From the time the play clock starts until there are 15 seconds remaining, the one-way line of communication is open. So the question posed to Kelly today was: What do you say to Vick other than the play-call?
“In the headset, it’s really just calling the play,” Kelly said. “The defense isn’t set up yet so I’m not gonna predict what I think they’re gonna have. I’m calling the play and we’re getting lined up so it’s not, ‘Hey Mike… watch out for Cover-1, Cover-2, Cover-man, they may blitz, they may not.’ I can’t warn him about everything. I think if you get into that, they’re not deployed, they haven’t lined up yet. And we’re trying to get our play in and let Mike get set. He has a pre-snap routine that him and Coach [Billy] Lazor work on all the time that Mike goes through, locating the safeties and where we’re going with it. There’s not a whole heck of a lot of communication except for what the play is.”
Many of the Eagles’ plays have options built in. They don’t want to be at a numbers disadvantage running into certain looks. They want to exploit mismatches on the perimeter. And they want to play fast.
So Kelly makes the call, Vick looks at the defense, the ball is snapped, and the QB has to make a decision. There’s really not time for anything else, Kelly said.
“I think Mike’s done a really nice job,” he added, when specifically asked about decision-making. “He’s protected the football for us, gotten the ball out on time. We’ve had the ability I think because we can protect to take some more shots down the field. And he’s done a really good job of distributing the ball. We’re at a pretty high completion percentage right now. I’m sure he’d want a couple throws back. There’s a few times when we could have been a little bit more accurate, but I think overall in two games, I’m happy where Mike is.”
Vick has gone 61 attempts without an interception. He’s fumbled twice, one on the backwards pass to LeSean McCoy against Washington and another where the ball came out of his hands as he tried to tuck it against the Chargers.
Vick leads the league with 13 pass plays of 20+ yards and is third in passer rating (119.0) behind Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.
SHURMUR MAKES THE CALL
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is Kelly’s replay guy in the booth, the head coach said today.
In case you’re wondering about Shurmur’s track record there, he was 5-for-11 on challenges in two seasons as head coach of the Browns. Extremely small sample sizes, but Shurmur was 2-for-6 (33 percent) last year, 28th in the league. In 2011, he was 3-for-5 (60 percent), 12th-best.
So far through two weeks, Kelly is the only coach in the league who is 0-for-2 on challenges.
PLANNING FOR THE CHIEFS
The Eagles are starting their season with three games in 11 days. Kelly explained how they’re preparing.
“Everything was broken down and we immediately after the Chargers game, we came back to work that night,” Kelly said. “Our entire staff here was pretty late on Sunday night getting the game-plan together.”
Kelly added that they didn’t want to do too much on the game-plan prior to Sunday night because he felt it might lead to some confusion for the Chargers games.
Brandon Hughes (hamstring) will not practice today.