I take it you have not spoken to the training staff about the injured players yet?
COACH KELLY: No, I meet with them every Monday afternoon.
But after the game, did you talk to
COACH KELLY: I talked to Brandon, he seemed like he was doing okay. So I'll get the report from those guys after this.
If he can't go Sunday, what are some of your options?
COACH KELLY: I won't discuss any of those. You can ask me tomorrow if he can't go.
Is it possible to characterize your concern with the secondary?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, trying to find out what our health is an important thing. What Earl's [Wolff] status is. Will he be back? [Kurt] Coleman was hurt at the end of the game. Colt [Anderson] was banged up a little bit, so that's a big concern for us. We'll get a feel after I talk to Chris [Peduzzi] and talk today about what we've got to do moving forward.
You seemed comfortable going for it on 4th and short on your own side of the field. What is your philosophy behind that? What is your general feeling?
COACH KELLY: There was no general philosophy. It was just at that point in time it was 24‑9. We hadn't done anything. It was half a yard. We figured we've got to do something and get something going here. Hopefully in that situation you can pick up half a yard. So we didn't do it. Give our defense credit, we put them on the field in an adverse situation. They held them to a field goal. So I'm hoping that when we have a half yard to gain, that we can gain half a yard.
Where's the confidence in
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think the difference in this team is when you play the Vikings, you have to kick the ball out of the end zone. Because [Cordarrelle] Patterson's going to return it. He's got a 109 yard kickoff return to his credit this year. He's the most dynamic returner in the National Football League statistically. So that is the type of guy he is. You have to get the ball out of the end zone if he's not going to return it. And we monitor it, and watch him in pregame warm‑up and kick some at the beginning of the second half. He's five or six yards deep in the end zone, so those are coming out just based upon that.
Have you processed the same thing with Devin Hester coming up?
COACH KELLY: We haven't put our game plan together that way.
You know he exists? You know what he does?
COACH KELLY: I know he exists. It's more than just a returner. How does he block it. What are the other ten guys doing. There is more involved than who the guy is.
You were saying with the kicks it didn’t matter much statistically?
COACH KELLY: Going into the game, Cordarrelle Patterson was averaging 29.6. So it was a 3 yard different differential.
Is that what you were targeting?
COACH KELLY: I don't think it was a specific target. I think the squib kicks were the ones that hurt us. There was one bounce to the up back, and he had the ability to return it, mortar kicks were more effective for us.
Looking at the replays of
COACH KELLY: No, I think DeSean was frustrated. We threw an interception and just trying to calm him down and get on to the next play.
Was that a disciplinary move when he wasn’t out there for the final series?
COACH KELLY: No.
What happened on that interception? It looked like DeSean was open early. Was it a bad throw or late throw?
COACH KELLY: Their corner fell off late. We're running a tiered route over there with Riley [Cooper] going over the top. And DeSean running up and out over there. So their corner fell off of it. Didn't anticipate that was going to happen. Tried to get the ball in there earlier, but we're not trying to throw it that way. Usually it's a clean throw, or when you turn your head and you're wide open, you're not looking ‑‑ I'm not looking at you as a defensive back, I'm looking back at the ball so.
Your defense played 1023 plays this season, the most in the NFL. Are you concerned about that? Is there some sort of effect here now late in the season?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't believe that.
Billy Davis made the point after the game that this Minnesota game would be a test to see how the team responds when they're the favorite. Do you think that's a real thing like almost kind of learning how to have success in how you respond to that?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't think that way. I think you should go into every game with the same mentality whether it's people from the outside that consider you the favorite or don't consider you the favorite. I think if you're paying attention to that type of stuff, you're not focusing in on what you can control. The message I give and the message I've always lived with is worry about what you can control. Whether someone makes you a favorite doesn't mean I act differently or someone says you act differently. Because then you're concerned with things you don't control. You don't control what other people's opinions are. If you are, you're going to be a yo‑yo up, yo‑yo down guy depending on how people tell you what they think going into the game. I think your preparation should be the same. Your mindset should be the same. Sometimes it's easier said than done. It's not an easy thing to get accomplished, but I think that's ultimately the way you should get it done.
