EAGLES HEAD COACH CHIP KELLY PRESS CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
Q. Is QB Sam Bradford making the reads and the progressions in the way you would like him to? Is that something that has to come with time in his case?
COACH KELLY: No, Sam is making the reads and the progressions going through what he has to do in terms of getting from one to two to three.
Q. Where do things stand with LB Kiko Alonso?
COACH KELLY: He has a sprained knee, so we’re evaluating him this week in terms of what he can do and can’t do.
Q. Is he going to get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews? I know there is a report out there that said he was.
COACH KELLY: I’m unaware of any reports. I haven’t talked to [Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer] Chris [Peduzzi] about that. I can check on that, but I know he has a sprained knee and we have to see what goes on with that.
Q. But he’s out this week, obviously?
COACH KELLY: No, I don’t know that either. I just know he’s got a sprained knee. I don’t know if he’ll be out this week.
Q. What went into the decision to leave for New York a couple of days early? Is that all just logistics with getting players in and out of the complex?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, there’s supposed to be a lot of people coming to town this weekend. There’s something going on. [Laughter]
Q. How does that change anything preparation‑wise?
COACH KELLY: Doesn’t change anything.
Q. Will you use the Jets’ facility up there to practice? Have you worked that out?
COACH KELLY: No, that would be a little dicey, I think, if we were practicing at the Jets’ facility.
Q. Whose are you using?
COACH KELLY: We are going up to Monmouth [University].
Q. Is WR Miles Austin the king there?
COACH KELLY: Miles. Yeah. The legend is going back home.
Q. There are players that seem to think that the Eagles are, not that the opponents know the plays, but that the Eagles are predictable on offense. I heard a couple of players say that. Have you seen that? Do you believe that? Whether it’s the snap count? Whether it’s the limited number of plays?
COACH KELLY: I think we have been varied in our two games and then through our preseason and everything. We do a different job changing formations and things like that. When you’re not successful, I think guys are grasping at excuses to be honest with you. We still need to block and tackle.
Q. It’s not your team, it is the other team’s players ‑‑
COACH KELLY: Yeah, and what I’m saying is that we need to execute. Just like you know when a team is in Tampa 2, they are going to slant the three and the seven-technique, and when they do it, it’s not a surprise to us. Everybody has predictabilities and tendencies going into every game. I think that’s just part of the game plan.
Q. WR Josh Huff did say that he heard players on the sidelines calling in the plays.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I just asked him about that. He didn’t ‑‑
Q. He didn’t say that to you?
COACH KELLY: He didn’t say that to us.
Q. Is he making it up?
COACH KELLY: I just asked Josh, ‘Do you think they had any of our signals?’ And he said, ‘No.’
Q. So where is this coming from that ‑‑
COACH KELLY: I don’t know. I just asked him a second ago. I said, ‘Josh, do you think they are picking up on things?’ And he said, ‘No.’
Q. Have you heard that before from other players on the team that they were predictable?
COACH KELLY: No. I think there are certain things that everybody does that are predictable from a tendency standpoint. When you line up in ‘this’ formation, 75 percent of the time you do ‘this’, 25 percent of the time you do ‘this’. There’s nothing I don’t think anybody does, offensively or defensively, that’s 100 percent of the time.
The team you’re playing is 80 percent man coverage in ‘this’ look, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get man coverage every time. Everybody kind of does what they do. There’s a certain percentage that everybody does what they do. You’re not always 50-50, you know what I mean?
Q. How much time do you spend on self‑scouting in terms of little tendencies?
COACH KELLY: Spend the same amount each week. It’s the first thing we start to talk about is we self-scout ourselves: by down-and-distance, by area on the field, red zone, coming out, going in. All that other stuff.
Q. Who else isn’t ready today?
COACH KELLY: Today? Mychal [LB Mychal Kendricks] with his hamstring and then [DE] Cedric Thornton and [DE] Taylor Hart. They are both not practicing today.
Q. What do the Jets do defensively that impresses you, especially in their front four?
COACH KELLY: Well, I think they are sound at every level, Sal [ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio]. They have got an outstanding secondary with [CB Antonio] Cromartie and [CB Darelle] Revis and [S Marcus] Gilchrist and [S Calvin] Pryor back there. They got two really talented inside linebackers, and then obviously the front with [DL Muhammad] Wilkerson and [DE] Leonard Williams added to it. And then you got [LB Calvin] Pace and [LB Quinton] Coples. I think they are sound at every level and have really good playmakers at every level.
