Q. How did you think defensive coordinator Bill Davis did this year and is your plan to go forward with him?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I thought Billy did a really good job. I thought our defense improved in a lot of categories. There are still things we need to clean up. We were really good in 2013 in X-plays; we weren't good at all in 2014 in X-plays. I thought our run defense got better. I thought our transition from coming in here and playing a Wide-9, 4‑3 defense to a 3‑4 defense over last two years -- I think Billy has done a really good job.
Q. How about the staff in general? The secondary came under a lot of fire, so how about guys like defensive backs coach John Lovett and assistant defensive backs coach Todd Lyght? Will each position coach be evaluated? COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think everybody's evaluated. I'm evaluated. That is what this whole process is all about. But I really like our coaching staff. I think we get along very well. I think we have a lot of really good teachers here who do a really good job.
Q. Are you concerned that you might lose some coaches in the offseason?
COACH KELLY: That happens, too. That's another aspect. Last year we lost Bill Lazor, who went to Miami. There are some things you don't have control over in terms of -- I'm never going to stand in a coach's way when they have an opportunity to kind of get what they consider a better job. It's really their decision, not my decision. I'll weigh in on it if they want me to give advice. But I would anticipate as openings happen around the league and there could be openings in college where people want to go to a college job. But that's always done on an individual basis and you never know. We finished the season last year, we didn't have anything, and then three weeks later, the Miami thing started happening with Bill. So we'll cross that bridge if it happens, but I would anticipate it. We do have some really good coaches here, so I'm hopefully that we can keep everybody together.
Q. How do you feel about the program going forward compared to the day after the season last year?
COACH KELLY: I don't know how I felt the day after the season last year.
Q. Have you made the progress you wanted to make?
COACH KELLY: Well, we didn't make the playoffs, so no. You're all measured by one thing: Did you win a Super Bowl or did you not win a Super Bowl? So, we didn't make the playoffs and don't have an opportunity to compete for the Super Bowl.
Q. You said a moment ago that you have a lot of good teachers here and you've praised that over the time you've been here. The penalties and the turnovers doomed you in a lot of respects down the stretch. Do you correlate that to teaching? COACH KELLY: I correlate it to everything, but there is not just one thing you look at. I don't think when you look at an interception you can say, 'Gee, it's the quarterback's fault.' There were times this year when there were interceptions where the offensive lineman was supposed to be blocking a defensive end, and he didn't; the quarterback expects the defensive end to be blocked, but all of a sudden he's in his face; the hot is supposed to come from the outside, but all of a sudden there is someone running from the inside. My point is that there is not just one thing like, 'It's this guy's fault.' There were interceptions that were thrown that went right through receivers' hands and were tipped and went the other way; now, that's not the quarterback's fault, he put the ball exactly where it was supposed to be. So it's analyzing all of it to see if there is one common thread that goes through everything and then your ability to correct those things and make them better.
Q. But the thread is not teaching?
COACH KELLY: It could be. We analyze everything. That is part of what the whole offseason process is: Is it scheme? Is it personnel? Let's make sure. You can park your ego outside the door because it's got nothing to do with it: it's how do we make ourselves better, and we analyze everything. It's not like we put blinders on and say -- I'm talking in general, and overall as a group, I think we have a really good bunch of teachers here, but that doesn't mean we all can't improve either.
Q. You've mentioned execution throughout the season. Given that these guys get more reps in practice than anybody else, how do you as a coach get them to execute better going forward?
COACH KELLY: I think it's a process, and how much you've got to continue to teach them. I think we've always gone with the philosophy that if they haven't learned it, then we're not teaching it the right way. We have to continue to find different ways to make sure that part gets hammered home, and you've got to continue to stress that and to find that. Maybe you have to find a different way to teach it. Maybe it's a visual tool; it's more film work. Maybe it's more walkthroughs. There are a lot of different things that you have to investigate as you go through the offseason here.
