Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

What happened to LB Travis Long and how tough a situation is that?

COACH KELLY:  We were in a punt return drill, and he had literally -- it wasn't really a contact drill, he was just getting fit up and kind of stepped the wrong way. I think he knew it when it happened just because it's happened to him before.  I don't think there's a real explanation for it, to be honest with you.

            You just feel awful because we've watched him through the whole process.  He's been here the whole time.  We watched him rehab.  I think all the players felt the same way because they know how much he's got invested in this.

When I talked to him on the field and then when we got the final answer last night in terms of what it was, you really can't put it into words in terms of what it is. But he's going to get operated on soon.  They will make a decision in terms of where they are doing that and then he'll start the rehab process again.

Where does that leave the outside linebacker situation after the top two guys?

COACH KELLY:  Same thing.  We are just one guy down.  We had six guys there.  We have five [now]. We also have [LB] Brandon Hepburn, who we'll move out there a little bit -- and we did that in the spring. The same with [LB] Brad Jones; he will take some reps out there and we are looking to bring in another guy in right now.

Will LB Kiko Alonso move outside at all?

COACH KELLY: No. Brandon Hepburn and Brad Jones will be the first two guys that will go out there right now.

So Long wants to try to keep playing football?

COACH KELLY:  Yea, that is exactly what he expressed.  The kid's got a passion for this game.  We're going to do everything we can to help him and support him.  Again, I said the same thing last year, I said the same thing this year, he would have made this football team if he was healthy.

There is a report out there that you guys are talking to QB Sam Bradford again about trying to get a possible short contract extension done. Is that important for you guys to lock him up beyond this year, or would you guys be comfortable just letting this play out?

COACH KELLY:  I never discuss contracts publically, but there was also a [different] report last week that we weren't doing it. So believe what you want to believe.

Is it important for you to ‑‑

COACH KELLY:  It's important for us to have a great day today.  We're never going to talk about contracts and we never will.

At practice on Sunday, why didn't RB DeMarco Murray take part in team drills?

COACH KELLY: That was our decision.  We did a hydration status test and he was a little bit high and obviously when you see guys that are high from a hydration standpoint, then you kind of pull them back a little bit because that's when they are susceptible for an injury. So, that was a training staff and coaching decision.

In relation to players who have had ACL injuries and then the injury reoccurs, how does that apply to somebody like QB Sam Bradford? Would you say that this is not related or do you look at it as further proof that guys who have ACLs are more prone to have those injuries again?

COACH KELLY: That's probably a better question for Dr. DeLuca [Eagles Head Team Physician, Head Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Peter DeLuca], but in our talks with him, the chance is 10-to-12 percent of re‑injury, so I would say Travis fell in that 10-to-12 percent.

There has been so much speculation about the changes made to this team heading into this season.  Does that change your approach to know that there's perhaps more of a microscope or more commentary to some of the changes for your roster heading into the season?

COACH KELLY:  More of a microscope in Philadelphia? [Laughter]

Well, yea I guess--

COACH KELLY: You know where we are, right? [Laughter] There's not any press conference in the league with this many people in it right now.  We are all aware of that.

You made as much news this offseason as anyone could have --

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, we weren't trying to make news; we were just trying to make the team better.

That 10-to-12 percent, is that after any amount of ACL tears?

COACH KELLY: It was two. That's the way it was described to us.

Do you play Bradford like you would normally play a quarterback or do you have to have awareness and say, 'All right, I might have to back off a little bit because of what he's been through?'

COACH KELLY:  We monitor Sam just like we do -- just like DeMarco -- with every player on a daily basis, so all decisions are made on a daily basis. There's not a plan [where we say], 'Hey, when we go two weeks from now.' It's where we are [now], because two weeks could be different from today.  Today he's full go and he's going to go out and do everything he can and we'll continue to monitor him like we do everybody else on the team.

It's only been two practices, but can you tell at all where LB Marcus Smith is from a mental standpoint compared to last year?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think he's obviously way advanced from last year and he's not a rookie, but you could say that about [WR] Josh Huff and all those other guys that are in the second year.

It's neat to see them taking the young guys and explaining things how they go because it's not their [first time]. This won't be Marcus' first time going into the Linc [Lincoln Financial Field], and it's other guys' first time going into the Linc.  I think he feels more comfortable.  He came back in really good shape, did a great job in the conditioning test and ran around the last two days. We are excited to see how that progresses and what goes on with the outside linebackers to go along with Brandon [LB Brandon Graham] and Connor [LB Connor Barwin].

Why not give Alonso some reps outside? What's the thinking there? I understand the Buffalo Bills were interested in that. Why aren't you interested in that?

COACH KELLY: Well, we're not the Bills.  He just got here, and is still learning our system as an inside linebacker.

Is there anybody in the first two days that's opened your eyes more than maybe somebody else? Is there anybody that surprised in the first couple days of camp?

COACH KELLY:  Surprises? No. I think everybody has trained really well in the last two days.  It's not that they didn't.  I think they have done a really good job in the last two days, but that's what we expected out of them.

