Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

On who's back to practice: "They're all back.  [RB Darren] Sproles is practicing, [RB Chris] Polk is practicing, [LB Mychal] Kendricks is practicing.  Everybody is practicing everybody for [WR] Brad Smith. [C Jason] Kelce will practice, I don't know much - all those guys, I don't know what they'll do and [G] Evan Mathis can't practice until tomorrow."

On who will go full participation: "They're all full to go, so we'll see what they can do."

On the plan for LB Marcus Smith II with Kendricks back: "There's no plan.  Mychal hasn't practiced in a while, so we'll go see what Mychal can do today, and that's about it right now."

On whether Smith would practice with the inside linebackers Tuesday: "Yeah."

On the move to sign [C/G] Julian Vandervelde: "Julian was an outstanding player for us, plays both guard and tackle, has experience in our system.  Got hurt, obviously, had a back injury and has recovered from his back injury, and it was just trying to improve our roster."

On Smith's work at the inside linebacker position: "He's done a good job.  I think the transition is something - he hasn't played the position before, but I think the transition in terms of never playing a position, to get in there, added some value for us in some nickel snaps.  He's done a nice job in there."

On whether Smith could continue to play at inside backer: "I don't know.  I mean, it's all based on depth, where we are. [If] two more inside linebackers get hurt, he stays. [If] everybody is healthy and an outside linebacker gets hurt - that's why hypotheticals I don't really deal with.  We just go day by day with the whole situation."

On the Cardinals' passing defense being weaker than last year, but the run defense still being a strength: "I disagree with your first statement, because when you look at just numbers, it doesn't make sense.  What are you going to do when the Cardinals are up?  You're going to throw the ball on them, so they're going to give up more passing yards. What do you do when you're up on offense?  You run the ball more.  When you just look at statistics and say, 'This isn't that good,' I disagree with that statement.  I think their defense is outstanding.  It's just the Cardinals offense is so good, they've been up in almost every game they've played, so people at the end of the game have to throw the ball more than they have to run the ball."

On Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson: "He looks good to me on film, so does [CB Antonio] Cromartie.  I think they've got two outstanding corners and a real good football team.  They've got a great pass rush.  I think [DT] Dan Williams inside does a really good job, [OLB Alex] Okafor and [OLB Sam] Acho on the outside create a lot pressure.  If [DE] Calais Campbell is back, he's one of the top defensive linemen in the league, so there's a reason that that team has got the record that they have.  They're outstanding in all phases.  There's not a weakness there when you're looking at them."

On Peterson and what separates him from other corners in the league: "I just think his size.  He's 6-foot-1, 219 pounds playing corner.  You know, and he's got breakaway speed.  He's been an outstanding returner in this league. They've actually used him on offense at times, I think.  That combination of athleticism with that size is pretty difficult to replicate.  I don't think there's many people that are as big as him, and then they went out and got Cromartie, who's 6-foot-2, another tall, long corner. Just two real big, physical corners out there that do a great job in press coverage."

On the Cardinals' skill in defending against the run: "I just think, again, it's the personnel they have. Obviously, Todd [defensive coordinator Todd Bowles] does a great job with their scheme, and I think their scheme is somewhat unique in terms of getting in and out of fronts.  They run a lot of different looks on the defensive side of the ball, so they can confuse you a little bit, but also they've got some really, really good football players on the defensive side of the ball."

On what he learned about Bowles when he met with him before Bowles left the Eagles in 2013: "He's a great football coach. Got a real good mind, sharp.  He knew exactly what he was doing, but he had already had a job, so he was out the door before I really got in the door."

On his saying 'Culture beats scheme every time' Sunday night against the Giants: "Yeah, I was just having a conversation with [S] Jordan Kovacs, who's one of our practice squad players who just got here, and said that - I asked him how he was doing, and he said we have a really good culture here. So just a response to a line with a practice squad player."

On what he means by that: "I think culture is more important than scheme.  Pretty straightforward, black and white."

