- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter
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PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles coach Chip Kelly was much more forthcoming about non-quarterback-related issues Monday. Here are some highlights.
Tight end Brent Celek had one catch for 10 yards. Problem? To the contrary.
"No,” Kelly said. "I think Brent, again, played an outstanding game. If you watch tape and watch how well he blocked -- specifically, you watch the last drive of the game -- I mean, he was just moving people. I really think he's probably been the most underrated or underappreciated (player).”
Kelly has praised the veteran tight end all along for buying completely into the new coach’s program, from the conditioning approach to the offensive concepts.
"I know from a coaching standpoint, Brent through six games for us has been fantastic,” Kelly said. "A warrior, just doing everything -- really helping in the blocking game, had some key catches on the screen. He's come up with some really big catches during the season, but I thought Brent played another outstanding football game.”
Celek’s snaps were down, but Kelly said that was because of the heat in Tampa. The plan going in was to rotate players more frequently to keep them fresh.
The defensive line is beginning to put it together, Kelly said. Cedric Thornton has been consistently effective. On Sunday, Fletcher Cox had his most productive game, knocking down two passes and hurrying quarterback Mike Glennon five times.
"I think Fletch really caused a lot of havoc.” Kelly said. "He tied up a lot of blockers and really pushed the pocket really, really well from inside, got a key holding penalty. Up until yesterday, you know, I would say our most productive defensive lineman statistically for us has been Ced, and then Fletch is really starting to come along and Vinny (Curry) can do some things.”
When Nick Foles took a knee to run down the clock at the end of the game, he did so from the shotgun formation.
"Well, obviously Tampa Bay is known for trying to attack and disrupt the snap,” Kelly said. "You know, we knew what they did and it's kind of something that coach [Greg] Schiano has done for the two years he's been there. We had discussed it during the week and it was just something, you want to not cause a pile up and try to get out of the game. And if they were going to try that tactic, if we were back in the gun, maybe they wouldn't do it. "
Schiano created a stir last year when he had his defense go all-out to get to the opposing quarterback on kneel-downs, in violation of NFL custom. A year later, it seems almost quaint to think that was the biggest issue Schiano had to deal with.