Chip: Starters Will Play Sunday Regardless

Chip Kelly sideline talks to referee
If the Cowboys beat the Redskins Sunday afternoon, the night time tilt between the Eagles and Bears becomes meaningless in terms of determining a division winner. In that scenario, the NFC East would be decided in Week 17 when the Eagles and Cowboys square off in Dallas.

Would Chip Kelly rest his starters against Chicago if it plays out that way?

“No,” he said. “We’ve got to play. We’re not in a situation where we’ve gotta rest anybody. We’ve got to play, we’ve got to get back on the winning track and we’ve got to be ready to play winning football. Our philosophy has always been, it’s on the line every single time you play, it’s not what goes on outside of there. We need to get better as a football team, everybody needs to play.”

The other thing to keep in mind is seeding. The Eagles are still fighting for the No. 3 seed (both they and the NFC North leading Bears stand at 8-6), so there is meaning to this week’s game from that perspective.

Will Kelly be monitoring the Dallas-Washington game?

“No, I’m going to live in a vacuum,” he said. “We’ll know the score. We all have phones and televisions and all that other stuff. But I mean am I going to be glued to the set? No. It is what it is. Whatever happens in that game still doesn’t affect us in terms of, we still have to go out and play the Chicago Bears. I don’t think we’re going to have  a victory party and say, ‘Heck, we’ve got to get over to the stadium, we have a game right now.’ We’ve gotta go play.”

The Eagles’ overall situation was improved thanks to a late comeback by Green Bay against the Cowboys early Sunday evening. That was all transpiring as the Eagles were in the air on their way back to Philadelphia. The result of that game brought little comfort to the head coach.

“Some guys have got some updates and they told us the score but I know I didn’t feel very good,” said Kelly.  “I don’t really care what goes on with Dallas, to be honest with you. We lost to the Vikings and that’s not a very good feeling. My whole philosophy is I’m worried about what we can control and we don’t control what other people do. What we control is how we play and we didn’t play well enough yesterday.”

Some other highlights from Kelly’s day-after press conference:

— Kelly addressed the reports tying him to the vacant head-coaching position at Texas.

“I’m the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and we’re 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 on being here for awhile.

“It’s just speculation. I haven’t spoken to anybody nor will I speak to anybody.”

Do you now consider yourself a pro coach, and in this realm for good?

“I’ve consider myself a pro coach eight times this year, and six times I haven’t,” he joked.

— Kelly further explained his decision to avoid kicking to explosive return man Cordarrelle Patterson. Alex Henery, he said, wasn’t getting the ball out of the end zone during warm-ups.

“We monitored it and we watched some pregame warm-up and kicked some at [halftime] and he’s five, six yards deep in the end zone so those are coming out.”

Kelly has not determined yet whether they will approach Devin Hester in a similar way. If they do try to avoid him, they’ll probably do more “mortar kicks” [kicked high in the air] than squib kicks, which Kelly noted were not very successful against Minnesota.

— Kelly said he’ll speak with both DeSean Jackson and receivers coach Bob Bicknell about Sunday’s sideline spat but didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

— As for LeSean McCoy only getting eight carries, Kelly mentioned that Minnesota was playing a single-high safety and had an extra man in the box for much of the game, leading to man-on-man opportunities in the pass game that he thought he could exploit. Defenses bringing extra men into the box to defend McCoy, though, is really nothing new.

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  • DEBO 215

    – As for LeSean McCoy only getting eight carries, Kelly mentioned that Minnesota was playing a single-high safety and had an extra man in the box for much of the game, leading to man-on-man opportunities in the pass game that he thought he could exploit. Defenses bringing extra men into the box to defend McCoy, though, is really nothing new.
    Sooooo what happened there?

    • UKEagle99

      What happened there primarily was our defence kept hogging the time of possession and wouldn’t come off the field ;)

    • Justin

      What happened there was that we put up 30 points, but our defense made Matt Cassel and Greg Jennings look like Tom Brady and Randy Moss in 2007.

      • GEAGLE

        Defense was bad, but Chip did them NO favors whatsoever..if we had buddy Ryan’s defense I wouldn’t want to give the ball to the opponent on the 40 all game, and fail to convert a 4th and 1 on your own 40….lucky for Chip that the D played so bad it doesn’t matter as much

        Are the Kendricks doubters going to tell me he sucked sunday too?

