Sunday, July 13, 2014
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'Giddy' Chipper prepares for opener

New Eagles coach Chip Kelly doesn't seem overly reverential about the start of his NFL career. Also, he says puzzling rosters choices had to do with special teams.

'Giddy' Chipper prepares for opener

Chip Kelly might be Philly's snarkiest head coach, which might not be a bad thing, in a city where earnest sincerity is not so highly prized.

In Kelly's Wednesday session with reporters, a poor radio guy was trying to get some sort of quote he could use about the culmination of Kelly's coaching dream, approaching his first NFL game, Monday night at Washington. Kelly did not embrace the narrative. When the questioner persisted, Kelly said: "I'm giddy. Can't you tell?"

Whatever this game and this season might be about, they won't be about Kelly's feelings as he takes on the NFL after setting the college game ablaze at Oregon. That's because Kelly isn't going to talk about his feelings.

On other subjects, the coach was at least a little more enlightening:

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*On Nate Allen starting ahead of rookie Earl Wolff:  "Film evaluation. Games played. Production so far. And OTAs." Kelly said Wolff is pushing Allen and will play in the defense.

*Kelly said he doesn't need a scout team QB to simulate Robert Griffin III because the Eagles will practice 1s vs. 1s tomorrow, and the defense will practice against Michael Vick.

*Asked what extent playing for him at Oregon factored into keeping reserve wideout Jeff Maehl and reserve linebacker Casey Matthews, Kelly said: "None. It’s about special teams. Every backup player on this team, and we’ve said it since day one, there’s three ways for them to make this football team. Special teams, special teams, special teams. It’s how can they contribute from a special teams standpoint. If you’re going to be the fourth or fifth receiver, and right now that’s Damaris (Johnson) and Jeff, the value that they have is what they mean to (special teams coordinator Dave Fipp).

"Same thing with linebackers. Why did we keep 3 backup inside linebackers as opposed to one backup outside linebacker? It’s how those three players contribute on special teams. That’s why we made the move to get (linebacker Najee) Goode from Tampa Bay. Same thing. When you think about it and stand out there on Sunday or Monday night with 46 (active) players, with your starters not really contributing a ton on special teams because they’ve got to play X amount offensively and defensively, those guys gotta go.

"Special teams consideration at times outweighs their production as backup LB or backup WR. Because how are they contributing in a game? They are contributing as a ST player. So all of our decisions were based on STs when it came to backup guys."

*Kelly said offensive tackle Dennis Kelly, as expected, will be sidelined against the Redskins as he recovers from back surgery. He said he figures the same is true for corner Brandon Hughes (hand), though that isn't official yet.

*Kelly was asked if it makes him more comfortable, keeping so many Oregon guys around -- three on the active roster, two on the practice squad. "If we were going to sing the Oregon fight song, it might," he said. Then he conceded that he is more familiar with those players.

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