Chip Kelly: “In hindsight, maybe we should have bled the clock”

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Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense has caused everyone who follows the NFL to take notice in the first two weeks of the season. But while Kelly’s strengths as an offensive schemer are easily apparent, we’re also starting to see some of the weaknesses of his approach.

One of those weaknesses is that Kelly’s offense is always hurrying, even in situations when it would be strategically smarter to take some time off the clock. Kelly acknowledged after Sunday’s loss to the Chargers that on the Eagles’ last offensive drive, it might have made more sense to try to take some time off the clock with a slower, more methodical drive than to kick the game-tying field goal with 1:51 remaining, which gave San Diego enough time to drive down the field for their own game-winning field goal.

“I was trying to score; that’s all on me, that’s my call,” Kelly said on WIP, via “I didn’t want it to leave it in the hands of, it’s a tie ballgame. If you score, you’re up four. You got to drive a length of the field to try to score a touchdown. When you look at it in hindsight, maybe we should have bled the clock and not giving them enough time to come down and do it. You learn from those situations. But we were trying to score seven, not three. We felt like we had three, and just thought we had the opportunity to put one in there, and we didn’t get it. We didn’t capitalize.”

Obviously, Kelly is right that playing for a touchdown is better than playing for a field goal. But the Eagles could have played for a touchdown while also managing the clock better than they did. Whether the Eagles were going to score a field goal or a touchdown, they should have tried to do so with as little time remaining as possible, to give the Chargers as little time as possible on their subsequent possession. Instead, the Eagles stayed in hurry-up mode even after they got to the Chargers’ 14-yard line with two and a half minutes to play. At the very least, the Eagles should have let the clock run to force the Chargers to use their timeouts. But they didn’t, and the Chargers had two timeouts and plenty of time for their final drive.

So far, it looks like Kelly’s offensive schemes from Oregon translate to the NFL. But Kelly rarely had to worry about clock management in close games at Oregon, because his Oregon teams usually won by large margins. Clock management is a skill Kelly still needs to learn.

76 responses to “Chip Kelly: “In hindsight, maybe we should have bled the clock”

  1. a la Andy Reid and his memorable time management issues…

    How hard is it to understand this?


    Same thing in KC. Almost gave that one away…

  2. Florid is so smart he should just be a head coach. Philly fans will take this guy for granted just like Andy Reid when they should be grateful they aren’t the browns or jaguars.

  3. I love it! Chip Kelly said all the right things and again. This is his 2nd game as Head coach he’s going to make rookie HC mistakes. But I love the fact we have a coach with a personality and does not repeat “we need to get better”. Our offense is one of the best going in the NFL today. Our defense needs to wake the heck up! Atleast we won a division game and lost to an afc team lol. But in reality the Chargers are underrated and brought the heat. I have a new found respect for that team. That game kept you on the edge of your seat and to only lose by 3 I can accept that and move on to week. Time to beat on big red and the chiefs!

  4. Big Red is coming, be afraid, be very afraid.

    No seriously, have you seen him in that red shirt? He looks huge!

  5. IIRC they ran 2 plays when they could have just run the clock down to the 2 minute warning.

    But I appreciate he took responsibility. Hopefully, he learns… or appoints a clock management coordinator. With the number of long time coaches that have trouble with it, I don’t see why every head coach doesn’t designate someone to do it.

  6. Hindsight is always 20/20. That was a mistake for sure, but the defensive play throughout the game is still far more to blame for the loss. I like Chip a lot. I think once we can get some better personnel on the defensive side of the ball, and Coach Kelly learns from the rookie mistakes he’s bound to make, this team can do a lot of good things.

  7. We need to remind people that the eagles were 4-12 last year. They are showing great progress and a more definitive direction than they ever did under Reid.
    Kelly deserves his share of heat for this one. But let’s be honest eagles fans, how much fun is this team to watch?
    And as they continue to improve, how exciting could our team become?
    Without going overboard and talking trophies, the future looks bright… Unless the defense under chip Kelly peaked after his first game.

  8. On the one hand, San Diego didn’t really move the ball that much further with that extra time. However, there was still absolutely NO reason for him to have called any of those timeouts. If there had been closer to a minute left? Of course. But with the handful of seconds? Just inexperienced coaching.

