Is Chip Kelly Right About Philadelphia Eagles Being Too Slow In Season Opener?

By Matt Lombardo
Brad Mills – USA TODAY Sports

To the untrained eye, the Philadelphia Eagles offense must have seemed like a blur in the first half of Monday night’s 33-27 win over the Washington Redskins.

But to Chip Kelly, his troops weren’t moving quick enough.

Despite running 53 plays in the first half alone and winding up with 77 by the game’s end, Kelly understands that his offense’s tempo may be the Birds’ greatest weapon and through 60 minutes, it wasn’t quick enough.

“I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you,” the Eagles’ head coach said Tuesday. “I’m not joking,” he added. “We got to do a better job. We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn’t get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a processing between plays [standpoint], and that’s something we need to work on.”

It seems the object of Kelly’s dissatisfaction is the fact that the pace slowed in the second half by and large because of what happened after the play, not in the actual execution of the offense. Many Redskins defenders appeared winded even midway through the first quarter, dropping to one knee during extended stoppages and walking around with the body language of a team that was playing in the fourth quarter.

Kelly understands that running defenses out of the stadium is precisely and perhaps exclusively how this team will find success his rookie season. “Our guys understood tempo. We do that pretty good, but we also have to learn how to practice playing it the other way, really from a mindset standpoint … We do everything 90 miles an hour but now you’ve got to go back to driving through the city streets — you can’t go 90 miles per hour.”

The Eagles next host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon, and it will be very interesting to see how the Chargers’ coaching staff prepares to defend an offense that by and large hadn’t been seen by anyone prior to its debut on Monday.

Matt Lombardo is also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.

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