For new Eagles coach Chip Kelly, questions abound.
He’s still trying to fill a staff and figure out what to do about quarterback, but he also has to wonder about how fast he can go with his team this offseason.
One of the signatures of Kelly’s team at Oregon was pace, as they ran an average of 81 plays per game last year.
As Rich Hoffman of the Philadelphia Daily News pointed out, the NFL’s best were the Patriots at 74 plays per game, and the league average was 64 plays per game.
“This game, everybody’s always trying to get an advantage,” Kelly said. “It’s [about] the next great thing, so to speak. I’m not saying this is the next great thing, but if you can force the pace in the game, . . .
“But there’s so many different things that get involved in that. It’s not like buying something off the shelf, . . . It has to be a total implementation, from what you do in the offseason to how you practice during the week to what you do on game day.”
How he can create that pace will be determined by how well his new roster adapts to his practice schedule. It’s easier to run full-speed every day when you have a roster of 100 or so 19-year-olds. When you only get 53 players, and some of them are pushing 30, things change.
But Kelly thinks he can sell a new bunch of players on the reason he pushes it.
“I think,” he said, “if you have a bunch of guys that want to win, I don’t know if guys say, ‘Coach, we don’t want to score points.’ I haven’t encountered people like that. I don’t think there are people like that, . . . You hear that and, with a lot of things, there are a lot of generalizations that go on all the time. But the teams that are successful want to win.
“If you can give them an advantage in how to win, I think they’d be nuts if they didn’t buy into it.”
Which is fine, but if he runs a bunch of veterans harder than they’ve accustomed to, they might think he’s just nuts. Watching him adapt to the realities of the NFL calendar will be fascinating, but he’s shown in the past that adapting is something he’s good at.