Eagles head coach Chip Kelly shoots down USC rumors
Chip Kelly is familiar with the University of Southern California.
As head coach of the Oregon Ducks from 2009-2012, and as the offensive coordinator there for the two seasons before that, Kelly faced the Trojans plenty. He even used some of that knowledge to pull what seemed like a draft-day steal, selecting USC QB Matt Barkley in the fourth round.
Now that Lane Kiffin has been relieved of his duties, it was only natural that Kelly would be asked if there was any interest in jumping ship and heading back to the college ranks.
Kelly didn't mince words when asked on Thursday:
"No. 1, I don't deal with hypotheticals," Kelly said. "I'm the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm very, very excited to be here and no entertaining anything like that. I'm here."
So there you have it. A 1-3 start is not enough to send Kelly running from Philadelphia.
Here's the full transcript of Kelly's meeting with the local media:
Q. How is Patrick Chung looking?
CHIP KELLY: He’ll be limited today. Brandon’s [Boykin] full so Pat will be the only guy that’s limited. We’ll see what he can do. I saw him working out in the weight room. Again, got to keep an eye on him but we'll see what happens in terms of Sunday but he's the only guy that's limited in the group.
Q. What is it he's having trouble doing?
CHIP KELLY: Again, and I'm not being evasive, they just tell me, is he going, is he not going. I know he has a shoulder ‑‑ I don't get specific. I don't know third degrees, second degrees, it's not my job to know that stuff. I just have to know, is the guy going or not going.
I know he's got a shoulder and if they clear him, he'll play and if they don't clear him, he won't play.
Q. He's been out here with helmets ‑‑
CHIP KELLY: He's running around a little bit ‑‑ he went through drills, he was in seven-on yesterday and did some stuff with us against each other.
But will that make him, is it enough for him to get ready to play on Sunday? You know, leave that up to what they say for at least his health. When they clear him from a health standpoint, we make a decision from has he done enough reps, has he done all these things to put him in.
Q. Will it still be Earl Wolff if Chung can’t go?
CHIP KELLY: Yeah.
Q. What do you see in progress from Wolff after his first start?
CHIP KELLY: Yeah, like all young rookies, I think everything is a new experience for him, so the more reps you get him, you just kind of see him getting better and better. I see improvement in Earl but you're not, in the short amount of time since he's been here, been able to put him through every single route combination, sets, recognition, all those things that a guy who has been in the league for two or three years can recognize.
But we all see every day I think you just see Earl improving and there's something you keep looking at him and see, he's starting to make plays. The one thing I know about Earl and we all know about Earl is he flies around and then he's around the ball, and if he even makes a mistake or a misstep he's going to make up with it with effort. That part is encouraging and I think as he continues to get experience, you're going continue to see him get better and better out there.
Q. Is there enough reps to go around Friday or Saturday for Patrick Chung to make up for eight straight days of no practice?
CHIP KELLY: From a standpoint of what, mental standpoint?
Q. You said that in order to ‑‑ if he gets cleared to play, we'll see him, and there's reps, how he does in his reps, is there enough?
CHIP KELLY: No, I said we'll talk as a staff in terms of how much has he grasped the game plan and all those other things. The one thing about Pat, he's probably our most conscientious guy on this team when it comes to the mental part of things.
Some guys when they are out, you can kind of see them, they drift a little bit. When Pat is out, Pat is mentally not out. He's in there making the checks understanding if it's two by two, we are going to this, three by one, we are going to this. It's not Pat that is not involved in the game plan or what's going on from a mental standpoint. But you also know with a guy being out for eight days there will be a little bit of rust. Then you factor in with your actives, inactives is keeping Pat out, making him active, is that better than what your other options are at that position.
Q. Are you happy with what your linebackers have done in coverage?
CHIP KELLY: I think, you know, it really ‑‑ they are okay. They are not outstanding right now. I think there's some times where it's a mental mistake or two where we've dropped a guy in coverage, and I think those are some things where some big plays occurred in the Broncos game.
I think they are getting better. It's like everything else, everything offensively and special teams is all new to these guys. So there's not a lot of experience for them to draw back on or they have seen this all. In terms of how they are working and what they are doing on a daily basis, we see improvement in them but I think we need to be better there.
