The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

August 27, 2013

Eagles ready to hit the ground running — literally

PHILADELPHIA — Ready, set, go.

The Philadelphia Eagles might as well be running a track meet under new coach Chip Kelly.

Everything they do is faster from the way they practice to their up-tempo offense. Kelly even speaks fast when talking to reporters, answering questions quickly and moving to the next one.

His ratio of words per minute certainly leaves Andy Reid in the dust. But the most important question in Philadelphia is whether Kelly can top Reid’s success and win that elusive Super Bowl.

Kelly took over a 4-12 team after Reid was fired following 14 seasons. He’s brought a unique approach that worked well at the University of Oregon. The players have been on board since the start. Now, we’ll see if their enthusiasm translates into wins.

“They’ve embraced everything, and that’s a real credit to them,” Kelly said. “Since Day 1, there was not a whole lot of salesmanship in terms of why we have to do all these things because their thought process is that if you can help me become a better football player, then I’m in, and everyone has been that way. That part, I think, was an unknown going in. You didn’t know about that. And if you’re a guy from the outside and haven’t been a part of it, you hear it’s tough to coach professional athletes, they’ve got their own mindset, they want to do things their own way. I’ve never encountered that with one player on this team, and that part as a coach has been refreshing.

“It makes you excited to come to work every day.”

Five things to know about the Eagles:

EXPECT SOME GROWING PAINS: This isn’t the Pac-10. The Eagles aren’t going to dominate the way the Ducks did for four seasons under Kelly. His task is a tough one. The Eagles were bad in 2011 and downright awful last year. It’s going to take some time for Kelly to turn them into a winner again. Kelly has some talented players, particularly on offense, and that should make the Eagles an exciting team to watch. But there are enough holes on this team that even a losing season — if they went 7-9 — would have to be considered a success and major step forward.

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