With rookie Jordan Matthews already earning comparisons to Terrell Owens, it’s no surprise everyone perked up when head coach Chip Kelly told SI’s Peter King this weekend the draft hype was “insane.”
But Kelly clarified on Monday he just wants fans to understand there will be a learning curve with Matthews.
“The coverages they face in college is different than the coverages that you face in the National Football League,” Kelly said. “There’s a lot more man [coverage], a lot more press-man and at times when you have three and four wide receivers you have to match up to, maybe the teams at the college level don’t have three and four defensive backs that can match up to all those guys. I think you see more zone at the college level than you do here. I think being able to combat press-man is the biggest challenge for a young receiver coming to the big league because it’s different than what they have to face when they’re at the college level.”
The Eagles head coach reiterated that his concern was with the hype surrounding the NFL Draft, not specifically Matthews, or even first-round pick Marcus Smith.
“No, I’m not convernd with that [the hype],” Kelly said. “[King] just asked if there’s one thing about the NFL that surprised me and I just told him the hype in general with the draft.”
But Kelly also managed to get a few shots in at the NFL’s draft industrial complex.
“The draft is integral, obviously, in terms of putting go ether your team, but literally from the day the Super Bowl ends until the draft, which I think was at the end of May, the beginning of June, it may get pushed into July at some point in time, that’s all anyone talks about. I felt the same way in college. You devote everything to the signing day, but how many of those guys are doing to contribute?
“The fact that people would watch the combine; there’s times at the combine when I may fall asleep.”
Follow Metro national sports editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.