The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to exceed everyone's expectations in the 2014 NFL season -- Chip Kelly's second as their head coach.
Chris McPherson of the Eagles' official website delves deeper into the factors that make Kelly a successful coach in the pro ranks:
"Chip Kelly opened the eyes of other NFL head coaches and top decision-makers upon his arrival last season with his unique and unorthodox approach to the game both on and off the field.
"Kelly implemented a sports science program designed to maximize the physical performance of his players. The Eagles practice on Tuesdays, typically the day off around the league, and have full training sessions the day before a game whereas other teams conduct a walkthrough. The Eagles' no-huddle offense has the ability to wear out opposing defenses, but more importantly empowers the quarterback with the ability to read and react thanks to multiple play calls within each snap-packaged plays.
"In the end, Kelly's first year in the NFL was a resounding success. The Eagles went from worst in the NFC East to first as Kelly became just the second rookie head coach to win a division title. Not a single player landed on the Injured Reserve list after the season began. And the Eagles' offense set franchise records for points scored, yards, touchdowns and fewest turnovers. In addition, Philadelphia broke the NFL record for most explosive plays in a season.
"It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Other teams around the league wasted no time watching the film and utilizing the Eagles' offensive concepts. The (Miami) Dolphins lured quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor to Miami to install the same offense. The (Green Bay) Packers hired a nutritionist. The (Cleveland) Browns are monitoring their players' sleep patterns. The (Atlanta) Falcons brought in an outside firm to administer a sports science program.
"As Kelly enters his second NFL season, how will he stay ahead of the curve with other teams not hesitating to incorporate something if it works somewhere else?
"Simple. With outstanding teachers.
"'I think we have a bunch of really, really good teachers that we are all on the same page with, and that's a positive,' Kelly said. 'They need to be the experts in their field in terms of, you know, whether it's the defensive backs or the offensive line or the quarterbacks or whatever. I don't think this organization is going to work if you have to micromanage individual position coaches.'
"The Eagles' coordinators and individual position coaches have a combined 332 seasons working in the college and NFL ranks. In all, a dozen of the assistant coaches have been a coordinator and a few assistants such as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, defensive line coach/assistant head coach Jerry Azzinaro and inside linbackers coach Rick Minter have been head coaches either at the collegiate or the professional level. In addition, nearly half of the coaches on Kelly's staff have earned a master's degree."
Kelly is the consensus pick to be the 2014 NFL Coach of the Year, as predicted by ESPN's Power Panel, per Philly.com's Michael Kaskey-Blomain:
"Chip Kelly has been an NFL coach for only one year, but expectations are already quite high for his second season.
"After leading the Eagles to a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance in his first year at the team's helm, many experts are expecting both Kelly and the Eagles' offense to take a step forward this season following a full year and an offseason to grow together.
"Included among those that expect big things from Kelly this season is ESPN's 'Power Panel,' which is comprised of over 80 national contributors. The panel laid out predictions for the 2014 season over the weekend, and included among them was Kelly as the consensus pick to win Coach of the Year.
"Kelly winning the award would hinge on the level on improvement shown by his Eagles. Ron Rivera won the award last year after leading the (Carolina) Panthers to a 12-4 record on the heels of a 7-9 campaign in 2012.
"If ESPN's panel's prediction does come true, Kelly would be the first Eagles coach to win the award since current Kansas City (Chiefs) coach Andy Reid took home the hardware in 2002.
"For what it's worth, the panel also picked the Eagles to repeat as NFC East champs."
The full ESPN NFL preview from its national contributors can be seen here.