Q. Overall, did you get playoff-worthy quarterbacking from your team?
COACH KELLY: I thought our quarterbacks, when you look at their rating, you know, some of the things, I thought they played good football. At times, obviously, as I said, the turnover part of it hurt us. I think Derek [Eagles director of public relations Derek Boyko] showed me something where we threw for more yards this year than the Eagles have ever thrown for. We had the highest completion percentage, but we also, in my opinion, had too many turnovers. I've never been on a team or coached a team that has had this many turnovers. So that is something we have to clean up.
Q. If you look at the playoff teams, I think 10 of the 12 had quarterbacks that played in every game this season. You've always said, 'Durability is the best ability.' How much do you factor in QB Nick Foles' injuries?
COACH KELLY: He broke a collarbone, so I don't think that's a guy that shows me he has a chronic injury, in terms of that aspect.
Q. Not so much this specific injury, but how about in terms of getting injured?
COACH KELLY: I think that's part of the game. I don't know any quarterback, no matter who you are, that if you take the hit that he took in the Houston game, that's not going to be injured in that situation. I don't fault Nick for that.
Q. Do you think there is anything about his play that leads to getting injured?
COACH KELLY: You lost me on that.
Q. Do you see any correlation between him getting injured and his performance as a quarterback? He got hurt because maybe he couldn't get the ball out quicker in Dallas last year when he got out of the pocket and got hit and had a concussion when he was run down?
COACH KELLY: No, I do not.
Q. It's four or five years though now that Foles has missed time. Is that a trend that is alarming to you?
COACH KELLY: I think anytime anybody gets injured -- but I also think in this league it's part of the deal. I don't know anybody that makes it through. Name a good quarterback in this league: [Broncos QB] Peyton Manning missed a year --
Q. Giants QB Eli Manning hasn't missed a start in a while --
COACH KELLY: Peyton Manning missed a year. [Patriots QB] Tom Brady missed a year. [Saints QB] Drew Brees missed a year. [Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers missed almost all of last season. [Cowboys QB] Tony Romo's been hurt. You can count on one hand the guys that don't get hurt at the quarterback position. That is just the nature of that position. Those guys are going to get hit and that's why I've always said you better have two because of the nature of that position. But very rarely do guys make it through unscathed at that position. It just doesn't happen.
Q. Will you look to upgrade the quarterback position in the offseason?
COACH KELLY: We haven't made any evaluations of anything. So for me to say, at any position here, quarterback, wide receiver, defensive line, kicker, holder, anybody, we literally just played our last game. Still in the process of breaking down the film of the last game, and then we have a long evaluation process. Time is on everybody's side here. We don't have to make any decisions today. We don't have to make any decisions until we get close to free agency in terms of how we want to start to shape the roster for 2015. I think we have a good process in terms of how that works. I don't think there is a reason to be hasty from any decision in that standpoint. So you take a look at anything and everything you can. Our goal is to win this thing and to do that, you have to look at everything, no matter what it is. You don't know what presents itself, so you have to take a look at everything and say, 'Hey, what do we think?' When the chance or an opportunity comes, you have no idea what you're going to get, but [you say], 'Can this help make us a better organization?' We have to make decisions based on that.
Q. Do you prioritize these breakdowns? For example, do you look at quarterback first?
COACH KELLY: No, we look at everything. But it's all done by position coaches, then it goes up to coordinators, then it comes up to me then it's -- offensive side of the ball, defensive side of the ball, the whole thing. It's not like our quarterback coach is going to sit there and wait until we get to the quarterbacks before we evaluate them. Bill [quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave] is in that process right now; Bill has been in that process through the whole thing. There is not one thing that is prioritized over the other. I think we have to look at everything in terms of, 'How do we make this thing better?' because obviously 10‑6 isn't good enough.
Q. So this morning when you said that you wanted RB LeSean McCoy and WR Jeremy Maclin back, that's not a final decision because you haven't gone through the full process of assessing them?
COACH KELLY: No, it's the same thing that I just said. We are going to have a long, full process for this whole thing. But do I want LeSean back? Yeah. Do I want Jeremy back? Yeah. Is that the reality? I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen. What if someone gives us 17 first-round draft picks for LeSean? Should I say, 'No, I made a statement on a radio show at 8:00 o'clock in the morning after the game and said that I want LeSean back, so I'm not going to do that?' We'll look at everything.
