Philadelphia Eagles News

Kelly: Bradford Keeps Getting Better

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Another week, another win over the AFC for the Eagles. Sunday's 23-20 win over Buffalo was the Eagles' eighth win in their last nine matchups with the AFC, dating back to 2013, but the Eagles have to turn their focus quickly to the Arizona Cardinals.

Training sessions will resume on Tuesday, but on Monday we heard from Eagles head coach Chip Kelly who offered his thoughts on the Cardinals and highlighted some of the best Eagles' standout players from this past weekend ...

On Sam Bradford's Play

For the second straight week, Kelly praised the play of quarterback Sam Bradford and the growth that he's shown as the Eagles' starting quarterback. After a long road back from surgery on his left knee, Bradford is looking more and more at ease in the Eagles' system.

"I just think Sam, as a whole, has progressed as the season has gone along," Kelly said. "I know, it takes a long while to play quarterback in this league. There are so many things that you have to get and when we got Sam, we knew with any quarterback it's going to take time.

"Name any quarterback playing at a high level now and they have been playing in the same system for years, not for months. And that's what Sam's case is; he's just been playing our system for months. But I've said it, and I'll continue to say it, I just see improvement from Sam on a weekly basis that gets you excited about him. I thought he threw the ball extremely well yesterday. We could have helped him a little better. I thought we had too many drops. That really would have extended a lot of things for us on Sunday. But I think Sam has improved in all aspects of his game."

Kelly also shed some light on how he feels about Bradford moving forward as the Eagles' quarterback, beyond this season. 

'We've always wanted Sam here," Kelly said. "We wouldn't have traded for him if we thought he was going to be here for a year."

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A quick recap at some of the key players who powered the Eagles to their 23-20 win over the Bills. View the full gallery here...

On Playing With Emotion**

While there were plenty of extra-curricular storylines around this week's matchup, the Eagles remained focused on beating Buffalo to keep their hopes for a division title alive. The Eagles stayed away from any pushing and shoving, thanks in part to wisdom imparted by the coaches during the week ...

"We talked about it as a coaching staff and in individual position meetings and in group settings of it's important to play with emotion, but not let emotion play with you," Kelly said. "Don't let them take you out of your game. When you do retaliate, it's really kind of a selfish act because you're hurting your team. You may feel good about that one instant where you kind of got back at that guy for what you felt he did wrong to you, but in the end it hurts the team. It's about putting the team goals ahead, but we did talk to our guys leading into this game about not getting involved in that stuff.

"We were prepared if it went that way, but I really don't think the game itself went that way, it didn't express that way. I thought they competed really hard, and I thought our guys competed really hard."

On Facing Carson Palmer

The Eagles have faced Carson Palmer and the Cardinals in each of the past two seasons, with each side coming away victorious once. Though there is some familiarity there, Kelly emphasized the challenge in playing an intelligent quarterback like Palmer.

"Going against Carson (Palmer) will be like going against Tom Brady, like going against Eli (Manning), those veteran quarterbacks that have seen everything," Kelly said. "You have got to be able to give them varied looks. You can't sit in the same things all the time because he'll pick you apart.

"He's so sharp and can change things at the line of scrimmage and put themselves in the right protection, put themselves in the right routes, so you've got to give them a lot of different looks. You have to attack them a lot of different ways. You have to blitz them at times. You have to play coverage at times. So I think it's really an attack that's got to cover a lot of different things. It just can't be, 'Hey, if we play this one coverage, we are going to be pretty good against him' because he'll figure out exactly what you're going to do."

On The Play Of Jaylen Watkins And Ed Reynolds

While Kelly touched upon the veterans who made a big impact on Sunday, he also gave some praise to a pair of Eagles rookies who contributed in a big way. Facing his brother, Jaylen Watkins pitched in well on special teams helping force a muffed punt and Ed Reynolds came away with the game-sealing interception. Both players were originally released when the roster was trimmed to 53 players.

"It was a very difficult decision for us," Kelly said. "We felt like we had some depth in the secondary. We traded away Brandon Boykin, but we still cut Jaylen at that time and we still cut Ed, but we were fortunate to get both of those guys back. Jaylen is playing really well for us right now on special teams and Ed has gotten better and better at safety. We felt going in that we had some depth. We knew at camp we had some depth in the secondary.

"So it was going to be a difficult decision, and I said that going into it, I thought we were going to have some difficult decisions back there."

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