After falling to Detroit on Thanksgiving, the Eagles had the chance to back off a bit and regroup over the holiday weekend before beginning preparation for the New England Patriots. On Monday, head coach Chip Kelly offered his thoughts on a number of topics, including college football rumors, the health of Sam Bradford and much more ...
On College Football Rumors
With every major college football head coaching job that becomes available, blogs and other media outlets are quick to cite Kelly as a possible replacement. On Monday, Kelly explained that, just as it was the case last season when rumors came up, he's had not contact with college teams and has no interest in being anywhere but in Philadelphia.
"I've never spoken to anybody from USC," Kelly said. "I've never emailed anybody from USC. I never had a phone call with anybody from USC. I never had any contact with anybody from Southern California. I'm not involved with any college jobs. The same thing happened a year ago with Florida. … I haven't been involved with any jobs and I haven't had any discussions with any colleges.
"I can't control what's written in terms of other schools and things like that. I've been totally committed since I got here on January 16th of 2013, and that hasn't changed. I'm here. I've never been looking at college jobs, but I can't control what's being written."
On Sam Bradford's Status
Quarterback Sam Bradford has missed the Eagles' last two games after suffering a concussion and left shoulder injury against Miami. While he has passed through the league's concussion protocol, Bradford's status for this weekend's game hinges on how he progresses through this week of training.
"We'll see where he is tomorrow," Kelly said. "He'll practice (on Tuesday). I just don't know exactly where we are from a throwing standpoint with him. He threw a little bit on Thursday in Detroit. He wasn't ready to play last Thursday, obviously, but we hope he progresses to a point and a big test will be tomorrow in terms of him throwing the ball around and then seeing if there's residual soreness in terms of being able to continue from there."
Heading into Week 13, we take a look at some of the Patriots' key players that the Eagles will face in New England. View the full gallery here...
On Getting A Jump-start On New England Prep
The extra days off following the Thursday game allowed the Eagles to do some more self-scouting than they'd be able to do during a typical week, and while they had to wait until late on Sunday night to watch film from the Patriots-Broncos game, the Eagles were able to get a head start on prep work by watching some of New England's older games.
"We went through the game and then we got a jump on what we can do for Patriots preparation because they weren't playing until late last night, but you can watch other games that they've played," Kelly said. "Whenever you play a Thursday game, you get a little bit of a jump start. I've gotten a chance to watch our game a couple of more times than I normally do in a normal week, and then get a jump-start in terms of getting ready in terms of our preparation for Sunday's game in New England."
On The Defense
The Eagles' defense has faced some tough sledding, but Kelly maintains that he has full confidence in defensive coordinator Bill Davis and the rest of the coaching staff, citing how strong the defense had been playing prior to the last two weeks.
"I'm very confident in Billy Davis and I'm very confident in all of those guys on the defensive side of the ball," Kelly said. "Up until two weeks ago, I thought we were playing really well on the defensive side of the ball. I thought we were doing some really good things on the defensive side of the ball. Obviously, the last two weeks we haven't played as well as we can as a team on that side of the ball or in any phase of the game. … I've seen him coach and I know Billy knows football and I know Billy's a really good communicator, he's a really good teacher and he's a really, really good football coach."
On The Team's Mindset
Three straight losses have dropped the Eagles to 4-7, and while it's not where the Eagles expected to be, the fact is that the team is just one game back in the NFC East standings. With that in mind, Kelly explained where the team's morale is as of now, and what can be done to improve team confidence in the weeks to come.
"I think anytime that you're not successful, you worry about what the mindset of your team is going in," Kelly said. "Part of that is, and we talk about it all the time, execution fuels emotion. If we're not executing, then we're not going to be playing with a lot of confidence, and that's just human nature.
"If you're going out and not having success then you're not going to say we have a lot of confidence in this, but I've seen this team, this year, play with confidence. We played with confidence when we were playing down in Dallas. You had it in all three phases of the game in that game, and that's the fleeting thing, you go from one week to the next, and teams that are really good can consistently do that, and that's what we need to do. We need to be consistent in that approach."