Q. Before the evaluation process starts, going by gut feeling, other than the turnovers, what do you think the biggest reason is that you're not playing this week?
COACH KELLY: I think X-plays defensively have a big factor in that. If you look two things, it's turnovers on offense, and X-plays on defense.
Q. When you look at those X-plays, your pass rush was very good this year. Obviously you haven't reviewed everything yet, but can you put a finger on why those X-plays occurred given the pressure your defense put on the quarterback?
COACH KELLY: Again, like the interceptions, you have to look at the individual thing. Did the quarterback have too much time, on that individual one, to throw? Was it a blown coverage? Were we close in coverage, but didn't make the play? There is a lot involved in it. So to just say there is one thing, until you go through the whole thing, there isn't. But X-plays are a big deal. Again, it was two things that we were really good at last year: we were good in the turnover category last year and we were really good in the X-play category last year. We weren't good at either of those, offensively or defensively.
Q. For any quarterback it's part of the deal to get hurt in the NFL, and Foles also had surgery in college. When you make a long‑term evaluation, do you factor in the injury history?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we do that at every position.
Q. But when you have talent and injury history, does that really weigh heavily?
COACH KELLY: I think everything weighs in. You know, we don't turn a blind eye and say don't look at that. I think you have to look at everything when you make an evaluation.
Q. Was that difficult? Because injuries can be freak, but you can also have a pattern in certain areas?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it's difficult. I mean, you try to ‑‑ is there a chronic thing? I mean, that's part of it. You go to the combine and you listen to some guys and your doctors and medical staff say, 'We really like this guy, but I wouldn't take him because we think he can only play for a year or two.' It's a tough deal. Marcus Lattimore is a great example. The kid who came out of South Carolina. I've never met him in the short time he's been in the league. You interview that kid, what a quality young man he is. But he couldn't recover from the injury that he had in college. That doesn't diminish the type of talent he had when you turn the film on. It doesn't diminish the type of person he is. And it doesn't diminish if he was healthy he'd be an outstanding football player. But unfortunately he had an injury that set him back. I think San Francisco drafted him, and he's medically not going to play in the NFL, and he's going back to college now. But that's always something you have to factor into any decision you're making.
Q. You mentioned turnovers and X-plays. Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie also identified last night that the red zone was one of the three main problems for this team. Do you see it the same way?
COACH KELLY: Sure. You asked me two. There are a lot of things. Penalties are a problem, and there are a lot of things we have to go over.
Q. What were some of the issues aside from the turnovers in the red zone?
COACH KELLY: We haven't evaluated the red zone yet, so I'll get back to you on that one.
Q. What do you feel personally you need to improve on the most as a head coach?
COACH KELLY: Everything. I think everybody has to be very self-aware of what they need to do. I think as you gain more experience you get better, you hopefully get better because you learn from your past mistakes. But part of it is going through a process and really analyzing each situation. In the red zone, can we call better plays down there? Obviously. Did the defense change for the sake of change down there or was that something we were consistently in? Did we have a good enough plan when we were in there? There are a lot of things.
Q. Ten years in this league, and RB/PR Darren Sproles made his first Pro Bowl. When you look back on that trade, how much did he bring to this organization?
COACH KELLY: I thought it was a huge boost. We felt, I think there was a dual‑threat that he could have as a running back in our offense, but also as a returner. I think he really bolstered our return game. We felt like we weren't very consistent at punt returns. In 2013, I think we became a legitimate weapon in 2014. It was the group up front and Darren himself in terms of what they did. But I think his ability to take a punt and not only get us good field position, but turn it into a great one and turn it into touchdowns. People started kicking away from us. But when you kick away from us, the net gain and the punts are a big deal. I think it was a huge impact on us. He's the only receiver we really had that ever got doubled. It was just interesting. We played Washington, he catches one ball. They double him. [Eagles TE Zach] Ertz catches 15 balls, they don't double him. He's a legitimate, opens up other guys when he's out there at the running back spot. But just the consummate professional in terms of his approach and what he does, and how hard he works. Probably the best training or practice player I've ever been around in terms of his approach to everything. So really excited about Darren and thought it was a huge boost for us.
