COACH KELLY: I have no idea. We haven't gotten to the season yet. We just knew there were certain things we wanted to work on during the game. That's how we came about it.
But you're known as a coach with a fast pace. Is that a misnomer?
COACH KELLY: No, there are times we're going to have to play fast, and times we're going to have to play slow. Really, the game itself dictates what you have to do. I've said that all along, if you're up, you don't want to play fast. You want to work the clock.
It depends on the game. But there were certain things in that game we just wanted to get accomplished. Really our first full game with officials, so we wanted to get a feel for that.
After you watched the tape, what did you see in that first play of stopping the run?
COACH KELLY: First play we weren't gap sound. We didn't get gapped out and the ball split, and got to the third level without anybody getting a hand on it. And first guy to the ball Fletch [CB
Do you think some of that is because guys are playing two gap for the first time?
COACH KELLY: Some of it is the whole system's new, and it was first live action in a game. We haven't had live football since we've been here, so it was our first time.
When you watch the tape, did you see things that were better than you actually thought they were in the game from the tape, and things that maybe weren't as good as you thought they were?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, but I think that's always the case. You're never as good as you think you are, but you're never as bad as you are either. We had a great punt return, Damaris [Johnson] did a great job on his own, but it was probably the one punt return we didn't block very well all day, but it ends up breaking for 60. So there is an example. But you had one guy that made a play, and Damaris did make a play on that. Some of the younger defensive linemen,
I thought Bradley Fletcher played well on the defensive side of the ball. We were limited, I think, with some guys only 8 to 10 plays, so kind of tough to say, hey, they played really well, they didn't play well because there weren't that many snaps. But I think there were some bright spots out there. I thought how Nick [Foles] came back the second time out there after the fumble, how he responded on that drive, I thought Matt [Barkley] after he settled down at quarterback started to make some plays and threw the ball decisively, especially that third and long when he hit Clay [Harbor] 3rd-and-20 plus.
But the mistakes that you hope you don't have, but it's going to happen in the first game. A couple of those ugly penalties that we had. We had two false starts, the things that are administrative penalties that's happen before the snap that you just have to clean up. There were a lot of wide eyed young guys out there.
You hope when you get to Game 2 now, there is a big jump for us in terms of it's not our first time. It's not the first time going out on that field in front of a good sized crowd and with officials and it's live and the whole nine yards. So hopefully we've got big improvement this week.
On the second and third touchdowns, did the QBs there have an option to hand it off or throw the ball on those two?
COACH KELLY: No, some of those are called plays. So the first one was a called run for Nick. Then I think we were trying to run a screen out to Salas.
In terms of
COACH KELLY: He's improved from where we first had him in the spring. He's competing. If we were going to play today and everybody's healthy, he's competing as a back up. But not everybody is healthy, so he has improved since we first saw him in the spring time, and he's working extremely hard. So he's right in there in the mix right now.
What did you see from
COACH KELLY: I thought Lane did a really nice job especially in the first game. I think very consistent. He may have been our most consistent offensive lineman the way Coach graded out. He knew exactly what he was doing. Didn't have any mental errors, plays with great effort. He's always trying to make the extra play and play into the whistle. But his first game, he didn't really stick out like a rookie in a good way. You know, sometimes I think they stick out as rookies in a poor way where they're going in the wrong direction or they're caught up in it. But I don't think he was by any stretch, he was one of the younger guys that really I thought the three guys that were young players for us that stood out were [Damion] Square and Logan on defense, and Lane on offense.
The quarterbacks on the tape, did you pick up on anything?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, always, foot work, where they are. Where their eyes were, how they carried out fakes, some of those things. Overall I thought the first two played really well. Then I thought Matt did a good job when he settled down. Then Dennis [Dixon] made some plays when he was in there too. And G.J. [Kinne] didn't give him many snaps, but to handle the rush the way he did and get the ball down to Salas and get us down to the 2 yard line, kind of impressed with him. I'd like to see a little bit more of him this week.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they're in the hands of our medical staff. I think one of the smart things as a coach is to let the experts handle it. I don't have the background they have. So for me to weigh in and say I think this is what you should be doing with a hamstring. I think our guys have done a good job. Cary was out there today and made it through a full practice. We'll be interested in his recovery this afternoon, how he feels. If we can get a couple days of practice in, we really need to get him out on the field. It will be great if he's status quo the rest of the week, and we'll see him on the field against Carolina. Jason was running today. He's made improvements and strides. But if he doesn't practice, we're not going to play him on Thursday. So we'll see how he recovers too.
Did you talk to
COACH KELLY: Yeah, Jon's around. He's fine. But there is a protocol that you have to go through. He says he feels well, but there are certain tests and what not that you have to pass.
