For as long as we heard about Robert Griffin III's recovery process this offseason, we heard about Chip Kelly's innovative offense. The two collided Monday during the Eagles' 33-27 victory over the Redskins as the former ran more first-half plays than any other NFL team in nearly 15 years.
With a no-huddle scheme and very little time between plays, how do Kelly and his players figure out what plays to run? While turning away from the abject horror manifesting itself on the field, you may have noticed Kelly's crew holding up signs with random pictures on them, such as Elvis and Rocky, as you can see above. Others included the Phillie Phanatic and Will Smith as "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
(Speaking of Will Smith, everybody noticed Griffin comparing himself to "Hitch" during a pregame interview with ESPN, right? What was that about?)
Anyway, the signs. What gives? No, those weren't motivational posters. That's how the Eagles call plays now.
In order to play at a high speed, the Eagles need to communicate at a high speed. Kelly's system of communication renders the huddle nearly obsolete.
It has traditionally incorporated poster boards divided into quadrants, with four pictures, logos or words on each, and hand signals that are instantly recognizable to exhausted 20-somethings. These signs and signals relay all necessary information, including formation, motion, snap count, play direction, routes and play type.
Many of the pictures and signals are intentionally humorous and based on what amounts to inside jokes, which are deviously simple and in effect create a language only players know.
A hypothetical example is a photo of Phil Mickelson indicating a snap count of two, because the golfer often finishes second. And it's based on the concept of a combo meal at a fast food restaurant, where ordering a "No. 2" at McDonald's gets you a Quarter Pounder, medium fries and a drink.
And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
I wonder if Kelly has a G.I. Joe placard...
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