Q. Barring you getting the "12 first-round draft picks", how personally involved would you be in terms of keeping Maclin and McCoy here?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I'm in charge of the roster in terms of who our 53 are so I have to weigh in on that. But I also know there are other factors, salary cap, money, and the numbers and all those other things. But I have to tell them who I want and who I don't want.
Q. How is your working relationship with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman?
COACH KELLY: Good.
Q. What kind of input has changed in terms of your influence of personnel and acquisitions since you've been the head coach?
COACH KELLY: I don't think anything's changed.
Q. Do you get involved with the contracts?
COACH KELLY: No.
Q. You just tell them?
COACH KELLY: No, for me to stand there and say, 'I think paragraph five of his contract should mean this, instead of this.' That's not my forte, not my strength. I'm not going to delve into that and say, 'I think his signing bonus should be this, but let's retroactive that and only make it for injury in the third and fourth year.' That's not my strength. I understand it, but that's really what he does an outstanding job of that. I think since I've been here one of the attractive things about this job, there are not cap issues. You don't look at it and go, 'Oh, my God. We're going to have to cut 12 players because we're going to be $40 million over the cap.' He does an outstanding job of that. That's his training.
Q. Do you tell him I've got to have so and so?
COACH KELLY: No, because I wouldn't take any so and so if it's going to cost you $50 million and it's going to gut the rest of your team. You still have to look and put the whole team together. That's where people make mistakes in this whole process is that I want [Daily News reporter] Les Bowen, give him everything he wants no matter what it is, and the rest of our team is going to stink because Les can't carry us. [Joking] Sorry, Les, but that's just the deal. It's a team game. I would fight for 50 for you. But I don't think the rest of the team is going to be any good. You need a supporting staff.
Q. You have veterans on this team who have said they really want to be back. They like this culture. Two years in, what kind of endorsement is that of what you have going on here?
COACH KELLY: I think we have a great bunch of guys here and I think guys that share the same vision in terms of how we think about things and how we approach things, and I think that's an awesome thing to be able to go to work each day and be surrounded by a bunch of guys like that. That's where you hope things can work out. But you also know the reality of it is that it's not going to work out with every individual because you have to slot people into situations because there is a cap. There is a certain amount of money that has to go places and people have to make decisions. But I think it kind of tells you about the type of guys we have here. We have a bunch of really, really good guys here that get it, and the way we talk about getting it, it's fun to be around those guys.
Q. You have veterans that came in this year, and almost to a man they say we couldn't wait to get here and play here. Do you believe the profile of this team or this organization with you and your staff has made this a destination point for guys who control their fate?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I don't know if it's us and our staff or I wouldn't have come here. I think Philly is a destination spot. I think it's one of the top franchises in the league. And as long as Mr. Lurie's in charge, it's always going to be that way.
Q. We never got to see S Ed Reynolds at all. How did he come along during the year? I know he had a slow start because of school. What did you see at practice from him?
COACH KELLY: I think Ed progressed. We made the change when [S] Earl [Wolff] went down. We already had [S] Chris Prosinski here and we didn't add another safety from that standpoint. I think Ed has gotten better with the amount of reps that he has and I think this will be a big offseason for Ed, and get him through a bunch of OTAs and mini-camps and things like that and see if he can compete with the other four guys we have at safety.
Q. What do you want to see from Foles this offseason? What's he have to do?
COACH KELLY: I think Nick needs to just continue to work. The one thing I do not fault Nick is a work ethic. He's been outstanding in that. I watch how he attacked his rehabilitation in terms of his shoulder injury and what he did every day. I think he's been outstanding from that standpoint. I think he's continuing to grow as a quarterback. And that's part of the maturation process in this league. Very rarely do you come in early and just light it up. I think you need to kind of almost do something and make that mistake and learn from that mistake. I think that is one thing I admire about Nick is he processes things out well. When he does make a mistake, very rarely does he make that same mistake twice. I think he needs to continue on the trajectory that he's headed on right now.
Q. Eagles VP of player personnel Tom Gamble has interviewed for openings in the past. What would this organization lose if he were to go elsewhere this offseason?