        • Justin

          If we had Buddy Ryan’s defense we’d be undefeated. Especially if we’re talking 1991.

        • jesse

          A.)Kendrricks balled out yesterday one of the few on D maybe the only one… And man Buddy’s D that was the stuff of dreams. that was the by far the best assemble of Defensive players ever put together. that’s when i became a football fan and a Eagles die hard Dline with Brown,White’and simmons LB’s Joyner and Evans DB’s Allen,Waters and Wes Hopkins man the Buddy Bowls thats what brought me aboard

        • UKEagle99

          If you’re talking about the ’91 Defence, you could put the ball on our own 1 for every Minnie drive and they would not score anywhere near 48 points. I have the Houston Astrodome tape to prove it.

  • Andy

    If Alex Henery can’t kick the ball out of the back of the endzone from the 35 in a dome they need to find someone who can. I like Henery and believe in his longer-term track record for accuracy despite an up and down season, but come on!

    • Broadcasting Wisdom

      I thought he had his best kick of the season on that 51 yarder. Never a doubt, right down the middle with distance to spare. But yeah he doesn’t have the strongest leg in the league. I’ll note Blair Walsh might be the best kicker and he not only missed a 50 yarder but also had several returnable kickoffs. Hard to crush it out of the endzone every time, even in a dome.

      • Token

        Henery blows. Of all the people to fluff on the team, this guy should be the last. Not only is he very shaky outside 35 yards…. 51 was his career long. Think about that for a second.

        Kicker is on the needs list. Someone with a NFL leg.

        • Andy124

          Obviously, those guys are off the board by the 4th round. Going to have to think about that in the 2nd round this year.

          • Token

            No they are almost always UDFA

        • nicksaenz1

          He’s only been in the league for 2 years. I’m not trying to go out of my way to defend him here, but he was the most accurate kicker in CFB history when he was drafted. If he can sure up the under 50 FGs a little more he’s got himself a career. Matt Stover’s career long is 55, but he made a career by being nearly automatic from under 45-50. Ravens actually carried two kickers for a couple seasons, one for FG and one for kickoffs.

          • theycallmerob

            you sure know you’re ravens.
            and you’re right, it’s not like ol’ Noodle Arm Nick. Henery can easily add strength, along with experience. Nothing like smoothies and SEALs-style leg flutters to build that kid up. Dude is barely 26 years old, just getting into man-strength.
            Also, for the record, he kicked a 57-yd ball in a game in college. I am all for bringing in kickalicious. Maybe, like Vick, Henery just needs some competition in camp to bring out his best.

          • Token

            Trash Foles, fluff Henery……. yea that sounds about right for a typical Philly fan.

          • nicksaenz1

            I never trashed Foles and I’m not fluffing Henery, just noting that he’s not a terrible kicker, but needs to be more automatic from under 50 if he’s going to stick around.

          • nicksaenz1

            I know them because I’m obligated to hate them, and I do, very much. I looked up the career long but remember that he was a kicker you trusted primarily under 45yds and he was automatic. I grew up with all Steelers fans in the family, and they hated the Ravens, so I did, too. Having been born in Delco, I remained loyal to the Eagles. It’s tough hearing the rings jokes from a fanbase that’s so f’n spoiled that they don’t know how to handle being unsuccessful with grace. I’ve also been to several Ravens Steelers games, so I found the two kickers thing an odd waste of roster space.

        • Broadcasting Wisdom

          Yeah, 51 is his career long. Do you know how many attempts he has had over 51 yards? Think about that for a second. Henery is not a top 10 kicker right now, but I’d place him firmly in the 11-20 range with the potential to improve. Kickers rarely break into the league and go gang-busters right away because it is such a niche skill that requires hours and hours of repetition (as compared to most other NFL positions in which elite athleticism can make up for lack of reps – see Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz for this year’s examples). Of the top 20 kickers on a percentage basis, all of them but the Rams’ Greg Zuerlein and Walsh have more than 5 years experience. Of the remaining starting kickes, only three others have less than 5 years experience – that should tell you something about the value of experience for kickers. Give Henery another year or two of doing nothing but kicking footballs and I think the dude will be just fine.

          • Justin

            Dude is nearing the end of his second year. He kicked in college. It’s not like we signed some random guy who has never kicked in his life. If he can’t kick it through the endzone in a fucking dome, he isn’t an NFL level kicker.

          • The Answer

            You forgot the legend of Justin Tucker

    • Johnny Domino

      Let Donnie try one.

