Through two games as a head coach in the NFL, Chip Kelly has experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Following Sunday’s tough loss at the hands of the San Diego Chargers, Kelly and his staff have a short week to prepare for a talented opponent in the 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Kelly explained that this shortened span between games presented the Eagles with a challenge, but that the Chiefs are dealing with a similar situation.
"We obviously had to make an adjustment this week," Kelly said. "When you play a game on Sunday and then you have to come back and play a game on Thursday, that’s the one that really adjusts your schedule just because you’ve really only got three training days - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - and then you’ve got to go play a game.
"We’ve adjusted the schedule. We were out (on the field Monday). We will never be out - no one is out on the practice field training the day after a game, but we had to yesterday. … We did adjust the schedule, but we knew it before the season started. When you look at Kansas City they’re the same way. They went Sunday, Sunday, Thursday, we just went Monday, Sunday, Thursday, so we had an 11-day deal and they had a 12-day deal."
When the two teams take the field on Thursday night, Eagles fans will see a very familiar sight, as Andy Reid will be standing on the sidelines. This time however, Reid will be standing on the visitor’s side. Kelly is looking forward to playing against his predecessor.
"I have great respect for Andy," Kelly said. "He was the head coach here for 14 years and if you’re a coach in the NFL, anybody that coaches in one spot for 14 years you kind of look to them and say ‘Holy smokes,’ and then you just walk down these hallways and look at the championships that were won here - the division championships, the conference championship - and what he’s done.
"He’s had a huge impact on this organization, and I have a ton of respect for him. There aren’t a lot of guys out there in this profession who have carried themselves from a coaching standpoint when you get to be around them, like Andy Reid, and I have all of the respect in the world for him. It’s exciting to get a chance to go compete against him, and it should be fun."
Reid is familiar with the personnel whom he was instrumental in acquiring and coaching in Philadelphia. However, that does not mean Reid has the upper-hand in terms of game planning against his former players.
"Andy was here for a long time with those guys, so if you know what they’re good at (you have an advantage), but he doesn’t know our scheme and how we deploy those guys," Kelly explained. "He may have some little ins and outs. There’s a familiarity, obviously he’s familiar with Trent (Cole), he’s familiar with DeMeco (Ryans) and those guys, but the scheme defensively has changed, the scheme offensively has changed and the scheme on special teams has changed. … From a physical standpoint he’s probably got a real intimate knowledge of this team."
From watching Kansas City on tape, Kelly has noticed some similarities to Eagles offenses of recent years. Kelly did note, however, that Reid and his offensive staff have added a new wrinkle.
"He’s added the pistol formation," said Kelly. "I think he brought Chris Ault in from Nevada to his staff (as a consultant). So they’re running some pistol plays, and I think that’s playing to Alex Smith’s strengths. I think Alex is a mobile quarterback and a really smart guy, so I think that fits with him."
While the Chiefs offense has undergone a few changes, Reid has kept their defensive in the same 3-4 defensive scheme that they played in last year. Through two games, that defense has been among the league’s best according to most statistical categories. Kelly credits their talented personnel and matching scheme as the greatest force behind their defensive success.
"They’ve done a good job of matching their personnel to what they can do," Kelly noted. "They’ve got an outstanding nose guard (Dontari Poe), who’s playing really, really well right now. (They have) two really good outside linebackers in (Tamba) Hali and (Justin) Houston. … There’s some talent on the defensive side of the ball. (Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton) is a really good defensive coach, and he’s putting those guys in position to make plays."
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