Eagles head coach Chip Kelly touched on a variety of topics during his day-after press conference. Here are the highlights.
WHAT’S UP WITH HENERY?
At the beginning of this season, it didn’t seem possible that the 2011 draft could look any worse. But the fourth-round pick of Alex Henery now appears to be even more of a reach.
Henery missed a 46-yarder against Denver and has now missed field-goal attempts in three straight games.
“I think Alex is a really good kicker,” Kelly said. “I think he’s been very accurate throughout his entire career. It’s interesting when you analyze his three misses, and they are all 40 to 49 yards. One was right and one was left and one was right.
“When you look at everything, when someone does make a mistake, how do we correct it? Not that you want them, but if it was all three of them were left, then you would say… we are analyzing where his playing foot is, how is he doing, if he is swinging through the ball and kind of pulling it or is he not blocking his hips out and pushing the ball.”
Kelly’s point is that Henery’s issues don’t appear to be technical. And more likely than not, Kelly is choosing not to rip Henery because a kicker’s confidence can be fragile.
But the Eagles’ special-teams were horrible on Sunday, and Henery contributed.
IS ANYONE GETTING OPEN?
A continuing storyline on offense is whether enough receivers are getting open for Michael Vick.
When Kelly was asked about Vick taking off to run on designed pass plays, he said: “We need to get yards out of those situations and we have to do a better job I think in protecting them and I think we have to do a better job of getting open.”
The issues in the passing game tend to be three-fold: receivers not getting open, protection breaking down and/or Vick not getting rid of the ball on time.
Asked if Vick needs to trust his receivers more, Kelly said: “It depends on what play. There’s maybe one play where, yeah, he should have let it rip. But there’s other plays where we have to do a better job of getting open and other plays where we have to do a better job of protecting him. It’s a combination of the whole thing.”
EVALUATING THE SECONDARY
The goal for the defensive backs in pass coverage has been to not let anyone get behind them. Of course, they’re not always successful with that. Eric Decker had a 52-yard grab and nearly came down with another, but Peyton Manning overthrew him.
“The one thing we are not, except for the long pass right at the end of the first half, which shouldn’t have been thrown on us because we should have been in a Cover-3 with a post-safety, but we are not getting the ball thrown over our head. I think that’s one of the biggest things our defense has done a good job [of] is eliminate x-plays. You’re not giving up a 75-, 80-yarder that’s thrown over your head.”
Rookie Earl Wolff started at safety in place of Patrick Chung. But it sounds like when Chung is healthy, he and Nate Allen will be the starters.
“I think Nate’s played better in the last two weeks and we’ve seen some improvement from them,” Kelly said. “I love Earl’s energy in running around, but he’s still a young rookie just like a lot of our rookies, and he made a few mistakes. Should have been in the middle of the field on that deep pass down the middle. But I love Earl’s energy and he’s going to fly around and he’s going to give you everything he’s got. But he’s still learning on the job.”
NOT GOING CONSERVATIVE
The Eagles twice had 4th-and-4 opportunities in the red zone, and both times Kelly opted to kick the field goal.
Asked if he thought about going for it either time, he said: “Didn’t consider it at all.”
Pressed about why he didn’t gamble a bit more, knowing Manning was on the other sideline, Kelly responded: “I don’t think that’s conservative. I think at that point in time when we made those decisions, we were trying to get points.”