Chip Kelly looks on during the Eagles' 15-7 loss to the Giants on Sunday. (AP)
Since his arrival in Philadelphia, Chip Kelly’s been a proclaimed genius, mastermind, guru and much more.
But after some questionable play-calling in the Eagles’ 15-7 loss to the Giants (see story), Kelly is looking more and more like a rookie coach to not only fans, but also his players.
“When you have Andy Reid, who’s been in the NFL before, the guys in Kansas City, they’re believing in [Reid] -- that’s not what you have with Chip Kelly,” Brian Westbrook said Monday on Comcast SportsNet’s “Eagles Extra.” “[Players are] saying, ‘Hey, he’s been at Oregon.’ The guys in the locker room are saying the exact same thing that we’re (the media) saying: He’s never been in this situation, so my belief in you that was really, really high at the beginning of the season -- a lot of guys say he’s a genius and things like that -- it’s starting to get lower and lower and lower by all these decisions that he’s making.”
One decision on Sunday: Onside kicking after trimming the Giants’ lead to 15-7 with 4:11 left in the fourth quarter.
“I just thought giving them that field position, when you miss it right there, was the wrong call, especially with 4:11 [left], a timeout in your pocket and the two-minute warning,” Brian Baldinger said. “I just don’t know how you could make that decision at that point.”
"We were taking a shot so we could recover the ball and give ourselves an opportunity to capitalize and see if we could get something," Kelly said on Monday. "Felt confident in our ability to execute it. That's what went into my decision to doing that. It didn't work out, so you're going to get second-guessed."
Another decision: Rolling Matt Barkley out of the pocket on a 1st-and-goal on the Giants’ 2-yard line instead of giving the NFL's leading rusher LeSean McCoy at least one chance to punch it in. Instead, Barkley was strip-sacked on the play, handing the ball back over to the Giants.
So are players becoming concerned over Kelly adapting to the pro level?
“Well you know, as a player, you want to say the coach is going to make the right decisions, and you want to believe in the guy, but that’s when you have an experienced coach in the NFL," Westbrook said. "And right now, that’s not what you have.
“And hopefully, he begins to make the right decisions as time goes on to gain that confidence back of the guys in the locker room.”