COACH KELLY: I think it's the same thing with assistant coaches. As I said earlier, I think we have an outstanding group of assistant coaches. But if they have an opportunity to move on to what they consider is a better opportunity for them, then you're never going to stand in their way. I think if people have goals and aspirations to continue to move up the ladder so to speak. Some guys are content in their roles, but other guys want to see what the next step is or see what the next seat is or put the next hat on. I think Tom does an outstanding job and if he has the opportunity to do that, then I would support him in anything. And if I can give him any help in that situation I would. But he's a heck of a football guy.
Q. Getting back to McCoy, what kind of season do you think he had?
COACH KELLY: I think he had a good season. You look at the whole group that was around him, we started 10 offensive linemen this year, and we started five offensive linemen the year before. But to finish with over 1300 yards, I think, am I right, his two best rushing seasons have been the last two years, so I thought he had a really good year.
Q. What does LB Marcus Smith need to do to get into the rotation?
COACH KELLY: He's got to beat out the guys in front of him. If anybody realizes one thing about this place is nothing is handed to you. You've got to be better than the guys that are playing in front of you if you're going to earn playing time. We're not going to just say because you came in in this situation it's going to be teed up for you. That's not the way it's going to be. It's never going to be that way. It's going to be based on competition. We have to have confidence in you based on demonstrated ability whether it be on the practice field or in preseason games to show us that you're better than [LB] Connor Barwin or [LB] Brandon Graham or [LB] Trent Cole.
Q. So outside linebacker is where you see him going forward?
COACH KELLY: We just finished the game yesterday, so we'll make a full evaluation of everything –
Q. What position coach will he meet with?
COACH KELLY: We really don't meet [with] individual position coaches.
Q. I thought you said this morning the exit interviews?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they're going to grab their guys and say, 'Hey, you have to do some things.' I don't think because he met with [Eagles inside linebackers coach] Rick Minter this morning that means he's an inside linebacker for the rest of his career here.
Q. How did you see RB Chris Polk develop over the course of the season?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think it's the same thing. Chris has got a really good skill set. He's a good, solid running back. An outstanding special teams player, but he's been hurt. He missed all of preseason camp. He was inactive for our first game. Then he came back and was banged up as the season went along. It's tough because he had as good an offseason last year as anybody. If you asked me coming out of OTAs in mini-camp last year, he was the guy that made the most strides. We were excited about him and then he gets injured on the second day of training camp. I know Chris can play in this league. I think Chris knows he can play in this league, but he's got to stay healthy.
Q. How do you look at LB DeMeco Ryans coming off a serious injury? When doing your evaluations, how do you factor him in without knowing when he'll be healthy?
COACH KELLY: I think you have to monitor his rehab. When you go through, you listen to what our trainers and strength and conditioning coaches say. But it sounds like he's right on track. He's moving around. He's out of the walking cast now and I think he's starting to do some movement things now. But we need DeMeco. I'm a big DeMeco fan. As a group, he really sets the tone for everybody on the defense side of the ball. So it's just a matter of getting DeMeco healthy again.
Q. You talked about Marcus Smith having to beat out Cole and Graham. Do you see both of those guys being a priority in terms of bringing them back here?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I do. Q. As you're going into year three, what is the sense of urgency to identify the quarterback you can hitch your wagon to and how do you go about making that happen?
COACH KELLY: I don't look at it that way. We're trying to identify every single position that we can hitch our wagon to. So I think sometimes everybody puts a lot of stock in just one position, but I think everything's factored into it. Who are the outside linebackers we're going to hitch our wagon to? Who's the defensive linemen? Who's the free safety? Who's the corner[back]? The whole process. We're going to evaluate every single position. And evaluate everything we do scheme-wise and personnel-wise and see how we can improve this football team.
Q. I think anyone who watched this team play 16 games would say that the secondary is the most glaring weakness. Without diving into the evaluations at this point, would you agree with that based on what you've seen after 16 games?
COACH KELLY: No, I would delve into the evaluations because it doesn't matter what I think today.
