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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Chip Kelly wants faster pace

By Phil Sheridan
ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Everybody seemed to have an opinion about Chip Kelly's fast-break offense after its NFL unveiling on "Monday Night Football."

Kelly was no exception.

"I felt like it was slow," the first-year Philadelphia Eagles coach said Tuesday. "I'm not joking. We need to do a better job.

Kelly I felt like it was slow. I'm not joking. We need to do a better job. We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn't get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a process in between plays. That's something we need to work on.

-- Chip Kelly on Eagles' offense in season opener

"We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn't get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a process in between plays. That's something we need to work on."

The Eagles ran 53 plays in a frenetic first half against the Washington Redskins' stunned defense, amassing 322 total yards. Philadelphia had as many first downs (21) as Washington had offensive plays and entered halftime with a 26-7 lead. The Redskins' only first-half score came on a 75-yard fumble return.

The Eagles ran a play every 22.2 seconds -- and Kelly thought it was slow?

As it turned out, Eagles center Jason Kelce, who along with the quarterback has the most responsibility for dictating tempo, felt the same way.

"I know we can go faster," Kelce said. "I think we went at a really good speed. There were times when we really put the foot on the pedal and were flying around out there, and there were times we eased it back a little bit. We definitely have plays we can still go faster with."

Kelce also hinted at the second issue raised by the game -- what happened to that go-go offense in the second half?

The Eagles ran 24 plays after intermission, less than half their first-half total. Washington ran 49 plays in the second half, outgained the Eagles 307-121 and came close to catching them on the scoreboard. 

So what happened?

• Did Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett figure out how to slow the Eagles?

• Did fatigue slow the Eagles?

• Is it just not possible to dominate a team in the NFL the way Kelly was accustomed to doing at Oregon?

Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo made the argument for Haslett's halftime adjustments.

"Just the way our front line was aligned," Orakpo said. "We changed that -- guys playing more in the box. What they try to do, they try to spread you out and kind of leave the box wide open. So we just made a few adjustments to get more guys in the box so we could play the run a little better."

Kelly dismissed the idea that the Eagles wore down any more than usual.

"When you play that many snaps, you have to make sure you don't run your own team into the ground," Kelly said. "You always sense fatigue in the fourth quarter, no matter what team you're on or what you did. The big thing is not to be as fatigued as the team you're playing against."

Kelly said the first-half/second-half split had more to do with his management of the game. After doing everything at "90 miles an hour," Kelly said, his team had to adjust to "driving on city streets again."

"It's not as much taking your foot off the gas from a standpoint of the tempo that you play," Kelly said. "It's maybe play selection and some of those other things. You're conscious of working the clock.

"It's a fine line. As I get a better feel for our guys and they continue to get a better feel for us, it's something you continually work on."