Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

On linebacker Mychal Kendricks: "He's day to day right now.  I don't know really what his status will be until the end of the week.  We'll see where he can go.  I don't think he's going to go in practice today, from the looks of it just seeing him in the training room.  We'll see if there's something he can do tomorrow and Saturday, but right now, he's very doubtful [for today]."

On what happened to Kendricks's calf: "I don't know.  I don't ask.  Can we get this out of the way?  I'm never going to ask.  I don't care.  Just tell me if they can play or can't play.  That's all I ever ask.  I'm not a doctor.  So it's a grade 32.  I don't know what that means.  You don't know what that means.  So I don't care.  I never ask those questions.  There's no reason for me to ask those questions.  Just tell me if he can play or can't play and that's the same conversation I have with [head athletic trainer] Chris Peduzzi and [head team physician] Dr. [Peter] DeLuca all the time. Is he up or is he down?"

On whether Darren Sproles can keep up this productivity as a smaller guy: "It's a good question.  I think he can.  I think when you look at his fitness level and I think his size, there may be a little misconception there. He's 200 pounds; he's short but he's not small and I think there's a difference.  Sometimes you worry if someone is a smaller guy, [former Eagles WR] Damaris Johnson, you obviously could not put Damaris in there.  Damaris did a great job spelling us at running back in the preseason but I was really nervous in the one game where we had a couple guys down. How many times can we really run Damaris because it's a different type of body."  When you look at Darren, he's really, really put together and he's probably the most fit guy on our team.  There's a special quality to him from that standpoint, and I don't know that we knew that when we got him.  When we first looked at him, obviously the dynamic ability as a returner jumps out at you, his ability to catch the ball coming out of the backfield and as I said after a couple days dealing with him, really impressed with him as a running back.  That wasn't something that was a preconceived notion but after me watching him the first couple days, I'm like this kid has pretty good ability as a running back.  And when you see his size, he's a little different than your prototypical small guy."

On the release of Washington WR DeSean Jackson: "We were going in a different direction at the wide receiver position, yeah."

On why Jeremy Maclin returned instead but DeSean didn't: "COACH KELLY:  Jeremy Maclin's bigger than DeSean is, isn't he?  So he's bigger than one percent of the guy you're talking about.  I'm confused with the question."

On Maclin being smaller than 70 percent of the outside receivers in the league: "You can't get everybody to be 6-5.  Everybody ideally would like a [Detroit WR Calvin Johnson] Megatron type guy, but you can't get all of those guys. You have to make a decision on the direction you're going and that's the decision we made."

On the balance of talent and size in terms of what he's looking for: "A lot of it has to do - the weight part is the biggest thing for a lot of us in terms of what we are looking at too."

On whether sports science can help fix drops: "No, I think a lot of it is repetition.  I think a lot of it is concentration.  Guys that have drops, it's not that they have bad hands.  It's just at times, they are not just focusing and concentrating.  We always talk about eyes, fingers, things like that and that's more of just a repetition thing and a feel thing.  No different than a golfer putting.  Some days he's got a great putter going and he's doing a great job out there and he's hitting long distance putts and hitting everything and other days he's a little bit more inconsistent."

On how the Colts might have been doing different things to keep the Eagles' offense off the field: "I think every game's different.  Some people have tried to    I don't know if that's what their intentions were.  I think sometimes maybe some people read too much into that.  Maybe they saw something in us defensively that felt like they wanted to exploit the run game, I don't know.  That's a question for other teams when they play us.  But I haven't seen people just sit there and look at the play clock and wait till five seconds to go to milk the clock or anything.  Actually if you watch the Colts game, the Colts ran hurry up.  I think people are reading too much into that with them running the football.  I didn't get the impression from watching the game and being on the sideline that they were trying to work the clock in any manner to keep us off the field.  Maybe they thought in their game plan they could run the ball on us.  I'll give them credit, in the first half they did a really good job of it and we had to make some adjustments to shut that down.  I thought they were doing some really good things there.  If you really watch that game, they didn't look like they were trying to work the clock – they actually played hurry-up against us.  I didn't see that aspect of it.  I didn't see it that way.  I just think they saw something in the run game they thought they could exploit."

On linebacker Marcus Smith II practicing an inside linebacker: "It's a numbers thing.  I don't know where it will play out but when you only have four inside linebackers in your 53 and one of them is hurt, we have to bring someone over, so we brought Marcus over from outside linebacker and see how he fits and what he can do.  Obviously, you've got to be prepared if you lose a guy or two at inside linebacker what do you do.  It's no different than [TE] Trey Burton being another running back for us, or [TE] James Casey or [WR] Brad Smith or those guys being emergency quarterbacks for us.  It's just being able to make sure you've got all your bases covered in case an injury were to come up."

On how Smith translates to inside linebacker: "I think he's athletic.  He's got great change of direction, and it's been one day.  So I wouldn't - I can't tell you much more than that."

