Chip Kelly has no problem throwing conventional ideas about football to the wind. He did it—successfully—with the Oregon Ducks and has wasted no time implementing rapid changes with the Philadelphia Eagles before ever coaching a meaningful NFL game.
For his next innovation, Kelly will need a conductor's baton.
Kelly has had the Eagles practicing to music ever since the first organized team practice of the offseason, and that trend carried over into Philadelphia's preseason clash with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday evening.
It wasn't just a preseason test.
Per a report from CBS Philly, the Eagles are going to continue to play music in the regular season during their offensive possessions until the ball is snapped.
According to Eagles reporter Dave Spadaro, who called into Philadelphia radio station 94.1 FM on Friday, the team will not be breaking any of the NFL's rules on music in doing so.
Here's an excerpt of his comments to Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show, per the CBS Philly report:
NFL rules say that, a stipulation, is that the music needs to be turned down with 20 seconds left on the play clock, when the opposing offense is on the field...So, Chip said well if there is no rule about when our offense is on the field, let’s play the music. And his thought is, well, we’re used to playing with the music. This perhaps limits the defenses ability to communicate or causes a little bit of confusion.
Once the knee goes down and the play clock goes down to 40 seconds, the music goes on right up until the snap. The Eagles are getting all the music that they have at practice—they’re used to it. They’re are not confused. This is why they’re doing it. Now what’s going to happen, ultimately perhaps, the league is going to have to amend the rule or every other team in the league is going to try to do it.
Absolutely [this will happen during the regular season]. The Eagles are nonplussed by the music, by any sort of distractions in the stands, anything going on around them, because they have been practicing since day one.
Bleacher Report's Dan Levy was quick to surmise that Roger Goodell and the boys at the league office might be taking a closer look at the current rule in the near future:
Per @WIPMorningShow Chip Kelly is blaring music right up to the snap on offense. If NFL takes until noon to change that rule I'll be shocked— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) August 16, 2013
CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank might be on board with the idea, but he already thinks Kelly's playlist needs a complete overhaul:
I haven't said this in a while, but holy moly, they play wretched music at the Linc during Eagles games.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) August 16, 2013
At least eight times this year, Eagles opponents will have to combat music in conjunction with Kelly's offense each time their defense takes the field.
Faced with the task of getting the Eagles back to the top of the NFC East, the first-year head coach is committed to accomplishing success by any means necessary.
It's not a conventional approach to gaining an advantage, but then again, Kelly isn't a conventional guy. The Eagles hired him to win games, and if a little music helps his team protect Lincoln Financial Field more effectively, fans will be singing along by season's end.