Chip Kelly knows he has a lot to prove as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles this season. In order to succeed at the NFL level, he has to learn how to gain the respect of professional athletes — something that can be a completely foreign concept for coaches coming from college. From the sound of it, one of his early methods has involved not giving superstars preferential treatment.
According to Philadelphia Magazine’s Tim McManus, DeSean Jackson approached Kelly earlier this offseason when he found himself taking reps with the second and third teams.
“There were times when I was going with the threes, times when I was going with the twos, things like that,” Jackson told McManus on Tuesday. “There was a point where I went into Chip Kelly’s office and talked to him face-to-face to see what was going on with that.”
During that discussion, Jackson said Kelly told him that the team has no depth chart and that every player is being evaluated based on what they do during OTAs and training camp.
“He just expects everyone to do things a certain way,” Jackson explained. “He was asking everybody to do the same thing. For myself, I just had to really hear it from his mouth to get that rapport with him and be on the same page with him. When I went in there, he said he expects everybody to buy into the system and do everything the right way. And if there is any little thing a player doesn’t want to do, that’s his way of reacting to it. The best thing I did was go talk to him instead of just sitting back and being mad.”
For what it’s worth, McManus also pointed out that Jackson has attended 30 of 32 workouts this offseason with the Eagles. That is believed to be the best attendance rate he has had since joining the team, which makes sense given how much he has to prove this season.
After the 2013 season, Jackson has very little guaranteed money included in his deal and will cost about $11 million annually through 2016 for the Eagles to bring him back. The 26-year-old could easily find himself cut at the end of the season if he doesn’t perform like an elite receiver, which could be why he is reportedly considering hiring the hottest new agency in the business.
Unlike Andy Reid, Kelly has no prior personal relationship with Jackson. The first-year NFL coach is only interested in winning football games. If Jackson isn’t all-in, it will cost the team very little to release him at the conclusion of the season.Google+