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Kelly: Energy, Effort Lift Eagles

LANDOVER, Md. -- The curtain unveiled, Chip Kelly certainly seemed well-prepared for his NFL debut. After an offseason of speculation, the Eagles' new steward uncorked an offense that ran all over the Redskins with a combination of fast-paced tempo, sound decision-making, solid fundamentals and the kinds of bells and whistles some expected to see from the innovative head coach.

The offense moved so fast that it was easy to miss so many of the wrinkles thrown in by Kelly. The Eagles occasionally created a left-sided run-blocking monster by lining Brent Celek up as the right tackle, sliding Lane Johnson from right tackle to left tackle and pushing Jason Peters to Johnson's left as a tight end by technicality. Peters and Johnson were both split out wide at one point too, as lead blockers for a double stack formation that left only three offensive linemen directly in front of Vick.

"I think that's the key," said center Jason Kelce. "The whole point of this tempo thing is to put defenses on their heels and then all of a sudden you see something like that and your head starts spinning."


For Kelly, though, Monday night's season-opening win was one to savor. Just don't tell him the Eagles took care of business.

"We've said since day one it's a game," said Kelly following the win. "It doesn't have to be run like a business and we don't run practice like a business, we don't run our training sessions like a business.

"It still is a game and I think sometimes we all take ourselves too seriously. We love playing football and there's a passion with it, but that's the way it should be played. I had a lot of fun tonight and I think our guys had a lot of fun, but you're always going to say that when you win."

Fun was a common theme on the night, and one echoed by the NFL's new leading rusher LeSean McCoy.

"I have to say, I think today was the first time that a lot of guys in this locker room had fun," said McCoy. "We couldn't wait to get back out there and have fun. That feeling, the whole first half we were up and down, up and down, up and down."

For all the talk of the eye-opening offensive performance, though, Kelly's biggest takeaway was the performance of his defense. After finishing 30th in the league only eight takeaways last season, the Eagles forced two turnovers Monday night and added on a safety for good measure.

"I just like the energy that they played with," Kelly said of the defense. "That's the one thing that we talked about is that we're going to play hard and that if you can go out and play hard, you're going to make mistakes, but don't be afraid of making mistakes and play hard and a lot of time that effort will make up for some of those mistakes."

Kelly did say there were plenty of mistakes made by the team Monday night, as they were forced to suffer some nervous moments in the fourth quarter as a 26-point lead shrunk to six, forcing a must-recover onsides kick with just over a minute remaining.

"It's great to get a win, but it's also good to get a win where you can learn from it," said Kelly. "We have a lot of tape to coach off of. It's one victory, it's a big victory because it's in the division, but it's just one victory. We've got a short week coming up and we have to get ready to play on a Sunday again.

"We have to get back to work."

Effort remains paramount for Kelly and his players as they turn the page to Sunday's home opener against the San Diego Chargers.

"We have a bunch of guys that are excited to be at work every single day," said Kelly. "They make us as coaches make sure we come to work every day to be ready for them because these guys are going to challenge you in the meeting room from an X and O standpoint because they're so knowledgeable in the game. It keeps us sharp, it keeps them sharp. It's a lot of fun. It's a real good group to be around."

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