Eagles' Kelly: Longhorn talk a bunch of bull
Chip Kelly also says he won't rest starters vs. Chicago even if Dallas wins Sunday.
THE EAGLES' starters will play this week against the Bears (even if at some positions, that isn't necessarily a good thing), and Chip Kelly is not going to Texas.
That was what was really new at Kelly's day-after news conference. There were plenty of other things said, but they were mostly extended explanations of decisions made during Sunday's 48-30 loss at Minnesota, and Kelly mostly stuck to the themes he developed in his postgame session.
If you're still angry over the short kickoff strategy, you didn't hear the coach acknowledge it was wrongheaded, though he did admit the "mortar kicks" worked better than the squibs. And Kelly still thinks his offensive line ought to be able to get him fourth-and-half-a-yard, even if the ball is on his 24, in the third quarter - not only does he think that, he seems to think it is an argument that outweighs all potential objections.
First, the thing with the starters: Some fans got the idea that since the Cowboys play in the afternoon this coming Sunday, and the Eagles play at night, and a Dallas win means the Birds have to beat the Cowboys in Week 17 to win the NFC East, regardless of what the Eagles do against the Bears this week, that the Eagles might rest key players in a "meaningless" game.
Kelly didn't seem interested in that notion at all, especially since the Eagles-Bears game will affect playoff seeding, regardless of what the Cowboys do against the Redskins.
"No," Kelly said. "We've got to play and get back on the winning track. We've got to be ready to play winning football. I think our philosophy has been [that] it's on the line every time you play. It's not really what goes on outside of there. It's we need to get better as a football team. Everybody needs to play."
On reports that Texas was interested in talking to him, Kelly said: "I'm the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm going to prepare for the Bears. We're going to prepare for the Cowboys after that. Hopefully, we have an opportunity to go to the playoffs, and I plan to be here for a while."
Asked why his name has surfaced in speculation about college jobs this season, Kelly said: "I really don't know. I haven't talked to anybody . . . It's just speculation. I haven't spoken to anybody, nor will I speak to anybody."
* Kelly didn't provide an injury update, but later on Howie Roseman's 94WIP radio show, the Eagles' general manager said corner Brandon Boykin was going through the league's concussion protocol. That was what observers figured, but the Eagles only said Sunday that Boykin had a "head injury." Boykin's status is a huge issue as the Eagles prepare for a prolific Chicago passing offense. It's unclear whether rookie safety Earl Wolff will finally return from the knee hyperextension he suffered Nov. 10, and sub safeties Kurt Coleman (hamstring) and Colt Anderson (knee) went down against the Vikings.
* On fourth-and-1, Kelly said there was "no general philosophy."
"It was 24-9," he said. "We hadn't done anything. It was half a yard. We figured, we've got to do something to get something going here. Hopefully, in that situation, you can pick up half a yard."
* On kicking short, Kelly was asked about his confidence in kicker Alex Henery. His response was mostly about returner Cordarrelle Patterson and Patterson's ability to return a kick 109 yards for a TD.
"We monitor [Henery's kickoff depth], and watch him in pregame warmup, and kick some at the beginning of the second half," Kelly said. "He's 5 or 6 yards deep in the end zone, so those are coming out, just based on that."
Kelly said the Eagles haven't yet formulated a plan for dealing with Bears returner Devin Hester.
* On DeSean Jackson's sideline confrontation with wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell, Kelly said Jackson was frustrated. (He'd just gotten open deep, but Nick Foles' pass was short and was picked off by Shaun Prater. Jackson did not pursue Prater, who reeled off a 30-yard return.)
"I talked to Bobby. I'll talk to DeSean, and we'll get things straightened out," Kelly said. "It's not as big a deal as I think everybody wants to make it out to be."
* Kelly reiterated his concern over players such as Jackson and corner Cary Williams letting emotion overtake them. Williams was benched late in the game when he became upset after being whistled for a penalty.
"That's part of what it is being a competitor, is that you have to learn to play with emotion, but not let emotion play with you," Kelly said. "No matter what goes on, we still have to keep our poise out there . . . If we have a bad play, we need to move on to the next play. We need to learn what we did on that play, in terms of it was a mistake on our part, and how do we correct it? But we can't let the last play affect us on the next play."
* On the paltry eight carries (for 38 yards) allotted NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy, Kelly said falling behind was a factor, but the Vikings also were playing with a single high safety, keeping a safety in the box against the run. He said the attention paid to McCoy made it easier to spring Jackson for 10 catches and 195 yards.
* Kelly said some people on the plane back from Minnesota were tracking the Dallas collapse against Green Bay, but "I don't care what goes on with Dallas, to be honest with you."