Fipp Warned Of Short Kickoff Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Linc was full of energy last Sunday night in the minutes leading up to the Eagles’ matchup with the Cowboys.

The fans coordinated an impressively loud “Dallas Sucks!” chant during the coin toss. They booed the Cowboys when the football got knocked off the tee by the wind. They were ready to celebrate a victory that would put their team in control of the NFC East.

The Eagles won the toss and decided to receive. But that’s when things went wrong.

As you know by now, the kickoff was short. Neither Brad Smith nor Josh Huff fielded it. The Cowboys recovered deep in Eagles territory and got in the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.

But the show Turning Point on NBC Sports revealed an interesting bit of information about the play: special teams coach Dave Fipp warned the players in the pre-game huddle that the kick would be short:

If you’re a glass half-full type of person, great job by Fipp. He had checked out the wind and tried to have his players ready.

On the other hand, apparently the message didn’t get through.

Chip Kelly said earlier this week that Smith should have fielded the kick, but that didn’t happen.

“Yeah, the up back should have taken it,” Kelly said. “We were on the 10 and the ball landed on the 15. Josh was too deep for him to field the kick. I think what he thought was that the ball got hit – looked like it came off his foot pretty good, but looked like it got held up by the wind.

“That’s why we have Brad in that situation, in case it’s a short kick so he can field it.”

There were plenty of miscues in all three phases Sunday night. But the opening kickoff got the Eagles off to a horrible start, and based on the video clip, it’s an error that easily could have been avoided.