Does Chip Kelly need to give his players more structured time?

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We know Chip Kelly is one of the nation’s most innovative football minds and his approach to training seems to differ somewhat to the rest of the league, but is it fair to question his methodology already?

Chip Kelly was appointed head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in January 2013 and so far seems to be keeping the team on an even keel in the offseason, but it almost looks like the players have too much free time on their hands. It seems like all of Kelly’s practices run at a different tempo to other teams and he seems to either pack a lot more into a shorter period, or he focuses less on training and more on technique. Reporters have speculated that the players have too much free time on their hands and could be putting it to better use. Unlike Andy Reid, who keeps his players in from morning to night, Chip Kelly gives the players a lot more liberty and they have time to indulge in other activities such as playing casino games at or relaxing at home.

Chip Kelly’s casual approach to training and discipline has earned him some grudging respect and he seems to think that if he can’t trust his players when they leave the building then they probably should not be there to start off with. Fair enough, as Kelly is a coach and not a baby sitter, and if a grown man can’t handle himself in his free time then the Eagles probably have bigger problems on their hands than how long a practice runs for. Essentially this doesn’t seem like much of a story, but it goes to show that just a few slip ups from the pros can give all athletes a bad rep in the media and it’s better to avoid controversy than to court it.

The fact that the spotlight has been thrust so firmly onto the Eagles training times just shows how Chip Kelly is radically changing the day to day routine of a professional football team. It’s hoped that he can turn the franchise around and keep the players going whether they win or lose. Kelly is rather experimental in his approach and methodology and it remains to be seen whether his relaxed, unstructured training schedule will pay off or backfire.

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