempo
But not necessarily the way one might think. The Eagles didn't run the most plays in the NFL -- not by a long shot -- as they finished 12th in plays per game last season, running 65.4 on average (the Denver Broncos, by comparison, led the league at 72.1). But what they don't do is huddle, and they don't often sub personnel, both of which matter.