Eagles head coach Chip Kelly wasn't in the most pleasant mood when he met with the media during his Monday press conference. It's understandable as to why that was the case. The Eagles were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday and there's a lot of negativity to be found following Philadelphia's three straight losses. Here are some examples of Kelly getting short with reporters.
Attitude aside, Kelly did present some valuable information during his presser. Here are some of the highlights:
• Kelly confirmed that Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback. Kelly noted that Nick Foles still isn't ready to return. So why Sanchez over Matt Barkley?
"Let's get that straight. We're going to win the football game. There's no, ‘Hey, let's go see what we can do.’ Our job is to go up and play the New York Giants and we're going to do everything we can to beat the New York Giants."
[Ed. Note: I can't say I'm surprised by Kelly's approach. He gets paid to win football games and that's what he's going to do. Whether you agree or not, he's not going to play young players just to get them playing time even though it's a "meaningless" game.]
"The upside is we're going to go win a football game and that's what this whole organization is all about. It's not about trying to see what the future is. It's about we got a game. I would not be fair in any of my beliefs and I would not be fair to any football player right now if I said to some guy, ‘Hey, I know you're a better player, but I'm going to play a younger guy now.’ That's not what we're all about. If you want to go do that, go somewhere else. That's not us. We get a chance to go put the ball on the ground, we're going to go play football; that's what we're going to do."
• Kelly said that a decision hasn't been made on whether Bradley Fletcher will start at cornerback. Fletcher was benched for Nolan Carroll II late during the Eagles-Redskins game.
• Does Kelly regret releasing DeSean Jackson?
"No. We feel confident in what we did. He played real well against us. Give him credit. He's a good football player. But, no, I don't."
• Have the Eagles received enough production from the quarterback position?
"I don't know. Again, it's the second question about our full evaluations. We're getting ready to play the New York Giants. We’ve got a ton of time in January, February and March here to make decisions based on what we need to do at any position on this team."
• Why isn't Marcus Smith II able to play?
"I see a guy who is inconsistent at times. I think he's got a good skill set, can run around and make plays, but he's not consistent enough to earn playing time over the guys that are playing.
For me to say to [LB] Brandon Graham, ‘Brandon, I'm going to have you sit down,’ -- there's a guy who has done an unbelievable job when he’s been presented with a situation. He's improved as a special teams player, he's improved as an outside linebacker. He has been a great asset to our football team this year.
Marcus needs to continue to show us those things. But you earn playing time here. You're not just awarded playing time based on how you came into here because that's not the way we operate. It's not fair to anybody else. ‘Hey, I know you're playing really well, I know you're doing everything we are asking you to do in practice, but I'm going to give this other guy a chance even though he's not doing anything better than you're doing.’ It's always based on how well you train to earn your playing time. It's entirely up to you."
• Are the Eagles heading in the right direction?
I like our attitude. I like our mindset. I like what the players are like in the locker room in terms of what we got to get accomplished. We don't like the situation we're in right now in terms of losing three games.
There's a core group of guys in there that really love playing football, that will continue to battle and play. Sometimes the ball bounces your way. You always kind of forget about the close ones you win and don't think about how close they were. When we lose the ones that we’ve lost, like the one on Saturday, you continue to go back and harp on all those things that didn't help you win that football game, and rightly so.
But I like the attitude and the direction those guys are heading in.