Since the day Chip Kelly was hired as head coach in Philadelphia, Eagles fans have been inundated with new buzzwords and terms, or as I like to call them: Chipisms.
No, things haven’t already gotten to the point of the “Reidisms” we’ve long been accustomed to — “I have to do a better job“, “I have to put my players in a better position“, or “times yours” — I’m talking about the new terms that we seem to be consistently hearing when it comes to the new Chip Kelly era.
I’ll do my best to list and define the majority of the ones I hear, feel free to add your own if I missed any! I’m sure you’ve heard all of the below at some point in the past 3 – 4 months and are now probably a basic part of your vocabulary when talking about Kelly and the Eagles…
I’ll start from the very beginning:
“Offensive innovator” – This was one of the initial terms we heard upon the hiring of Kelly. Jeff Lurie, Howie Roseman and countless others all gushed about Kelly’s offensive prowess.
He’s a “brilliant football mind”, an “offensive guru”, “genius”, “mad scientist” and of course “innovator” were all the descriptions being thrown around to tell us how smart he is. Here’s to hoping it proves true!
“Adaptability” – Kelly’s ability to mold his offensive scheme around his personnel instead of trying to force his personnel to fit his scheme. This is the key term for those who believe Nick Foles will be the Eagles’ starter this season.
It’s also a concept Andy Reid could never grasp.
“Up-tempo” – Describes the rapid-fire pace at which Kelly runs his practices and presumably will run the offense during games. He believes that if his offense is up-tempo during the game, it will allow for more offensive plays and therefore more chances of scoring while wearing down defenses.
“Versatility” – This term describes almost every player the Eagles have acquired since Kelly took over. He likes versatile players that can do more than one thing and line up in different positions.
Here is a quote from Kelly about versatility, courtesy of Les Bowen:
“I think the versatility that you can present to defenses is when you have a certain grouping in a game, that’s not only one thing you can do . . . when you watch the Patriots line up Aaron Hernandez all over the place, is he going to be at tight end, is he going to be at receiver, is he going to be at running back, it makes it very difficult for the defense. They don’t know at the beginning of the play where people are going to line up and what they’re going to do. It keeps them on their toes.
“We want guys who can do that. You really get pigeonholed when you have one dimensional players, and when you do, it makes it a little bit easier for defenses to go out there and understand what’s going to go on in certain formations.”
“Long players” – “we want taller, longer people because big people beat up little people.” ~ Chip Kelly
Kelly likes bigger players who are also athletic and physical. Hell, what’s not to like about that? You’d think every coach wants that, however, Chip appears to be staying true to his word. The Eagles have signed and drafted several players this offseason, most of them are over six feet with a reputation of being physical type of players.
It was just odd that Kelly initially described these guys as “long” players (tall, long arms).
“Sports Science Coordinator” – I’ll let Chip tell you, courtesy of Dan Hanzus of NFL.com:
“The game of football has evolved, and I think we as coaches have to evolve with it,” Kelly said. “To always harken back to ‘Well, we did it because that’s how it’s always done. I never bought into that theory, in my mind. I want to know why we do things, and everything we do, whether it’s the athletic room, the conditioning room to anything that touches this football team.
Obviously, we’ve evolved from a science standpoint, and I think there’s a lot of other sports that have evolved faster than football has evolved from a science standpoint, and we want to be on the cutting edge of that.”
Chip Kelly wants everything done for a reason. He loves statistics and the way in which he runs his program is based on science and stats. He hired Shaun Huls, who previously served as the strength, conditioning and “combatives” coordinator for Navy Special Warfare (Navy SEALS), as this so-called “Sports Science Coordinator.”
“4-3 Under” – Describes the hybrid defense the Eagles will run under Chip Kelly with Bill Davis running the show. A 4-3 under is basically a combination of a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive scheme.
Here are a few quotes from Bill Davis back in 2009 when trying to describe this defense when he was with Arizona…
“Everybody puts us in that 3-4 category, but what we are is an ‘under front, a 4-3 ‘under’ defense, “Davis explains. “The ‘under’ is almost a 3-4. As 3-4 [defenses] go, it’s not really what we do here.”
An ‘under’ defense slants towards the tight end. Likewise, an ‘over’ front shifts away from the
“When you’re talking about the 3-4 team, you have the three D-lineman,” Davis said. “Then you have [two] outside ‘backers; then [the inside linebackers] bubble on the guards.”
Bubbling, in the defensive terms, is to line up across from an uncovered offensive lineman. In the 3-4, it’s the two offensive guards that most often don’t have a defensive lineman in front of them. The defensive ends are lined up in a five-techniques, or on the outside shoulder of
the offensive tackles. The nose tackle is head up across from the center.
Said Davis: “These guys [defensive linemen] are supposed to two-gap, and these outside [linebackers] are interchangeable rush-or-pass guys. And that’s the dynamic of the 3-4.”
But in the 4-3 ‘under’ front, like the Cardinals use as their base defense which looks similar to the 3-4 to the naked eye, the biggest difference is in the outside linebackers. The strong-side
linebacker is still outside the tightend.
But the other outside guy – the Cardinals call this player their “Predator” – is almost always rushing the passer, although the Cards will occasionally drop him into covers to mix things up.
Other differences: The nose tackle shades to the A-gap (in between the center and the guard) on the tightend side, and the end on that side moves between the tackle and tightend.
“Predator” – No, not the alien that was kicking Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ass back in 1987, it was actually touched on above. It’s basically the position in the 4-3 under where the primary objective is to rush the passer.
“Panacea” – This is the term Kelly used when describing his philosophy on free agency. As defined by dictionary.com, it means: A remedy for all disease or ills; a cure-all. An answer or solution for all problems or difficulties.
Of course, the context in which Chip used this term was to describe what free agency is not.
“Smoothies” – We’ve all heard of smoothies and most of us even like them ourselves. However, Chip made headlines by having personalized smoothies prepared for players as a recovery drink after practice.
They’re designed with each player’s diet and workout regimen in mind.
“Repetitive accuracy” – Self described, but Chip said it’s the No. 1 quality he’s looking for in a quarterback. In other words, he wants his QB to be able to consistently throw the football to the right spot. Mike Vick should study-up on this one.
Kelly has also proven to be a much more affable person to interview. He is good at injecting humor and sarcasm in response to questions from the media.
Andy Reid treated his mandated time with the media as a chore and was usually curt with his answers. Kelly seems to have fun with it, at least for now. He’s engaging and plays to the crowd and fans.
Of course, that may change once the games start being played and he has to answer some tough questions. But, for now, he’s a breath of fresh air in a city that has long been waiting for its football players to be put in a better position.
I’m sure there are more “Chipisms” that I couldn’t think of here. If you remember any, let’s hear em’!