  9. The elephant in the middle of the room however is that unless the Eagles can do something to get the defense playing at a higher level they are going to struggle.
    Not from Philly but I’m hoping you get it done and win the NFC East. Eagles fans deserve some good times!

  10. Its so funny that the FILTHadelphia jilted trolls that Andy Reid dumped continue to troll after him and just can not move on with their pathetic lives.
    Whine, complain, nag, rag like little high school girls about his supposed clock management weakness, while forgetting that these same losers have NEVER coached in college or the pros, and have about as much football knowledge as my dog.
    Well ol Big Red is 2-0 in KC and we are laughing at you all.
    Gimmicky Chip just cost your sad team a win with his wise clock management skills. Hey Chippy, this aint college anymore.

  11. Andy Reid is 2-0 and laughing.

    Everyone in KC is laughing too……….at everyone in FILTHadelphia.

    How is that genius from Oregon doing with his clock skills?


  12. Defense lost this game. I don’t mean to fanboy Kelly here, cause his game management in this particular situation certainly warrants question. However there’s too much to like as a fanbase with low expectations for this season.

    The offense works, Vick/McCoy/Jackson look like they players are the are supposed to, and wait are the Eagles + in the turnover differential? That’s new. I’ll let Chip slide with this one, but KC will be a bigger test than I think we anticipated. We will see Thursday.

  13. With all the focus on speed I think you lose track of other important basics. Chip needs to chill on the going fast, quit wasting paper on those rediculous pictures they use to call in plays. #fadsdontwinforlong

  14. As bad as the Eagles defense is, I think even Alex Smith will be able to score on it. That said, you haven’t seen a defense as good as the Chiefs yet this season. They’ll be slowing you down and roughing up Vick because you won’t be running the ball at all.

    Good luck thursday.

  15. Keep talking trash smarterthanyou…believe me, the Eagles are going to win this Thursday. Yes, the Eagles lost a heart breaker but you move on. Chip admitted his mistakes unlike Andy who would not have said anything relevant during the interview.

    Eagles will be okay.

  16. I wouldn’t say it cost him the game, just lowered the chance of winning. Getting FG instead of TD, then not stopping the Chargers on the final drive did them in more.

  17. Well ol Big Red is 2-0 in KC and we are laughing at you all.
    Big Red started last season 2-0 and beat the Ravens. Chiefs have beaten the Jaguars and Cowboys (Andy owns the cowboys).

    Please don’t get too excited. If us Philly fans know anything it’s that losing 4/5 NFC championship games doesn’t make you the genius coach people think Andy is.

  18. Smarterthanyou says:
    Sep 16, 2013 10:57 AM
    Its so funny that the FILTHadelphia jilted trolls that Andy Reid dumped continue to troll after him and just can not move on with their pathetic lives.
    Whine, complain, nag, rag like little high school girls about his supposed clock management weakness, while forgetting that these same losers have NEVER coached in college or the pros, and have about as much football knowledge as my dog.
    Well ol Big Red is 2-0 in KC and we are laughing at you all.
    Gimmicky Chip just cost your sad team a win with his wise clock management skills. Hey Chippy, this aint college anymore.


    The clock management issues are very real, and Alex Smith is nothing more than a serviceable QB.

    What Reid has now though is a better defense than he’s had since Jim Johnson was alive.

    The Chargers defense is a joke, and gave up a lot to Chips gimmick O. That won’t happen thursday. My only hope is that we can put some points of our own up on the board, because the Eagles aren’t going to score much. I have faith that we can, because the Eagle defense is pretty void of talent on all levels.

  19. I’m actually more impressed with Chip after this press conference. Every coach makes mistakes, but they are usually stubborn to the bone and say “I made the right decision, and I’d do the same thing again if put in the same situation (I.e. Jim Caldwells terrible timeouts against the Jets in the playoffs, Billicheck going for it on 4th and 2 with a lead, and John Fox taking a knee in the playoffs with 38 secs and 2 timeouts). Good for Kelley

  20. It didn’t matter. The Chargers were picking up chunk yardage all day. The Chargers used about 1 min setting up the exact FG they wanted, so bleeding 1 min from the Eagles wouldn’t have effected the Chargers. The problem was the Eagles couldn’t stop anything.