Do you know how far along he is in that?
COACH KELLY: No, I do not know that.
COACH KELLY: I think one thing Fletcher brings is a tenacity and he's got a great nose for the ball in terms of getting to it. I still think all of those guys on the front are learning their gap responsibilities and being where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there. I think Fletch is one of the standout inside defensive players in this league. We're really excited to see him as he gets more acclimated to the system to really start stop thinking and pin his ears back and go play. When he does do that, and we've seen that in practice a few times, he's a heck of a player.
COACH KELLY: He's a real good technician. Comes from a great program. Had a real good skill set coming in, and it shows. But he also, I think his work ethic and tenacity are two things that every single day he just brings it. It's almost like every day is game day for him, which is what you want. I think for some people, it's a cliché, but for him, it's not. So I've been really impressed with him. He's really pushing to make this team.
You talked about
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think we do. That is one of our strengths on the defensive side of the ball is our defensive line. When you throw Soap [
People have spoken highly about Damion before he got here or as he got here. Is it hard to think why he didn’t get drafted?
COACH KELLY: I gave up on guessing why those things happen. I'm just happy we have him.
Salas obviously made some big plays on Friday. How did you feel about the rest of the team?
COACH KELLY: He has, but I think if you watch him practice against the Patriots, he made big plays and he just keeps picking it up. I thought Murph [
COACH KELLY: Both. We know we have seven tight ends, and he already knows how to play inside because all of our tight ends know how to play the slot. So he had three big catches for us on Friday night. So he's probably the fastest of the tight ends. So until really there are some cut downs and some guys available, we think the best route for us is the guys we have. So if we can cross train Clay a little bit and get him to play outside receiver. Now we believe he knows how to play inside and understands a lot of route concepts. So it's a matter of the more versatile you can be, the better impact you can make. He's a big body. He's physical. Not worried about him blocking corners, and he's the one tight end we have that's got really, really good speed. So it will be interesting. We'll try to get him some reps this week so he can feel comfortable, and hopefully we can get him in a game out there.
You had him working at outside linebacker a little bit at mini camp or just learning it? Are you still doing that?
COACH KELLY: Right now we're not. But when we cut down, we'll start to work some of those again. For us, it's just maximizing your off season. You go game day, you can play with 46 guys. Two outside linebackers were down on Friday night. We were going to have to put [Mychal] Kendricks and DeMeco [Ryans] back in the game.
If you were to lose two guys on Sunday in the fall, you don't have anybody else. So you better have some guys who is your emergency this, and who is your emergency that? You hope you never get to them. But you'd be foolish if you didn't get an opportunity to train them a little bit in practice. Just the first time they were ever going to do it as a game.
But I know we've used him extensively there, and it was probably on us. We didn't get him a lot of work as the short snapper, and that's why that field goal at the end of the first half, that's more on us than it was Brent because we had to put him in that situation. It's the same thing. You better make sure you have a back up snapper. If you only have two quarterbacks on game day, you better know who your third quarterback's going to be. You better know if you have an extra nickel, you may have to have an extra pass rusher, that's just a preventive thing. For Clay and for Jason [Avant], that wasn't more we're moving their positions and we're going to look at them exclusively there. But we're trying to maximize our roster. They're two athletic guys that felt they could make that transition.
COACH KELLY: I don't think of it that way and I don't think of being a players' coach. They have to understand what you're asking them to do and explain it. That is the extent of it. But I think you just have to be your personality when you're around those guys. We're all men. I think they understand that. We treat them like men, and they treat our staff like men. There is great respect going both ways from our players to our coaches and our coaches to our players. But we don't consciously think about that.
I think that's more LeSean's personality than anything else, because he likes to play around with everybody. That is more him. He's a little bit more chuckles the clown than I am.
Cary Williams was just talking about the incident last week with the Patriots, and his point was, and I think I'm getting this correct. He comes from a culture in Baltimore where you didn't turn the other cheek. If somebody was blocking you in the back, which is what he went through there on that play - you let people know you're not to be trifled with. He feels like this team could use more of an edge. How do you respond to that?
COACH KELLY: If you do that in a game, you're kicked out. So we practice like we play.
Do you think the team needs more of an edge?
COACH KELLY: We can get in a street fight, but that's not going to help us. There is a certain way you're supposed to play this game and it's between the whistles. The stuff after the whistles is not what you're looking for. Our players knew that and Bill [Belichick] was the same way, one of the reasons we wanted to participate against the Patriots is we knew this wasn't going to turn into a WWE brawl. Because that's not what it is. It's a game of football.