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Head Coach Chip Kelly

Posted Jul 31, 2013

Talk about the article yesterday saying that NFL officials are kind of marking their territory a little bit with pace and tempo.  I know you talked to them about how fast it would be.  Is it much ado about nothing, or is the NFL kind of

CHIP KELLY:  I didn't read the gist of the article.  Just happy I made it into "The Wall Street Journal" for once.  That's pretty cool. We understand the rules of engagement.  Dean Blandino and those guys in the league office, met with them at the league meetings.  They were here when we were in mini camp.  I have no issue with them.  We actually embraced the way they do it. Really similar to what we have in college.  Tony Corrente, who's a longtime official in this league, was actually the head of the Pac 12 officials.  We're used to the style that they run.  I see absolutely no problem with it.  We're excited to work with them.

Were there any differences, though, in the way they did it in college and what you're expecting?

CHIP KELLY:  If they sub, we're going to match it.  They've got to get the ball spotted into play.  It's really very similar.  I don't anticipate any problems.  I know, when we talked to when I talked to Dean and they explained it to us, I didn't no issues from our standpoint.

Are you getting rest here for a few days from camp?

CHIP KELLY:  They'll be here tomorrow, and they'll be here when the Patriots are here.  We always do a certain amount of days you can practice with them.  We wanted to get some of our own time underneath our belt.  We worked with them when we were in mini camp, and we'll work with them here.

Was the pace one of the things you might have talked to Bill Belichick about since he did that last year, if he had any issues with it at all?

CHIP KELLY:  I didn't talk to him at all.  It isn't an issue with us whatsoever.  We understand the rules, and we'll play by them.  It's a real simple concept to me, if the speed limit is 65, even though I want to go 85, if there's a cop out there, I'm not going 85.  It's a real simple concept.  We're not going to change them.  I like them.  We're excited to play with them.

One of the points of the article is they want to limit the plays to a certain extent because of injury factors, you increase the risk of injury if you run more plays.  Did you ever do any studies or people around you do any studies about that at Oregon about the amount of plays or teams that played you?

CHIP KELLY:  I think sometimes people throw answers out there before they know it.  I think a lot of things we do, we're more spread out than a lot of people.  I would say you should do a study on injuries when all these people are crammed in a small box.  I don't know.  I have not done a study on it, though.  I just think just tell us what the rules are.  We always play by the rules.

Chip, when the Patriots are in, will you guys be together for individuals or split for individuals?

CHIP KELLY:  We'll be split for individual.  We'll do all our team stuff and seven on sevens and one on ones against each other, but we'll be split for the first portion of practice.  Their individuals, obviously, what they do and what we do are certainly different.  So there's no reason for us to try to learn what they do or for them to learn what we do.

We'll be split for the first part of it.  Basically, one on one, seven on seven, and 11 on 11 will be against each other.

Any opportunity for your quarterbacks or their quarterbacks to get together and learn from each other, or will it basically be a competitive?

CHIP KELLY:  This isn't summer camp.

Will you have multiple seven on sevens?

CHIP KELLY:  We'll have multiple seven on sevens is what we talked about, and we'll do teams on one field.  But we'll do seven on sevens and one on ones at separate locations.

What are your early impressions of Matt Barkley and how he's picking up what you want him to pick up?

CHIP KELLY:  Matt brings unique experiences because he was a four year starter in high school and a four year starter in college.  Not a lot of guys have started eight straight years before they've become a rookie in the NFL.  He's played a lot of football.  He played at a great high school and had a great high school coach.  It was a pretty advanced system he ran in high school and obviously played in a real good system at USC.

I think he brings a wealth of experience even though he is a rookie.  The other thing with Matt that I love is he's a football junkie.  He just, he eats the game up.  He lives it and breathes it.  He's in here early.  He's always wanting to watch film, always wanting to get better.

I think to have a young guy that has that type of experience and also match that with an insatiable taste for the game, I think it's a great combination.  He's been outstanding so far.

Chip, Connor Barwin, aside from the fact he's one of the few outside linebackers you have that's played in the NFL, what else does he have to bring to you?

CHIP KELLY:  I would say first off is his leadership.  When you bring new guys in that weren't here before, he just automatically fit in, and I think the first thing you do is lead by example.  One of our best guys in the weight room, you know, one of those guys that's here every day watching film, he's another gym rat type of guy.  I want to have a lot of those guys around here.  It makes our job a lot easier when you've got guys that are like that.

From day one we got him, he's been in the NovaCare every single day working at it.  With his athleticism, I think you can do a lot of different things with him.  You can rush him.  He's obviously got a certain sense of pass rush skills that he can show.  I think two years ago it was ten sacks or whatever he had two years ago.  But he also has the ability to cover.  I think that's where you're trying to figure out with those outside linebackers and playing to their strengths.

Obviously, you want guys that can rush a passer, set an edge, and drop into coverage, and he can do all three.  That makes him a little bit more versatile in terms of us being able to put him in different spots out there.

