Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly


Q. Are you guys playing Sunday?

CHIP KELLY: I hope so [laughs]. I mean, we're preparing to play on Sunday, but there's been nothing definitive in terms of what's going to go on. So when they tell us what we're doing, if the plan were to change, we'll adjust accordingly. But there has been nothing told to us, so we're preparing and going out today. Today's a normal Thursday for us, just like we're playing Sunday at 1 o'clock. So if they make an adjustment, then we'll all make an adjustment.

Q. Have you ever been through something like this before?

CHIP KELLY: No, in terms of not being sure if a game's going to be played. I haven't been. I obviously understand it though. If it does hit in some of the manners that it could hit, then it could really affect everybody: people attending the game and all the other stuff. We're big on [the idea that] if we can't control it – and obviously no one can control the weather -- then we'll adjust accordingly. We did play the one game here, two years ago against Detroit, where we were told that we were going to get a light dusting [of snow] after halftime, and I remember going out in pregame and going, 'Wow, this is a little more than a light dusting,' and I don't know what happened in that 15 or 20 minutes we were in the locker room, but when we came back out, I couldn't even see my feet. But you just had to make do with it. So, no one can control – Washington nor us, can control [the weather]. So, whatever they tell us -- when to play, where to play and if things will change -- we'll adjust accordingly.

Q. Do you prepare differently equipment-wise to get ready for the wind and rain?

CHIP KELLY: The players will adjust their cleats and they do that every pregame; they get out there to see what the surface is like, whether it's a wet day or a dry day. Sometimes there are just different fields that you play on that you have to get an adjustment to that standpoint. But that's about the only thing you can do from an equipment standpoint, I think.

Q. Game plan-wise, do you prepare differently if it's going to be windy, cold or rainy?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, we talk about that and we're always scanning. I think every coach is watching the weather more than anything. You're always trying to get updates and kind of see where you are. Are you preparing for wind and are you preparing for rain? Part of it then becomes on game day you're going to have to figure it out, because which way is the wind blowing? Is it behind you? Is it a cross wind? Is it behind you for two of the quarters and in your face for two of the quarters? So you've got to make some adjustments within the stadium. We don't have it down to where if we know it's a northeast wind and we're at their field, their field is plotted in a certain manner. That stuff will all be determined on game day.

Q. Where do things stand with LB Kiko Alonso?

CHIP KELLY: Kiko will be back on Friday, and that's all I have. He's out this week. Obviously, that is the update this week. He's out this week and he'll be back on Friday.

Q. What kind of conversations have you guys had with the league about contingency plans for potentially moving this weekend's game?

CHIP KELLY: I haven't. That's all above me. I know [Eagles President] Don Smolenski is in charge of that for us. He's had conversations; I haven't had anything with anybody. Don has just told me to plan on playing at 1 o'clock on Sunday, and we'll tell you if it's going to change.

Q. Can you confirm if Alonso had an arthroscopy?

CHIP KELLY: We'll do this from now on, so everybody knows with this. If a player wants to talk about what goes on with him, that's entirely up to the player. I'll give you an update on when he's in, when he's out and when he's back. It's going to make my life a lot easier. So if you want to talk to Kiko when he gets back, that'll be great.

Q. How's everybody else? LB Mychal Kendricks went through practice yesterday?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, Mychal went through. Again, we'll have to monitor him during the week. I don't know if there is a potential for some fatigue there -- we don't know. He went through all of yesterday, so he was good. We'll see how he does today, because today is a big training session.

Q. What about RB DeMarco Murray?

CHIP KELLY: Murray was limited yesterday and we'll see how much more he can do today.

Q. With Murray off to the start that he's had -- which is the worst start of his career --  and coming off this injury, do you get a feel for how much he wants to go this week and get back out there and get going?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, DeMarco wants to go every week and every day. So I don't think it has anything to do with starts, no starts, missing last week or not missing last week. He's a highly competitive player that wants to be on the practice field and wants to be on the game field. So I don't think it has anything to do with whether he had success or didn't have success. I know last year he broke his hand with two games to go and had a surgery and actually played in the last two games with it. So that kind of tells you the type of player he is when it comes to injuries, in terms of his ability to play with them.

Q. There has been some talk this week that the team has refrained from using the term Redskins in the media guide and on social media. Do you think Redskins is an appropriate name for an NFL team?

CHIP KELLY: I have a lot of personal beliefs on things, but my belief doesn't affect what that name is. So they can do what they want to do.

Q. How about DE Cedric Thornton? He seems to be doing a lot out here with a broken hand. He said that he has a high pain tolerance.

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, Ced is a tough guy. Again, we'll monitor him today, tomorrow and Saturday, in terms of what his status will be this week. I really couldn't tell you. It's not a, 'Hey, he's definitely going or he's definitely not going.' It's really what he can handle. But he has, I think, kind of surprised some people in terms of his ability and what he's doing so far.

Q. Does DE Brandon Bair's strong performance against the New York Jets last week impact the decision to play Thornton at all? Does that give him another week off because Bair played so well?

CHIP KELLY: Again, we'll see how these next couple of days go before we have to make any decisions.

Q. You reconfigured the receiving group over the last two offseasons. What has been the goal and what are you trying to accomplish with the new group relative to the old ones?

CHIP KELLY: I don't think we're trying to reconfigure anything. I've said it a lot of times: When you lose players, money is a factor involved in a lot of things. So we're just trying to put the best players we can on the field. That's what we're trying to do.

