Leave it to the poor rookies to give away the goods and expose the secrets of the offseason training regimen.
Chip Kelly's offseason tactics are once again in the spotlight this year after he revamped Philadelphia's nutrition and practice regimens last offseason. He can thank seventh-round draft pick Beau Allen for exposing his loophole-bending strategies this year.
Last week Allen, a defensive tackle from Wisconsin, told *Philadelphia *magazine's Tim McManus that he met Kelly in a pretty unorthodox way during his pre-draft visit to the Eagle's facility:
"I was sitting and waiting to go in and meet with (Howie Roseman) and all the front office guys, and Coach Kelly was driving around a little remote control car –they use it out on the field because they can't do motions — and he drove it right into me and was like, 'Oh, hey Beau, how are you doing?' And I was like, 'Hey, Coach.' "
The telling quote has prompted some speculation about Kelly's RC car. Under the rules of the NFL CBA, team coaches aren't allowed onto the field with players during what's known as "Phase One" of the offseason program. The first two weeks of the program are supervised strictly by strength and conditioning coaches, and coaches are unable to attend until "Phase Two."
If Kelly is in fact using a remote control car to simulate pre-snap motions for his players, I guess it could cause outrage around the league. The Eagles are technically bending the rules to gain an early advantage, if you're interpreting the rules in a broad sense.
I have two qualms with that, though. Firstly, I think it's positively hilarious. Nowhere in the rules is there any mention about remote-controlled participation in offseason practices, so if you're going by the strict letter of the law, no rules are technically being broken. This is cheekiness at its finest, and I'm a sucker for cheekiness. [embedded_ad]
Apart from that – and this is the more important issue – what is really being gained here, aside from some offseason publicity? I can see the tangible benefits of changing the team's practice regimen, or the nutrition program.
When you factor in three weeks' worth of OTAs, a month of training camp and four preseason games, though, I basically refuse to believe that a few extra weeks of work – done using a toy car – puts the Eagles at any kind of noticeable advantage.
Even the vast majority of NFL rookies are coming from relatively sophisticated offensive and defensive systems. I'm not buying that a couple of hours watching a toy car go in motion offers anything that a few hours studying tape can't provide.
Kudos to Kelly for thinking outside the box, but I don't expect to see any uptick in RC activity on the practice fields of the NFL.