Q. With Bennie Logan and Isaac Sopoaga, looks like the reps have been even, what do you like about that arrangement and how is Bennie doing with that?
CHIP KELLY: Bennie is growing, like a lot of our young guys. They are getting better and they are progressing. But one thing about that position is that you are at the focal point when the ball is being snapped and the pounding that you take in there, it's a pretty physical game and you'd better make sure you have two just because it's a tough deal; you're getting hit by guards, you're getting hit by the center and you're in the middle of all the action.
Being able to – Soap [Isaac Sopoaga] is a little bit older. I think he's been a good influence on all the younger guys in terms of his experience in the league but I also know that we ‑‑ we also know we haven't have him out there for 60, 70 snaps, either. Having two guys there has helped us and will continue to help us as we continue through a 16‑game season.
Q. You've been healthy comparatively speaking to other teams in the league; do you think there's any direct correlation between your strength and conditioning program and that?
CHIP KELLY: I think so, but I also think a lot of credit needs to go to our players. We have got a bunch of guys ‑‑ and I've said all along and maybe it's not how other people interpret it but I think the best ability is durability. We have guys when we're making selections on players, you really want to know how long they can play, part of what their mental makeup is.
I also think part of it is our players embrace practice, they embrace the preparation aspect of things. And through our science and our studies, you need to participate. Even when our guys are out, if you see our guys are out, our guys are not out; they are not standing around on the side. They are off with their strength and conditioning coaches doing things.
So if they do have an opportunity, it's not like they are off for eight days not doing anything. They are doing something. You'd like to think part of it ‑‑ it's a combination of a lot of things but I think part of what our sports science aspect of things is, is to make sure that time lost is the biggest thing you're trying to prevent and just the little things, are we getting enough sleep, eating the right way, doing the other things, that contributes to it.
We don't do that just for the sake of doing it. We do that because we think there's a benefit to it and we hope as you go on, obviously the big issues you look at are the soft tissue injures because those are preventable. If someone breaks a leg, someone breaks a leg. There's not much from a sports science standpoint or preparation standpoint that goes into the prevention of breaking a bone.
But I think the one thing we are happy with in terms of how we approach things is that we don't have a lot of soft tissue injuries, don't have a lot of muscle pulls and a lot of that directly corralates back to what we are doing in the weight room and from a conditioning standpoint.
Q. Does that help a lot of guys bounce back week to week?
CHIP KELLY: We think so. We spend a lot of time on recovery. That's extremely important, trying to make sure you're fresh when it comes to Sunday. There's a double‑edged sword, we can spend a lot of time talking about recovery but there has to be something to recover from. So there still has to be a workload and a certain amount of practice that you do, part of our philosophy of practicing earlier in the week, having to practice on Tuesday, there's a reason for that.
There's a method to the madness hopefully and we'll see if that continues to help us, because it is a long season.
Q. I know you haven't had a chance to face them yet, but have you been able it get a feel this week about just how intense this rivalry is with the Giants, with the players?
CHIP KELLY: Yeah, I'm very aware of the rivalry between the Giants and the Eagles. There's actually an NFL Network [program on] the biggest rivalries in the league and that was voted No. 1, so you notice there's a history in the game; there's Herm Edwards picking up the fumble, DeSean Jackson's punt return. There's a lot of history. Obviously, when you play in games like this, it's the closest opponent. They are right up the road.
So you're very aware of it, and the battles that have gone on in this division, you understand it. Especially recently with the Giants success; the Eagles have had so much success in the 2000s. We are very aware of what the battle between New York and Philadelphia is like.
Q. What do you think of the Giants signing Dallas Reynolds – any concern that they may be looking for information?
CHIP KELLY: No. 1, I think Dallas is a good football player. I think we'll probably have position of strength for us on the offensive side of the ball ‑‑ I think one of the positions of strength on this team is our offensive line and it was just tough to keep everybody. We knew when we released Dallas that he was going to end up on a team.
And when I look at it, I don't think ‑‑ I think some people make too much into it, hey, they want to get this guy because they want to get information. I think with their injuries on the offensive line, as you look out there at who is available, I think he is a guy that's available.
