Kelce Says Eagles' Problems Against Blitz Were Team Effort

Jason Kelce says the Eagles' problems with the Cardinals' blitz were a team effort (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Injured center Jason Kelce made an appearance in the Eagles locker room Thursday afternoon and came to the defense of his replacement, Dallas Reynolds, who has been criticized for his role in last Sunday’s five-sack debacle in the desert.

While he acknowledged that Reynolds made some mistakes, Kelce said Reynolds did a good job with the protection calls and that the Eagles’ problems with the Cardinals blitz were a team effort.

``I’ll tell you it wasn’t on Dallas,’’ Kelce said. ``He did a good job of declaring who the right guy was for the offensive line to go to. I think he did a good job of blocking his man. Were there a couple of mistakes? Sure. But I don’t think his mistakes were what led to the outcome of the game.

``I think, by and large, the blitz was not handled well by any facet of the offense last Sunday. Everybody handled that poorly. When you allow a team like that to get momentum blitzing and they keep doing it over and over again, it can become overbearing on an offense.’’

The Cardinals blitzed on more than 40 percent of the Eagles’ offensive plays last week. Quarterback Michael Vick completed just 5 of 21 passes for 109 yards when Arizona sent more at least five rushers. Two of his five sacks came against the blitz.

For the season, Vick has just a 56.3 passer rating against the blitz, completing just 40 percent of his passes.

Asked if he expects other teams to follow the Cardinals’ blitz-happy lead against the Eagles, Kelce said, ``Probably. I know if I were a defensive coordinator, that’s what I would do. The good thing is, it’s not stuff where physically they just dominated the game. I think it’s a fallacy if you think that.

``I think there was more just, by and large, everyone not being held accountable to what they were supposed to do in certain situations, whether it be the quarterback getting the ball out or a running back picking up a guy or the offensive line taking care of their man or receivers running the right routes against a blitz. All of those things need to go together in terms of picking up the blitz.’’