Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly Calls Joe Flacco Elite


PFTCommenter got an answer to his question from the man who has the reputation for being the NFL's offensive genius.

Add that offensive genius, Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly, to those who think Joe Flacco is elite.

Kelly was very complimentary of the Ravens' quarterback before Thursday's second joint practice, saying it's a "great test" to go against Flacco.

"I think he's one of the elite quarterbacks in this league," Kelly said.

"He's got a big-time arm, he's obviously a big … when you roll up on Joe, he's a big human being. He's tough to bring down. He's also so poised when he plays back there. You talk about when guys really got it, the game's slowed down for them. He's such a good decision maker, he's an unbelievably clutch player. You look at him in all the situations that he's been in, he always just seems to have poise and nothing seems to rattle him."

Kelly actually saw Flacco up close when the gunslinger was the University of Delaware. Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire at the time and the two schools were foes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

"So I knew how good Joe was going to be a long time ago," Kelly said.

Kelly had high praise for more than just No. 5. A day after Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. called Kelly's two-hour practice "apple juice," Kelly said he has "tremendous respect" for the Smith.

"I have tremendous respect for Steve and how many years he's been in the league and still playing at the level he's playing at, the toughness that he brings, how physical he is in terms of trying to get off of press and things like that," Kelly said.

"We were excited about that matchup. I was impressed with the young guys in Eric [Rowe] and Denzel [Rice], the rookies that we brought in here. I thought they did a nice job."

Rowe broke up a pass intended for Smith in the end zone, which prompted the two players to exchange some words. Smith did give him a pat on the back before saying anything, in a way congratulating the second-year cornerback for his play.

Philadelphia reporters suggested that the Eagles slowed down their pace of practice, perhaps to accommodate the Ravens. Asked for his impressions on the way the Ravens practice, Kelly focused on Baltimore's talent in the trenches.

"That's why we wanted to work with them because they're so stout and strong, especially in their offensive and defensive lines," he said. "It was something we were excited about. And what they're advertised as is what we saw. That's a tough, hard-nosed, physical front-seven that we have an opportunity to go against offensively. It's great work for our D-line against their offensive line."

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