METAIRIE, La. – The New Orleans Saints’ road record might be the dominant theme in the public eye heading into their trip to Philadelphia for Saturday night’s playoff opener.
But Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly insists that’s not even on his radar.
“We defend schemes,” Kelly said in a conference call with the New Orleans media Wednesday. “I think it makes for a great narrative to write in the paper, but I know how hard they’re preparing, and I know what we’re preparing for, and it’s not like our mindset is, ‘Hey, they’re playing away from home so we don’t have to prepare for them.’
“Everything we do is based on situational football. What are they doing on third down? What are they doing in the red zone? What are they doing coming out? What is Rob [Ryan] doing defensively in those situations? And that’s kind of how we look at it. It makes for a great story, but I don’t think anybody in terms of preparing anywhere you are in the NFL looks at road records and home records and says, ‘They don’t play well in these situations, so we don’t have to prepare.’”
When asked what has grabbed his attention the most when looking at the Saints (11-5), Kelly quickly responded, “Their quarterback.”
He said he thinks Drew Brees is a Hall of Famer. And while Kelly’s unconventional up-tempo offense is often described as difficult for teams to defend, Kelly said he think the Saints offense, led by coach Sean Payton and Brees is “probably the most difficult offense to defend because they attack you both vertically and horizontally.”
“When you’ve got a guy pulling the trigger that can direct it like [Brees[ directs it, it’s pretty special to watch,” Kelly said. “Then you couple that with he has got Jimmy Graham, [Darren] Sproles, [Marques] Colston, [Kenny] Stills, [Lance] Moore, [Robert] Meachem – so many other weapons that if you do try to take one thing away, Drew is so smart he’ll get to option 2, 3, 4, 5 as quick as he can.”