But we are also aware when we put together everything, that guys that were here with us in camp could end up on other teams, so we have systems in place. We are not doing everything the same way we did it from the communications standpoint that we did here in preseason.
Q. When you look at the reality of your situation, the losses, nobody in your division is over .500. We can all look at that and play games, if you win Sunday ‑‑ that kind of thing. Is it something that you guys talk about at all, if somebody in your division was running away with it, if somebody was 4‑0, it would be a lot tougher to get back in it, or do you ignore that stuff at this point?
CHIP KELLY: It's funny you say that, because I talked to our team about that on Tuesday because I had people tell me, I think it's if Dallas loses and weekend and we win, we are in first place, and I was fired up. I called the league office and I wanted to find out when we get the trophy and when the trophy presentation would be (Laughter). And they got the same response; they started laughing, too, because it doesn't matter if you're in first place in the first week of October. What matters is, are you in first place after December 29.
But, this week contributes being in first place on December 29, so let's not waste energy and time on the, hey, if this happens and this happens and this happens, it's almost, you've got two choices to do. You can wish for things to happen but you can plan for things to happen, and our job as a team, is to prepare to play the New York Giants.
Now this game could have huge ramifications as you get down the road where us and the Giants are tied and we won a game against them and that's where it really becomes a big deal but I think that you can start doing the whole transitive properties of we beat them, they beat them.
Let's focus on what we can control and what we can control is our preparation and getting ready for them. If they did give us a trophy after this game, we would be really fired up for it, but yeah, I was told that's not going to happen.
Q. I appreciate that.
CHIP KELLY: Yeah, I got the guys on the same thing, it was like, ‘Holy smokes, we get a trophy?’ It didn’t work that way.
Q. How has the week of practice been for Alex Henery?
CHIP KELLY: Alex did a nice job. We put him in some kicking situations the other day. Today is another day we'll kick, we'll finish with a clutch situation at the end with a field goal. He's been really good in practice, and that's the ‑‑ last week, he was banging them last week.
I think it's one of those things, as I said earlier in the week, when we look at it, I think he's missed left-right-left so it's not one consistent, one-fundamental flaw that's always pulling the ball. I think he understands where he needs to be. It's just when he gets on the field, he knows what he's got to do and we have to put it through the uprights.
Q. Have you observed Henery’s confidence level, just to see where he’s at this week?
CHIP KELLY: I haven't seen anything ‑‑ when we have been out there, I have never seen that from Alex. So I think, like most people, I think he's at 85 percent in his career, so when I send Alex out on the field, it's not ‑‑ you've kind of got your fingers crossed hoping he's going to punch one through. I consider it [as] we've got three here. I'm disappointed every time we go to kick the three because you want seven but I don't go out there thinking I'm not sure he's going to make this one.
Q. There's speculation that Southern California would come to you and talk to you about their coaching vacancy. How would you handle that if they did?
CHIP KELLY: No. 1, I don't deal with hypotheticals, okay ‑‑
Q. I didn't phrase it right ‑‑
CHIP KELLY: We’re getting close, getting real close here. (Joking)
No, I'm the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm very, very excited to be here and no entertaining anything like that. I'm here.
Q. Just trying to measure the progress you guys are making, on the inside you have a lot more info than we do. People outside, other than the wins and losses, what should they look at?
CHIP KELLY: Honestly I don't think you should be looking at anything else. That's what we all get graded on at the end of the day is wins and losses. I think we as a group understand our plan and the process of how you win and how you lose and what contributes to that and that's what this deal is all about. But at the end of the day, if you're not winning enough games, you're not going to be here very long and if you are winning games, you're going to be around. But at the end of the day, it's not hey, look at this, let's look at that. The bottom line is, as Coach [Bill] Parcells said a long time ago ‑‑ I'm not the one that came up with it, and he did, but he's extremely right: You are what your record says you are, so we need to go change that and we need to change that. The way we know how to change that is how we prepare. I think these guys have had a good week so far preparing but we have another big Thursday coming out right now and another big Friday and another big Saturday, and then we have to go play a real good team in our division.
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