What did you see from
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think Nick was inconsistent compared to where he had been in the last five games. That's something that we've got to get in the film room with him and see what he is seeing. We've got to get a chance to see him. There was a thought process where we had guys open, but weren't 100% accurate with the ball. But it was a combination of everything. We had some situations that could have extended some drives and gotten things going in the right situations. Again, it's not one guy. It's a team deal. I think overall as a team we didn't play up to the level that we could have played at to be successful.
After 14 games do you have a sense of what the overall personality is of this team after wins or after losses how would you characterize that?
COACH KELLY: I think they've been good. We were 3‑5 at one point with this team, and reeled off five straight victories. I'll get a better gauge tomorrow when we see how does this affect them in terms of this loss. This game is a tough game to play. It's a tough game. You never really understand the outcomes. Sometimes it's tough to try to wrestle with it and justify how did this happen and that happen and what not. But we're on a weekly schedule. We have to get ready for the Bears now. We can't let the loss to the Vikings affect us for two weeks.
There are fixable things. We have to watch the film, correct those mistakes and get ready for a really good Bears team coming in here.
From an attitude standpoint, what do you expect?
COACH KELLY: I expect them to bounce back. They've bounced back before, so that's what I'm anticipating happening.
Were the lack of runs for
COACH KELLY: A combination of the two. They were playing single high safety. Always had an extra guy in there. Whether they had them down weak or strong, they'd change that up a little bit. There's always going to be an unblocked guy within two to three yards of the line of scrimmage. It's always a different approach. But if you're going to do that, you have to play man coverage in behind it. The production from our throwing game gave us a chance to get the ball to DeSean in different ways in the passing game. I thought he was effective in the passing game.
If the Cowboys beat the Redskins what is your plan?
COACH KELLY: (Jokingly) We're going to cancel the game.
Would you rest some of your starters?
COACH KELLY: No.
What is the thinking with that?
COACH KELLY: We've got to play. We're not in a situation where we've got to rest anybody. We've got to play and get back on the winning track. We've got to be ready to play winning football. I think our philosophy has been it's on the line every time you play. It's not really what goes on outside of there. It's we need to get better as a football team. Everybody needs to play.Are you going to be monitoring the result of that game?
COACH KELLY: No, I'm in a vacuum. It doesn't matter. We know the score. We have phones and televisions and all that other stuff. But am I going to be glued to the set, no? I mean, it is what it is. Whatever happens in that game doesn't affect us. We still have to go out and play the Chicago Bears. I don't think we're going to have a victory party and say oh, we have to get to the stadium and play right now. We have to play.
How was the plane ride back from Minnesota?
COACH KELLY: Not very good.
While the other game was unfolding, was someone tracking it?
COACH KELLY: Some guys got updates and they told us the score. But I know I didn't feel very good. I don't care what goes on with Dallas to be honest with you. We lost to the Vikings and that's not a good feeling. Again, my whole philosophy I'm worried about what we can control. We didn't play well enough yesterday.
With Nick, he talked about missing some guys high early especially in the first half. Did you see anything mechanical, foot work or anything like that?
COACH KELLY: No, I think sometimes it's getting your feet set, and that's a good point. Where were you in your drop? Are you consistent in your drop? Do you have the ability to get your feet set? Sometimes they did a decent job. That's a good front with Jared [Allen] and [Brian] Robison and [Kevin] Williams in the middle getting a little push. Sometimes he was inaccurate in terms of getting his feet set. He was high on a few throws.
Did you go back and look at the run‑pass disparity and still feel comfortable with how you called the game?
