PHILADELPHIA - Deciding on a quarterback appears to be the least of Chip Kelly's problems.
The Eagles' new 3-4 defense allowed a 62-yard run by New England Patriots running back Steven Ridley on the first play from scrimmage and never got much better in a 31-22 loss in the preseason opener Friday night.
Ridley and running back LaGarrette Blount - who played for Kelly at the University of Oregon - combined to rush for 193 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
Their success suggested that the Eagles should work on tackling more than they have been during training camp. Earlier in camp, Kelly said the team would not be tackling to the ground at all, but he insisted it has been doing it.
"We weren't going to do it (during the three joint practices last week) with the Patriots because (coach) Bill (Belichick) did not want to do it," Kelly said.
"But we do live tackling in practice. We just do it in an isolated situation instead of 11 on 11. The biggest (problem) isn't the guy tackling, it's the pileup that occurs and who's going to fall over them."
There were a few defensive standouts Friday night.
Rookie nose tackle Bennie Logan tied for the team lead with five tackles, had a half-sack and made a tackle for a loss. Second-year defensive end Vinny Curry had a half-sack and a pair of quarterback hurries.
Curry, a second-round draft pick in 2012, had a disappointing rookie season. He was inactive for the first 10 games and was a non-factor in the other six.
"I"m way more confident in myself this year," Curry said after the game. "This year just feels good. I feel better about myself. I've bought in right from the beginning and I've been been working hard, so I'm glad I got to see it start to pay off tonight. I just want to prove to myself and to everybody that I'm a worthy player."
Extra points: Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos suffered a concussion in the second quarter against the Pats, forcing tight end Brent Celek into action as the snapper for punts, field goals and extra points.
He fared OK on punts but rolled one back to holder Donnie Jones on a field-goal attempt. That prompted to Kelly to try for a two-point conversion after Barkley's 12-yard TD pass to Greg Salas, and to go for it on fourth down deep in Pats territory later in the game.
"We haven't had Brent take a lot of snaps," Kelly said. "He's snapped from a punt standout, but we haven't done it with field goals very much and it's not fair to put him in that situation."
The Eagles were off Saturday. They resume training camp Sunday with an open workout at Lincoln Financial Field at 12:30 p.m.
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