In April, you were very optimistic about T Jason Peters and how he came back to camp.  What has he done differently to --?

COACH KELLY:  I just think he came here in the best shape he's come in during his career.  He's at the best weight.  When you talk to him, I think he feels the best.  He's worked extremely hard on the strength and conditioning aspects and taking care of his body. I think as you start to get older in this league, that's the key to a lot of it. Sometimes when you're 21 or 22, you can do whatever you want and you don't have to get as much sleep and you can do all those things.

But as you start to get a little bit older, you really have to be conscious of everything you're doing and JP has been great with that.  I think he's in the best shape coming into camp as he's been. This being year three, [he's] better than year one and better than year two. So we're excited to see where he goes.

It's only been two days, but can you assess QB Tim Tebow's performance so far? What do you see? What do you like?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, again, it's been two days.  I thought he threw the ball really well yesterday.  There's a couple stretches in there where it seems like he's got a little bit more zip on the ball than he did when he was [throwing] in the springtime.  We'll see how that manifests itself.  But, for those guys, especially with them wearing red jerseys, you are not going to know anything with those guys until they get into a game and then there's a chance with contact coming and all those other things.

You said the other day that you went out to visit former MLB pitcher and current NPA pitching-quarterbacks coach Tom House. I imagine that was about Tebow? Could you share a little bit about ‑‑

COACH KELLY:  No, that wasn't to scout Tim. That was just to gather information on quarterback play from Tom.  So it wasn't – it had nothing to do with Tim at all.

Is it a regular occurrence to have a player held out because of hydration?

COACH KELLY:  We've done that before.  We monitor guys in a lot of different ways and there's a reason we do it.  So if a guy we feel isn't hydrated enough, which puts him in a more susceptible situation to injury, that's what we are trying to do.  That's part of kind of what our sports science thing is, is we are trying to prevent injuries.  Instead of saying afterwards, 'Joe Jones just pulled his hamstring. What was his hydration level? He was really dehydrated. Well, why didn't we know that before we went on the field?' That's why we do what we do. It's just a checks-and-balances system so that you can prevent things, because once it happens, you can't really get it back.

Were you alarmed by Murray's hydration test considering there was a six‑week layoff or do you think it was just --

COACH KELLY:  No. It's a daily basis.  So your hydration is a daily thing.  So it has nothing to do with six weeks on or six weeks off.  He's probably the most conditioned athlete on our team, but if you don't drink the requisite amount of water and electrolytes and have them in your system, it doesn't matter how fit you are. Especially the weather, that was a big factor for us, too. We have had back-to-back, and going into three, 90‑degree days.  So just being real conscious of -- you don't want to lose a guy in the first day.

So it was just a medical staff and coaching staff decision to hold him out.  He went through individual [drills].  He started out in practice and then ‑‑ and we would do the same with anybody, it is not that we are treating him differently than anybody else.  We have full monitors on everybody.  That's why we have GPS systems and heart-rate monitors and all those other things, so we can try to prevent injuries before they happen, instead of after the fact, saying, 'That probably happened because he was dehydrated. Well, we should have done something about it on the front end.'

Do those GPS systems track players when they are away from here?

COACH KELLY:  No, they are only on the training field.  And then your car, actually, because you had a really bad parking job when you came in here. Am I correct? [Laughter]  Be leery about big brother, because he's everywhere. [Laughter] Did you see his parking job by the way?  Oh my God. [Joking]

You guys made a lot of changes. There is obviously somewhat of a learning curve when you have a lot of new players.  As you guys put on the pads today, do you feel like everyone is where you want this team to be at this point? I do know it's early.

COACH KELLY: We think they are ahead and I think what Billy [Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis]  put in defensively and we put in offensively, we are way ahead of where we've ever been from an installation standpoint. But I think it's because of the amount of reps we get in the spring.

We go pretty hard in the spring, but there's a reason for that. It's so that when we come back, it's not starting over again.  It's picking up where we left off.  We look at that break from June 18 to July 31 like we just had a long weekend off and our guys pick back up.  The limited amount of mental errors we had in those first two days is really, for us as a coaching staff, impressive.

I think we have got a group that studies hard and they spend a lot of time in it.  They didn't take six weeks off, I can tell that from a conditioning standpoint and seeing what they did in the first two days from a mental standpoint.

How has G John Moffitt looked so far?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, the one thing that is interesting with John is how quickly he's picked things up.  He's intelligent and [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] Stout will tell you that first thing. Now for those guys, we haven't had pads on, so to say he can do this and this, he looks good moving around in individual drills without pads on, so today will be a better chance to evaluate him.  I think the first thing that stuck out to us as a staff was how quickly he has picked things up.  He's been in a couple different systems in the National Football League so it's a matter of transferring it into how we call it, but he has done it before.

Getting back to Brad Jones, you said you liked him as an inside and outside guy. What sticks out to you with him outside?