  21. Whatever the excuse…the fact is the Eagles got outplayed and also looking around it appears that while the Eagles lost their game the Chiefs won theirs. Thursday should be a good game, and even with Kelly’s “hurry up” offense, I think the Chiefs defense will knock that offense to the dirt. Chargers surprised everybody and looked better than they have in years!

  22. Maybe the ghost of Buddy Ryan will return and punch out Chip next time they are protecting a lead.

    Ryan’s swing in Houston (and that huge comeback by the Bills in the playoffs) lead to the end of the Run & Shoot. Remember it?

  23. chargersdiehard says: Sep 16, 2013 11:07 AM

    Don’t forget the two goal line fumbles by the bolts

    you mean those awesome STRIPS!!?
    Loved some of the takeaways, but other than those, it seemed like the D as a whole did not show up!!!!!!

  24. We’re all not serious here, are we?
    Sure, Chip could have done better with clock management.
    But the Eagles lost because the defense forced exactly ONE punt all day.
    The Chargers even helped us out with two goal line fumbles. It shouldn’t have even been that close.
    I love the way this offense is moving, but please, blame the defense for not getting off the field on third down and allowing Philip Rivers to do whatever he wanted.
    The Chargers were better than anyone wanted to give them credit for, and the offense of the Eagles DID score 30. People need to stop looking at the last 5 minutes as to why we lost, and start paying attention to the other 55 minutes.
    By the way, Desean’s stupid personal foul+that bizarre kickoff fumble were even more vital than the clock management.

  25. i love how everyone on here has the wrong idea about football.

    They say Philly fans should be “thankful”& that we “took for granted” our success throughout the past decade.
    I’ll tell you that the fan base is largely grateful for the years we were competitive while chasing that super bowl so closely. but being satisfied with anything but the Lombardi Trophy, is a losers attitude.

    The low down is;
    as good as they were during the past 13 years, that team had fatal flaws.
    as time moved on, those same flaws were more and more evident.

    When we sent Donovan out, the entire program should have been reworked from the top down. Couple that decline with the pressure of Andy’s own personal problems & you get an additional 4 years of sub par football. In 4 years,the taste of winning gets slapped out of your mouth and replaced by a bitter salt. Especially when the team becomes a constant spectacle of morose monotony.

    The eagles fans are good with Chip. They understand that the team was depleted of NFL talent by the terrible ineptness of the regime before. The offense currently looks to be championship caliber, but the defense can’t be remolded over night. Chip and the Brass need time to get there type of players into this program, we understand that.

    Now, of course, there will be the inevitable miserable goons that whine and shout and yell from their own ignorance, but the majority of Philadelphia is a knowledgeable fan base. We know there is just one more piece to make the squad complete.

    With the mentality of “big people beat up little people”, I’ll patient wait.

  26. Don’t even compare him to Andy Reid when it comes to clock management. Reid got a pass for a few years. It wasn’t until he kept making the same mistakes 10 years in that we got fed up. I don’t think Kelly will have the same problem.

  27. Chip Kellys offensive works great against inferior opponents like Washington,teams with no defense but when they meet real NFL calibre teams that breakneck offense will only get their offensive linemen sucking wind,these are not young college kids coach,these guys have aged.

  28. I don’t see whats so great about this sceme….I saw it for the 1st time last night and I thought this offense was susposed to be fast…’s no faster than the broncos offense….I thought it might of been a little slower actually….you see how quick that 1st drive of paytons was last night?….just as quick or quicker…..this thing is a really bad gimmick….the thing will only work as long as vick runs….when vick runs he gets hurt…..If you can beat the SD chargers…this team has problems. Let alonee it’s not smart enough to slow down at the end of games so yopu don’t leave 2:00 for a team to get into FG position. What an idiot.

  29. Though I give the guy credit for saying he handled the end of the game wrong, I don’t understand the pass so many commentors want to give him.
    “It’s only his second game as a HC” and “he is a smart guy who will learn from his mistakes.” And of course he never had to worry about close games at Oregon.

