Chip Kelly: 'I don't think our pro offense would work at the college level'
Chip Kelly met with reporters on Thursday and literally laughed off the idea of him returning to the college ranks.
Q. Are you disappointed that that other guy got the University of Florida head coaching job?
COACH KELLY: No, I'm not. And actually, I know Jim [McElwain]. I think he's a hell of a football coach. He worked with [Eagles offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland when they were at Alabama, and did a hell of a job. I just get agitated a bit because that stuff, it's totally false. Then I see it written that I said, if they called, I would hang up on them. I never said that; you guys were in the press conference.
That's the thing that bothers me. I would never hang up on any school. I have a ton of respect for Florida. We have three Florida players here. I think they have got a hell of a football coach. I'm just not a candidate for a college job and as Derek [Eagles Director of Public Relations Derek Boyko] [relayed a Tweet to] me earlier, I don't think our pro offense would work at the college level. [Laughter]
Q. QB Mark Sanchez has not been throwing the ball down the field as much as QB Nick Foles did. Any reason behind that?
COACH KELLY: No, I just think it's the games and how they express themselves. Obviously, when you look at it, each game gets individualized in terms of what it is; sometimes when you get a lead, you're not throwing the ball as much just because you have a lead. And I love when people say that statistically when you run the ball more than you throw the ball, you're going to win a football game. Well that's because you're usually up and you run the ball more in the second half than you do in the first half. Usually if you look at what we do, we're pretty balanced early in the game.
We had a game earlier in the year against Arizona where we threw the ball more than we ran the ball. Well we were behind, so you have to throw the ball more when you're behind. So if you just look at the shear statistics and kind of look what's going on in terms of the game. But [Mark's] made those throws. The first throw of his career here, he came off the bench and threw a 50‑yarder on a post for a big play to Mac [WR Jeremy Maclin].
Q. In a week like this -- like you said earlier in the week you called the Seattle defense one of the best defenses you'll face --
COACH KELLY: Yes, statistically they -- and not just statistically, but they are. They lead the National Football League in defense and rightly so. They are a good defense.
Q. Do you enjoy the chess match of preparing for a defense like Seattle's more than other defenses?
COACH KELLY: I enjoy them all. The one thing about this league and the great challenge in this league, there's not an off‑week. There are a lot of really good defenses out there and everybody's good. That's the great thing about this league. You don't ‑‑ maybe that's one of the differences between college and the pros; you don't have a week where you say, 'Hey, you're a 30‑point favorite this week,' and the biggest challenge you have as a coach is trying to get your guys up to respect your opponent in terms of who you're playing. It's every game is going to be close and every game is going to be a battle and almost every game you play is going to come down to the fourth quarter.
Q. Defensively total yards don't always tell the whole story, especially with your defense. Are there other numbers or stats that you find telling?
COACH KELLY: It's always points given up. That's the bottom line. It's points scored and points given up because that's what ultimately you get. There are some teams that are good moving the ball in between the 20s, but then they can't convert. There are other teams that give up yardage, but then when they get inside the 20 they play great red zone defense. At the end of the day, it's always points scored, points given up.
Q. Statistically, in terms of the defense and completion percentage, it's the lowest in the NFL that you have allowed. But with the X plays, is there any reason you can explain why you're not giving up many pass completions, but the X plays are still out there?
COACH KELLY: No ‑‑ I don't care. Again, it's points given up. We don't sit there all game-plan wise and look at all the metrics of, 'X amount of this. This is that. Completion percentage this. Hey, great job, pat yourself on the back. Gave up too many X plays, [bleep] we're not good at that.' It's play football and who is going to be the best team on defense. The team that is going to be the best is the team that gives up the least amount of points and scores the most points. It's always been all about scoring for us.
Q. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman has challenged opposing offenses to throw his way and he is so good. Can one player at his level dictate what an opposing offense will do and make you think about staying away from him?
COACH KELLY: I think right now he's probably the best corner in the league. You've always got to be aware of him and where you are. But I think we are going to have our plan and we're going to execute it, and they are going to execute theirs, and we'll see what's going to happen on Sunday.