  • UKEagle99

    Give it a year and Goodell will have them tossing a coin (heads it’s the 20, tails it’s the 40) instead of kickoffs and we won’t have worry about the likes of Patterson and Hester.

    • Johnny Domino

      Twelve-sided die

  • Adam

    Hey Chip, a tip from a guy who watched the Bears play the Cowboys.. run the ball :)

    • cliff henny

      Murray was killing them. half his carries he just ran out of room along the sidelines 8-10 yards downfield.

      • Adam

        It was the first Bears game I had watched this year and I hadn’t been following them closely. To call it a shell of their 2012 defense would be an insult to shells. I couldn’t get over how terrible they were.

        • cliff henny

          same. was quite shocking. wasnt like they even could tackle Murray, just sort of hoping he’d turn to sidelines and let them usher him OB.

          • GEAGLE

            Losing Melton ruined them

    • Richard Colton

      LeSean is rested

    • GEAGLE

      I would like to think that Chip can give Cox a hint or two about how to attack Kyle long. He was too raw to improve ALL of his Oregon flaws this soon

    • Dominik

      The Bears run Defense is something that keeps me semi-optimistic for Sunday. Forte, Jeffrey, Marshall – boy they are good. But they have a bad Defense and are even worse defending the run.

      It should be a 41-34 type of game. So the final score will be 7-6 Eagles, with Kurt Coleman having 8 tackles und 3 INTS and McCoy having 20 yards on 12 carries. That’s what the Eagles taught us this season, isn’t it?

  • cliff henny

    so, do we want Dallas to lose or have week 17 be for the title? i’d rather rely on home cooking

    • Andy124

      I always want us to win and I always want them to lose.

      • cliff henny

        be nice to crush them in jerry’s world though.

        • Andy124

          That can be the silver lining if they win next week. I also wouldn’t mind crushing them after they’ve already been eliminated.

          • GEAGLE

            You are underestimating how much fun it would be to go to Dallas and talk trash to them all game about how we clinched,..they will implode once eliminate next week lol and our backups can beat them in the finale..see yesterday’s gutless giants :)
            Disrespecting them by benching our starters in their house sounds thrilling…their dirty, pathetic, loser fans shouldn’t even get to see the great Rainmaker, and the real McCoy

        • nicksaenz1

          I’m with Andy, I love kicking them when they’re down. What better way to destroy them than a 41-10 drubbing after we’ve already clinched the playoffs?

    • jabostick

      I want to be in the playoffs and take the path of least resistance to get there. Beating the Cowgirls dramatically would be great but we’ve already exceeded expectations as a team, I want to see how far we can milk it. I can get by knowing that the Cowboys had two horrific losses (Lions and Packers) this year

  • docboy75

    why don’t they see if Jone can kick off then? he got a strong leg….

  • Bird of Prey

    Ahhh! It was just a bad game. They’ve shown they can bounce back before, and hopefully continue to adjust. First year coach on a team that had only 4 wins last year with much of the same personnel is going to have at least some bumps in the road.

  • Aussie Eagle

    I know Chip preaches taking it one week at a time, but would you at least get some game planning in for the Cowboys, and get a head start on what is most likely going to be a game for all the marbles? I realise a Dallas loss and Eagles win this week would clinch the division, but I have no faith in the Skins to snap their losing streak…

    • Brian

      Lets plan for the Bears. Every game is the super bowl.

      • Justin

        Then we have 8 Lombardi trophies. SUCK IT, REST OF NFL.

    • Adam

      I think the game plans will be very similar. Both teams have talent at WR and RB. Good but turnover prone QBs. Formidable 4-3 DE’s (in Ware and Peppers). They’re both struggling in both rush and pass D. Big difference is Bears #2 receiver is much better than the Cowboys.

    • HowboutdemIggles

      Win the day!

  • EaglePete

    then why is Henery still on this team, dump that bum already. Oh right, we drafted him

  • Media Mike

    How much does Alex Henery suck?

    • GEAGLE

      Can’t be a good 4th round pick that’s for sure

    • Justin

      Didn’t we take him in 2011? That should say it all.

  • Max Lightfoot

    “No, I’m going to live in a vacuum,” he said. hahahahhahahaha

  • Johnny Domino

    If they do try to avoid him, they’ll probably do more “mortar kicks”

    Chip, watch yourself some rugby this week to get that old “up and under” together.