PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chip Kelly is known best for his skills as an offensive coach, so that’s what he’s going to focus on during gameday.
Kelly will coach his first regular season game as an NFL head coach tonight, as the Eagles visit Washington. He’s confident that he’s put the right coaches in position to do their jobs.
“You have an expertise of kind of—or what you manage, or do and you also hire people and you let them coach, and that’s why I’ve hired the guys on the defensive side of the ball,” Kelly told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show. Kelly is a guest on the show every Monday morning at 8am. “There’s coaches in the NFL that are either offensive coaches or defensive coaches, or some of them are more CEO types, that kind of let their coordinators call their plays on both sides of the ball. You can’t do it all and I don’t know any coach, at any level, that is calling offense and defense. I think that’s a recipe for disaster. I meet with our defensive coaches, I know what they’re doing, but our defensive coaches are just like our players. On game day, you gotta kind of get out the way and let them go play, or let them go coach. I listen to every call, and I know what they’re doing.”
The general theme amongst fans and media this preseason is that the Eagles are going to score a lot of points, but may give up a lot of points as well. Kelly is confident in his team on both offense and defense.
The Eagles will have their hands full on defense tonight, facing an offense that features two of last season’s most dynamic rookies, quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris.
“I have confidence in our team, but I always look at us as a team. I don’t look at it as one side of the ball or another side of the ball. I think if you do, than I think you’re splitting the team,” Kelly said. “You know, we’re going to win this game as a team. Our offense is going to contribute, our defense is going to contribute, our special teams is going to contribute. And sometimes that expresses itself over a course of a game, other times it expresses itself over the course of the season. We’ve been known for offense, but we won championships at Oregon because we had a great defense. When we got into close games, a lot of times they were low scoring affairs. Everybody thought they were going to be high scoring affairs, but I think they were low scoring affairs and our teams that we won with, the defenses didn’t get enough credit.”
Tonight is not just the start of a season, but the start of a new era in Eagles football.
“I think anytime you can start off—getting off to a fast start is something we preach all the time, whether it’s in a game itself or in the season. So at the end of tonight there’s going to be 16 teams that are 1-0 and 16 teams that are 0-1 and we can get off to a fast start and get a jump out, it will be huge,” Kelly said. “So, our guys are excited. I think they’ve prepared really hard and hopefully we’ll talk to you guys in a little bit and we’ll be the 1-0 Philadelphia Eagles.”