The longest-tenured coach in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles returns to the position where it all began for him.
Ted Williams was one of three coaches who was retained by new head coach Chip Kelly. The esteemed longtime running backs coach who helped develop an who's who of talented players from Ricky Watters to Duce Staley to Brian Westbrook to LeSean McCoy will now oversee the tight ends, the position Williams coached for two seasons under Ray Rhodes from 1995-96, as Staley assumes the duties of running backs coach.
"I didn't see a major obstacle of me redirecting my thought process and taking my skills back to something that I had done before," Williams said. "Obviously, it's nice to know that I can do this because I have done this. The opportunity to do it again excites me because it is a refreshing new start. There are things I need to learn. There are things I need to revisit that should help me do the job better."
Kelly has been tremendously successful as a college coach, but he arrived in Philadelphia with no NFL experience on his resume. Williams helps resolve that. Entering his 19th season as an NFL assistant, all with the Eagles, Williams' tenure with the team is longer than any coach in franchise history. And with that experience comes wisdom, which is what made Kelly want to keep Williams on his staff.
"Ted's wise. Ted's been here for a really long time. Just sitting with him and sharing some stories about how he approaches things and what his teaching approach was like, I need Ted to stay," Kelly said. "I want him to be a part of this, because there are a lot of times that I'm not going to have all the answers and I'll probably wear the carpet out between my office and Ted's office to ask him some certain scenarios because he's seen so much."
Even though the positions are different, the teaching philosophy remains the same for Williams as he will work with Brent Celek, Clay Harbor, Emil Igwenagu, Evan Moore and Derek Carrier.
"I have a philosophy of the way I work with players - mutual respect, being honest, being forthright, telling them what's expected of them, when it's expected of them and how it's expected of them. Those are things you carry over no matter what you coach," Williams said.
"Everybody needs to know where they stand and they need a clear picture of where they stand. When a player has a clear understanding of X, Y, Z and he's able to follow that pathway, I think he performs better than if he has a distorted picture. ... He needs to know exactly what pathway you want him on and the pace you want him to get there."
As Williams shifts over to the tight ends, it will be interesting to watch how he applies the wisdom of his experiences to a different group of players.
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