WIDENER COACH Mike Kelly says the comments he made about Eagles coach Chip Kelly were "in jest."

Chip Kelly says he was only helping a friend.

Whatever the case, it was still being talked about yesterday.

It started after Widener's 38-point loss to visiting Linfield in Saturday's Division III quarterfinal. Mike Kelly blasted Chip Kelly for allowing the small college from McMinnville, Ore., to practice in the Eagles' bubble.

"Make sure you put in the paper that we thank Chip Kelly, and I hope the Seahawks do well tomorrow [Sunday]," Mike said. "He was helping them out. Maybe somebody in Philadelphia ought to buy him a map so he knows where he lives now. But, go Seahawks."

On Sunday, after the Eagles lost to Seattle, the Widener coach seemed a bit mellower.

"My comments, although made in jest, expressed frustration after a tough loss," he told New Jersey Advance Media. "As a member of the coaching brethren, and as someone whose career has taken me to a number of communities, I can understand and appreciate Chip Kelly's gesture to a fellow coach from his former home area of Oregon."

Yesterday, in an appearance on WIP's Morning Show, Chip Kelly addressed the situation, noting the Eagles have allowed many teams, including Navy, West Chester and St. Joseph's Prep to use the bubble.

"Obviously they lost the game [against Linfield], but I think it was a little misguided," Chip said of Mike's remarks. "Joe Smith, who is the head coach at Linfield College, I know him and they've got an outstanding program. We allow people to use our facility all the time.

"I think this sport is about leadership and teaching people the lessons that you can learn in life. There's not a classier guy out there than Joe Smith . . . I was honored for him to come to our facility."