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What They're Saying: Kelly, Vick

Posted Sep 25, 2013

On Wednesday, Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Michael Vick spoke to the Denver media about their upcoming showdown with the Broncos.

 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Pit two teams against one another that combine to average nearly 950 yards of total offense per game, and it’s about as sure a bet as the sun rising in the East that you’ll hear a little bit about offense leading up to the game. 

The Broncos and Eagles offenses rank No. 1 and 2 respectively in the NFL in yards per game, and the collision of the two high-powered, swift-moving attacks is a much anticipated aspect of Sunday’s showdown.

But according to Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly, the potency of a Peyton Manning-led Broncos offense – which enters the game averaging a league-best 42.3 points per game and 486.7 yards per game – won’t cause the Eagles to deviate from their own offensive strategy.

“We don’t dictate our offense off other people’s offense. We need our offense to execute our game plan and to score points,” Kelly said on Wednesday during a conference call with the Denver media. “It’s not offense trying to match offense, it’s our offense trying to execute and score enough points for us to win a game.”

Accomplishing that will mean outscoring Manning and the Denver offense, and Kelly offered strong praise for the Broncos quarterback on the heels of another record-setting performance.

“I also think Peyton’s playing at an all-time high right now,” Kelly said. “You couple him being at the top of his game and then give him the weapons that he has, it’s a pretty dangerous formula to go against.

Kelly’s own quarterback, Michael Vick, shared his coach’s appreciation of the NFL’s leading passer through the season’s first three games. 

“I always admire Peyton. (Even) before the Denver days - ever since he was in college,” Vick said. “I watched him in college when I was a redshirt freshman. I admire him more throughout the pros and just think he’s one of the greatest the game has ever seen.”

And while he offered strong compliments to Manning, Vick – the NFL’s all-time leading rusher as a quarterback and a decorated veteran in his own right – noted that he’s most concerned with maintaining his own style of play on Sunday.  

“It’s tough but at the same time, I’ve been in this league for a long time, too, and have been up against the greats, and I know you just have to play good, sound football and play your game,” he said. “Not try to get out of your element, but do what you’re supposed to be doing.”

For Vick – who has thrown for 832 yards and five touchdowns, as well as rushing for 187 yards and a pair of scores in 2013 – that would ideally mean vamping up the speed of the Eagles offense.

“I love going fast. There’s nothing better,” Vick said. “When you have an opportunity to press the defense and force them to get lined up you kind of know where you’re going and they got to figure it out.”

He pointed out, however, that there’s no room for sacrificing offensive fundamentals in an up-tempo scheme.

“It’s fun but at the same on offense you still have to execute,” Vick said. “Just because you lined up fast doesn’t mean you’re going to line up and do it right so we have to make sure we do it right first.”

Kelly also underlined the importance of consistent execution.

“Offensive football is always a byproduct of all 11 guys,” Kelly said. “Are we protecting well? Are we running precise routes – being open when we’re supposed to be open? Is the quarterback delivering the ball when he’s supposed to deliver the ball? I think as a group, offensively, we didn’t play up to our standards against the Chiefs.”

Offensive miscues cost the Eagles in their 26-16 loss to the Chiefs in Week 3. Philadelphia turned the ball over five times in the game, including a pair of interceptions and a fumble by Vick.

“I can’t say I won’t turn the ball over again, but what we know is that when we turn the ball over we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot,” Vick said. “We’ve got to prevent that and play good, smart and sound football.”

Part of that formula for success undoubtedly involves running back LeSean McCoy, who has rushed for 395 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season, including a 158-yard performance against the Chiefs.

“LeSean has been great in the run game. He’s done all the right things,” Vick said. “They do a great job in front, blocking for him [and] opening up holes and he hit them like he always does.”

McCoy will have to navigate a Broncos defense that has ceded a league-best 43.3 rushing yards per game – a unit that has impressed both Kelly and Vick.

“I think (Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio) has done a great job with the defense," Kelly said. "They get overshadowed a little bit just because of how many points the offense is scoring, but when you watch how they’ve defended the three teams they’ve played so far, it’s impressive.”

“They’re very sound all across the board,” Vick added. “I think they do a lot of things (that) impose an offense. Work for everything that they’re trying to get. Nothing comes easy by any stretch. They’re very sound in their responsibilities.”

Ultimately, Vick said that rather than attempt to mimic or outshine the explosiveness that the Broncos offense has exhibited in the season’s first three weeks, the Eagles will stick to executing their own respective attack.

“We know we have to come out and try to score points, but our mindset can’t be to try to match what they do,” Vick said. “We have to play as a team and we just have to do everything right on our part and we've just got to see where it goes. It’s football – anything can happen but at the same time we have to be cognizant of who we are going up against and that’s one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game.”

 

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