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Kelly Focused On Winning Now

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Injuries have always been a part of the game of football. As much as coaches hope that their players will stay healthy, things don’t always work out that way.

The Eagles have been dealing with injuries to at least one of their top two quarterbacks since their Week 5 win over the New York Giants, when Michael Vick pulled his left hamstring. Nick Foles suffered a concussion two weeks later, creating what head coach Chip Kelly has called “instability” at the quarterback position. According to Kelly, stability at the position would certainly help his offense get back into rhythm, but all he can do is work with the options he has on a daily basis.

“I am going to make my weekly determination of who the quarterback is, first and foremost, based on health,” Kelly said at a press conference on Wednesday morning. “In the ideal world, Mike is the healthiest in the world, Nick is the healthiest in the world and Matt (Barkley) is the healthiest in the world. Let’s get to that point in time and then we’ll have a conversation.”

Kelly’s day-by-day approach to his starting quarterback situation is based on the fact that injuries can occur at any time. The Eagles’ head coach believes that it doesn’t make much sense to try to plan ahead, because you never know who will be available to play until you actually reach gameday.

“I’m getting ready to go play the Oakland Raiders, and I’m getting ready with Nick Foles and Matt because Mike is not practicing today,” Kelly explained. “It doesn’t help us - me or anybody, and that’s not the way I think - to say, ‘Hey, next week when Mike comes back, what are we going to do?’ because what happens next week if Mike comes back and Nick and Matt are hurt? I don’t know.  I think you just jump through mental gymnastics of, ‘If this happens and that happens,’ and you have no idea.

“We got ready to play Tampa Bay (in Week 6), our emergency quarterback was James Casey. He pulled his groin on Friday and couldn’t go. There’s a whole monkey wrench in it. What if I spend all of my time on Wednesday on who my emergency quarterback is going to be? Good, I have Casey. He’s good to go, and then Friday he gets hurt. Well when it happens, it happens. That’s the way it works. Right now I know that going into practice today, Nick Foles is ready to go. We’re excited to get him reps with the ones, Matt gets reps with the twos, and let’s go play Oakland. That’s all we can worry about.”

Kelly was also asked about thinking about his long-term plans at the quarterback position, beyond the 2013 season, and he responded by saying that he doesn’t even think about the following game, yet alone the following season. All that matters to Kelly is one thing – winning this Sunday.

“It’s about beating Oakland. That’s it,” Kelly said. “It’s a one-week season, and that’s all it is. Last week, it was beating the Giants. There wasn’t, ‘Hey, what are we going to be like next year?’ and, ‘Let’s go see if we can activate G.J. (Kinne) and throw him into the mix.’ That’s not our mentality. Our mentality is, ‘Who are we playing right now?’

“I think it’s a disservice to the other players on the team and it’s a disservice to our fans if I’m thinking about who our quarterback is going to be next year. I’m thinking about beating whoever we are playing this week, and we’re playing the Oakland Raiders and that’s it. That’s the deal. It will never be that way. We’re trying to win the game that we’re playing this week, and if we start planning long-term, I might not be here long-term. So let’s go beat Oakland.”

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