Kelly On Boykin, Thornton, the Giants

The Eagles added a new name to the injury report today: Brandon Boykin.

The second-year corner suffered a shoulder contusion in last week’s game against the Broncos. In case you’re wondering, the injury was not sustained on a play where Boykin was going up against a right or left tackle from his make-shift outside linebacker spot. The injury happened on a punt, Chip Kelly said.

Boykin and Patrick Chung will both be limited in practice today. But Kelly sounded like he expected Boykin to be ready to go tomorrow. The Eagles’ slot corner is even more important this week against Victor Cruz. Rookie Jordan Poyer will take Boykin’s snaps in nickel today.

Kelly was unsure about when Chung (shoulder) would return. He missed Sunday’s game. It sounds like Earl Wolff will join Nate Allen as the starters once again if Chung can’t go.


Kelly was asked a question about Vinny Curry, but in his response, he offered up high praise for another Eagles defensive lineman.

“I think the one thing you have to realize is Cedric Thornton is playing our best defensive football right now,” Kelly said.

“He’s playing with great effort. I think he’s got a real, real high motor. He’s a real technician. He’s really taken to Azz [defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro] and the system that we’re teaching over there on the defensive line. Very rarely is he out of position. …He’s really a byproduct of putting it all together. And that’s what he’s doing.”

Thornton leads all Eagles defensive linemen with 25 tackles (per coaches’ stats). He also has a sack, two hurries, a tackle for loss and a batted down pass.

In the Eagles’ base defense, Thornton is a defensive end. In their three-down nickel look, he plays nose tackle. And in the four-down nickel look, he’s a DT.


Todd Herremans had a nightmarish game against the Chiefs in Week 3. But he bounced back against Denver.

“I do know that I thought Todd played a lot better against the Denver Broncos than he did in the Chiefs game,” Kelly said. “And really, I thought when you go through that game, played really well. It was maybe his best game of the year was against the Broncos. So I see Todd improving, I see him getting better. I’m excited where that group is going. We’ve got five guys that are pretty good football players.”


When Kelly was coaching at the University of New Hampshire, Tom Coughlin offered him a quality control job. It was a chance for Kelly to get his foot in the door with an NFL franchise, but he decided it wasn’t the right opportunity.

“The internal debate was it was a quality control position and I wasn’t coaching a position,” Kelly said. “So it was just more that part of when you get to a point where I was, it doesn’t matter what level you’re at, you’re designing offense, you’re calling plays, you’re coaching the individual position. And then even though it’s a huge step up going from New Hampshire to the Giants, that was it.

“But I have all the respect in the world for Coach [Coughlin]. I think he’s a Hall of Fame coach. He’s won two Super Bowls. He would have been a great person to learn from. At that point in time, it was a great job, but it just wasn’t the right job at the right time.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.