Kelly look­ing for another fast start

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS - By BOB GROTZ

PHILADEL­PHIA — First im­pres­sions are last­ing im­pres­sions.

Any­one who watched Chip Kelly’s NFL de­but with the Ea­gles knows as much. When the dust set­tled at half­time of the 2013 opener the only real ques­tion was whether the Ea­gles had run more plays than points.

It was plays, by a 53-26 mar­gin be­cause Michael Vick was 1 of 2 in the red zone and Wash­ing­ton got a touch­down on a weird fum­ble that could have been an in­com­plete pass.

The Ea­gles want to make a state­ment in their long-awaited reg­u­lar sea­son opener against the re­build­ing Jack­sonville Jaguars Sun­day at Lin­coln Fi­nan­cial Field. The odds mak­ers fig­ure it will be a big state­ment as the Birds are fa­vored by 10 1-2 points.

“This game is re­ally go­ing to set the tone for our sea­son,” Cary Wil­liams said. “It’s go­ing to set the tone for the sea­son and how we dic­tate the rhythm, we dic­tate the game and the out­come of the game.

“We need to be phys­i­cal both of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively. Teams are go­ing to look at that first game and get a pretty good im­pres­sion of who we’re try­ing to be and what we’re try­ing to es­tab­lish. I think it’s piv­otal for us to come out and go full throt­tle.”

The Ea­gles held a 26-7 lead at the half in what be­came a 33-27 vic­tory over Wash­ing­ton.

The Jaguars are com­ing off a 4-12 sea­son in the sec­ond year of the Gus Bradley era. Ex­cept for veteran start­ing quar­ter­back Chad Henne, who seems to have been in the league for­ever, the Jaguars are as ob­scure as down­town Jack­sonville. Try find­ing a Star­bucks around there.

“You never what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the opener or any game, so re­ally the key is just to play good foot­ball from the start,” Ea­gles quar­ter­back Nick Foles said. “And I’ve al­ways be­lieved you have to play team foot­ball. You have to play of­fense, de­fense, spe­cial teams. You have to be solid all around and lean on each other. That’s what we’re go­ing to do.”

Play­ing a game that counts is a re­lief for the vet­er­ans and Kelly, who has de­scribed game day as a lot of wait­ing around.

“Every­body has been wait­ing since last off­sea­son, since Jan­uary,” Ea­gles safety Mal­colm Jenk­ins said. “Every­body is tired of watch­ing bas­ket­ball, base­ball and soc­cer. The real deal is here.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.