The one thing that stands out with them, as a whole defensively, is just the turnovers that they have created. They have created 10 in the first two games of the year. That’s five a game right now, and they are doing a great job of taking the ball away, whether it’s from stripped fumbles or interceptions, it’s a combination of all of them. They are kind of all playing in sync and doing a really good job. They are talented at all three levels on the defensive side of the ball.
Q. When a team is that aggressive with the takeaways — you can’t practice not turning the ball over, but as a point of emphasis, how do you go about addressing that?
COACH KELLY: It’s always a point of emphasis. I think our defense has done a good job in terms of going for strips and things like that. It’s been an emphasis for us since last April. You’ve got to be conscious about it because you’ve got a team that’s really good at it, and we’ll continue to train it and drill it here in these next couple days.
Q. What’s the process been like of tailoring the system to Bradford’s strengths? Does he have a lot of input in that? How do you feel like ‑‑
COACH KELLY: I think it’s the same with every quarterback. You’re always getting feedback, whether it’s Michael [former Eagles QB Michael Vick] or Nick [former Eagles QB Nick Foles] or [QB] Mark [Sanchez] or Sam, what they feel more comfortable with. One guy likes to maybe throw ‘this’ route to the left better than that guy likes to throw ‘that’ route to the left. No matter where I’ve been, or who we’ve had at quarterback, you’re always taking input from those guys.
Sam is a real student of the game. He spends a lot of time watching tape. He is in this building a lot. He’ll come in and sit down and visit with us and talk about situational football, what he’s seeing on third- down and what he’s seeing in the red zone and then we’ll collaborate on that.
Q. When you say that C Jason Kelce is over-thinking things at center, do you think that has any correlation to him trying to compensate for the new guys that are next to him?
COACH KELLY: I think that’s a great question for Jason.
Q. Do you see anything on film that makes you believe that’s what he’s doing?
COACH KELLY: No.
Q. What Kelce said yesterday to us was that there were all these things in the game plan that he was trying to keep in mind rather than just hitting the guy in front of him. How do you address that? Do you just simplify what you do this week?
COACH KELLY: It all depends on who you are playing and what they are doing. Dallas was a big movement team up front in terms of moving three into seven. Had a lot of tendencies on them that you knew when they were in certain coverages and certain looks, that there is a predominant amount of time they are going to do that. So that’s just part of every game plan you go through. You don’t just say, ‘Hey, forget about it. We know they are slanting out of ‘this’ front and ‘this’ coverage, but let’s not talk about it.’ You still have to address it and present it to them.
Q. How does Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick look for the Jets in offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s offense?
COACH KELLY: He’s done a good job. The one thing — and I don’t know if people realize it –, is that Fitzy played a lot for Chan when Chan was the head coach at Buffalo. He’s just really comfortable. It is not a traditional new quarterback, new coordinator getting together in where they are. I think he’s got a real comfort level with Chan. Bob Bicknell, our wide receivers coach, was on staff with them there in Buffalo. So [Fitzpatrick] had a great command of that offense when he was running it up in Buffalo, and I think it’s probably been the easiest transition for him in terms of anybody else, because of his familiarity with Chan, and what he wants to do and how he’s going to call things.
The offense they are running in New York right now is similar to the one that Chan was running when they were in Buffalo together.
Q. Do you know Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles much? Are his fingerprints on the Jets improving defensively?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, his fingerprints are on that. I don’t know him much. I talked to Todd when I first got here. He was on his way out, he was headed to Arizona with Bruce [Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians]. But I know him from just the coaches’ circles.
He’s done a really good job in a short amount of time in New York, but what he’s doing defensively is what he’s done — similar to the scheme he ran when he was in Arizona for those two years and did a really nice job with the Arizona defense the last two years. They are running a similar‑type system. Some of the players are slightly different, but it’s a similar system in terms of what he was doing with the Cardinals.
Q. How much of an opportunity did you have to keep Bowles here on the staff or was he already gone?
COACH KELLY: I talked to him when I first got here, and then Bruce got the [Cardinals head coaching] job. I think his familiarity with Bruce was part of it. We were going to interview a couple of defensive coordinators, but I never got a chance to ever get him back here. But I did visit him for awhile when I first got here in the first couple of days.
