With the Eagles coming off a tough 27-16 road loss to the Panthers as they enter their bye week with a 3-4 record, head coach Chip Kelly addressed the media on Monday. He touched on a handful of topics, including the consistent theme of slow starts through seven games, the play of the offensive line and the fact that he still believes that this team can turn it around in the second half of the year.
Kelly On The Multitude Of Dropped Passes
"Yeah, I think you could argue two of (the drops, but we had at least eight, could have been 10. And obviously, we're not going to win if we're doing that, you know what I mean? There are too many for us -- we have to be able to sustain things and we have to be able to make catches out there."
"I don't think it's talent. I just think it's sometimes a concentration issue with some of those guys. I think sometimes they may actually be thinking too much instead of just relaxing and going to play. Some of them need to just take a big, deep breath and do what we know they can do. And they have made some big-time catches in games for us and can continue to do that for us. But, I think sometimes they are overthinking a little bit."
"I think with some of those guys, again, I said I think sometimes they are probably thinking too much. (WR) Jordan (Matthews) is a guy that's, I don't know anybody who catches more balls during the week than him. He's here at 7 AM working on the JUGS machine. Sometimes, I think he just overthinks it and needs to take a deep breath and just go play. He has outstanding hands and has been a very clutch receiver for us."
On The Slow Starts
"Well, I think there are a few things that express themselves in different ways, depending on who we are playing or who their opponent was. We went, I think it was 47 plays in the first half against Carolina, which is totally different than I think we ran like 20 plays in the first half against Dallas."
"So we executed and stayed on the field against Carolina, but then really the things that stopped us there, a couple of those penalties really knocked us back and got us out of scoring range were issues that happened to us in Carolina, as opposed to we didn't block people in the Dallas game. I think it's different when you go game to game."
On The State Of The Offensive Line
"I thought those guys competed. Two of those sacks were late in the game and we're down two scores and we're throwing and everybody in the stadium knows we're throwing. I didn't put a whole heck of a lot onto those two, but I thought by and large, they fought. They competed against a good front, (Panthers defensive tackle Kawann) Short is a really good football player. And I said the two best linebackers (Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis) that we'll face can run sideline to sideline. But I thought overall, especially after losing Jason (Peters) and then (Matt) Tobin has to go from right guard, where he has been training, out to left tackle and Dennis (Kelly) has to step in. I thought those guys competed and played well."
"They will see and monitor (Jason Peters' back injury) this week. I think some of those guys will stay here; those guys that need to stay here will all stay here with (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer) Chris (Peduzzi) and get treatment. But from what I understand, (Peters) should be good to go for next Tuesday."
On The Run Defense Against Carolina
"I think 80 yards, came on two plays. The counter play to (Panthers running back Jonathan) Stewart that they bounced, we didn't fit it well, and the backer didn't get over the top. Didn't post it the way he was supposed to post it. And the reverse, those two plays were two kind of back breakers for us and uncharacteristic for what we have been like defensively in stopping the run. We have not given up a lot of X-runs just because of how we play and everybody swarms to the ball. Our guys have a pretty good understanding of what they are doing, but those specific two runs, I think, really kind of tilted things."