Chip Shots: Kelly chastises McCoy for interruption, asks NFL for trophy

Chip Shots: Kelly chastises McCoy for interruption, asks NFL for trophy

The Eagles may be off to a 1-3 start under Chip Kelly, but if the pressure of the NFL is starting to get to the head coach, you wouldn’t know it from watching him.

Chip was his typical snarky self at Thursday’s press conference. When somebody mentioned Philadelphia could move into first place in the NFC East with a win over the Giants and a Cowboys’ loss to Denver, Kelly joked that he already contacted the league office about the trophy presentation. Per Reuben Frank:

“I talked to our team about that on Tuesday,” Kelly said. “I had some people tell me that if Dallas loses this weekend and we win, we’re in first place.

“I was fired up. I called the league office. I wanted to find out when we get the trophy and when the trophy presentation would be.”

Kelly got a laugh from the media when he told this story at his daily press briefing before practice Thursday.

“And I got the same response [from the team],” he said. “They started laughing. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re in first place the first week of October, what matters is are you in first place after Dec. 29.

The fun didn’t stop there. While fielding a question about the Giants signing Dallas Reynolds, a backup center who spent the summer in Eagles training camp, Chip was distracted by LeSean McCoy talking loudly off to the side. More hilarity ensues when coach starts yelling for Shady to pipe down.

Alright, buddy!

Personally, I think it can only be considered a good thing if Chip and the rest of his squad are still loose after losing three straight. Last Sunday in Denver was especially demoralizing, and amid speculation Kelly could be a candidate for the USC job, it would quickly become a story if there was any evidence at all that the NFL grind was taking its toll.

Speaking of that USC job, Kelly vehemently denied any interest in the position.

How long it will take Chip’s humor to wear thin in Philadelphia probably depends on what fans see from this team over the next few weeks. If the Eagles get their doors blown off by a winless Giants team in New York this Sunday, you can bet the mood on talk radio and internet forums will take on a much darker tone.

>> Focused on Giants, but Eagles can sniff first place [CSN]

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
 
Don’t worry about the role.
 
Just pitch.
 
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
 
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
 
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
 
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
 
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
 
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
 
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.

There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
 
But for now, it’s just these four.
 
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.

Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
 
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
 
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
 
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
 
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
 
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
 
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
 
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”