PHILADELPHIA — Chip Kelly helped the Philadelphia Eagles take a giant leap from last place to NFC East champions in his first year as coach.
A year later, they're way ahead of schedule.
"It's light years," Kelly said Thursday. "I think for all of our guys, they understand what we're doing. Every day last year was a new insertion and it was a new play and it was the first time in the red zone, first time coming out, first time in two-minute. So all those things the veterans have all already been in, they've understood them. Just a better understanding of what we're doing."
The Eagles wrapped up their first week of organized team activities. Practices are going much faster than this time last year. There are several new players that are still getting acclimated to Kelly's up-tempo offense, but the veterans are setting the pace.
"We're getting more reps off, more plays off because the guys have a better understanding of the mechanics of it," Kelly said. "But the basic structure of how we're doing things is the same. And our teaching in terms of how we want to train on the field, we have an understanding when it's a full-speed drill and when it's a teach period and all that. But I think we're getting more snaps off in seven-on-sevens just because our guys are more comfortable with how we want to operate."
The offense set team records for points (442), total net yards (6,676), touchdowns (53), and gross yards passing (4,406) en route to a 10-6 finish. All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy had a franchise-best 1,607 yards rushing and 2,146 yards from scrimmage. Nick Foles replaced Michael Vick and had one of the best statistical seasons for any quarterback in recent history.
Foles threw 29 touchdowns and only two interceptions in 11 starts, including a playoff loss to New Orleans. He also had the third-highest passer rating (119.2) in league history.
The Eagles added veteran running back Darren Sproles in an offseason trade with New Orleans. Sproles gives the offense another versatile weapon. They also drafted wide receivers Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff and Jeremy Maclin is back after missing last season following ACL surgery. But they released three-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson after his best season.