On Monday afternoon, head coach Chip Kelly met with the media to discuss the team's 38-24 loss to Washington on Saturday night. Among the topics Kelly touched on were the defensive struggles as of late, quarterback Sam Bradford's desire to return and much more.
Here are five takeaways from Monday's press conference …
On The Defense's Struggles
Consistency has been a problem in all three phases of the game this season for the Eagles. On defense, the Eagles had some games where they were very effective in shutting down the run, but would give up huge chunks through the air, and vice versa. According to Kelly, the defense was set back by not being able to find a consistent aspect of the game.
"It's disappointing, said Kelly. "And it's varied. Some games, again, you look at how do we play against Redskins in rush defense; we did a really good job in pass defense, not a very good job at all (in rush defense). In the other games, like Tampa Bay, it was a run game. (With) Arizona, we got the ball run on us.
"So it's different in each game. You're trying to take one aspect away, you do a good job taking one aspect away, but you have to take more than one aspect away to beat good football teams, and that's the frustrating part for us right now."
On Jason Peters' Injury
After Jason Peters left the game late on Saturday with an injury, reports surfaced that Peters pulled himself from the game. Kelly denied those reports and informed the media that Peters, a player who has battled injuries all season long, simply wasn't healthy enough to stay on the field.
"We were just told he couldn't go any longer," Kelly said. "I know he got banged up early in the game, I think it was an elbow. He has been playing hurt all season long. I don't think people realize what he has gone through to get out on the field. But again, when I'm told on the sideline, I never say, 'Hey, explain to me what went on.' I know he went out and missed a couple of plays early in the first quarter and I was just told he was done and that's why (Dennis Kelly) was in."
On Younger Players Getting A Chance Sunday
The Eagles' regular season finale is a matchup on the road against the New York Giants, just as it was in 2014. With the playoffs no longer a possibility, the Eagles could play some of their younger players to get a better evaluation of them moving into the offseason. However, Kelly was adamant that players will need to earn that playing time to see the field on Sunday, which has been the case all season long.
"Well, we've had an opportunity to evaluate those guys all the way through and if they were good enough to play, they would be on the field right now," Kelly said. "So it's not like we are holding guys back from opportunities. I think everybody has an opportunity on a daily basis to show us what they can do and whether or not they merit playing time.
"But it's also not fair to a guy that's playing and saying, 'Hey, you're not going to play just because I want to take a look at this other guy.' They have a chance to show us every single day. We were in the same situation last year. If we have a game and it's a competitive game and it counts, we are going to go play, and if you couldn't go play, maybe that says something to you."
On Sam Bradford
After Saturday night's loss, quarterback Sam Bradford expressed his desire to come back to the Eagles after his contract expires at the end of the season. When asked about Bradford, Kelly explained that he and the quarterback have been on the same page since Day 1.
"I know where Sam stood the whole season and I know we are on the same page in terms of where we are," Kelly said. "It's just we don't negotiate during the season with anybody. So that wasn't a, 'Hey, we don't want Sam back.' That's just the way it is. A player shouldn't be worried about a contract while the season is going on and that will be something we will adjust after the season. That may be news to you guys, but it's not news to us that Sam is happy here."
On The State Of The Team
No one inside the NovaCare Complex expected the Eagles to be 6-9 at this point in the season, but despite the record, Kelly believes that the Eagles have the right team in place moving forward.
"It didn't go our way but I don't think we're a bad football team, not by any stretch," said Kelly. "I can point to plays, and I think we are not consistent and that we need to be consistent and we have not done a good enough job at coaches of putting the in position to make plays. I don't think we need to revamp this entire group of guys because I think we've got some really, really good guys."