Spencer Paysinger knows what Chip Kelly brings to the NFC East, and it ain't ducky
When Spencer Paysinger heard the news that Chip Kelly was coming to the NFL, he had mixed emotions. On one hand he was very happy for his former college coach for whom he spent four years playing at Oregon. On the other hand …
“To have somebody that is well-versed in that whole thing (coming to the NFL) is going to be crazy,” Paysinger told Newsday in a phone interview on Wednesday evening. “I actually don’t even want to play against him because I know the type of speed that he’s going to have … When I heard he was going to the Browns or the Eagles or the Bills I was hoping he wasn’t coming to the Eagles so I wouldn’t have to play him twice a year.”
Paysinger is a linebacker for the Giants and as long as he and Kelly remain in the NFC East he’ll have to get used to playing against Kelly’s high-speed offense. At Oregon Kelly’s frantic system called for a snap of the ball every 20.9 seconds. Paysinger faced that every day in practice during his time at Oregon. Now he’ll have to face it twice a year.
The biggest challenge?
“It’s definitely catching your breath,” he said. “We prided ourselves at Oregon where teams said they were going to try to beat us down and try to manhandle us and maybe in the first quarter they were running with us but it was just, Let’s see how they are come the fourth quarter when they’re tired and they’ve had 70 to 80 plays coming at them non-stop.”
Paysinger said he would hear from friends/opponents around the Pac-10 who began preparing for the Ducks weeks in advance. At USC, for instance, the team ran morning sprints starting three weeks before their games against Oregon. Other teams had similar philosophies. Now, NFL players will have to improve their cardio to prepare.
“Obviously if you are playing against a guy who is known for an up-tempo offense you’ll probably tailor your practice a little bit to say, hey, let’s get a couple of fast-paced plays back to back to back to try to simulate that,” Paysinger said. “No matter what schemes you have, if you’re not in condition to run you can’t succeed.”
Paysinger cautioned about confusing rapid-fire speed with ground speed. He said that even if Michael Vick winds up leaving the Eagles, Kelly’s offense will be able to succeed.
“The thing about Chip is he’s great at scheming, so no matter who his quarterback is he’ll get the most out of his athletes,” Paysinger said. “I wouldn’t say that he needs a running quarterback, a fast quarterback, a shifty quarterback or anything like that because he’ll do the best with the players that he has.”
The arrival of Kelly turns the entire division on its ear. And with Robert Griffin III and the read-option offense already in Washington (assuming RG3 is able to come back), the Giants will have to face four unique challenges a year for the next several years. One quarter of their regular-season schedule will be devoted to stopping Kelly’s drum roll pace and Griffin’s skill set.
“If you go back 10 or even five years ago the NFC East was considered smashmouth football and now we have RG3 with the Redskins and now Chip Kelly with the Eagles bringing more of that spread type to the NFC East,” Paysinger said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what impact it has on the league in the years to come.”