Chip chat: On Churchill, Shady, 'open' WRs

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
3:00
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Sports science, blocking schemes, dome teams, Winston Churchill -- you just don't know what you're going to get when you go to a Chip Kelly news conference.

The Philadelphia Eagles coach addressed a few issues and made a few observations a day after his team's snowy 34-20 victory over Detroit.

Fight them on the beaches. "The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but no less difficult." Kelly (fairly accurately) quoted Churchill in explaining how he approaches game tape after a win.

McCoy
"There's always lessons you can learn," Kelly said. "Shame on you if you don't look back and analyze what happened and what were the positives and what can you take from it. But I also think you have to take what did we do wrong and how can we continue to execute? When you have a big win, sometimes it's well, we made a couple mistakes but don't worry about it. We've never been that way."

As an example, Kelly cited a LeSean McCoy run. McCoy broke the franchise record with 217 rushing yards in the game, but the tape showed room for improvement.

"LeSean could have had a 70-yard run," Kelly said. "He cut back and got tackled by (Ndamukong) Suh and a defensive lineman. If he had broken to his left, he could have had another (touchdown). Those are things we'll continue to work on."

Taking advice. While it's not unusual for a player to make a suggestion on the sideline, it's unusual for Kelly to take the suggestion as seriously as he took cornerback Cary Williams' advice to throw deep Sunday.

Williams
"I've had a lot of players come up and suggest a lot of things," Kelly said. "You just have to be smart enough to know which ones to listen to. Trust me, I don't think I've ever had a receiver that's ever been covered.

"It's an amazing phenomenon: 'I'm wide open!' 'I know you're wide open because the ball went over there and the entire defense went over there. That's why you're standing by yourself. Now if you were blocking like you were supposed to be, you wouldn't be open, because it was a run play.'"

Williams suggested taking some deep shots in the passing game. If he was having trouble recovering from moves made by Calvin Johnson, Williams reasoned, the Lions' secondary would be similarly vulnerable. Kelly responded by calling for that 44-yard pass from Nick Foles to Riley Cooper, which kickstarted the Eagles' comeback.

"Cary's one of the guys on this team, he's all football," Kelly said. "He's a student of the game. He's got a great football mind. He made a really valid point. You can run by these guys because they can't transition, because he can't transition. I've had a lot of guys make suggestions. I'll listen to Cary because Cary really understands the game."

Avant
Avant guard. Wide receiver Jason Avant also understands the game. Kelly listened to him, too.

"One of the unsung heroes yesterday -- I don't even think he had a pass thrown to him -- was Jason Avant," Kelly said. "You watch the block he threw on LeSean's (57-yard touchdown) where he took the safety back into the free safety. That's the type of team we have. Jason's on the sideline asking me, 'Can we run the ball my way?' I don't know how many wide receivers in this league are asking to have the ball run their way."

Watching the play on tape, Avant's block was the one that turned a 20-yard run into a touchdown. As McCoy bursts through the middle of the Eagles' line, Avant drove Bill Bentley back into Louis Delmas. Bentley went down in a cloud of snow. Delmas was knocked off balance. By the time he turned and got his footing, McCoy was beyond him. Delmas dove helplessly at McCoy's feet.

Already iced. The Eagles had zero injuries reported after the game. Whether that was luck, the players getting ice treatment every time they hit the ground or the lack of traction keeping joints from twisting, it's impossible to say.

Kelly said rookie safety Earl Wolff (knee) is expected to try to practice this week. Wolff has been inactive since getting hurt in the Green Bay game. Linebacker Najee Goode (hamstring) is the only other Eagle expected on the injury report.

Phil Sheridan

ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter

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