8 new books for the 2015 NFL season

Some authors are already setting their sights on the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl.

4. 'Controlled Chaos: Chip Kelly’s Football Revolution,’ by Mark Saltveit

In the conformist world of pro football, Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles stands out as the most iconoclastic of 32 NFL head coaches. His unconventional ways, cultivated during decades of college coaching, have put him at odds with traditional thinking in the league and ruffled more than a few feathers. Author Mart Salveit has already written one book focused on Kelly’s coaching philosophy, which made his University of Oregon teams an offensive circus, in a book titled “The Tao of Chip Kelly.” With this followup, he takes a look at what he calls the “collision” of Kelly’s “remarkable vision with the reality of NFL competition." In his first two seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles have gone 10-6 each time, but missed the playoffs last year, so the jury is still out on the Kelly experiment. 

Here’s an excerpt from Controlled Chaos:

“Kelly is always experimenting with new ways to help train players. In Kelly’s first training camp, he introduced giant orange foam ‘football players’ that the Eagles used to practice tackling.

“Even more striking were the bug men, who date back to Kelly’s Oregon days. In early practices, when rushers aren’t allowed in seven-on-seven drills, QBs can develop the bad habit of throwing too low, since no linemen is there to knock the ball down.

“So Kelly invented (and has refined) backpacks for assistants to wear, with a single giant fly’s wing extending above their heads to the approximate height of rushers’ raised arms. During seven-on-sevens, the bug men advance slowly toward the quarterback, like unusually muscular and clean-shaven zombies. In 2013, Michael Vick hit the bug wings several times, which foreshadowed difficulties he later had in throwing over linemen.

“The bug men look funny, but they work. According to Pro Football Focus, the combined Eagles quarterbacks had the fewest batted passes (two) of any NFL team in 2014.”

4 of 8

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.