Chip Stands Up For Cooper

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly agreed with Riley Cooper’s postgame analysis: Mark Sanchez‘s fourth-quarter interception was on the quarterback and not the receiver.

“[Sanchez] got pushed off the point. Coop was exactly where he needed to be. The ball was thrown behind him,” said Kelly.

So Cooper didn’t hurt them there. It’s also true that he didn’t help the Eagles much from a production standpoint Sunday, finishing with three catches for 13 yards. He’s had his share of quiet days this season, and against defenses a lot less vaunted than Seattle’s. That’s been especially true since Sanchez  replaced Nick Foles. Over the last six games with Sanchez at the helm, Cooper is averaging three catches for 28 yards.

Kelly stood up for Cooper at his day-after press conference, noting that he had 47 catches all of last year and has 46 this season with three games to play.

While that’s true, Cooper’s yards per reception have dropped from 17.8 yards per catch to 10.2, which ranks 105th in the NFL, and he has just one touchdown this year after finding the end zone eight times in 2013.

“Well that’s not Coop’s fault either,” said Kelly when a reporter brought up the dip in yards per catch. “The ball has to be thrown to him in certain situations. We’re facing a lot more zone coverage this year than we had last year. People played us in a ton more man last year than they did this year. Obviously we set a record for explosive plays in the National Football League. I don’t think that’s going to be the same thing going in so people play a lot more off man and play off of us more than they did a year ago. But I don’t think that has anything to do with Coop’s ability. You look at the catch total, he’s one off of where he was with three games to go from last year and he has two drops.”

Some other highlights from Kelly’s presser:

— Jay Glazer reports that Nick Foles will have his fractured collarbone re-checked after the Dallas game. Kelly offered little on this subject, other to say that Foles will certainly be re-examined before season’s end.

— The Seahawks average 64 plays per game on offense. On Sunday against the Eagles, they ran 85 plays to the Eagles’ 45. Given the offense’s inability to get anything going against Seattle, did Kelly contemplate slowing down his tempo offense to give the defensive unit an assist?

“Time of the play doesn’t matter,” he said. “You can take five minutes to run three plays and get off the field. You have to execute and stay on the field. It’s about plays run. I’ve always said that. The time of possession thing, I don’t understand that concept.

“I’ve never been around it, I don’t understand that, it’s plays run. We ran 45 plays, they ran 85 plays. If you’re telling me we didn’t run enough plays, we certainly didn’t run enough plays. We need to run more plays, and that means we need to convert on third down. We also defensively have to get them off the field on 3rd-and-13 and 3rd-and-15, it’s the same thing. We gave up too many third-and longs.”

Did the workload have an effect on the defense down the stretch?

“I think they’re fine. I don’t think it had anything to do with the fourth quarter,” said Kelly. “They’re built for it. They’re in great condition, they train at a really high level, they practice against us, they understand what it takes.”

— Defensive end Michael Bennett took a shot at Mark Sanchez following the game and Richard Sherman had some pretty candid thoughts on the Eagles’ receiving corps afterwards. Kelly said he had not heard about the comments before a reporter mentioned them.

“No, I didn’t catch wind of that. I talked to Pete [Carroll] before the game and I thought both teams had a lot of respect for each other so that kind of surprises me. I wasn’t aware of that. I talked to Richard, I’ve known Richard since he played at Stanford and had a good conversation with him. Will Tukuafu who plays full back for them was my first captain at Oregon. I saw him after the game. I didn’t catch any wind of that.”