Eagles Notebook: Eagles switch weekly day off to Monday

Posted: August 23, 2013

IN A NORMAL NFL regular-season work week, you get Tuesday off.

Monday, the day after the game, is for injury treatment, maybe watching film of the previous day's game. Tuesday, you recharge at home. Wednesday, you start getting ready for the next opponent.

Ah, but Chip Kelly does not blindly follow tradition.

So the Eagles will practice regularly on Tuesdays this fall, quite possibly making them the only NFL team to do so. They also will do something at least slightly more spirited than the typical NFL walk-through on Saturday. Kelly will give the Eagles Monday completely off, but really, most teams don't go out on the field on Mondays anyway; Andy Reid's Eagles certainly didn't.

A handful of players interviewed yesterday seemed receptive to the change. It will be interesting to see if they still feel so great about it in Week 10.

"Under Andy, you had Monday and Tuesday off, but at some point you had to come in and lift," center Jason Kelce said. "The quarterbacks and centers, we had to meet on Tuesdays. It kind of fits into the Chip Kelly mold: He doesn't try to fall in line with anything anyone else is doing. That was the first thing he said when he first got here, was that we're not going to do anything for the sake of 'That's the way it's done.'

"He says, backed by the philosophy in the strength room, the conditioning room, that everything he does, practicing on Tuesdays, the whole practice regimen is designed to make us physically the most ready for game days."

Corner Cary Williams, a former Titan and Raven, said he's never worked on Tuesdays before, but if that's what Kelly wants, he'll be happy to oblige.

"Chip Kelly is the head coach, and I'm Employee 26," Williams said, invoking his jersey number. "Whatever he has planned for us is going to be the best for us."

Quarterback Michael Vick suggested Kelly has an exercisescience reason for the change.

"I've never worked on Tuesday, but I think it's going to be good for the way we train and how we try to recover," Vick said. "We still get a day off. It's going to be different coming in on Tuesdays, but it's not like we're going to be here all day" as players are on Wednesdays and Thursdays, when game plans are installed. "I think it'll work out."

Linebacker Connor Barwin agreed that "there has to be some reason [related to] recovery that he's doing it. We all trust in him and think it's going to work out."

Barwin said the upgrading of Saturday also makes sense; he said players typically do a brief workout on their own then, after the traditional walk-through.

"You'll come back in before you get on the plane and you'll jump rope or do a quick lift, kind of get yourself going a little bit," Barwin said. "You can't be stagnant for 36 hours before you play on Sunday. So that's Chip just kind of doing that as a team."

Kelly apparently doesn't have scientific reasoning behind everything he does, however. Asked yesterday if there is anything different or special about the way he approaches road trips, Kelly said: "We fly, if at all possible."

Dispossessed

Another NFL tradition is that having the ball longer than the other team is a good thing. For one thing, it keeps your defense off the field. In this area, as well, Kelly is untraditional. The emphasis of his hurry-up offense is the number of plays run, not how long it has the ball. That's also his concern defensively, the number of plays the unit faces, not how long it's on the field.

"I've heard the question about time of possession. Time of possession is 'How much time can the other team waste?' Most games we lose the time of possession, but it's how many snaps do you face? In both [preseason] games we've played, we played more snaps than the other team," Kelly said yesterday.

Kelly talked about a 2010 Oregon-UCLA game in which he said the Bruins doubled the Ducks' time of possession (38:31-21:29) but Oregon won, 60-13.

"All I gathered was that they stand around a lot more than we do," he said.

Birdseed

Right guard Todd Herremans (knee) took part in yesterday's walk-through and apparently will play tomorrow night in Jacksonville . . . Safety Kenny Phillips (quad) also took the field yesterday, but his status for Jacksonville is less clear . . .

Chip Kelly was asked about Tra Thomas, the coaching intern and three-time Eagles Pro Bowler who has been added to the full-time staff, assisting offensive-line coach Jeff Stoutland. "Extremely dedicated, one of the all-time great Eagles," Kelly said. "One thing about Tra when you sit there and watch film with him is just how much he's studied tape on his own and what he's learned about the game. And I think he's imparted that to a lot of the young linemen we have . . . I think he's got a bright future in coaching."

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