Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Friday, September 6, 2013
Chip Kelly: No fallout from fight

By Phil Sheridan
ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Coach Chip Kelly saw no evil and heard no evil during the practice altercation between Eagles teammates Riley Cooper and Cary Williams.

On Friday, in his first media session since the incident, Kelly spoke no evil as well.

No fallout whatever. You've got two competitive guys. It was squashed pretty quickly.

-- Eagles coach Chip Kelly, on fight between Riley Cooper and Cary Williams

"No fallout whatever," Kelly said. "You've got two competitive guys. It was squashed pretty quickly."

Kelly said Williams, a cornerback, covered receiver Cooper on the first play of the team period Thursday, which was closed to the media. Michael Vick, who had to step in and restrain Williams during the scuffle, threw a deep ball to Cooper.

The first-year NFL coach said he didn't hear what was said between the two because of the loud music he favors during practice. According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Williams used a racial slur, the same one Cooper used in the infamous viral video that surfaced early last month. This suggests a connection between Cooper's slur and Williams' rage Thursday.

"Do I think that was connected to what happened yesterday?" Kelly said. "No, not at all. No, I don't."

Williams declined to speak to the media again Friday.

Vick, who expressed disappointment in the immaturity of his teammates Thursday, said the incident had blown over.

"What happened in that 10 minutes didn't affect us for the rest of the practice," Vick said. "We all have brotherhood that extends far beyond football. It's something that happened. We cleared it up. I'd rather not even talk about it."

Amid the initial controversy over Cooper's behavior and the Eagles' response -- a fine, no suspension -- Kelly was expansive on the subject.

"It's not something that you put aside," Kelly said Aug. 2. "This isn't a football deal; this is a life deal, so let's make sure we can assist Riley in any manner that we can and go from there. … It can't be swept under the rug. I think it's an important issue we all need to address."

Michael Vick and Cary Williams
Michael Vick had to hold back Cary Williams from Riley Cooper during a scuffle at Thursday's practice.

The difference between Aug. 2 and Sept. 6 is that Kelly is preparing his team for a meaningful game in three days. The Eagles open at Washington on "Monday Night Football." It is no time for "life deals."

"Fighting isn't going to win us a game on Monday night," said wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who huddled separately with Cooper and Williams in the immediate aftermath of the fight. "That happened over a month ago. If individual people still have issues, that's for themselves to talk about. But inside this locker room, everybody's on one page."

Kelly said he was not overly concerned with Williams' history of anger-management issues, which led to multiple fines last season and his shoving an official in the Super Bowl. The former Raven was tossed out of a joint practice during the preseason with New England after scuffling with a Patriots wide receiver.

"That was just an agreement I had with Coach Belichick that we weren't going to put up with it when the two teams were practicing because of what we had to get accomplished," Kelly said. "We've talked about it and hopefully [Williams] understands the ramifications. It's a team game. Our whole deal that we talk about all the time is that you have to play with emotion and not let emotion play with you."