COACH KELLY:  He's done it.  I think there's tape out there.  When he was in Green Bay, he did both.  So it's not teaching him a new ‑‑ it's putting, just like I was talking about with John, putting it into our terminology so he understands what the call is.  He actually has NFL experience of playing both inside and outside linebacker.

Are you going to continue to rotate in more players at right guard? It looked like it was G/T Matt Tobin Sunday and then G/T Andrew Gardner yesterday?

COACH KELLY:  I say this, those guys roll them, the position coaches are in charge.  I don't care who is at right guard with the first group.  I don't care who is at right guard with the third group.  I don't care who the quarterback is with the first group.  We want to get reps in and we want to get tape down.  We are going into training session three and we have a lot more before we even get ready to go play the Colts. But from now until we play the Colts, you'll see a lot of different guys in there and we will figure out who it is going to be as we get going.  But also we have four preseason games to evaluate them.

The games are the most important thing.  This is training them and preparing them to get ready to go play in the games.  But it's live and for real when you get in the game and that's where a lot of the emphasis from the evaluation standpoint will come from.

In the past, you have not had players tackle to the ground. Is that going to be the same this year?

COACH KELLY:  We got four times to be tackled to the ground ‑‑ against the Colts and the Packers and the Jets and whomever.

How is TE Zach Ertz's looking in regards to his blocking techniques?

COACH KELLY: He's done a great job from a technique standpoint.  He's worked extremely hard on it but he's never had pads on.  His footwork and hand placement and things like that have really improved, but now when you get to days like this, hopefully we'll be able to take the next step with him.  But I really think he's worked extremely hard at it.  What we could get accomplished from a blocking standpoint, with just helmets on in the offseason program and in the last two days, I think he's done a real good job.

You have so many new faces in that secondary, so much change in the secondary. Do you need to accelerate the process of communication with them or do reps just to take care of that?

COACH KELLY:  I think the reps is what the key is, because you can talk about it all you want at a slowed-down rate, but that's not how the game is played.  The way we structure our walkthroughs and the way we have structured our training sessions, I think it helps.  And then all the three‑on‑twos and formation periods and all that.

And then if you just watch – I know some of you guys, because [Defensive Coordinator] Billy [Davis] is in front of you – that's what they are doing in those teach periods of changing formations and it's really that communication thing.  It's really key for those guys on the back end.  They have done a good job of it, but we'll continue to train that way.

Between now and the last time you spoke publically, Brandon Boykin expanded on his initial comments and he kind of brought it away from race and put it more on just you relating to players.  He has expressed some concern.  Is there any concern on your part about that perception in your locker room and do you need to address it in any way?

COACH KELLY:  No, and I said talk to the players we have on our current team.  We have an open door policy.  I had a long talk with Brandon last spring when he came in and sat down and talked with me.  You can come talk to me whenever you want to come talk to me.  But, we also have a pretty structured day where guys are in meetings.  I don't just sit and walk around and say, 'Hey, let me go grab him and let's sit down and let's have a coffee together.'

When they get here, they are doing stuff.  Especially in the offseason, we are limited with our time.  When you get guys for four hours, there's not a time where we are all sitting around holding hands singing 'Kumbaya' together.  We're in meetings rooms getting stuff done.  They are in the weight room getting stuff done and they are on the training field getting stuff done and then they are out of there.  I think maybe if they expand our time, where we could spend more time.

I don't think it's any different than any other head coaches in terms of where you are.  I think position coaches – that's one of the things I miss about being a position coach.  You get to be pretty close to your players because you're with your players all the time, and that's a great bond to have but as a head coach, you're not in those meetings.

Do you treat every player the same or do you treat them differently based upon their personalities?

COACH KELLY:  I think I treat everybody how we should be treated I think.  We respect everybody.

With different personalities, some guys ‑‑

COACH KELLY:  Some guys talk more.  I could sit with [LB] Kiko [Alonso] for three or four hours and we may not say a word to each other. (Laughs) But Kiko doesn't talk, you know what I mean?  That's just the way Kiko is. I mean I have talked-- those guys I coached at Oregon, I had longer conversations with [RB] Kenjon [Barner] but that's because that's what Kenyon was like.  Kiko doesn't really talk to people but that's what their personalities are all about.

Along the same lines, it was this time a couple years ago where you decided to back WR Riley Cooper and have him come back to the team.  I wonder if you view some of the comments that have been said in the offseason as blow‑back for that move in any way, and now that you are two years removed, how do you look at that decision?

COACH KELLY:  I think Riley made a mistake, and I think that's part of it.  We all backed him.  Michael [Vick] backed him.  Jason Avant backed him.  I think that's part of being in an organization and on a team.  I look at that as a specific incident and he was 100 percent wrong.  Those are things that should never be said, and I hope he learned his lesson.  I think he regrets what he did that day every single day.  I see that.  But do I regret what I did in terms of how we handled Riley?  No, we don't.

Do you feel there's a connection between those events?

COACH KELLY:  There could be, but I don't ‑‑ literally I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to connect 'X' to 'Y' to 'Z' and all those other things. We have other things that we need to take care of.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.