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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We haven’t really seen the Chip Kelly offense yet for the Philadelphia Eagles yet. We’ve seen flashes of it for certain. Flashes of the read-option, flashes of the no-huddle, flashes of the creativity that earned Kelly the reputation as an innovator. Monday night, when the Eagles open up against Washington, we’re going to see more than just flashes.
“I think [Kelly's fast-paced offense] definitely could be [an advantage]. When you get into a game and you play that fast-paced offense—if a team is not used to that, they’re going to have to find a way to combat that whether it’s substitutions or trying to find a way to slow the game down, but it’s definitely going to create a problem for people if they don’t have an answer,” Eagles offensive lineman Evan Mathis told Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show on Tuesday.
Though Monday night’s opener will show us more of what Kelly has in store, it won’t be everything. The installation of the offense is a process, one that will improve as the personnel gets more accustomed to running it.
“I think we will continue to get in better shape as the season progresses,” Mathis said. “We’ve been practicing at a high tempo, playing these preseason games at a high tempo and continuing to do that, I can only see our lungs continuing to improve.”
The change that Kelly has instituted has definitely brought a new energy to the team. One player that didn’t seem to ever get it together, under Kelly or the previous regime, is first-round draft pick Danny Watkins. Watkins was cut by the team this weekend, and was signed by the Dolphins on Tuesday.
“Danny [Watkins] is a good person it just seemed like his heart might not have been in football,” Mathis said. “If it was, I think he was putting too much pressure on himself. He was very hard on himself. He knows a lot was expected out of him. For a guy who started playing football in his early twenties, at a small college, then goes to Baylor where he’s not thrust into the media spotlight that much. Now all of the sudden he’s drafted first round to Philadelphia and I think it put a lot of weight on his shoulders and he felt that way.”
Cataldi offered his prediction of a 9-7 record and a playoff appearance for this year’s team.
“I think that’s a great prediction,” Mathis said. “We’ll try to achieve that or beat that.”