    It is not his second game as a HC, he was one in Oregon. If he didn’t have enough HC experience to expect before hired, he damn well should have had someone on his staff with the sense to tell him obvious things like “burn the clock.” It’s not rocket science.
    A coach, who is a smart guy, at the NFL level should be learing from mistakes to complicated situations. He should not be learning from Dumba$$ mistakes.
    Also, a coach who is a smart guy should not be surprised that he will find close games in the NFL, where he did not in college. Thus the smart guy should be thinking ahead.
    Some of the smartest coaches hire people to cover their weaknesses. Be it tracking time outs or being the guy to stand between the coach and the ref because the coach has a temper.

    Smart guys prepare….. It’s proper to question how smart is Chip Kelly? Rather then proclaim he’s a smart guy, he will fix it.

  30. @Smarterthanyou

    Change of name required. You will now be known as “moreimmaturethanyou”.

    And thats not the sound of Andy Reid laughing, thats just the sound of him breathing.

    Eagles fans are very happy with Chip Kelly we are not going to get spastic like you over one game and talk about “overhyped” Chip Kelly when we are 1-1 and lost our 2nd game by 3 points. Take a chill pill and stop being so hateful. Hate indicates self insecurity. Check yourself.

  31. Guess he finally realized Oregon State, Washington State, etc. weren’t on the schedule. Instead he has Peyton, Aaron, Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler, Romo (twice). One of them will be the first 600 yard passer in a game.

  32. Besides keeping one of their linebackers in under coverage for all those tight end crossing routes…

    I’m not sure if people are realizing this, but EVERYONE’S defense sucks these days for the most part because every single rule favors the offense.

    It’s not a coincidence that we’re one 400 yard, 0 interception passing game away from the all time season record in WEEK 2.

    I would hate to be a player in a defensive secondary these days.

  33. Give Chip a break. He still needs two more drafts to really fix the team. This group is entertaining but they’re not contending for a Superbowl. Playoffs maybe with crummy NFC East.

  34. @pftstory

    Q: It is not his second game as a HC, he was one in Oregon

    A: You apparently don’t understand the difference between coaching college and pro… sit down

    Q: It’s proper to question how smart is Chip Kelly? Rather then proclaim he’s a smart guy, he will fix it.

    A: He’s smart enough to make his offense work in the pros. Beyond that, this is his 2ND PRO GAME. He will only be stupid if he pulls a Reid and dosen’t fix it. His mindset was on 7 points. He made an error of judgement. I drive every single day but does that mean I can’t lose focus and drift to the side of the road? no mistakes happen… You become smart by being willing to learn. You become a genius by learning and correcting mistakes and no longer making them. All in all you sound foolish LOL.

  35. The Chargers showed in week 2 how to handle Philly: Manage the clock. Slow methodical drives.

    And teams with better pass D than San Diego will force Vick into mistakes.

    Welcome to 6-10, folks.

  36. Props to Kelly because this system has worked far better so far than I ever would have imagined. But he’s going to have to find a way to bleed some clock because there are times when you need to do that.

  37. Give the guy a break! If he tries to drain the clock by running a traditional offense, they may not even get 3.

    The Eagles will live and die by the “Big Play”/Speed offense. It is their advantage. Teams that can sustain offensive drives and throttle the Eagles offense will have success against them. If they cannot, the Eagles will put up 40 burgers on them.

    My concern would not be Kelly and his offense. It would be the defense. If their D can hold teams to 24 or less, they will win a lot of games.

  38. We, uh, I gotta do a better job there.

    Oh wait, Chip Kelly actually answers questions and has thoughts. What a weirdo.

  39. And not one article about Rivers 2 minute game winning drive late in the 4th quarter. The pundits couldnt shut up about it, so he turns around as does it and its nothing but crickets.

  40. It’s an easy call in hindsight, Kelly now knows this defense can’t be trusted to get off the field in crunch time, very scary in just the 2nd game of the year.

  41. The Packers did this in 2011. They went 15-1 by obliterating teams offensively. It takes a tole on the defense. Eventually you have to play ball control offense. The other option is to have a defense that can sustain on a field for over half a game.

  42. Does anyone know that the timeouts were thonly thing that gave philly a prayer after that late fg?

  43. After what happened in week 1 I fully expected the Chargers to lose, very happy with the win.

    The most shocking thing about that game was realizing there was a team in the NFL that had a worse defense than the Chargers.

    The Chargers started this year with 2 brand new CB’s from other teams that were throwaways.

