Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly Wednesday Media Conference Call Wednesday, October 7, 2015
With Darren Sproles continuing to be a productive player at age 32, what goes into that, and how has he been so successful?
"With Darren, I have not been around a player with his work ethic, in terms of how he approaches training. There is no such thing as a walk-through with Darren. Everything is full speed. Every punt he catches he returns for a touchdown, whether he is 30 yards away or 60 yards away. He just has an unbelievable work capacity and he is always pushing himself to get better. He is an amazing guy to be around and a great example for our younger players."
What do you remember about Max Unger from your time at Oregon?
"I was only there for one year with Max. (He is) just an outstanding player. He actually played left tackle when he was a sophomore, and then they moved him into center. (He is) smart (and) physical. He has a great football mind and understands the game. He is very cerebral from that standpoint. He is a tough, hard-nosed player. He played down-in and down-out practices. It is no surprise to me of the success that he has had in the National Football League, because he was the best linemen that we had when we were at Oregon."
The Saints defense has no interceptions this season, and that was a struggle last year as well. What do you see out of the Saints defense? Are interceptions one of those random things that are difficult to predict?
"I think they are very versatile. They are playing a lot of guys. They rotate a lot of guys in. They provide you with multiple looks. To be able to have that many guys and be able to do that many things, I think, is a real credit to (defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) and what he is doing. They all seem like they are on the same page, no matter what group is in there. They have a lot of guys role-playing, playing different positions. You see them line up at one spot in one play, and then they are lined up in a different position on another play. To me, that is a sign of a real well-coached team. I think getting Keenan Lewis and (Jairus) Byrd back last week has really bolstered them in the secondary. Obviously, Jairus is an unbelievable ball hawk. He led the league when he was a rookie (with nine interceptions). He has great ball skills, great vision and break on the football. I have been on the side before, I think sometimes interceptions come in bunches. I just hope that they don't come this week in bunches. It is a good secondary. They are going to play tough, hard-nosed, man-to-man. They've got some physical players with (Delvin) Breaux, (Brandon) Browner and (Damian) Swann that will get up in your face and press you. I have really been impressed with (Stephone) Anthony, the middle linebacker. For a rookie to be able to direct everything and be the guy calling the signals, especially with how multiple they are, is really impressive. They've got a really good defensive line."
You mentioned Delvin Breaux and he is probably slowly making a name for himself outside of New Orleans. What do you know about his background and what he has done in a short amount of time in the NFL?
"We're aware of his story. It is an impressive story, in terms of where he has come from and what he has done. You just watch him play the game and you see the passion that he plays football with, obviously, because it was taken away from him at some point. You can see in how he plays. He is a fun guy to watch on tape because of the passion that he plays with. I think he is really starting to establish himself as one of the better corners in this league."
What kind of asset has Malcolm Jenkins been to your team, particularly with his leadership?
"He has been an asset for us, not only with his leadership but with his play. I think he leads our team in special teams tackles right now. He is a real selfless player. He will do whatever is asked of him to contribute to the team. He has played safety for us, he has played nickel for us (and) he has been a great player for us on special teams. He never comes off the field. He is always in great condition. He is such a student of the game. It seems like he is in this building 24/7. He is a real leader on the back end of our defense. He is a smart and intelligent player with a great work ethic. We are real excited to have him. He is a cog that we have built our secondary around."
Philadelphia Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins Conference Call With Local MediaWednesday, October 7, 2015
Taking you back a few years, but what were your initial feelings when the Saints didn't re-sign you and do you keep up with some of the guys in the locker room still?
"Obviously nobody is excited when you are basically told it's time to move on after a period of time. I'm not the first that happened to and won't be the last. It's just a part of the business. It worked out for me coming to Philly, closer to home. I've had some success here since leaving. It all worked out. I do keep up. That locker room has changed a lot. I do keep up with a lot of guys there, (Marques) Colston, Jahri (Evans), Mark (Ingram), some of those guys. There are a lot of new faces I don't know though. It will be fun to see them."
What do you see out of this Saints defense so far. From what you have does it seem similar to 2013, or has it changed a lot with other faces?
"To be honest, I haven't paid much attention to the defense. I know Rob (Ryan) likes to run a lot of different packages, but I do know they had a lot of injuries, especially in the secondary over the last couple of seasons. That makes it tough for what you are trying to do to put guys in certain positions. They are still running a lot of the same stuff."
From a statistical standpoint, the defense went down quite a bit in 2014 and is still struggling from a statistical sense. What was it about the 2013 defense that made it very good in your opinion?
"I think we had talent on every level of the defense and we had a lot of guys that were very versatile and allowed us to do a lot of things. I'll put Jon Vilma in there and Curtis Lofton, Roman Harper, myself, Kenny Vaccaro. Our base was pretty much nickel. We were always in different packages and were able to go in and out of calls. We were very versatile. We got after the quarterback, we stopped the run pretty well."
On the other side have you noticed a philosophy change with the Saints offensively with less downfield passing and more short passes and screen passes?
"A little bit. Back when I was there, we always used to keep two or three receivers that could stretch the field. We had Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem on the outside that could stretch the field and you had Lance Moore, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles that would work the middle of the field and you could exploit some matchups and I think that philosophy's changed a little bit where you have guys moving all over the place, a lot of intermediate and quick routes, getting the ball out of Drew's (Brees) hands pretty quickly, getting third and shorts. They do a really good job of converting on third down all the way down the field. There's a change of philosophy, but they are still exploiting matchups working the ball on the middle of the field and Drew is still playing at a high level."
Will it be weird facing Drew outside of practice?
"Yes, this is my first time facing Drew as an opponent, but it's fun. He's one of the best and will be a Hall of Famer one day. I'm looking forward to it, the opportunity to just compete. He's one of those guys you have to have a great plan for coming in and you have to be at your best or he will carve you up."
What's the toughest part of being on the field so much, with the time of possession mark struggling?
"Time of possession isn't necessarily what we focus on here. Even if our offense is scoring 40 points, that time of possession is going to be lopsided. But I think everyone knows you have to do a better job running the ball. That eats some time. It's more going to be in our opponents favor. We expect that and train for that. You don't really get tired. The last thing you want to do is to give Drew Brees an extra possession. We do have to do a better job of running the ball and keeping the clock going, so we don't keep our defense in harms way."
Being that both teams are 1-3 and you guys are in the NFC East, do you feel fortunate that you aren't that far away from first?
"I don't know if fortunate is what we are feeling right now."
Lucky you aren't in a division where teams have better records?
"The situation is what it is. I don't know if I'll say lucky. We're just trying to figure out what we have to do. Regardless of what the record was and whoever else is winning, we're not watching everybody else to justify where we are at. We're trying to win games."