With Polk, you saw him for many years in the Pac 10.  He's obviously dropped a few pounds.  So he looks a little differently from your camp.  Same type of guy?  Are you seeing similar attributes?

CHIP KELLY:  Chris, yeah.  I think in the last couple of days you've really seen Chris show up.  He had a great practice when we were in the stadium.  Hit a couple of nice runs today.

Really truly understands the blocking scheme, so he's patient in terms of understanding    letting the blocks develop.  But when he sees them, then sticking his foot in the ground and taking off.  I think the last couple of days he's really come across.

I did see him in college.  He was a workhorse for Washington.  He was really the guy you had to stop.  But he has versatility and can catch a ball coming out of the backfield.  I think he's not just a one dimensional guy either.

Chip, you mentioned the cop analogy.  When you say that, are you going to be    first couple games maybe, are you testing them and them testing you to see exactly how fast you can go?

CHIP KELLY:  No, please don't write that.  I'm not testing anybody.  I'm just giving you an analogy.  We certainly know the rules, and we understand how it's going to go.  So it's a nonissue to me.

You're losing Jason Phillips.  What effect does that have on the special teams, in particular?

CHIP KELLY:  It does.  It was one of the reasons we thought about him.  We have two linebackers in DeMeco and Mychal Kendricks who we're excited about.  He added depth at the inside linebacker spot but really was a standout special teams player.

Four games a year are decided by three points or less over the last 25 years if you study this league.  A lot of times it really does come down to the kicking game, and a lot of those valuable yards that people don't really see.  Does he do a great job covering punts?  So that punt is a two yard punt return instead of a 12 yard punt return.  The hidden yards in the special teams games is huge.  When you lose an integral player like this, it's a tough thing for us.

He was great in kick cover, great in punt protection and punt cover.  He was really valuable in punt rush.  He was going to be on the front line of kickoff returns.  So he was a four team special teams guy.

You're really losing an integral guy, really a starter on special teams, as we look at it.  But we feel like, if there's any silver lining, it was early enough where we can get a chance to really look at those other guys and see who develops and who emerges into that spot.

In Oregon, were your players required to wear knee pads?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, that's a college rule.

Now a lot of players here are required to wear them because the league is mandating it.  Do you see any difference in how they play?

CHIP KELLY:  No.  We met about it.  It's a league rule.  Number one, how the rule is enforced, it's a penalty on your team, number one.  Number two, you're out of the game.  So you can complain all you want about the rules, but they're not going to let you play if you don't have them in.

We weighed ours, the ones that are approved by the league,  and I think it went from thigh pads, they were 1.6 ounces to 4 ounces is the weight of them.  I think sometimes it's a more mental thing than physical thing.  I don't think it's an issue.  When we've been in full for a couple days, they've had them all in.

It was a rule that was put in place for safety, so we'll adhere by the rules.  It's not one of those interpretive rules where you can kind of say I don't agree with that one because, if they see you without them, they're going to take you out of the game.  Not many rules sit you down, and this one sits you down.

So I think, if someone does do that, they're going to be out, and also they'll hurt the team.  So I don't anticipate that being a problem with our guys.

What have you seen from Michael and Nick on the field?  What kind of progressions, if any, have you seen them make in the first week or so?

CHIP KELLY:  I see them understanding better what we're doing.  Really how camp works is you insert, and then you start going back to where you started inserting.  You're repeating plays on today that we had put in on day one.  They're starting to get more familiar.  You don't expect any of them on day one, when you insert everything, to know anything like that.  They're starting to get more familiar.

The other thing you start to see is what they feel comfortable with.  What type of plays are Mike a little bit more comfortable with?  What type of plays is Nick more comfortable with?  You start to get a feel as they start to express themselves.  A lot of conversations going on now.  If we're throwing dropback, what's your choices in dropback?  What do you like?

It really doesn't matter what we like as a coaching staff.  It's what our players can execute.  The more chances we get to get familiar with them and they get familiar with the entire offense, that's what you start to see.  Things start to round into shape.

All right, he made the right decision on that again.  He's starting to feel, and almost as you're looking at them, the game is slowing down for them.  It's not kind of going crazy.  I think, if you ask every one of them, the game is slowing down for them.

Have you seen that?  Have you seen it through them?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, I've seen it for all those guys.  I mentioned it to Trent Cole.  The game is starting to slow down for Trent.  Trent is starting to get comfortable out there and starting to feel in position because you're asking him it's an interesting thing we're asking him to do.

You ask him to learn a new skill quickly, to execute in a certain amount of time with a lot of people watching, and then if you make a mistake, don't think about it.  Line up again and repeat it.

So it's a process, and it's a learning process, and part of the learning process is doing it.  The only way you can get better at it is if you do it and make a mistake and we correct it.  Now, if they continue to make the same mistake over and over again, that's not evident, and that's not what we're getting out of those guys.