COACH KELLY: Whenever we [don’t] win, I'm not comfortable. And there is never a breakdown of it has to be this, it has to be that. It's, what are we gaining for yards? You can bang your head against the wall and say, ‘Hey, we need to run the ball more.’ We went for it on fourth and a half yard and we did not get it. So I’ll probably kick myself in the tail. We should have thrown a pass in that situation.
Down 17‑9 at the start of the second half, three straight pass plays, was there any thought to try to establish the run on that series?
COACH KELLY: No, we're just thinking about production. The first one was a completion for six and we’re in a second and four. If we can just throw it away on the next down and not take a sack, then we're in third and four and we’re in a workable third down situation. Those are things we need to continue to work on as an offense and understand playing situational football. It was the same thing with the fourth and short. It was third and one the play before. If we just gain the first down and just get up in there and gain the first down, then we're not in that situation where we even have to put ourselves in a situation where we have to go for it on fourth down. As the season goes along and as this team goes along, we have to understand situational football better.
The single high safety, early in the game Foles ripped off some fairly good runs. Can that read play take a team out of the single high safety?
COACH KELLY: No, because I think when you watch one of the third downs we had, we tried to do the same thing and then Jared Allen played the quarterback. I think people are going to give you different looks. No one we've played has played the entire look the entire game and [say], ‘This is what we're going to do.’ They do a good job. They change it up in terms of how they're going to do it. They were bringing a safety down strong. They were bringing a safety down weak. Sometimes, the defensive ends were crashing on the running back, and it left it open for Nick. But in a critical third down situation, they didn't.
If we had just handed off, we would have got it and that put us in the fourth down situation where we ended up going for it again. That play right there is kind of befitting of what the day was all about. We run a double‑reverse for a touchdown that’s called back because of a clip, which is a legitimate penalty call. It was the right call at the time by our quarterback going back towards his own line of scrimmage. I would guarantee that’s the first time a quarterback has been called for that, but it was a penalty. That is the rule. You can't block back towards your line of scrimmage in a cut situation. But that's kind of what the day is like. It's a touchdown, penalty. Why? Quarterback cut block.
I heard, I think it was ESPN. They said Nick should have known that was illegal if you practiced that play. Do you explain that to the quarterback?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we practice the play. We explained that. The other reason you don't want your quarterback to cut block is usually he’s susceptible to get hit in the head in those situations and you're really trying to shield people and not get him really involved in the play.So that was just his reaction?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it was an athletic guy reacting. I don't fault Nick. But I think he just reacted out there. That's obviously, at that time, not the proper play. But I understand the situation so.
Your name is being mentioned in rumors surrounding the Texas job. Do you have the same answer that you did to the USC rumor?
COACH KELLY: I understand you have to ask the question. I'm not involved in any jobs. I'm the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m going to prepare for the Bears. We’re going prepare for the Cowboys after that. Hopefully, we have an opportunity to go to the playoffs and I plan to be here for a while.
COACH KELLY: I think some of the things we're doing and with that and there are certain things where when you get into a throwing game, it gets Zach in the game a little more.
Jeff asked you about the incident on the sidelines with DeSean and Coach Bicknell. Is that a situation where you need to talk to the two of them or is it forgotten?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we handle all those things. I talked to Bobby [Bicknell]. I’ll talk to DeSean, and we'll get things straightened out. It's not as big a deal as I think everybody wants to make it out to be.
Getting back to the Texas thing, why is your name coming up? You've been here less than a year.
COACH KELLY: I don't know. I really don't know. I haven't talked to anybody. I really don't know. It's just speculation. I haven't spoken to anybody, nor will I speak to anybody.
Now that you've been in the pro world, do you consider yourself a pro coach now? I think that's part of why you get involved in speculation because the idea is that you had great success as a college coach. Do you consider yourself in this realm?
COACH KELLY: I considered myself a pro coach eight times this year, and six times I haven't.
What play from Sunday is most keeping you up?
