WILLIAMS: CHIP KELLY'S BEEN A DIFFERENCE-MAKER
Cornerback Cary Williams is one of the Eagles who enters this year's playoffs with plenty of experience in the postseason. Williams was a starter on last year's Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. In March, Williams was one of the key free agent signings poised to help revitalize the defense that was making the transition to a new scheme.
Even though Williams signed with a team that was 4-12 last year, he is still playing. His former team did not make the postseason. Williams points to new head coach Chip Kelly as the primary reason the Eagles have been able to turn their fortunes so quickly.
"He's been a difference-maker for this organization," Williams said. "I think he has a tremendous way of making people believe what he's saying. When he speaks, we want to listen. He always finds a way to grab your attention in some way. That's what great coaches do."
Kelly was known for his prolific offenses at Oregon, but Williams said that he is involved in all facets of the team. According to Williams, Kelly will listen to defensive meetings on his iPad and is a regular in special teams meetings.
"He has his hand in everything. He's a great team manager," Williams said.
And, of course, there's the sports science aspect of Kelly's program.
"I'm a science guy, too, to a degree. I do feel a little bit better than what I did last year to some degree, but football is still football. It's still an individual matchup that you have to win," Williams said.
One of the small, but instrumental, changes that Kelly has made is the decision to hold a walkthrough two days before the game instead of a full practice.
"Everywhere (else) in the league, you're not off. You're still running. You're still on your feet and you're moving around," Williams said. "As the game gets closer, when you get less reps I think it's important for the success of the team when you feel a little bit fresher."
Williams has not been giving players advice about what to expect with the playoffs. He said that earlier in the offseason teammates asked about what it was like to win the Super Bowl. Williams understands that players want to experience the postseason for themselves, but should know one important thing.
"We can't take this opportunity for granted. You never know when another opportunity is coming," said Williams, who has played in 10 career playoff games. "That's the one thing all of my playoff experiences have taught me.
"He's been a successful college coach. He's done a pretty good job here. We're winning and we're in the playoffs."