Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chip on DeSean: We'll do what's best for team

Chip Kelly said some nice things about DeSean Jackson Wednesday, said they understood each other after Chip's phone call Monday night. But Kelly did not say that his star wideout would not be traded.

Chip on DeSean: We'll do what's best for team


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chip Kelly confirmed he had a positive conversation with DeSean Jackson Monday night, and Kelly affirmed his regard for the Eagles' star wideout. But the coach stopped well short of denying the Eagles have tried to trade or will trade Jackson, when Kelly faced several dozen curious reporters at the NFC coaches' media breakfast.

"We had a good conversation. We're always going to do what's best for the football team," Kelly said. "I think he knows where we are, and I know where he is. I feel very comfortable about it ... I like DeSean. DeSean did a really nice job for us. But we're always going to do what's best for the organization."

Kelly said he would keep the details of their talk private. Jackson posted a few tweets Tuesday that indicated Kelly had refuted trade reports, and left him certain he would remain an Eagle.

Asked how the offense could possibly be better without Jackson, Kelly said the offense isn't predicated on one player.

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"It's never been about just one guy," Kelly said. "We were first in rushing and I think ninth in passing. There's balance in how we do things. You want great players at every position ... but it's never been predicated on just one guy, because if it is, if he's out for a water break or hurt for an extended period of time, then you're going to be in trouble."

Asked why he didn't reach out to Jackson sooner -- reports about a possible trade surfaced more than three weeks ago, and Jackson was said to have been unhappy about the lack of communication -- Kelly said he doesn't pay attention to media reports. "Why did I do it (Monday)? I thought it was important at that point in time for me to call him," Kelly said, "so that he heard it from me and I talked to him."

"Most of the guys that I've talked to are the guys that are in our building every day," Kelly said. Jackson is spending the offseason back home in California.

Kelly seemed surprised to hear of an NFL Network report this morning that guard Evan Mathis is available in a trade, allegedly because the team would like to reduce his $5 million salary, and Mathis thinks he should get a raise. A source close to Mathis confirmed the friction, but said the Eagles have not said anything about a pay cut. The source said Mathis sought more money and the team brought up the possibility of a trade.

Kelly praised Mathis's work ethic and said he didn't think that would falter.

Meanwhile, one assumption in the Jackson drama has been that Jackson wants a new contract -- he told reporters two days after the season ended, during locker room cleanout, that he felt that would be "deserving." But Kelly said Jackson has not asked the Eagles for a new deal, and indicated that is not an issue.

"DeSean did a good job. He played 16 games for us, he practiced every day. I had no issues with him."

Kelly said he doesn't care what Jackson posts on social media. "I'm not a big social media guy," he said. "Guys have an offseason, can do whatever they want. I've never looked at that as a positive or a negative. It's just kind of the society we live in."

Kelly lauded Jackson's speed, ability to separate, as "key," but said the ability to separate "can come in a lot of different ways," including through size and strength.





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