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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chip Kelly didn’t have to see his team through a whole lot of losing streaks as head coach of the University of Oregon. Just four games into his NFL career, he’s already got a three-game losing streak to deal with.
If Kelly’s confidence has been shaken, he’s not showing it.
“Yeah, I’m extremely confident. I just think, what people—not what people have to realize, but what the reality is, is that every single week in this league, it’s a battle,” Kelly told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show during his weekly call-in on Monday. “And that’s what makes it so challenging and that’s what makes it so rewarding when you do win, and that’s what I mean by it’s a tough ass league.”
Kelly comes in with the reputation of being supremely confident, and willing to take chances. That’s why so many were confused when he chose not to go for it on fourth down at the Broncos 36 yard-line late in the second quarter.
“My only question there was I wanted to get to [Dave] Fipp and find out if we could kick the field goal from that point in time. My headset is not connected to Fipp’s headset, so I got to find him on the sideline to find out where he felt we were distance wise,” Kelly said. “I wasn’t in my mind going for it on 4th and 6. I didn’t want to turn the ball over on the 37. Could we make it from a field goal stand point? He [Dave Fipp] said we were going to punt it, so I let the clock go down. I was going to make Peyton [Manning, if he had to go, we were going to make the field as long as possible on him."
The thin air of Denver may have led itself to an easier shot at a 53 yard field goal for Alex Henery, but Kelly opted against it. Henery missed another kick (45 yards), and has struggled this year.
"It's a little surprising to me, I think he's at like 85% in his career," Kelly said. "He's been extremely accurate in practice, since we broke camp. We'll talk to Alex [Henery] about where he’s pushing it and what’s going on with him from a fundamentals stand point, but I still have a lot of confidence in Alex.”
Henery’s miss was just one part of an overall disappointing performance by the Eagles special teams.
“Overall, yesterday, I was really disappointed in our special teams. You can’t give up a kick return for a touchdown,” Kelly said. “You can’t have a blocked punt versus, basically, a return they had set up. I think they had three and a half men rushing. We’re trying to get out to quick down the field and cover [Trindon] Holliday and not taking care of our responsibilities. When you’re playing a good team, if you give them 14 points in the special teams game, you are probably going to come up on the wrong side of the score.”
Though most expected the Eagles to have trouble stopping the Broncos and Peyton Manning, few imagined the Eagles would have such a touch time getting into the end zone.
“We’re hurting ourselves. The team that is stopping our offense is our offense. It’s not anything else. Whether it’s a drop, or it’s a penalty, or it’s a turnover, those are self inflicted wounds that are our responsibility and that we can control. We got to fix that,” Kelly said.
The offense’s biggest weapon, LeSean McCoy, spent a lot of the first half on the bench with an oxygen mask, unable to catch his breath in the thin Denver air.
“I don’t have an answer for that one, and we’ll talk to LeSean [McCoy] when he gets back in here because he was the only kid who couldn’t breathe,” Kelly said. “I don’t understand it. He practiced really well during the week, he hasn’t missed any time. I don’t have an answer for that one.”