Patriots

Chip Kelly's always funny in Philadelphia

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Chip Kelly's always funny in Philadelphia

There’s no telling how much longer the Chip Kelly Era will last in Philadelphia. Could be a month. Could be a decade or more. Clearly, his approval rating has never been lower than it is now with his Eagles having lost three in a row and four out of five, the latest being the Thanksgiving Day Massacre at the hands of the Lions.

Personally, I’ll be disappointed if the gig’s up at the end of the year. Kelly is not just innovative but amusingly hostile to those who question his methods using the “but nobody else does it that way” rationale. He’s funny. Not like Rex Ryan, who seems as if he’d resort to making fart noises with his armpit if that’s what it took to amuse in a press conference. More like Bill Belichick – funny in what he doesn’t say, in the cadence of what he does or simply in facial expression.

On Thursday, a Philly media member posed an interesting question to Kelly.

How would the Eagles defense feel about itself if it performed well against Tom Brady this weekend?

I said interesting, not insightful.

Kelly didn’t even try to hide his bemusement. He seized on the syntax.

“You're asking me to talk about an outcome of something that hasn't happened?” Kelly stated in a lemme-get-this-straight tone.

“We've just got to get ready to play against a really good quarterback,” Kelly redirected. “So I'm not trying to prepare for what our guys' mindset is going to be like after they have success against a guy. That's not how I'm thinking.”

Also on Wednesday, Kelly was asked if his time spent visiting with Belichick could be of use to him when the two teams meet.

“In talking to Bill, it was more philosophical. I don't come out of there and say, ‘I had a conversation with Bill seven years ago and I know that this blitz's name is ‘this’ and that they run it on third down.’ When you look at the tape, he changes. A lot of the conversations with Coach were more philosophical of, ‘What do you think here? What are you doing here? What's your thought process here?’ So it's not a game-plan specific thing that you can apply to what's going to go on this Sunday.”

I’m not saying he’s Chip Kelly, comic genius. Only that he’s authentically amusing.

Asked on Wednesday if he saw the Patriots being affected offensively by the players they’ve lost, Kelly asked, “Did they lose [Tom] Brady? Because that I think would really, truly affect them. And I think it really just speaks to how good of a football player Tom is and the fact that they have had a lot of moving pieces around him. For them, it's that next-man-up mentality, which it really helps when [Brady’s] the guy pulling the trigger because he really is an orchestra leader out there in terms of directing protections, changing routes and changing everything. He's been in that offense since he's been in the league, so he's got an unbelievable command of it. Then they find a way to find players that kind of fit and they know what the individual player can do and they try to maximize that. It all starts and ends with [Brady]. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer and it's a huge challenge for us to have to go up and defend him because he's running the whole show.”

The whole show in Philly for the past three seasons has been Kelly. He does come off as brusque, impatient, a bit of a hard-assed. But it was enlightening as well to learn that, in Philly, the fellas are everywhere with the hover boards around the facility.

“Malcolm [Jenkins] started it,” Kelly said. “I think he teaches a class on it. We haven't had any injuries and it hasn’t been a big [issue] -- but there are, there's a lot of (the hover boards). It's a little bit like ‘Back to the Future’ with guys flying around the hallways here. If we had an injury, we would address it, but they have been doing it I think since back in preseason camp, maybe even back to [OTAs] and we have not had any" -- knocking on wood -- "hover board injuries. I don't even know how you would put that on the injury report. Would you have to list that as hover board, Grade One or Grade Two? We haven't had anything yet.”

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it

I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays. 

Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them. 

It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.

ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick. 

While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise. 

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Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction of the Jacksonville Jaguars taking over the AFC title from the Patriots and facing the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta in SB53 drew a response from Tom Brady on Instagram.

The NFL's official Instagram account posted a photo of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey with the prediction of Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys QB now the analyst on CBS' No. 1 NFL broadcast team. Here's a screenshot, complete with Brady's comment:

Appearing on the NFL Network earlier this week, Romo said rumors of a rift between Brady and coach Bill Belichick are overblown. “I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years, and then they also love each other.

“I just think when you work together for 15 to 20 years, whatever it is, I think that whenever you have the success that they have, people have to come up with stuff,” Romo said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.”

Brady and the Patriots report to camp on July 26.

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