Philadelphia Eagles: Culture Wins Football
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said before the Giants game, whilst mic’d up, that “Culture wins football” and that “Culture will beat scheme every day”. This is a pretty surprising statement considering that Kelly is seen as an offensive genius who spends a lot of time looking at the x and o’s of the game.
If you haven’t seen the mic’d up video, click here to watch it. It’s a great watch and shows a different side to both Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and Chip Kelly.
Chip Kelly has created a winning culture within the Philadelphia Eagles and they are mentally tough. The Eagles showed their mental toughness early on in the season, coming from behind to win in the first three games of the season. This culture has helped Chip Kelly have a record of 15-7 throughout his coaching career so far.
So how has he created this culture? I think this is how he has done it:
Bringing In Winners
Chip Kelly has brought in a number of players in free agency over the last two years that have won Super Bowls previously in their career. In last year’s free agency, Kelly signed cornerback Cary Williams who had recently won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. In this year’s free agency, Kelly signed safety Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Maragos; both of whom had already won a Super Bowl.
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This has led to a winning culture being developed in the Eagles locker room. Quarterback
has an incredible 13-3 winning record under when starting under Chip Kelly, even when Foles and the Eagles offense are not playing well they seemingly always find ways to win. Foles exhibits toughness that Kelly loves in his players but stays very calm is pressure situations and does not let previous mistakes affect him; this rubs off on the rest of the offense.
The Eagles special teams have been unbelievable this year. A lot of players on other teams dislike playing on special teams and would rather not do it. Kelly has developed a culture within the Eagles where playing on special teams is just as important as playing on offense or defense. Eagles special teamers take real pride in what they do. Bryan Braman and Chris Maragos were signed in the offseason solely for special teams and they play with unbelievable intensity and pride.
Kelly has also developed a team first culture within the Eagles. This was a huge reason for cutting DeSean Jackson, he never bought into the culture. Kelly’s offense is based on the running game and therefore as a receiver you have to be willing to block. Jackson has been openly criticized of late by his teammates and his coach for being a terrible blocker and not being willing to block. By not buying into this team first culture; Jackson had no chance of staying here.
When drafting players, Kelly spends a lot of time finding out what the player is like off the field. The Eagles have rarely drafted underclassmen as Kelly prefers to take players who have finished their college degree. Kelly has stated that by completing their degree, the player has shown that he is willing to work towards a goal and that this shows high character. Having a number of young intelligent, high character players on the Eagles helps to create the culture that Kelly wants.
Competition Between Players
Chip Kelly has also created a culture that involves competition with the Eagles. The Eagles high draft picks do not automatically start unless they are good enough, first round pick Marcus Smith shows this. However, if you play extremely well as a rookie you can earn playing time regardless of where you are drafted. Seventh round pick Beau Allen has almost played 100 snaps this year, per Pro Football Focus, as a rotational lineman and has played pretty well.
Another example of this is defensive lineman Vinny Curry. Curry is not suited to play in a 3-4 scheme and despite being one of the best Eagles pass rushers he was inactive for the first two weeks of last season. Rather than demand a trade or refuse to change his way of playing, Curry continued to improve and managed to play 337 snaps in total last year. This season, Curry has already played 151 snaps and has 4 sacks, proving anyone has a chance to earn playing time if they play the way Kelly wants them to.
The Eagles winning culture and tough mentality is one reason why I believe in this team. I believe they can accomplish great things this year led by head coach Chip Kelly.