Chip Kelly: ‘We Can’t Delay the Season’

The head coach discussed Sam Bradford's performance and Caleb Sturgis's missed kicks.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly didn’t sound concerned after the Eagles’ 23-20 loss to Washington on Sunday, but he did attribute his team’s struggles to execution, specifically mentioning dropped passes.

“They play with great effort, but I don’t think we are executing,” he said. “We had a couple of key drops in the fourth quarter. We get those drops, [it] changes the game.

“We’ve got to make plays. We can’t delay the season. We’re not making plays right now.”

The Eagles could hardly put anything together in the first half, and they trailed 13-0 midway through the afternoon.

After four games, Philadelphia has been outscored, 39-3, in the first half this season, and their slow start Sunday doomed them to play catch-up all afternoon.

“We didn’t sustain anything in the first half offensively, and that’s what we talk about all the time,” Kelly said. “In the second half, we protected Sam [Bradford] better, gave him an opportunity to throw the ball, and you saw what he could do, and we can do that. But we didn’t do a good job, in the first half, of protecting Sam. We couldn’t convert third downs in the first half.”

Here are some more highlights from Kelly’s press conference.

On the running game’s limited production in the first half.

“We missed a few blocks inside, so we had some penetration,” Kelly said. “We got that kind of straightened out; I thought we started moving the ball halfway decent in the second half, but in the first half we didn’t handle their movements very well up front, and it was still a game with a six-man box. It wasn’t an overloaded box or anything like that. We just didn’t handle their defensive line early in the first half.”

Kelly was asked about not using timeouts to keep clock for a last-ditch drive.

“Obviously, if we call timeouts, we’re just saving clock for them to score,” Kelly explained. “We’re ahead in that situation, so we felt like, [defensive coordinator] Billy [Davis] always felt like we were in a good look. We were on the headset saying, ‘If you need it, we can use it,’ but he didn’t feel like he needed it.”

On what he saw from new kicker Caleb Sturgis, who the Eagles signed this past week to replace injured kicker Cody Parkey. Sturgis missed a field goal and an extra point.

“I’d have to ask [Sturgis], technically, on [why he missed],” Kelly said. “But he missed them.

“It was clean … it looked like a clean snap and a clean hold, from where I saw it on the sideline. I haven’t seen it on film yet.

“He was fine in practice, but I said it the other day that there’s a difference between practice and a game, and you can’t simulate anything in practice that’s going to give you this environment, and that’s what I said the other day, it was going to be a big unknown because he hadn’t had the opportunity to kick for us in a game.”

The Eagles were able to convert plenty of deep passes in the second half after three games of relatively safe pass selection. Kelly was asked why he thought the change occurred.

“We thought we had [long balls] early, but we just weren’t protecting well, so when we had the opportunity to protect it, then we had the opportunity to get it,” Kelly said. “We had one to Nelson [Agholor] early, then we had one to [Riley Cooper], and then we got one to Miles [Austin]. We felt like we had a shot at it, but we just had to protect it better. We ended up protecting it better in the second half than we did in the first half.”