Usually, one time when they make a mistake, they can correct it, but a lot of times, as you go over all the scenarios in the meeting room, you cover them, but then you've got to put them in that situation, and they've got to see it.  They've got to see that outside linebacker hanging and really getting ready to drive on that flat ball.

You can talk about it in the meeting all you want, but until you put them in that situation, then you see, oh, that's what you mean.  Now I got it.  Now I need to throw the ball outside instead of inside.

Is CB Brandon Boykin getting as many reps on the outside on the slot.  How would you evaluate him?

CHIP KELLY:  I don't know.

But you said you wanted to give him a chance.

CHIP KELLY:  He's getting both.  I couldn't sit here and tell you exactly how many he's getting inside or outside.  I know he's playing both.  I couldn't tell you the exact number.

Does it seem he's making plays no matter where he is right now?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, I've seen Brandon show up.  I talked about it the other day.  Brandon has had a nice chance.

How scary is it when you see someone the caliber of Jason Peters go in early?  Do you have a feeling how it is?

CHIP KELLY:  How scary it is?

Yeah.

CHIP KELLY:  He said he was okay.  I wasn't overly concerned.  I'll go and check.  I'm not being evasive.  I don't get any updates while I'm on the field.  I just know, if they're out, I need to sub in practice.  Jason didn't say any    I didn't see anything.  When I saw Mac a couple days ago, you kind of knew it was pretty serious because Mac knew it was serious.  I didn't get that feel from Jason.

I truly don't know.  I'll get it when I go inside so I can report tomorrow.

How much of the offense do you have installed so far?

CHIP KELLY:  Most of it.  I don't know the exact number, but we're getting there.

So they'll all be in for the first preseason game?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, but we won't call it all in the first preseason game.  We'll have everything we're going to run in before that.  We're talking you come in 15 days before your first preseason game.  So it will be in, but what we select will be pared down for that game itself.  You know what I mean?

Kind of a full selection for the different quarterbacks so you get what they're accomplishing?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, but we won't be able to practice all that.  So we're not going to have our entire offense as a game plan for the Patriots.  It will be a select amount because, again, it's still an    really a big evaluation period for us.  It's live.  There's officials.  It's tackling.  It's the whole nine yards.  You're getting kind of a simulated run at a legitimate game.

We won't have such a vast array of plays in that we're handcuffing our guys and they're out there thinking.  We need them to go out and execute.

How do you feel about the quarterbacks   

CHIP KELLY:  We haven't talked about that yet.

What kind of role do you have in the roster moves?  Are you involved in those as much as you are during the off season?

CHIP KELLY:  I didn't understand the question.

The roster moves.  When you're adding a guy   

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, I'm totally involved in that.

Even at this time of year?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, any time of year.  We talk all the time.  Every time we have a guy in, where are we?  What are we going to do?  Like a Jeremy situation and Jason's.  What's the extent of it?  What are we going to do?  If we put them on IR, what are we going to do?  We talk about that stuff on a daily basis.  The time of year doesn't have any    that's why I was off a little bit.  The time of year has no indication.  It's not like we're practicing, so I can't talk to you.  Our offices are right next to each other.  We can at least spend a couple minutes.

And we do.  We spend a couple minutes every day catching up on personnel, what's going on in the league, who got released, whatever.  We've got a pretty good feeling of who it is.

Again, at this point in time, there's not a lot of roster moves you can make.  If it you look at the wide receiver position in particular    and that's obviously we were down a couple guys.  Now Regis is coming back.  But when we were down three and you start to look at what maneuvers do you make, if you carry 11 or 12 receivers, there's 32 teams in the league.  So there's 352 to 384 receivers already under contract.

So when you're really having the discussion, you're talking about the 385th receiver out there.  So it's    there's not a lot, and you don't get to say, hey, we really want that guy.  I think he's going to be an outstanding player.  There's not a lot to pick from now.

I think a lot of discussions go in that first cut down to 75 because then there's some guys that you like or you think are a good fit and might be available and then even a bigger discussion when you make that cut down to 53. On the whole process of that, we meet on that every day.

At New Hampshire, Dave Ball put up those kinds of numbers, and what were the factors that enable that?  It's pretty astounding.

CHIP KELLY:  His numbers?

Yeah.

CHIP KELLY:  He was really good, and I was smart enough to call plays that let him go play.  When you have a really good player, at that level, he was just a lot better than everybody else, and his numbers were phenomenal.  I think all the credit goes to him.

And the other credit is he had a really good quarterback too.  Ricky Santos was one of the all-time best passers in I AA history and was in the Kansas City Chiefs camp, was in the CFL for a long time, and was an outstanding football player.  So we had a bunch of really good players that played with him.

You had two of the most dynamic quarterback receiver combination to ever play.  It's like anything else.  When you get in those situations, you get out    let those guys play and get out of their way.  That's what we did.

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