Chip Kelly fielded questions today about the Cary Williams–Riley Cooper scuffle and predictably downplayed it as no big deal.
Asked if there was any fallout from the incident, Kelly said: “No, we went right back to team period after that, and both those guys were lined up and played. As a matter of fact, Mike [Vick] threw the ball deep to Riley on the first play of team period and Cary was covering him, so I don’t see any fallout.”
With Williams, the discussion has more to do with a pattern of behavior and the new cornerback challenging authority.
Williams skipped most of spring practices. When the Patriots practiced in Philadelphia, he mixed it up with Aaron Dobson even after being told specifically that such behavior would result in him getting kicked out of practice. Even in the preseason game against the Panthers, he tangled with wide receiver Steve Smith after the whistle.
This all comes after Williams shoved an official in the Super Bowl back in February.
“We’ve talked to him about it, and hopefully he understands the ramifications and what it is,” Kelly said. “It’s a team game. Like I said, our whole deal, and we talk about it all the time, is you have to play with emotion and not let emotion play with you.
“We address that all the time in meetings. Our coaches do it in the position meetings. I talk about it in team meetings about making sure that you play with emotion and don’t let emotion play with you. You’ve got two competitive guys and it could [escalate] pretty quickly and was squashed pretty quickly.”
A player told the Inquirer that Williams used the N-word during the back-and-forth with Cooper. Kelly said he didn’t hear that and didn’t feel the need to address it with Williams after practice.
He added that he didn’t see any relation between Cooper’s racial slur at the Kenny Chesney concert and what happened with Williams.
“Do I think that was connected to what happened yesterday? No, no I don’t,” Kelly said.
Asked if he took into account Williams’ issues before the Eagles signed him, Kelly added: “I think we take everything into account with everybody we evaluate as a potential Philadelphia Eagle. So yes.”