On whether he thinks culture is more important than talent: "I don't know.  That wasn't the conversation I had."

On him visiting Giants WR Victor Cruz in the hospital the day after the Eagles beat the Giants: "I just think the way he got injured, and I think when you look at what happened, I mean, we're all competitors in this game, but there's a feeling, no matter who it is, when you see someone get hurt in a game, and to the extent that he got hurt is just - just had an opportunity on Monday morning to stop by and see if he was okay. [See] if he needed anything before he got transferred up to New York."

On his level of comfort with where Sproles and Polk are, health-wise: "I have no idea.  I haven't seen them.  I said it last week - they'll run around here today and we'll make some decisions, but I haven't seen them do anything since the Giants game.  We were off all last week."

On what happens coming off a bye week to a team in terms of being ready for the grind: "It's a good question, and that's what we addressed in our meetings.  You hope it doesn't, but you obviously had some time off, but you would hope they'd have a little bit of bounce in their step because they've had some time off, so we'll see.  There was a lot of guys in here yesterday on their day off, getting treatment, checking film out on their own and all that, so I don't anticipate these guys not being ready to go.  It's a pretty good group that way."

On the pluses and minuses of the bye week: "Obviously, the pluses are you get a break.  We had been at it for 10 straight weeks – or a little bit longer than 10 weeks -- but we played 10 games, including the four preseason games, so you get a little chance to rest up, get away from it for a little bit, not only physically, but mentally, so I look at it as a plus."

On whether there are minuses: "I never look at it as minuses because it's not like you can say, 'We don't like the bye, so let's change it.'  I mean, they just tell us when it is and you've got to live with it.  I think obviously when you play as many games as we play, that it's good to get a little bit of a break in there."

On facing a three-man front versus a four-man front in terms of the run game: "It depends on what you're getting because [the Cardinals] play both, so it's not like they play - they play three man front, they play four man front, sometimes they play two man front.  It's not when you play them they're just going to be in one defense the entire game.  You've got to be prepared for all of those looks, and I think everybody    you look at the Giants last week, they hadn't shown any odd looks, but then they played us in odd.  It's something that we have to prepare for every week, whether it's a three down spacing or a four down spacing."

On the Giants using odd because teams have had success against them using odd: "I didn't have the opportunity to ask them why they went odd. So, I don't know why they went odd."

On the emotional effect of getting Sproles, Kendricks, Kelce back: "I think everybody wants to make sure Darren wasn't hurt extensively, and obviously the fact that he's back out practicing, it wasn't a real serious injury.  It looked a little bit, probably, worse than it was.  And these guys care about each other.  This team is a pretty tight team, a pretty together team, and they don't want anybody to be injured, and when anybody gets hurt, even when it's somebody on the other team, that can affect you.  That's kind of [what happened], when Victor [Cruz] went down, nobody wants to see that in any player.  When you get an opportunity to get some of those guys back, I think it's a little bit of a boost to you."

On QB Nick Foles giving the referees an earful during the Giants game, and whether that's a new thing: "No, that's the Nick Foles I know.  I didn't see the clip or whatever, but I've seen Nick being very assertive, so I don't see that other side. I think he's been the same since I've been here."

On the process of self-scouting: "We just analyze what we did in certain situations.  We went through goal line, we went through coming out, we went through third-down situations, we went through openers, kind of looked at everything. What we were successful at -- kind of looked at it on film -- what we weren't successful at [and] why we weren't successful at it. Was it personnel, was it scheme, was it we weren't prepared for this? So, you're kind of looking at everything that you're doing."

On Kelce, and whether he'll get first-team reps Tuesday: "No.  I mean, he hasn't done anything.  He's just coming off of surgery.  I hope he ties his shoes right, and we're going to put him in some individual drills and see what he can do.  I just said they're all practicing.  That doesn't mean anything more than that they're all practicing."

On handling Mathis in these next two weeks: "Yeah, he's not going to get first team reps.  We've just got to work him back into football shape.  He's got to get himself an opportunity when someone comes off and he is eligible to come off in that situation, I think the rules and the right manner is that he kind of has two weeks to get himself up to speed from a football standpoint because he has missed an extensive period of time."

