Keep Calm and Carry On
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - No word on whether Chip Kelly is moonlighting for the British Government's Ministry of Information but his message Monday after the worst loss of his head-coaching tenure with the Eagles was the same as the iconic World War II morale booster that still lives on everything from T-shirts to mugs and posters.
A week after blowing a 13-point lead against the pedestrian Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia suffered its worst home loss since a 42-0 whitewashing to the Seattle Seahawks in 2005. And it happened against another middling team with a rookie quarterback in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I feel confident in the guys we have right now,” Kelly said despite watching those players fall to the Bucs 45-17.
“Right now I think with the short week, we're going to go with what we had last week,” he continued. “We've got to prepare and get ready to play a game against Detroit, so we're not making any lineup moves at this point in time.”
In the coach's defense the quick turnaround isn't helpful to wholesale changes but that didn't stop the sharks from circling Kelly, who has bloodied the waters with his own ego and hubris over the years.
Cliche wars 2015 broke out when one reporter broke out the overused definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result) and Kelly responded with his usual mode of deflection, a cocky dismissal before he broke out a similar empty adage, "I think sometimes people panic and throw the baby out with the bath water."
What's known is that at 4-6 with the very real possibility of losing to a third mediocre-to-bad football team in 12 days Thursday in Detroit, the season is rapidly getting away from Kelly and the foundation he built, which favors his famed culture over high-level talent, at least if that talent will cause a hiccup know and again.
If that's panic ... so be it.
Kelly's Eagles are now just 5-9 in their last 14 games dating back to last season and 2-5 in their last seven home contests.
Meanwhile, the strength of the team, Bill Davis' defense, allowed 521 yards and five touchdown passes by Jameis Winston and 283 yards on the ground with 235 of them coming from Doug Martin.
Despite that Kelly doubled down on his own work, which included building this roster as well as coaching it from week to week.
“We lost a football game,” he said. “I don't think it's time to say, ‘Hey, we don't believe this or this.’ “We got outplayed. We got outcoached.
"...That's what it is. But that's all it is, and we need to move forward. It's not, ‘We need to change the way we set up our day or do anything like that.’ I think we lost a game to a better team. We were outcoached. We're going to move on and get ready to play Detroit.”
In other words, keep calm and carry on.
“I think we have a really good football team, and I'm very confident in those football players."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen