If any Eagles player was tired at the end of last season, safety Malcolm Jenkins said it was because of that individual and not Chip Kelly's rigorous practices.
That belief doesn't line up with what former Eagles and current Seahawks cornerback Cary Williams told a Seattle radio station last week. Williams said, amid a blanket disapproval of Kelly's methods, that "towards the end of the year we were exhausted, and we were outcoached the majority of the games."
The Eagles lost three of their last four games, but Kelly and Williams' former teammates said Tuesday they don't think long-term fatigue or coaching was a factor at the end of the 2014 season.
"I felt good the last month of the season, and I don't think that was it," Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin said. "There's a number of things that happened at the end of the season that are the reasons you win or lose. . . . I respect everything Cary says, but I don't agree with that."
Williams played 1,149 snaps last season while Jenkins played 1,153, both among the most in the league. But Jenkins, who spent five seasons with the Saints before joining the Eagles in 2014, said he'd never felt better at the end of a season than he did last year.
His total of plays was the highest of his career. It was the first time he played all 16 games. Jenkins said he was putting up some of the best weight room numbers of his life in December.
Jenkins, 27, said he isn't sure why Williams, 30, had such a different experience in Kelly's program. Jenkins mentioned outside preparation as something that could separate players' fatigue levels during the season.
"If you ask most guys who have come from other places and come here, most of them will tell you toward the end of the season they felt better here than they have at other places," Jenkins said, "and I think it's due to all the things Chip focuses on as far as recovery and all of that."
With a taxing practice schedule that starts early in the week and rarely relents, Kelly frequently has players fill out questionnaires that assess how the group feels physically and mentally.
Barwin said it creates an "open dialogue" between the players that only works if everyone is honest.
Based on the surveys and other conversations with his players, Kelly called Williams' remarks a "minority opinion."