On Mathis suggesting Kelce is ahead of schedule: "I haven't seen Jason Kelce do anything since he got operated on, so I can't make any assumptions in terms of where he is or where he isn't.  I know he's been working extremely hard in the weight room.  I know he's been working hard with our trainers and doing things on the side, but maybe [Mathis] is a better doctor than our doctors are.  I don't know any    I'm really not being evasive.  No one knows.  He hasn't done anything."

On having Kelce and Mathis back, and whether that means he'll talk to C David Molk or G/T Matt Tobin about their roles moving forward: "No, we're on a one week season.  We've been that all along.  Our total focus and goal is the Arizona Cardinal game.  That's not a concern of anybody's right now."

On looking at last year's Cardinals game: "Yeah, we always look at everybody.  We looked at both Giants games when we played the Giants.  If we've played a team before, it's a benefit to us, we'll go back and watch it.  When we played the Bears in preseason, we watched the Bears from the year before.  We played the Patriots preseason, we watched the Patriots game in preseason from before.  Whenever you have a game from a year ago and the coordinators are the same and the coaches are the same, you're going to take a look at it.  If it's a whole new coaching staff, then sometimes that doesn't benefit you, but if it's got the same coaching staff, and obviously they do, so we looked at it."

On the Cardinals, offensively: "I think they've got a lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball.  Obviously, [QB] Carson [Palmer] came back against the Raiders and did a really nice job in his first game back. Then Ellington, who we didn't see, I think is an added plus in the backfield, and then you add the receivers, so you've got [WR Larry] Fitzgerald, you've got [WR Michael] Floyd, and then they've got the young rookie in [WR] John Brown who's a really explosive player.  They've got a lot of weapons, and they do a lot of different things on the offensive side of the ball to spread the ball around to all those guys.  You know, it's going to be quite a match up for our defense."

On whether it's difficult to get a team prepared when they're coming off of a win like the one against the Giants: "I hope not.  I wouldn't want it the other way, I'll tell you that.  If I had my choice, I would rather have it the way we have it right now.  I mean, you always want to continue to play, but we still have a lot of things from the Giants game that we can improve on.  We didn't play a complete football game.  We turned the ball over a couple times on the offensive side of the ball.  We punted six times.  You know, we've got to do a better job in a lot of categories, so it's not like we're patting ourselves on the back after that performance.  I thought we played well, I thought we played with good energy, I thought we played hard, but there's still a lot of things we can do to be a better football team."

On whether the practice squad is in a position where they know the scheme and know what's expected if they're promoted: "They certainly know the scheme, and it would just depend on the situation and what position.  There's some positions we don't have practice squad players at, so that would be a little bit difficult in terms of bringing someone up from that situation.  We don't have a practice squad tight end.  If you lost a tight end, you're not going to promote a receiver because you lost a tight end.  But those guys play multiple positions.  They have to play offense, defense, they have to give looks on special teams at the same time.  They probably get the most work during the week from a physical standpoint just because they're not playing in the game.  You have to be a little bit conscious when you're looking at your scout squad guys when you're in training sessions of how much you're running those guys in those sessions because you also have to keep them fresh.  Our scout squad, our practice squad players, we use them to the nth degree, but all those guys understand – obviously [WR] Will Murphy and [WR] Quron Pratt have a little bit more than say Jordan Kovacs, who just came in here -- but those guys understand the scheme.  They're in every meeting.  They know what's going on.  So if you had to bring someone up, ideally that's the situation.  We did it with [LB Emmanuel] Acho, we brought him up; we brought [RB Matthew] Tucker up; we brought [T] Kevin Graf up for a couple weeks. But sometimes you have to go outside, and we went outside to get Wade Smith, so it's not a hard and fast rule that we're taking a practice squad player and bringing him up and that's the only way we're going to do it.  You've just got to see what's the best situation for you."

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