PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Chip Kelly addressed the injuries to left guard Evan Mathis and right tackle Allen Barbre, spoke about the depth of the offensive line, and impact of Darren Sproles and what Nick Foles showed in the Eagles’ 34-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Back-ups Andrew Gardner and David Molk filled in admirably for Mathis and Barbre, with Gardner stepping in at right tackle for Gardner and Molk playing a very unfamiliar role at left guard, considering Molk is Jason Kelce’s back-up at center.
“I thought [Molk] did a real good job, it’s his first extensive action [at guard] in a game,” Kelly said. “He really held his own in there, he’s a tough physical player. To get thrown into that, both he and Gardner did an excellent job in terms of fitting in where they hadn’t been practicing. Gardner had played left tackle for us, but jumped in at right tackle, where he has taken reps before. Molk came in at guard.”
Kelly said he wasn’t about to speculate if there was going to be any more movement on the offensive line.
Special teams was improved from over a year ago, and that had to do with Sproles, who averaged 15.5 yards a return on four punts. Chris Maragos was also a key contributor to the Eagles’ special teams effort.
Foles, who threw for 322 yards, completing 27 of 45, including a 68-yard touchdown strike to Jeremy Maclin, had some issues finding open receivers.
“I think there were a few opportunities in there [to throw the ball down the field], but let’s get with our guys and it’s easy when you look at it from this angle and that angle, than what it’s like when you’re in there,” Kelly said in defense of his quarterback. “There were a few opportunities where we had to make plays; we just didn’t make them in the first half and fortunately we made them in the second half.”
It wasn’t systemic breakdowns that concerned Kelly on Sunday. “That’s why halftime wasn’t a major ‘Hey we have to overhaul this whole thing in terms of we took the wrong approach coming into this, and they’re doing what we didn’t expect them do to,’” Kelly said. “We played right to the schedule of what they going to do. They played a lot more zone than they did man. Most people have played us more man than zone. We knew their front four was a good front four. We were a play off, a step here. I didn’t think or feel in the game that we’re getting our tails blown off and we don’t have a shot at this thing.”
LeSean McCoy and Sproles combined for 32 carries and 145 yards, averaging 4.5 yards a carry.
“Sproles as a running back, that’s a crazy concept,” Kelly said sardonically. “I’ve said since Day One I think he’s an outstanding running back. I think he proved it yesterday, and it’s nothing he hadn’t proved since the first two or three days we saw him in the off-season program. He’s really talented and you have to find ways to get the football in his hand.”
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