    And like some others had said, if the Chargers hadn’t turned the ball over twice right on the goal line, it would’ve been more of a blowout than a close game.

    I love that offense of the Eagles, but it reminds me of the very old Super Chargers days where they could score at will but whoever had the ball last at the end of the game generally won.

    Gotta get some D in Philly and you got a real contender.

  44. If the THREE Eagles who jumped on the fumble late in the game had recovered it, no one would mention Kelley’s game management.

  45. I think I’ve said here 50 times that all it would take is a 2 game winning streak for the Chiefs and every moron would come out of the woodwork, ripping the Eagles and their fans over Reid. It must be real nice to be completely unburdened by history and facts, because us Eagles fans had to sit through game after game of listless play from a coach that checked out long before he was gone, like a dictator in a dying regime. Stop acting like Reid was somehow done wrong. And, one other thing. Look at how potent the Eagles offense has been, 63 points in 2 games, and there could have been a lot more. Look at who has been doing the scoring: Vick, D-Jax, Shady, and Celek. When you look at the box score from the Redskins game, it read like it was the 2010 Eagles! Coaching has been the difference with the vast improvement in the offense, and the defense is the leftover garbage from the past few disgraceful drafts. Andy Reid is like the huy you once worked with, that left a massive amount of problems for everyone else to clean up, while he went and took a cushy government job. I’ve had it with the people talking about Andy Reid as if he was done wrong.

  46. Dear Coach Kelly,

    Thank you.

    See you on the 6th of October.

    A concerned and angry Giants fan sitting at 0-2

  47. Everybody knows Chip can’t come in and take a team to the super bowl in year 1 especially being a rookie coach. Everybody said it was a re-building year. Why are people being so critical and riding the coach so hard? A lot of fear/hate talk for a guy who only played 2 games (won one of them and it was a division game). It seems to me people are bitter that Kelly will actually be successful.

  48. Come on, commenters. I’m a huge KC fan and I’m not “laughing at” anyone. A 2-14 record last year followed by an (admittedly positive) 2-0 start doesn’t earn you the right yet to laugh at other teams.

    It will be tough to go into Philly on a short week and win. I’m hopeful Andy and the team can do it, but it will be difficult. That’s part of the reason we needed to beat the Cowboys on Sunday. It was the home opener and a game we just had to have. If we can win on Thursday, it will just be a bonus.

  49. any half-decent Madden player knows clock management. How is it an NFL head coach “needs to learn” clock management.

    You would think that’s a prerequisite to getting the job.

  50. What a great game that was. I love Chip Kelly’s wide open style. This is the golden age of football. There are 3 styles of offense in the game right now…the pistol…with the young guns of RG3, Kaepernick, Wilson. The flux capacitor speed with the Eagles…and the hurry up to the line style…with the Broncos, Pats, and now the Chargers. McCoy is bringing a new energy to the Chargers…that team is one to watch for sure. Great time to be a NFL fan for sure.

  51. “So far, it looks like Kelly’s offensive schemes from Oregon translate to the NFL.”

    There’s been 2 games and they’re 1-1. Does that mean that every coach who comes to the NFL and starts 1-1 has validated their playcalling schemes?

    Because as far as I can tell, he hasn’t proven anything. Or at least nothing more than any NFL head coach hire could prove.

  52. I think it is funny that KC fans think Andy Reid is a great coach. He is a solid coach, but he is stuck in his ways too much. He will turn KC around and be competitive but you will never win anything with him as your coach. And Eagles fans that like Chip because he answers questions have no clue. People act like the press conference actually means something. Its about coaching, and after 2 games I’m still 50/50 on Chip. There is hope, he ran the hell out the ball week one and Andy never would have done that. But this week the D was horrible, and we had a few flags that killed us. Not to mention Chip’s hurry up O left too much time for the Chargers to march right down the field and win the game. KC and Philly its 2 games, neither fan base really knows what they have yet.

  53. Chip just needs to unleash the hounds. Run up the score at will cause by the end of the game, it will still be close cause that defense stinks really bad.

  54. Ha! It was funny to see Sal Pal with his math break down of getting off a play ever 20.5 seconds. As if the extra 2 and a half minutes gained only benefited the Eagles offense and not the opposing team as well.

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