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Chip Kelly On Changing QBs: 'It's Not Computer Dating'

By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- Chip Kelly is in the middle of his second NFL season and in both seasons, Kelly has lost his starting quarterback to injury. However, Kelly and his offense seems unfazed.

So how exactly does Chip deal with the contrasting personality changes at the most important position in team sports?

"Um, it's not computer dating, so I don't think personality really matters that much," Kelly sarcastically told Angelo Cataldi on the 94WIP Morning Show.

But seriously Chip, do you run a system where the players are interchangeable?

"No, I don't think so," Kelly told Cataldi on Tuesday morning, following the Eagles 45-21 thumping of the Panthers. "I mean you'd like to say that, but it doesn't always work that way. Everybody has individual skills and we're fortunate that we do have depth here. Our depth has been tested in many ways through the course of this season, but it's still a personnel driven game."

Listen to Chip Kelly on the 94WIP Morning Show


In his first NFL season, Kelly replaced an injured Michael Vick with Nick Foles. Foles went on to throw an unfathomable 27 touchdowns to a mere two interceptions, leading the Eagles to a NFC East title and a first-round home playoff game, in which the Eagles lost on a last-second field goal.

This year, Kelly turned to Mark Sanchez after Foles suffered a clavicle injury in week nine against the Texans. Sanchez, making his first start in almost two years on Monday night against the Panthers, was brilliant. In his first full game in Kelly's system, Sanchez amassed 300 yards passing and a QB rating north of 100 for just the second time in his career.

"It's not like you are putting in a new quarterback in there that you never worked with," Kelly humbly said about switching quarterbacks. "So, we've been with Mark [Sanchez] since last April. It was no different than when Mike [Vick] went down last year and Nick [Foles] had his opportunity and just took it and ran with it. It's about how those guys work and the time and effort that they put in, in terms of preparing. It's not a cliche, we tell everybody to prepare like they're going to be a starter because they're a snap away from being one."

Kelly was forced to turn to Sanchez and his arm early and often, as the Panthers played a lot of man-to-man defense, stacking the box, and forcing the Eagles to throw. While Carolina successfully limited the Eagles' ground attack to only 37 yards, Sanchez had success in the air.

"They put a lot of guys on the line of scrimmage, really geared up to take away the run, but if you do that you kind of expose yourself on the back-end," Kelly explained. "And, I think we talk about being an equal opportunity offense. If you're going to try to take away one aspect of our game you can, but that doesn't mean you can take the other one away."

Kelly is now 17-8 in 25 regular season games as a NFL head coach, and 14-3 in his last 17. The Eagles have now won nine straight games at home, tying their third longest streak in franchise history. Kelly's offense, which finished as the second ranked offense in the NFL last season, is currently top-five in both yards (404.3) and points per game (31.0).

The Eagles now head to the frigid Lambeau Field to take on a scorching hot Green Bay Packers team on Sunday afternoon.

When asked if this is their toughest challenge yet this season, Kelly said, "Yeah, probably."


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