Just a few weeks ago, the “Chip Kelly has lost the locker room” reports started rolling in, and things didn’t look good for the team in general. They’re on a bit of a roll now – though let’s be honest, they still aren’t great – and Malcolm Jenkins said that’s thanks to Chip Kelly and Jeffrey Lurie.
Speaking to Harry Mayes and Rob Ellis today (transcript via Matt Lombardo), Jenkins gave credit to the coach:
“After Thanksgiving, Chip really set the tone as far as our attitude moving forward. He basically talked about how he believed we were a good team. He wasn’t just saying that because he was the coach and it sounds like the good thing to say. He said it because he’s been on the sideline. He’s watched us make plays. He’s seen us do everything that everyone outside of the building is saying we can do. He basically re-emphasized the fact that he believes in us maybe more than we believe in ourselves …
Guys believed. We saw the opportunity that we had and the challenge of going into Foxborough and beating a really good Patriots team that never loses at home. We also knew the consequences of winning that game and what that could do for our season and where it could put us. From there, you started to see the leadership as far as the players start to emerge. More players have been vocal and a lot more present in the locker room than it’s been all year.”
And about Jeffrey Lurie getting into it before and after the Patriots game? Jenkins says it wasn’t much of a speech, but something more personal:
“It wasn’t really a motivational speech. He basically walked around to every player and told us individually that he wanted us to play with anger and play with passion. He said ‘don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Don’t worry about being right or wrong. At the end of the day, play with passion and emotion.’ I think at the end of the day that really trickled down to that Patriots game being a really fired up game. It was one with a lot of emotional swings and momentum swings. It all carried through.”
Just two weeks out from asking if Jeffrey Lurie was gonna fire Chip Kelly – due to Chip losing the team – we’re looking at two men working together to drag this team into the playoffs if they can. They’re still a sub .500 team, but Seattle did some damage as one, so why can’t they?