Chip Kelly: Eagles players 'grasping at excuses'

PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly saw what Josh Huff told reporters Tuesday and asked the wide receiver about it Wednesday.

Huff said that he heard Dallas Cowboys players calling out the Philadelphia Eagles' plays before the ball was snapped during Sunday’s game. It certainly looked as if the Cowboys knew where to be, especially when the Eagles tried to run the ball. There seemed to be a Dallas defender running through the holes the Eagles were trying to open.

On Wednesday, Huff changed his tune.

"I just asked Josh if he thinks they had any of our signals," Kelly said. "He said no."

That raises a compelling question. When was Huff saying what he really thought? When he was volunteering the information to reporters? Or when he was approached by his head coach, who clearly had gotten word from media reports?

"I think we’ve been varied in our two games and in our preseason," Kelly said. "When you’re not successful, I think guys are grasping at excuses."

Kelly said the Eagles self-scout, trying to detect patterns in their play-calling or formations. He also thinks that some patterns are inevitable, with every team.

"You know when a team is in Tampa 2 (coverage), they’re going to slant their 3 and 7 technique (defensive linemen)," Kelly said. "When they do it, it’s not a surprise to us. Everybody has predictabilities and tendencies going into every game. That’s just part of the game. Everybody kind of does what they do."

On the other hand, Kelly’s up-tempo offensive approach limits the number of substitutions the Eagles make. It also reduces the number of different plays the Eagles run. The idea is that the same players line up quickly and run a small number of effective plays quickly and efficiently.

"We need to execute," Kelly said.

The offense also works best when the Eagles are moving the chains, extending drives and wearing defensive players down with their quick pace. When things aren’t running smoothly, when the Eagles are running three plays and then punting after less than a minute, it is the Eagles’ defense that wears down.