Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chip: Peyton's scary, no new defensive starters

Eagles coach Chip Kelly talked to reporters for the first time since Friday. He addressed the difficulty of defensing Peyton Manning this week, and said he doesn't anticipate changes in his starting D.

Chip: Peyton's scary, no new defensive starters

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

Chip Kelly watched Peyton Manning dissect the Raiders Monday night. Then he watched more Manning tape Tuesday morning.

"Outstanding performance," Kelly said. "It's very difficult, when you see a quarterback playing at that level right now. He's got a lot of weapons ... it's a tough challenge for us this week."

Manning completed 32 of 37 passes against Oakland -- 86 percent -- for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns. For the season he is completing 73 percent of his passes, with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating is 134.7.

Asked if he's ever seen anyone perform better against the blitz than Manning, Kelly said: "Him and (Tom) Brady are the two best I've ever seen. We were fortunate we got a chance to practice against Tom (during training camp), then see him a little bit in the preseason, and now we're going to get a chance to see Peyton up close and personal. You're talking about two of the all-time greats in the game. It'll be a great challenge for us."

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Kelly's team has given up 969 passing yards, fourth-worst in the NFL. (But one spot ahead of Denver, intrerestingly enough.) Kelly and his coaching staff had a few extra days to evaluate after Thursday's loss to the Chiefs, in which the defense looked a little better but seemed to wear down toward the end. Kelly indicated that extra time did not result in any changes to his defensive starting lineup.

Kelly does not seem to be worried about Denver's famed mile-high altitude. He said that football is an anaerobic sport, that the Eagles will not be running a marathon, and that when he took college teams into Colorado, he found that the quality of the oppostion factored more into the result than the altitude did.

Kelly said there have been instances when Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has held onto the ball too long in the first three games, but not enough of those to constitute a pattern.

Safety Patrick Chung (shoulder) was the only Eagle not scheduled to practice today, Kelly said.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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