If anyone was wondering about Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s willingness to shake things up, let them wonder no more.
Even beyond speeding up the pace, playing loud music, or getting rid of the tacos, Kelly has been willing to push his new team to make sure his message was being received.
That included making one of his best players, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, run with the third team at times.
“There were times when I was going with the threes, times when I was going with the twos, things like that,” Jackson told Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. “There was a point where I went into Chip Kelly’s office and talked to him face-to-face to see what was going on with that.”
Kelly told him what he’s said to others, that nothing was going to be given, regardless of previous status.
“He just expects everyone to do things a certain way,” Jackson said. “He was asking everybody to do the same thing. For myself, I just had to really hear it from his mouth to get that rapport with him and be on the same page with him. When I went in there, he said he expects everybody to buy into the system and do everything the right way.
“And if there is any little thing a player doesn’t want to do, that’s his way of reacting to it. The best thing I did was go talk to him instead of just sitting back and being mad.”
Kelly wants his offensive skill players to be versatile, which means knowing everyone else’s assignments as well as their own. When Jackson wasn’t up to speed, Kelly gave him some remedial work.
Jackson admitted that was new to him, since he was given one assignment, and generally executed it well under old coach Andy Reid.
And while he required some time and a talk, he said he supports Kelly’s plan now.
“At the beginning of the process I didn’t know the full offense and I didn’t know every play, so that probably had to do with why I was moved to different teams and things like that,” Jackson said. “Now I am all-in on the offense and I’m very familiar with the whole system. It’s a good thing that I am able to learn that and know what everyone is doing instead of one person. . . .
“Now I’m with the right group and everything is good and there’s never been no problems. I just had to get a feel for [Kelly] and know what he wants and what he expects me to do.”
And Kelly also got the attention of the rest of the locker room by making an example of Jackson, a quick-strike move to establish his authority.