Chip Kelly's unorthodox practice schedule has apparently done little to dissuade free agents from signing with the Eagles despite the short turnaround after games and the intensity of the workouts.

When Frank Gore backed out of an agreement with the Eagles before the start of free agency, there was a report that he balked because of Kelly's "overbearing approach," and ruminations from some that the 31-year-old running back didn't want to endure the frenetic pace of the coach's practices.

LeSean McCoy joked that he persuaded Gore, a friend, not to sign. Even if he wasn't kidding, it's doubtful the former Eagles running back's argument had anything to do with Kelly's practices. McCoy, like many of the leftovers from the Andy Reid era, initially struggled with the transition. But he said he learned to adapt and accept for the greater good.

"To be honest, at first nobody liked it, but nobody would say that," McCoy said to The Inquirer last week. "But you got your coach, and you trust your coach. I trusted Chip. I did whatever he wanted after a while. Small [stuff] like wearing the right socks - you get over that."

McCoy's comments during the same interview that Kelly didn't like or respect the stars on the team caused a stir last week and suggested that the running back didn't buy into the program. But that wasn't the case, McCoy said, even though Kelly traded him to the Bills last month.

"I'm a pro. I want to win. They pay me. This is my team," McCoy said. "So you put that stuff to the side, and you keep moving."

But Kelly's schedule and the up-tempo pace of his workouts are different from other teams'. The Eagles practice on Tuesdays during a normal workweek. Kelly believes getting the muscles moving two days after a game has more benefit than resting an additional day. The Eagles also practice faster on Saturday, which is usually a walk-through.

"It's different the way they do football down there, completely different from anybody in the NFL," said Bills running back Bryce Brown, whom the Eagles traded last offseason. "That's the way Chip likes it. He wants to be different than everybody else, for whatever reason. It was a huge adjustment coming from there to here based on everything that he does."

Brown is on his fourth head coach in four seasons, with Rex Ryan taking over for Doug Marrone in Buffalo. He said that Ryan is expected to have the same traditional schedule - Wednesday through Friday practices with a Saturday walk-through - as most coaches.

For Brown, though, the pace of the Eagles' practices made them even "harder than the games." Kelly, he said, wanted to go as fast as possible so that when Sunday rolled around, the speed was slower compared with practices.

"Practice there was tough," Brown said. "Some players talked about the grind. It's a struggle. Being there you definitely got to be in the best shape of your life so you can stand a chance. Here it's a little more slow-paced like the rest of the league, I would believe."

The Eagles have undergone a dramatic shift at running back over the last two offseasons. McCoy and Brown are gone; DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews, and Darren Sproles are in. When Gore reneged on his deal, Kelly was still able to lure Murray to the Eagles even though the former Cowboy said better offers were on the table.

Murray said during his introductory news conference last month that he had spoken to Kelly about the sports science program before signing. He touched the ball an astounding 497 times last season, including the playoffs, and didn't miss a game. But he sat out 11 games with ankle, foot, and knee injuries in the three previous seasons.

"I'm familiar with some of the things that they do here," said Murray, who is one of several new additions who have extensive injury histories. "It's great . . . to help the players for longevity and make them feel fresh and make them feel better on Sundays. As a player, I love it."

The long-term benefits of Kelly's sports science program remain unknown, however. The Eagles were relatively healthy in 2013, not so much last season. The Cowboys actually adopted a schedule similar to the Eagles' in 2014, so Murray may have benefited from the change.

Kelly has done his best to keep his sports science program under wraps. The schedule, however, is mostly based on scientific studies that have to do with rest and recovery.

But it's not just the practices that are different. Kelly keeps close tabs on the players' health with heart and sleep monitors and regular checkups. He also has his rules - like wearing only white socks to practice - but every coach has his peculiarities.

McCoy said it gave the Eagles more of "a college feel." He said he was eager to work with Ryan, whom he likened to Reid because he was told he has "a more traditional NFL-like atmosphere."

"He's Andy Reid but more vocal," McCoy said. "That's why I was happy about coming here. He gives me that side I'm used to - the player's coach."

Kelly's methods, many Eagles have said, are designed to benefit players. Connor Barwin, Jason Kelce, DeMeco Ryans, and others have described feeling fresher late in the season. But there were complaints, some public, such as when Cary Williams spoke out, and some private.

If there was a significant problem, however, it hasn't prevented the Eagles from attracting top free agents such as cornerback Byron Maxwell and Murray. There will be bumps in the road for the new faces, but Kelly also has established leaders to help with the transition.

If anything, Kelly's free-agent haul reinforced the notion that most players go where the offer is highest. While Miles Austin left the monetary part out of his answer when asked whether he signed with the Eagles because of the sports science program, the wide receiver said the "opportunity to win" was the No. 1 reason.

Trent Cole is one of many former Eagles who will be in new environs as spring workouts start this month. (The offseason program begins April 20.) The defensive end said returning to a schedule with more free time will give him the opportunity to do something other than win.

"I will say this," Cole recently said, "I'll probably be getting a lot more hunting in."