Chip Kelly: We’ll ‘Roll’ With Caleb Sturgis

The head coach also discussed Fletcher Cox, Marcus Smith and the rushing attack.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A day after the Eagles won their second game of the season, Chip Kelly discussed the run game, their kicker situation and more. Here are some highlights from his press conference.

The Eagles’ rushing attack was the best it has been all season against the Saints, as they accumulated 186 yards and a touchdown each from Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray.

“We just blocked better in the run game and obviously if we can get the run game going, then our pass game with our quick game and our play-action passes off of that. We kept Sam [Bradford] clean, gave him an opportunity to throw the football, but it starts with us being able to run the football and we did a good job of that.”

Although Murray ran for 83 yards — 10 more than Mathews — his backup’s yards per carry (9.1) dwarfed his (4.2). Kelly touched on how their carriers are split up.

“I don’t rotate the backs; [Running Backs Coach] Duce [Staley] is just rolling those guys through there. We think of both of those guys as the same player so it doesn’t affect what we’re doing from a play-call standpoint.”

Outside of their success running the ball, one of the biggest storylines of the game was Fletcher Cox’s dominance. The defensive lineman tallied three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

“I think he’s just starting to get noticed when he probably should’ve gotten before. You go back to last year and opponents talking about going in and getting ready to play us and their talking about Fletcher’s name. He was close in a couple of our earlier games — really close a couple of times in the Washington game to getting some sacks. He’s played at a really high level for a while here, it’s just yesterday it all came together for him.”

Caleb Sturgis missed an extra point for the second straight game, but he made his last three and all four of his field goal attempts.

“Caleb did a nice job. He kind of got in a groove there, especially in the kickoffs. A couple of them were short early, but the last couple he hit, I think he hit really well. We had a slightly high snap on the extra point. He’s starting to get a little bit more comfortable — him and [Special Teams Coach Dave] Fipp and [punter/holder] Donnie [Jones] and [long-snapper] Jon [Dorenbos] on getting on the same page. He had a short week the week we brought him in here in terms of getting ready for the first game and now he’s starting to get in a little bit of a rhythm.”

“We’re not working out any kickers. We’re going to roll with Caleb.”

Although the Eagles threw for 333 passing yards, drops were still an issue yesterday. Kelly also mentioned that Nelson Agholor was unavailable to return to the game after exiting with a left leg injury.

Jordan [Matthews] and Nellie come in here every morning at 7:00 and are on the JUGS machines and are really working on the mechanics of fundamentally catching the football. It’s something that has hurt us in every game we’ve played. We call those SIWs — those are self-inflicted wounds.

“It’s a concentration issue in terms of just going back to the fundamentals. Sometimes it’s trying to run before you catch it, but you have to have the eyes through the tuck and finish with the football before you ever start to think about turning up or running.”

Marcus Smith played 22 snaps on defense yesterday and impressed his head coach.

“Overall, I think he’s shown improvement. On Walter’s interception, he did do a good job of one-arm bull-rushing the offensive tackle, kind of bringing him back into Drew’s [Brees] face and Drew couldn’t really follow through on the throw. We thought he did a good job.”

Kelly also touched on the 15-yard penalty he received against the Saints, but didn’t disclose what he said to the officials.

“I was 100 percent wrong. That’s on me. That’s my fault and shouldn’t have happened.”