Q. You have spoken about how the 2011 BCS National Championship game didn't go the way fans and media expected in terms of style. Going into a game, do you have a sense of whether it's going to be a high‑scoring game or a defensive battle?
COACH KELLY: No, I really don't. I mean, that ‑‑ and I just use that game as a prime example. It was our team against Gus Malzahn's [offense] in terms of it was going to be a shootout for the ages; Cam Newton against Oregon, the whole thing. It was 22‑19, and it was a defensive battle. Our defense came to play, their defense came to play. It was a heck of a football game.
I don't think anybody ‑‑ and that's where, who would have thought that in the Super Bowl last year the Denver Broncos were going to score eight points? No one thought that going into the game. Denver scored seven a couple of weeks ago against I think was St. Louis. I never thought Peyton Manning would ever be held to seven, but that's what happens each week. So we don't talk about that as a staff in terms of game planning. Again, everything we do is situational: 'What are they like on third down? What are they like coming out? What are they like in the red zone?' We are looking at it that way. We don't have an overarching, 'I think this is going to be a shootout or I think this thing is going to be a' ‑‑ I've just been in too many games that have gone the other way where it's supposed to be a low scoring game and it's a shootout, or it's supposed to be a shootout and it's a low scoring game. I think as a coach you're wasting time thinking of it that way. We always look at it compartmentalized by what situation are you dealing with.
Q. In all your wins here you've scored at least 24 points, so I didn't know if in your history it's usually those higher‑scoring games as opposed to ‑‑
COACH KELLY: No, in my history we've won lower‑scoring games. We beat Cal to go to the National Championship, I think it was 15‑11 or 15‑12, and we had to have a gritty drive at the end of the game to control the clock and it was a low‑scoring game that year.
I think you can look at any statistic overall and say, 'Hey if we score'‑‑ what's the points when we win?
Q. At least 24 points.
COACH KELLY: I hope we score 24 then.
Q. How did K Cody Parkey come through practice yesterday?
COACH KELLY: Parkey was good. He'll be fine. He's 100 percent in terms of being ready to go on Sunday. He's a little I think banged up and now he'll be back ready to go.
Q. You have talked about his process before and he's generally the first guy out on the field working out ‑‑
COACH KELLY: I think he still is the first guy out here today. His process has not changed. I think it's just a matter of managing him right now, and this last week, and then I think it really kind of flared up a little bit on game day, but after that he's been great. They've got a great plan with him. Our trainers and sports science staff are doing a great job with him and he will be full-go on Sunday.
Q. LB Connor Barwin was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November. What's the best thing he brings to your defense?
COACH KELLY: I just think his versatility. Well, two things: I think it's his versatility and his unselfishness. The one thing about Connor is he truly just cares about the success of the defense. He'll be the first to tell you that some of his sacks were the result of maybe [DE] Fletcher Cox stunting out and taking up two blockers and he's coming off of it in a twist game. But also he'll do the same exact thing and we'll run a twist game where it's an ET and he's freeing up somebody coming from the inside. That and the fact that Billy [Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis] can move him around and put him in a lot of different spots puts him in situations to really make plays.
Q. When you look at what you want in a quarterback, specifically in your offense, what does Sanchez give you and how would you evaluate his play?
COACH KELLY: Mark is a very good athlete. I think he's a really good decision maker. I think he spins the ball really, really well and therefore it allows him to be accurate in terms of what we're asking him to do.
On a lot of his completions so far for us, he's done a great job of offset throwing. Defender maybe shaded to the inside on the left and he's putting the ball outside to the right. He's done a lot of that, especially with some of the tight throws he had to throw in the Dallas game: a couple of those to Coop [WR Riley Cooper] inside, a couple of those to Mac inside, some of those to our tight ends. He throws the ball on the run very well. So I think he's done a really nice job in terms of what we've asked him to do.
Q. Why does he look so different than he did with the Jets? It's a different team, but he looks like a different quarterback from the last two years he played in New York.
COACH KELLY: I really, and I've said it before, I didn't watch him his last two years in New York. I think people laughed at that, but I knew Mark and I knew what we were getting. I talked to his college coaches more than I did that; I talked to his high school coaches and I knew what type of athlete he was and I knew what he could do.
