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HC Chip Kelly: Second Round

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Opening Remarks: "On our second pick and third pick of the (second) round, we picked (TE) Zach Ertz from Stanford. Unfortunately, I know Zach personally (jokingly). He actually caught the tying touchdown pass against us (while at Oregon) in our one loss of the season to Stanford. He's just an outstanding prospect, he's a mismatch nightmare if you get him isolated on a defensive back. He's very difficult to cover, just because of his size, but he's also too athletic to put linebackers on him. (Stanford head coach) David Shaw did an unbelievable job with him. They've done a great job at Stanford for the last couple years with tight ends—Coby Fleener last year and they have another tight end that is in this draft and really created a lot of problems. He's (Ertz) is a very smart player, great route-runner and a guy who I think is going to give us a lot of flexibility in terms of what we can do. I've always been a heavy tight end guy. We don't play with a fullback, we really use that second tight end and now, a third tight end. So, he'll go in with (TE) Brent Celek and (TE) James Casey and add to the mix of what we can do and present a lot of problems for people. If you want to go big and put linebackers on the field, we believe we have pass mismatches for you. If you want to go small and put DB's on the field, I think we have a mismatch in the run game. It's a great weapon, a great tool to have and a quality individual. You'll really enjoy him when he gets in here to visit and you guys will get to spend some time with him, but I really think the guy is going to play in the league for a while and we're excited to have him."
 
On why Ertz was so hard for his Oregon team to handle: "He did everything. They used him in a multiple variety. That's the thing about him—they used him as a single receiver on the trip set and he was by himself isolated by the DB. They used him as a tight end, they used him as an H-back, they used him as a move guy. They moved him all over the place. You could never isolate him into one spot and whenever they got the mismatch he created, he made plays. That's what he's done his entire career. I didn't relish against coaching him and I'm very, very happy that he is on our side now."
 
On if he was surprised that Ertz was still there when it came time to make a pick in the second round: "We thought the Kansas City Chiefs would take him, but then I wasn't surprised they traded out, because after I saw what they got offered, it was a pretty good deal. I think they ended up picking up three picks. That was obviously a concern going into today. He was the top of our board. Again, going back to where we were, I'm not trying to manufacture things as we go. To be honest, we didn't think he would be there, but then when Tennessee traded (up), I know Tennessee lost (TE) Jared Cook to free agency, so when Tennessee was trading up, we thought they were going to take him, but then when we heard the name of the receiver (Tennessee WR Justin Hunter) we got excited. It was positive for us."
 
On whether Brent Celek, James Casey and Zach Ertz will all get a chance to play: "Yeah. You go like that (holds three fingers in the air) and three tight ends go in the game. We are going to go three tight ends in a game. Now, if they go three linebackers, we spread them out and if they go DB's, we smash you. So, pick your poison."
 
On how much his personal experience against them factors into his evaluation for players in this draft: "We don't run any credence because I saw him and that means more, but when you know them I think it helps in certain situations in terms of who they are, so I can give you a better understanding because we had a gameplan against him and I can tell you how difficult he was. He was the best tight end. He actually got injured a year ago and I think that hurt Stanford. It was Fleener (who is now with the Colts), Ertz and (Levine) Toiolo a year ago. When Zach (Ertz) got hurt, it kind of changed them offensively, but I have a great relationship with David Shaw and I know Howie (Roseman) knows David really well—but, when you talk about what he (Ertz) can do—and I saw it firsthand. I stood on the sideline and watched him catch 11 balls against us and the game-tying one that sent the game into overtime. It was ruled incomplete, but it got overruled by the officials. I didn't agree with the call. When I saw Zach at the Combine, I told him that and he actually sent me a note thanking me for talking to him at the Combine and then put a ‘P.S.' in there to tell me, ‘It was a catch.' (laughs). When we talked tonight on the phone, I said, ‘I guess it was a catch.' Now we're on the same side."
 
On where the Eagles stand in terms of selecting a quarterback in this draft: "It's just how the draft unfolds. I don't think you can go in and say, ‘We need this, we need that', I think if people do that, you get off schedule. You can't force it. You just have to sit there. In this situation, we had our fingers crossed and the top guy was there when we got to the third pick (second round). As it unfolds and people go off the board, what some people like and what other people don't like, it's interesting. When some people make a pick, you kind of just look at it and sometimes go, ‘Wow, that was an interesting pick, I didn't see that.' People may do that with us. We spent a lot of time investing man hours and evaluations in this process and we're going to continue to follow that and I think the people that make mistakes is when they get someone and begin jumping around and look at it and say, ‘We need this position, so even though this kid has a lower grade, we're going to jump and go there.' When you look at the history of when that happens, I think you make mistakes, so you have to trust the work that you've put in to this point and let it unfold the way that it unfolds. If you have an opportunity to trade, then you wait for the phone to ring. When we got to (#) four yesterday, our phone did not ring for a trade opportunity and when we were at our pick today, our phone did not ring for a trade opportunity when we were on the clock."
 
On whether he feels he has an advantage in this draft since he is coming off coaching at the college level: "In some instances. In Zach's, yes. In Lane's, no, because we didn't play Oklahoma. I saw Oklahoma on film actually when we played Kansas State in the bowl game. But, when we were watching that, I wasn't evaluating players as potential NFL players, but how to attack K-State's defense. In certain situations I do and in Zach's, yeah. Just because we saw him. I've known him, he's been in the league (PAC 12) and I've been in the league for six years. Everyone knew who Zach Ertz was. I know we (Oregon) tried to recruit him while he was in high school. He was one of the top tight end prospects coming out. So, I think in certain situations, yeah—the people you play against. (Buffalo head coach) Doug Marrone is in the same situation. He was at Syracuse, so he had an opportunity to see some of these guys in the draft firsthand. There's a few (advantages), but that's going to wear off a while."
 
On whether teams are using multiple tight ends because they are getting better athletes at that position or because it's tougher to find defenders that can matchup against that position: "I think it's a combination of both, but it is moving in that direction. You're getting a lot of players that really understand—I think a lot of it has to do with basketball. Those guys are maybe mid-major Division I power forwards that really aren't the top echelon of college basketball in a power forward spot, so more are gravitating towards football. I think (San Diego TE) Antonio Gates is a prime example of that as a great college basketball player and wasn't going to make it in the NBA, but has become a tremendous tight end in the NFL. You're starting to see those guys in that six-four to six-seven range. Where do they fit? I think there's a lot more guys playing football now. You can't manufacture them, but if you can find them, it does create a lot of problems, because they do have the athleticism to run with defensive backs, but they're bigger than them. Sometimes in more instances, they're more athletic than linebackers and that's the whole question that goes on with a linebacker. Is he a first or second round linebacker and can he stay in on third down and match up? That's where everyone is trying to find someone to defend him and in our situation from an offensive standpoint, you're trying to find people who create mismatches and I think we think Zach is one of those."

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