Q. So you just wait. You don't necessarily agree with that now after seeing 16 games?
COACH KELLY: It doesn't matter if I agree or disagree. It matters how this process is going to work itself out. How we go through it, and how we look at what's available to us and not available to us.
Q. Was it a priority last offseason to reconfigure the wide receiver position?
COACH KELLY: It wasn't a priority last offseason.
Q. It wasn't?
COACH KELLY: No, there were no priorities. That is the point I made a hundred times. If we can improve any position on this team, every position on this team is a priority.
Q. When asked why the changes were made at wide receiver, you said to reconfigure?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we felt like we had to get better there. I'm just arguing with you that it's not a priority. Every position is a priority. We can upgrade the secondary, the defensive line, the inside linebackers, the outside linebackers, anything we can do to upgrade this team, we're going to do.
Q. Fair enough. Semantics aside. You reconfigured the wide receiver position last year, are you happy with the way it's configured in terms of sizes, production and players at that spot?
COACH KELLY: We will evaluate every position we have as we move forward and can we make it better in 2015.
Q. How would you evaluate Jordan Matthews performance at the wide receiver position?
COACH KELLY: I thought Jordan did a great job. Coming in as a rookie, it's tough to transition from college to the NFL because I think what you see defensively is drastically different from what you see in college. I think he got stronger as the year went along. I still think he's got a huge upside, but what I love about Jordan is he constantly, constantly is trying to improve himself as a football player.
Q. Would you say he made the wide receiver position a lot better this season?
COACH KELLY: No, I was talking about Jordan. I think he improved as a person as the season went along.
Q. Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie was asked last night about his confidence in you and staying here with the Eagles and the NFL et cetera, but he also pointed out that we should ask you specifically about it to get your feelings on it.
COACH KELLY: Till the next college rumor comes out. Well, you guys run with it. I don't care. Michigan's not filled out, so we'll see. What if a college guy gets the Michigan job? Oh, my God, then there is an opening somewhere else. That is a hypothetical.
Q. You don't deal with hypotheticals.
COACH KELLY: I don't deal with hypotheticals. When you get two sources that say I'm going to a school, write the story. When you get one source that tweets something on the internet that says someone is interested in me. You should Google the article about Jeremy Foley and his search for the Florida football coach. It's a good article to read. There's a great part in it about me in terms of my interest in the Florida job and his interest in me, and there was none on his part and none on my part, surprisingly.
Q. How do you like coaching in the NFL?
COACH KELLY: I love it. I love it. You've got to get with a bunch of people that think the way you think and have the same vision that you have. I can't thank our players enough. I've said it a million times and I'll continue to do it. We have a great bunch of guys here, and I love our coaching staff, and I really enjoy it a lot.
Q. What is the biggest difference between this and college?
COACH KELLY: There is a ton of differences. Not positive or negative, but I think it's drastically a different game. It's a different set‑up. It's a different workday. It's a different everything. But the chance to compete and to play at this level is extremely intriguing to me because every single game, no matter who you play, when you play it, where you play it, you have no idea if you're going to win or lose. I think that's a tough deal when you really look at it. But in college, it's not that way. There are going to be games no matter what you do, you go into it and you're a 35‑point favorite. And you're thinking about playing your thirds and fourths and how you develop your depth. But in this league, every single game, no matter who it is, it's a battle. If you're a competitor and you love competition, there is no better place in any league.
I don't know league even in the professional ranks that has this much parity across the board every single week. It's a challenge. What happened last week really, truly means absolutely nothing the next week. You better be able to go every single week. That part of it I think is awesome. That's why I love it.
Q. The Oregon players, a lot of guys you recruited are playing in the Rose Bowl and potentially the National Championship. How involved are you going to be in watching them, supporting them over the next few weeks?
COACH KELLY: Am I going to watch them, is that the question?
Q. Are you going to be at the Rose Bowl?
COACH KELLY: I'm working. I hope they get the chance to play the next week because I think we may be off then. But I'm fired up playing for those guys. Talked to a lot of those guys, and talked to the coaching staff and talked to [Oregon head coach Mark] Helfrich last night after our game. He called me after our game. So I'm a big Ducks fan right now and always will be.