Q. It seems in the past few years the passing game is more of an outside-in. You've had a right side wide receiver with 80-plus catches and 1,000-plus yards. Is it more inside-out this year?

CHIP KELLY: No, I think it depends, and I've said this since day one, how people defend you is how your game will express itself. Two years ago we set an NFL record for explosive plays. We've never seen those coverages again. People play off and back of us. They've played off and back of us the last two years. So sometimes they're rolled one way, they're rolled another. But we're not going to force something. You're not throwing the ball down the field. Well, no one's allowing us to throw the ball down the field because they're playing back off again. If the DB's lined up ten-yards deep, why are you trying to throw the ball deep? That's silly. We were actually criticized last year for trying to throw the ball deep too early with [former Eagles QB and current Rams QB] Nick [Foles] when we were very inaccurate throwing the ball deep and people were playing us differently than they played us before. They're going to make you run for first downs and that's what we have to do. So it really is dictated by what people play against us.

Q. It did seem though last offseason for instance there was an emphasis on beating man-to-man coverage?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, and people aren't playing as much man. They're playing more zone against us.

Q. Exactly. So going into this season, what was the emphasis?

CHIP KELLY: The emphasis was to get the best football players in here at receiver.

Q. You said you had numbers on how teams played you in man versus zone. Do you remember off the top of your head last year what it was?

CHIP KELLY: Last year we were I think it was like 62 percent zone last year, where the year before it was flipped. Yeah, it was high flip, so it was a change of over 20 percent in terms of how people played us and defended us, and rightly so. We got the ball over the top. A lot of guys were getting the ball over the top. People don't like getting the ball thrown over their heads so they're going to back up.

Q. How has K Caleb Sturgis looked the last two days?

CHIP KELLY: He's done a nice job. The ball gets up quickly. He gets a lot of height on it. Right from the start, he's been good on kickoffs. He's got a lot of depth. It's in the back of the end zone on kickoffs. But with any true kicker, the real test is going to come in the game. And we're not going to know until we really get him out there in a game. But he seems like he's level, mature. He's got a good approach to it in terms of how he kicks, the number of kicks. He's really well schooled in that aspect of it. Very similar to [K] Cody [Parkey] from that aspect. So he's been fine in the couple days we've been with him. So we're excited to see him go on Sunday.

Q. Have you noticed Defensive Backs Coach Cory Undlin's teachings taking root more and more as we go along here, particularly as it applies to press coverage?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah I have. Obviously, I think we're doing a better job, and I think he teaches it a little bit differently. But I think our guys are starting to adapt in terms of what he's done. I think he's a really good teacher and you're starting to see that on film.

Q. When you made the CB Brandon Boykin trade, you tried out a bunch of guys in slot. Did you have it in your mind ultimately that this could work very well with S Malcolm Jenkins in there?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, we knew. It's great. You're 100 percent right. We knew what we had in Malcolm and we knew what we have in [S] Walt [Thurmond]. So the other guys, we're just trying to figure out who can and can't do those different things in terms of who is ready or who do we need to continue to prepare as we get going. But I think we always felt that if we had to move a safety, we were really comfortable in the ability to move a safety because they've both done it in games. So we felt comfortable with Malcolm and Walter. Then it really just became -- we thought really in game one with that we'd get [Falcons WR] Julio [Jones] a little bit more in the slot, so we wanted the bigger of the two. So that's why we started Malcolm down and Walt back. So if you would get a team that maybe is going to go a little smaller in the slot, the [free agent WR] Wes Welker-type slots that are really good players, then maybe Walt down and Malcolm back. But we knew we had that. Let's figure out what the other guys that are – because there are so many new faces in the secondary, who else has that ability because you're one shoelace or chinstrap away from having to get a sub in there. So that's what we were trying to do in the preseason. Just kind of expand those roles.

Q. When you're playing multiple running backs like you are this year and you did it at Oregon as well, is it tough to balance letting those guys get into a rhythm as opposed to kind of rotating them in and out?

CHIP KELLY: The encouraging thing is if you can get them into rhythm because that means you're getting a lot of plays. And I think, again, it all depends on us being successful on the offensive side of the ball and staying on the field and converting third downs and then there should be enough plays to go around from that standpoint. But, obviously in the first half of the Falcons game and then the Dallas game, we weren't converting on third down, so it was really tough to get into a rhythm for anybody, whether it be running back where we have some talented guys or receiver in terms of getting some of the depth in there. But everything seems to work better when we get more plays.

Q. Despite not getting a lot of catches, WR Nelson Agholor seems to have a pretty good attitude about the other aspects of the game, like blocking.  Have you noticed obviously that he wants to be a bigger part of the passing game, but he is still keeping the right mind frame?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, everybody does. Every running back wants to carry the ball every time. Every receiver wants every ball thrown his way. If you asked a quarterback, would you rather pass instead of hand off? Obviously, they're all going to do that. But they still know the ultimate goal is to win the football game, and how can they contribute and what is their role? There are going to be days where we're going to have to throw it a ton and our running backs aren't going to get as many as the receivers. And there are going to be days where we're very, very successful running the ball, so we're not going to throw it as much and they just have to be able to adjust to it. But for all those guys, there is a prevalent feeling with the whole group that they just want to win. Wins are so tough in this league, however you can contribute, whether it's a 24-14 win or if it's a 54-51 win, it's still a win, and how can they contribute to it?

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