For me to study his tape from the New York Jets ‑‑ now I know other people studied his tape, but I personally didn't study his tape because I know what he can do and I thought he could fit into our system.
Q. To make it clear, you did not get a call from Florida that you could have hung up on?
COACH KELLY: No, it's a great question – I didn't and that really bothered me that someone said that I would hang up. I wouldn't hang up. If anybody called me, I would politely tell them I'm the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, I'm excited to be here and we have a really big game against Seattle.
I have great respect for Florida and what they have done. I visited Steve Spurrier when I was at New Hampshire, they were great to me. I spent a lot of time down there with Urban [Meyer] when I was at Oregon. I think it's a great school. I think they have got a heck of a coach.
I haven't been contacted by any colleges. My parents used to live in Fort Collins ‑‑ let's just not go there. I know the Colorado State job is open. I think it's a great city, but I'm getting ready to play Seattle. [Laughter]
Q. Why is Seahawks QB Russell Wilson so effective on the zone-read plays in particular?
COACH KELLY: He's just a great athlete. He has legitimate speed and quickness where he can burst off a disconnect and gain some serious yards. And he's a really, really good decision maker. It makes him a legitimate threat every time they are running the ball out of the gun that the ball can be handed off or he can keep it. So you have to really respect him and understand what he's going to do in those situations.
Q. Is he a first down ‑‑
COACH KELLY: He does a great job. That's the other thing I've said, he has great pocket awareness and the one thing he doesn't do is he doesn't put himself in harms way. He's not looking to run people over, he's looking to literally go first down, touchdown, get down. He's got an opportunity to put himself in a situation, if he can run for a touchdown, he's going to do it, if he can run for a first down, he's going to did it, but he's also not going to try to take on a middle linebacker that he knows he's not going to win that battle. I think that's part of what makes him. He's got such poise and he's such a good decision maker, that's what makes him so dangerous.
Q. So many running quarterbacks seem to take a lot shots which put them at risk. How does he not do that?
COACH KELLY: Because he's really smart and I think he understands what he can do. Also, he's 5'10", so he's not going to run people over and I think sometimes those guys with that mentality ‑‑ it's tough to get that out of some guys. It's hard, too, because you also admire it. You want a tough guy.
When we played -- I don't know if you guys remember our first game against Washington [last year], [RB LeSean] McCoy bounces [outside] and comes back the other way and Mike [former Eagles QB Michael Vick] is lead blocking. I'm like, 'No, Mike, I don't need you to lead block!' Know what I mean? But that's also one of the things that made Mike such a great player is that he was so competitive, that he wanted to win every single snap he was out there. It's kind of a rare combination that Russell has.
Q. When defenses play a lot of the same coverages over and over again, does that negate some of the effectiveness of tempo because it is easier to get lined up?
COACH KELLY: No, and I don't think that has to do with it. I just think they are really good at what they do. We have played some teams that play the same coverages over and over again and there are guys running free all the way down the field. I don't think that happens against Seattle because of the talent they have and how smart they are in terms of what they are doing scheme‑wise. We have played some teams that haven't been very diverse on the defensive side of the ball, yet we have affected them. Usually it depends on the talent level on the defensive side of the ball and the talent level on their side is very high.
Q. In talking to Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll yesterday, he said that the Miami Dolphins are the most comparable to what you guys are doing on tape this year. Are you finding any cross-opponents with Miami to see how they are playing them?
COACH KELLY: I don't think Seattle played Miami, did they?
Q. No, but he was saying in terms of preparing for your scheme, Miami is the most comparable he's seen in the NFL.
COACH KELLY: I mean, I think a lot ‑‑ watch Seattle. They do kind of a lot of the stuff that we do. There's another team that we look at. The Giants are more of a spread team now in terms of what they do and Green Bay is a spread team in terms of spreading people out and not being a two‑back operation in terms what they do.
There are a lot more teams that I think you're starting to see it a little bit more. Houston does it a little bit when they get Fitzy [QB Ryan Fitzpatrick] back there. So there's some, and we usually cannibalize film when we look at it so that we are always taking out formation that we run. We'll eliminate some of the formations where maybe it would be two tight ends, two backs, 22 personnel, we'll break the game down, but we are not going to break down that play because we are not going to be in 2