For most NFL teams, it would be high-fives and laughs in the locker room after a 3-0 start. But there’s one player in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room who’s not high-fiving anyone – especially head coach Chip Kelly.
Cornerback Cary Williams has taken exception to the grueling practices that Kelly puts the team through every week. And while he didn’t specifically throw out Kelly’s name in an interview with NJ.com, Williams referred to the “coaching staff” when discussing his concerns about the team’s weekly preparation. Here’s what he told NJ.com following a close 37-34 win over the Washington Redskins:
I was just trying to conserve as much energy during the week so I can be as effective as I can be on Sundays. It was just such a dogfight. It didn’t help that I wasn’t healthy through the week and it didn’t help that I had a dogfight before the week and then I had a dogfight during the game. It’s just tough, man. We have to start taking care of our guys, taking care of our players, doing the right thing from there.
I didn’t practice every week, there’s a reason for that. A lot of guys had no legs. A lot of guys were in a dogfight before the game even started. We have to take care of our guys during the week to make sure we’re fresh come Sundays.
In other words, we have to be smart. As a coaching staff and as players. I’m going to be honest with you: It didn’t matter if we had a short week or a long week, it’s been the same. Something needs to change for us to be more productive. It’s tough enough to go out there and play hard for 60 minutes, let alone having to fight through the week. When you don’t have legs, period, it shows up in the game. Period. Throughout the game. Period.
I’m saying [practicing every day] impacted a lot of people. A lot of people, but I’m just the only one man enough to get up here and say anything about it, talk to ya’ll as a man and discuss an issue that, obviously, in my opinion, is an issue in our starts [to games].
But again, I’m just employee 26, and whatever they deem necessary to get us ready for Sunday is whatever it is. If we have to find energy from outside sources to start games quick, then we’ve got to do it. But right now, the way we’re doing it, it’s not conducive to success.
Williams finished his rant by saying that he thinks the overload of practice reps is really taxing on his body and disrupted his gameday preparations. He also added that he was expecting safety help on the blown coverage that led to DeSean Jackson’s long touchdown against his former team.
Interestingly enough, Williams is picking up where he left off during the offseason, criticizing joint practices with the New England Patriots. He also has a problem with the fact that Philadelphia doesn’t take Tuesday off like many other NFL teams. With as vocal as Williams has been about his team and Kelly’s methods, you can be sure that the ole’ coach had a sit-down meeting with his star cornerback. And it’s highly doubtful that this was a calm discussion either.