Eagles coach Chip Kelly admitted today that he didn’t know the NFL’s rules about taking an injury timeout when quarterback Michael Vick was briefly shaken up late in the game.
After taking a shot from Chargers defensive end Jarius Wynn, Vick went down and the referee stopped the clock to give the Eagles’ medical staff time to check on him. Vick (who was not seriously hurt and was not listed on the Eagles’ injury report today) left the game and was replaced by Nick Foles for one play. Foles threw an incomplete pass on that play and Vick came back in.
What Kelly acknowledged at his Monday morning press conference was that the Eagles had the option of calling a timeout to give Vick a moment to recover and then keeping him on the field, instead of putting Folk on the field for a play. Kelly said that’s what he would have done if he had known it was allowed, but he thought a player who gets hurt has to come out of the game for a play.
“That was on me,” Kelly said, via CSNPhilly.com. “I should have asked.”
Until taking the Eagles job this year, Kelly had never worked in the NFL in any capacity. But he disagreed with a reporter’s suggestion that his lack of experience with the NFL was a problem, saying that there are probably rules that longtime NFL coaches don’t know, either.
“It’s difficult for anybody to be snap familiar with any rule because the rule book is so thick,” Kelly said.
The rule book may be thick, but that’s a rule a head coach should know. And Kelly’s admission that he didn’t know the injury timeout rule is the second time that Kelly has admitted he didn’t manage the clock properly on that late Philadelphia drive: Kelly previously admitted he should have bled the clock instead of continuing his hurry-up offense in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Kelly brings to the NFL a fresh perspective and an exciting approach, and he may some day be viewed as one of the best coaches in the NFL, just as he was viewed as one of the best coaches in college football during his days at Oregon. But right now, Kelly looks like a coach who’s experiencing some growing pains.