Kelly: Cox Has Been Our Top Player


NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Chip Kelly was handed the Pro Bowl list last night so he could call the Eagles that had been selected. His reaction when he saw that Fletcher Cox was a sixth alternate?

“Wow,” said Kelly.  “That was the one that kind of surprised me. I think he’s been our top player. He’s been really unblockable at times. I think he’s a very disruptive force. But sometimes you make the Pro Bowl I guess on reputation. You ask Jason Kelce, Jason will be the first to tell you that he played better last year than he played this year, which is obviously true — he missed four-and-a-half games. Evan Mathis is a second alternate and he missed eight games…so sometimes I think your reputation goes into it.”

Cox has 61 tackles (six for a loss), three sacks and 13 quarterback hurries on the season. Because he has some two-gapping responsibilities in Billy Davis’ 3-4 defense, the numbers aren’t eye-popping, but the impact he has made is undeniable.

“I hope people recognize him, and maybe like Kelce where it’s probably a year later than he should have gotten it that Fletch will get it next year. But he may be our most valuable player overall to be honest with you.”

Chip On Foles

Kelly has not had a full season to evaluate Nick Foles in his system. The QB looked pretty amazing in his 10 starts last year, and more shaky in his eight starts this season. Has he gotten enough of a feel for what Foles is as a quarterback to make a sound decision on how to proceed moving forward?

“I guess what I’m saying is it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if I can say yes or no, the reality is the reality. I can’t say, ‘Hey, let’s not make a decision because I need to see him play 16 more games.’ At certain times we’re going to have to make decisions and you have to make it based off what you have,” said Kelly.

Does he know what Foles is as a quarterback after 18 starts?

“I just haven’t evaluated anything,” he said. “We have a process that we go through. I will watch every single game, every single throw, every single decision that everybody made at every position before we make legitimate decisions in terms of what we do. And I don’t think it’s fair to any player or anything to say, ‘Yeah, I saw enough. Let’s sit down today and make a decision on what we’re going to do for the rest of the year.’ That’s just not the way we do it. We have a process that we go through and the process takes a while.”

Graham As A Starter?

We’ve written about the outside linebacker situation a good bit over the last few days. Considering Brandon Graham is set to become a free agent, Trent Cole is due to make $10 million next season and Marcus Smith is a major question mark, the Eagles have some interesting decisions to make in the coming weeks.

Given what he has seen out of Graham, does Kelly see him as being an every-down linebacker?

“Yeah, depending on what else we have there,” he replied. “I mean, I think Brandon can be an every-down outside linebacker but again, I think you also have to look at what’s on your roster. You’re not going to sit down another guy just because you think this guys should be an every-down player because Trent has been a very, very productive player for us and so has Connor [Barwin]. But if put in that situation like he was in the Washington game, I thought he played well and I thought he can be an every down player, yeah.”