On whether the Washington pass rush is the team's biggest concern: "I think their front is, and you've got two outstanding linebackers in [Brian] Orakpo and [Ryan] Kerrigan.  They added [DE] Jason Hatcher, who I have a ton of respect for, played really well against us the last two times we played Dallas last year and now he's in that front.  They are also very big across the front.  They have two really good linebackers in Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley.  They have two real good inside guys so that front seven is very, very formidable."

On what has to happen for the screen game to work effectively: "A lot of timing is involved in it.   Obviously a big rush is a big factor in it.  If the defensive line is not rushing and they are sitting on line of scrimmage, it's very difficult to get a screen pass off.  But if you get people teeing up and coming after you and doing a real good job in the pass rush, then the screen pass is a way to negate that.  There's a lot of timing involved in it. When does the back get out, when does the lineman get out, who gets out; do you have a three technique to your side; do you have a one technique to your side; do you have a clean release; who is first out; who is second out; who is blocking the kick out; who has got the alley.  There's a lot of different factors in it and we spend a lot of time on it in practice and our training sessions out here, and we've been successful. And also takes a guy that has a knack for doing it and I think both [RB] LeSean [McCoy] and Darren have proven that they have a real good knack for running those type of plays."

On the importance of the offensive linemen and their chop blocking: "Chop blocking?  That's illegal."

Cut blocking: "Cut blocking?  I just think it's another weapon if someone on the defensive side is running full speed and you don't have an opportunity. He's coming at you in a full speed manner, the change up that you can do as an offensive lineman and on a screen pass is to be able to cut him and take him low."

On what's tough about a short week: "Just how much do you push in those days immediately after the game.  Usually if we are playing a game on a Sunday, except for three occasions this year, we are playing Sunday games, so they have Monday off.  So they have that day off and we come back out on Tuesday and we run around a little bit and loosen up a little bit.  But I would phrase our Tuesday practice as kind of a medium day and then we get going and then we have two full speed days.  So yesterday's full speed day was really two days removed from playing so we are a little conscious of where those guys were.  We are hoping we can move a little bit more today and then we get ready and we're starting to get into what our 48 hour phase is before a game. It's just that recovery time you normally don't get. What we talk about, that battle rhythm, every Monday is the same, every Tuesday is the same, every Wednesday is the same, every Thursday is the same.  So it's really just being conscious knowing yesterday, when we were out there training, we were still two days removed from a game."

On whether his offense is designed to focus on tight ends and running backs: "We are equal opportunity distributors.  How do you want to defend us?  Doesn't matter.  If there's a match up we can exploit, we'll exploit it.  But we don't have    and we don't have a set number that this needs to go here, this needs to go here.  A lot of times, it's different guys, different games.  And one game it's one guy, another game, it's another guy.  So it's not by design to answer your question, that we are trying to go one way or another way.  [TE] David Paulson who was playing for the Steelers is an outstanding receiver.  We had some really good running backs.  Those are strengths for us in terms of our football team.  I think [WR Jeff] Maehl led us in receiving when he was All-Pac-12, and he led the team in receiving.  You said our tight ends and running backs led the team in receiving, didn't you? So two receivers, one tight end and one running back."

On why the offensive distribution was like that at Oregon: "Here is what happened at Oregon.  We were up 50 points in a lot of games, so we threw the ball less than ever.  And I had that question last year a thousand times that you really emphasize the run.  Well, when the score is 50 3 at halftime, we are not coming out in the second half and jacking the ball around.  So we had some running backs that were seventh string that were our scout squad guys that got more touches than an All-Pac-12 receiver in a game and that's because the game itself dictated that.  When you look at the whole of statistics from a year, it's very tough to study, like, well, why are they that?  We ran the ball a ton there just because we were up a ton.  You look at other teams that you're a pass operated offense; well, we are because we're always behind.  And it's the same thing.  I think whenever you have a chance to be a really - you show me any football team in football that's a great four minute offense, then they are a really good football team because that means they are up all the time.  I hope our running backs carry the ball more than we throw the ball this year in every single game, because if they do, that means we are winning every single game."

On whether Marcus Smith II can contribute sooner at inside linebacker than outside: "Sure.  Maybe.  (Laughter).  I don't know.  I mean he's got a skill set and he is athletic and he can play.  But his position that he played in college was defensive end and outside linebacker, so I think it was maybe a little bit more of a projection.  The circumstances right now, we only have three healthy inside linebackers, so we have to get a fourth guy ready.  Marcus was the one guy on the outside we felt could contribute and swing back inside.  He can cover tight end. He's got that athletic ability and that's a good point in terms of what he can do.  It will be interesting, that's why I said, we've only had him for a day, so for me to say, Marcus after one day, we are locked and loaded at inside linebacker. But he does have a skill set that translates to that.  That's why [defensive coordinator] Billy [Davis] and us sat down as a staff and decided that's the guy from the outside linebacker pool that can come inside and jump in for us there."

On the dynamic of facing DeSean Jackson, who knows the Eagles' tendencies as they know his: "I think that's a great point.  I think it's a wash.  We know him and he knows us.  He has experience against [CB] Cary [Williams] and [CB] Bradley [Fletcher] and the guys that will lineup against him and our guys have experience against them.  So I don't think anybody has an advantage in that situation."

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