Q. Back to the turnover issue, how much have you addressed that with the team this week, especially with your quarterback? I know he had a bad snap and there was one when the interception went through the receiver’s hands ‑‑
COACH KELLY: We address it every week, regardless of anything. I think we are always trying to be zero in the turnover category on the offensive side of the ball and create them on the defensive side of the ball. We talk about them all the time. We’ve talked about them since we’ve been here on April 20th. It’s been a big emphasis for us both ways. Obviously, if you’re losing the turnover battle, the statistics will tell you that you don’t have a real good chance of winning the game. It’s been a big emphasis for us.
Q. What kind of base is the Jets’ 3-4 defense on run downs. Are they strictly two‑gapping or do they allow someone like Wilkerson to penetrate?
COACH KELLY: They do everything. There’s not a ‑‑ Todd runs a very diverse package, so he does it all. You’ll see all sorts of looks out of him in his three-down package and in his four-down package. They have a three-down, three-linebacker package. They have got a lot of different packages they are running right now, and they are really spread across the board in terms of how they are deploying that whole thing. There’s not one thing where he’s just sitting in one thing.
Q. Bradford was, I think, No. 4 all‑time in lowest interception percentage before the year began. He’s got four interceptions so far and obviously they are not all his fault, but a couple of them have been pretty bad. Any thoughts why?
COACH KELLY: We look at every interception individually, so I know two of them were on tips that went through our hands and that’s not the quarterback’s fault. We have to catch the ball when it’s thrown there. I know the one on [Cowboys LB] Sean Lee, Sean had his back turned when he [Bradford] released the football and then Sean turned. It was a heck of a play by Sean when you really look at it, but when you look at that match up, when you’re in the end zone and the defender has his back turned, you’re trying to throw the ball before ‑‑ if you watch it, especially from Sam’s view from the behind, when you watch it and you see when he released it, Sean still had his back turned and then Sean turned around and located the football, and I think that’s three out of the four [interceptions]. You have to give the defender credit on that one.
Q. When you got Bradford, a lot of talk was about his repetitive accuracy. Are you getting that from him so far this year?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I mean we were a little inconsistent on Sunday, but I thought he was pretty accurate in the Atlanta Falcon game. He was 21-of-25 in the second half against the Falcons.
Q. He was 23 of 37 this past week–
COACH KELLY: Yeah, there’s some inconsistency there. There’s some rush issues there. It’s a combination of everything, but it’s one game.
Q. When you go 0‑2, you’ve mentioned before having, perhaps in the 49ers game last year, and then before that in the Giants game, do you go back to the drawing board and change things? Or do you just say, ‘You know what, I’ve been successful. We have won 10 games these past two years. We are just going to stay and do what we have always done?’
COACH KELLY: No, I don’t think the record has anything to do with anything. I think it’s always you’re game planning for your next opponent. So what do we have to do to beat the Jets? Whether we were 2‑0 at this point in time or whether we were 0‑2, you don’t just say, ‘Hey, we’re 2‑0. We don’t have to do anything this week.’
Every week for any coach at any level, it’s an entire season. So you look the whole thing out and kind of spread it out. But your focus is on ‑‑ and I know people make fun of Coach Belichick [Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick], but I think when he said, ‘On to Cincinnati’, that’s what we are all kind of about. You’re on to your next game, and you’re game planning for your next game in terms of specifics of what they do. What do they present for problems? How do you handle Wilkerson? How do you handle Williams? What do you do with Cromartie? What do you do with Revis? How do you do all that?
Your focus is on your next opponent. It’s not about, ‘Hey, we did ‘this’ two years ago when we played ‘this’ team, so let’s do ‘this’ again because that’s going to change a losing streak into a winning streak.’ It’s about what do we need to do to put a plan in place offensively, defensively and special teams to play the Jets.
Q. What have you seen in Bradford mentally with his ability to turn the page after a rough game, or a rough start? Can you talk about his mental make-up a little bit?
COACH KELLY: I think Sam’s really grounded. I think the one thing about him is he’s really consistent. His approach and his attitude here every day, he’s not a guy who gets really, really high, but he’s not a guy that gets really, really low. I think there’s a lot to that, especially in this game because you’re going to have successes and then you’re going to have failures. You could have them within a drive; you could have them within a game; you certainly have them within a season. I think he’s really consistent in terms of his approach of always trying to improve and always trying to get better.