CARY WILLIAMS VS CHIP KELLY
“I believe we’re the freshest team in the fourth quarter,” Kelly said. “I think if you look at what we’re doing in the fourth quarter of games I thought our defense came up huge. Malcolm Jenkins (two) weeks in a row with interceptions in the fourth quarter was big for us. To force them after that short punt to go four straight downs and out at the end of the game and they were close to being in field goal range. I thought the way our whole team played in the fourth quarter obviously shows what type of conditioning we have.”
When Williams was asked this, “We do things differently here, we play a game before the game,” Williams said. “You have to be politically correct all of the time, at all times. You take those words with a grain of salt from last year. My legs hurt. My legs were done in the fourth quarter, in the third quarter, before the game started. I sat out a couple of days and that still didn’t work, because they’re so taxing on us during the week.”
A few other players agreed with Williams, just nodding in agreement, but refusing to comment further. “Let’s just say I’m spent when Sundays come, because it feels as if you’re playing two games in a week,” one player said, nodding his head ‘yes’ when asked if Williams was on to something.
BEFORE Chip Kelly was hired there was a lot made of his conditioning program. At that point Eaglemaniacal.com didn’t exist, and I was still posting articles on another site. In one of those articles (back in early 2013), I voiced a concern for this very situation.
I made the point of saying that I was concerned about the long term effects of Kelly’s training program on professional players, because there are factors that make things so much different at this level than college. For instance in college:
- Rosters are double the size of an NFL roster. Kelly’s 2012 roster had 105 players on it.
- Players cycle through for stays of no more than 4 years
- Players are almost always between the ages of 18 and 23
- Players face sliding scales of talent week to week
Like a used car just off the lot, NFL rookies already have quite a bit of wear and tear on them. They may be new to their NFL team, but they carry with them all the scars from all the battles and surgeries that came before their first pro game.
If a rookie isn’t pristine, imagine what condition veterans of different ages could be in. And now you want to run a 29 year old NFL veteran the way you would a 20 year old college sophomore? It has to be understood that there’s a price to be paid for that.
CB Cary Williams is speaking up about that price, since it’s his body that’s paying for it. According to the previously cited report and LaDanian Tomlinson on NFL Network last night, other players feel the same, but aren’t quite ready to say so yet. Then again maybe they don’t need to.
Last year many players attributed their good health to the training program, while many attributed it to luck. This year with the same program, the EAGLES are seeing an awful lot of injuries, awfully early. That’s not to say or imply that the training program is causing the injuries, just to point out that it’s not preventing them. So that said, why beat your own roster up so much?
The answer is simple: The Defense’s experience is a byproduct of conditioning the Offense to run the system. To run a system that moves this quickly you (duh) of course need players in shape enough to stay on the move. The caveat is that running players this hard is like any other thing you put a human body through, the effects are cumulative.
All over the roster.
The NFL season is a marathon not a sprint. We got out to a fast 3-0, but there is no law that states we will another game this season. Those wins must be earned. Traditionally teams that don’t finish strong don’t generally see the postseason. May not hurt to listen to the veteran.