Chip Kelly was just slow-playing us all preseason.
During training camp when media members asked him about his vaunted up-tempo attack, he (sometimes) patiently explained that he had three speeds: slow, medium and hair on fire. OK, that last one was our interpretation for "really fast." But in essence, Kelly downplayed the speed aspect somewhat and almost tried to divert the conversation when the topic came up.
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What we saw Monday night apparently fit into the first, and maybe the second, category. Kelly told the media Monday that he didn't see what we all saw.
"I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you. I am not joking. We need to do a better job. We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn’t get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a process in between plays. That’s something we need to work on.”
Sure, coach. Fast by Kelly's standards and the NFL's standards clearly are two different animals. The Eagles' 50 plays in the first half Monday — four in the first minute of the game — were the most in a first half, per the Elias Sports Bureau, since the Vikings put up 56 back in 1998.
Can they maintain speed up this pace? Over the course of a season? That remains to be seen, with injuries and attrition too big concerns.
But boy, it's going to be fun to watch them push the pedal even more. A 60-play half? Why not?