Chip Kelly and the Eagles jogged out to the lush green fields at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia over the weekend to begin Year 2 under the popular head football coach.
The excitement of having football back in our lives cannot be overstated.
With the return of the Birds came plenty of media coverage. Maybe even some hype. Sports Illustrated's Peter King sat down with Kelly prior to camp kicking off and talked about a variety of subjects ranging from his nutrition system to his hatred of hype and expectations on rookies.
Kelly's thoughts on hype were quite interesting. He cited hype placed on young rookies as one of his least favorite parts of his first year in the league.
"What’s the worst thing about the league? I said the draft. I mean, the hype that goes into the draft is insane. Totally insane. The biggest thing for me is that everybody thinks whoever you drafted or whoever you signed is now gonna be a savior. They come in just like me and you come in as freshmen in high school or freshmen in college, or your first year on the job at Sports Illustrated—you’re not telling people what to do, you’re just trying to figure out what room to go to. I think a lot of times the hype turns into really, really hard times for the individual who got picked, because there’s so many expectations of everyone building them up to be Superman because they had three months to write about them and talk about them. Then when they get picked, they’re a very, very good prospect, but there’s a learning curve when you go from any job out of college into a company. If you take a job at Wells Fargo when you get out of college, your first day of the job they don’t say, ‘He’s our first-round draft pick, he’s the savior to the company!’
“I think the byproduct to the hype that bothers me, is that to some guys it’s overwhelming for them. The NFL has their Rookie Premiere and they’re out there getting all these pictures taken and they’re missing practice time to go out to California and they’re treated like gods, and I’m like, I don’t know if he’s going to start. That’s not fair. And the analysis … We drafted [pass-rusher] Marcus Smith in the first round, and Jordan Matthews in the second round. Then you listen to people around here that say, ‘Well, we don’t like their draft. If they had taken Matthews first and Smith second, we would give them an A.’ Who cares who went one and who went two? It’s almost like there’s a lot of scrutiny on Marcus Smith because he went one, but Jordan gets a pass because he fell to the second round. If you ask both those individuals, they have the same goals and aspirations and they’re training exactly the same way. It’s just how people perceive things, and I think a lot of that has to do with the hype.
“Jerry Rice dropped a lot of balls when he was a rookie. He was a strong kid. He took it. But now, for some of these guys, it crushes them. It’s no different than bringing a pitcher up before you should and he gets racked. He’s a stiff. Send him back to the minors. There’s a maturation process for everybody. There’s no other profession like it. The hype part is just constant.”
It's almost as if there are entire news organizations and websites dedicated to the hype. Don't see that changing any time soon.
One other quote from the piece I enjoyed was when Chip got his Socrates on in regards to predicting the season: "No one knows. I don’t know. I don’t know anybody that does know."
There's plenty more and the whole piece is worth a read for any fan who wants to get in the mind of Chip Kelly. I think you'll likely come away an even bigger fan.