Chip Disagrees With NFL Over Baker Hit
Chip Kelly still believes that the Chris Baker hit on Nick Foles was illegal even if the NFL does not.
On Tuesday Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said that Baker “didn’t do anything wrong with that hit,” and would not be fined, noting that Baker did not strike Foles in the head or neck area.
But there are other things to consider when it comes to that sequence, Kelly argued.
“I’m still under the impression that you can’t blindside a player whether it’s a quarterback or not a quarterback going back towards your own sideline,” he said. “I’ll touch base with league officials before we play again. That’s news to me that that’s a legal hit. I know the referee threw the flag and kicked him out of the game pretty quickly.
“Everything we’ve taught and we know is that you can’t blindside a player no matter if it’s a quarterback or not. And there’s also a rule from my understanding that a quarterback on a change of possession is basically a defenseless player.”
The league isn’t focused on whether Foles was a defenseless player (It seems pretty clear that he was). Its point is that the type of hit on the defenseless player in this case didn’t violate any rules. Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is:
1) Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the initial contact is lower than the player’s neck, and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him; or
2) Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body; or
3) Illegally launching into a defenseless opponent. It is an illegal launch if a player (i) leaves both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent, and (ii) uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/”hairline” parts) to initiate forcible contact against any part of his opponent’s body.
Since Baker did not hit Foles in the head/neck area, it was a clean play in the NFL’s view.
Chip’s Still Running the Damn Ball
No worries about this head coach abandoning the run.
LeSean McCoy found little daylight Sunday and averaged just 1.2 yards per carry, yet Kelly stuck with the ground game throughout. McCoy finished with 19 rushes for 22 yards and the team 25 rushes for 54 yards.
Even though the returns have been different, Kelly noted that McCoy has more carries through the first three games this year than he did at this point last season.
“We’re not striving for balance just for the sake of balance but I also think you can’t just go totally one-dimensional and say we’re going to chuck it every down,” said Kelly. “There’s a little bit to it where if everybody in the stadium knows what you’re going to do, then that makes it a lot more difficult. They’re going to scheme up a lot more pressures in terms of trying to attack your protections and get after the quarterback a little bit more. Sometimes a run takes a little bit of pressure off the quarterback from a rush standpoint. Obviously you want to gain more yards than you did, but the fact that not allowing them to gang up on just one aspect of it does help you.”
A fan base rejoices.
Mychal Kendricks missed practice again Wednesday with a calf injury. Seems unlikely he will play Sunday in San Francisco. Fletcher Cox (back) returned to practice after sitting out yesterday.
The first-team offensive line was once again (from left to right): Jason Peters, Matt Tobin, David Molk, Dennis Kelly and Todd Herremans. Kelly wants to see how Tobin holds up over the next couple days, but if all goes well it looks like he’ll get his first start of the year Sunday.