Malcolm Jenkins played fewer snaps this season that he did under Chip Kelly – far fewer – but his years under Kelly were his best from a health standpoint, even late in the season.
“I honestly felt better at the end of the season with Chip Kelly – just because I think we focused so much more on sports science and taking care of our bodies,” the Eagles safety said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “But I know the two years I was under Chip Kelly’s team, I played the most snaps in the NFL two years in a row. It was almost a luxury this year to come into certain games. There was a few games where we only had 45 snaps. We’re averaging probably around 50 or 60 at the most. I felt great. After games, you’re feeling like you’re able to finish games off, and late in the year we started to play some tough games and then felt like we could compete. So that change in philosophy, it always had its pros and cons, but I think our defense not having as many plays, being able to rotate and be fresh toward the end of the season is a good one.”
Kelly, of course, embraces sports science and is all about the latest trends in nutrition, rest and recovery. The rationale is simple: the better the body, the better the performance.
Only the NFL, overall, hasn’t embraced Kelly’s philosophy.
“I think football is behind the curve,” Jenkins said. “ A lot of things that we learned is already being practiced in sports around the country. The NFL is far behind when it comes to sports science and the art of training and maximizing the body’s potential and recovering. It’s because of that mentality. We’re a very old-school, traditional sport. We laugh at the thought of players getting sports shakes after work-outs and talking about sleep and hydration. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re behind, but I know as a player, those two years under Chip Kelly, just learning all of that stuff, has really benefited me.
“The older you get as a player, the more important it becomes to take care of your body and make sure that you can recover,” the 29-year-old Jenkins continued. “The last three years with the Eagles have been the healthiest three seasons of my career. I haven’t missed a game and I probably missed eight snaps in three years. I think that’s a testament to a lot of the things that Chip Kelly talked about and taught us that’s carried over.”