COACH KELLY: They all keep you up. That's the one thing. Maybe it makes for a great story to write. It's every single call you make, and it's every single thing you do. It's also whether you win or lose, and I've said that all along. I say everything is a one‑week season. Everybody's happy and jumping around last week, and now all of a sudden the sky is falling. That's the way it is. That's what this game is all about. That's what this deal is all about. It's got to be a one‑week season. For five straight weeks, we did a pretty good job and Monday’s were pretty good around here. Today, Monday’s aren’t pretty good but they shouldn’t be pretty good because we were disappointing and we didn't do what we were supposed to do yesterday. You can't make excuses. We’re going to watch the tape. We’re going to make corrections and come back tomorrow and get ready for the Bears.
I understand when you said about running and why things were like they were yesterday, but can you have good rhythm in your offense if you don't run very much?
COACH KELLY: Hypothetically, yes.
Is it hard?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it's hard. It's hard when you're not successful. If you're not moving the football, then it's hard when you're not successful. But I would argue that the Vikings were very successful in how they threw the ball against us yesterday, and didn't run the ball all that often, but they threw the heck out of it against us.
What were the issues in the secondary? You mentioned them throwing the ball. Was it missed assignments? Missed communication?
COACH KELLY: First off, I thought [Vikings QB Matt] Cassel played a really good game. You go back and watch the tape, and I thought he put the ball in some tight coverage sometimes and in perfect situations. The one down the sideline on [
You mentioned playing tighter. Is that a scheme thing, the guys you told to play off a little bit?
COACH KELLY: No, no, not specifically. It just depends on the individual call. But there were times just in man coverage where we just weren't close enough to our guy. We had a big third and 14 right at the end. It’s a 27‑22 game and they convert on a pass to the tight end. That is the stuff we're talking about. But we’re in man coverage in that situation.
Have you had a chance to talk to
COACH KELLY: No, I haven't talked to any of our players. They're not back until tomorrow. No, I didn't.
And Bill Davis?
COACH KELLY: I talked to Billy. I know exactly what went on. But I haven't had a chance to talk to Cary or didn’t talk to any of our players.
So was it a benching of Williams?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he just sat him down because he was a little distraught about the call. We needed to have clear head when we were out there and we were playing.
Players like Cary and DeSean kind of toe that emotional line it seems. Is that something that they have to learn to pull it back in when things are not going well?
COACH KELLY: I think we all have to learn that. That's part of what it is being a competitor is that you have to learn how to play with emotion but not let emotion play with you. No matter what goes on, we still have to keep our poise out there. We have to be able to play the next snap. If we do have a bad play, we need to move on to the next play. We need to learn what we did on that play, in terms of if it was a mistake on our part and how do we correct it. But we can't let the last play affect us on the next play. That's a lesson for all of us to learn. Just like we can't let the Vikings game affect the Bears game. That's easier said than done for all of us. I think we all have to be that way. Sometimes there is a critical call and guys are getting on the official. Hey, he ain't going to change the call. Let's move on, let’s get on the next play and let’s see what we can control and what we can affect. And that is kind of what we talk about all the time. But you still have to live it.
So there were several plays where the Vikings were able to capitalize on the off coverage where you guys had a lot of cushion, and receivers making plays underneath. In that case, did you need to, in the second half, adjust that?
COACH KELLY: I think we did adjust it. I think we've had a good mix -- Billy had a pretty good mix in terms of pressures and mans and zones and all the other things.
So the problem in the first half was when they did, there was some poor tackling?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, there was some tackling. There were some times when the ball’s thrown in front of us and we rally up and make a tackle and then we’re off the field. That is the biggest thing if you are playing zone coverage and we talk about it. We're always going to play deep to short, but when the ball is thrown short and the ball is thrown in front of you, then we need to wrap up, we need to tackle and we need to get the guy down on the ground. There was too much run after the catch in those situations.
Night games are part of the deal in this game that you have to play. But do you think going over the top is more difficult under the lights than during daytime games?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't.