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Head Coach Chip Kelly

Posted Jun 5, 2013

On whether the mental mistakes have dropped since day one: "That’s a given. They’ve been out here, they work at it, they are really professional. They do a great job in the classroom, ask a lot of questions, and take great notes. So obviously there has been an increase in understanding of what we are trying to do from day one to now. That is to be expected from this group."

On why DT Cedric Thornton didn’t take any snaps: "I think he has a leg thing, I think they are just being smart with him. I know he is doing drills and we will see what he can do. He has had a great camp or (organized team activities) up until now."

On whether players have done any psychological testing: "We have not done any psychological testing. (Jokingly) Some guys with microphones should take psychological testing."

On whether Coach Kelly has slowed things down in practice: "Our numbers for reps are the same. It just seems like it’s not as chaotic. It would be the same for you guys. You guys have been around how many days? You just don’t listen to as much of the music, are you? You are not publishing the playlists or paying attention to it, because you kind of just get into a rhythm, and that’s what our guys are doing. They are getting into a rhythm, but our rep counts have been very close every single day, you know, within plus or minus five every day. Sometimes when we are calling things that are not scripted it’s a little bit slower because we got to know what down and distance is when the play call comes in. You know that is kind of what happens in a game. When we have things scripted we are just ripping them off as fast as we can from the script. From how many reps we are getting in at practice, they are really similar since we started."

On whether CB Brandon Boykin is exclusively an inside guy: "I don’t know. I mean I said it the other day, with our defensive backs we really can’t make any judgment until we are out of this part of the (collective bargaining agreement) because you can’t play man coverage, can’t do one-on-ones, can’t play press man, so for us to make an evaluation on where our guys actually fit right now it would be unfair to them. To say I don’t really think he is good at press man, well how much press man do you play? I don’t know, I’m guessing. It is still open in terms of who our corners are and we are not going to find out. And especially at that position where we are until we get to camp when we get a chance to get one-on-ones on a daily basis and get a chance to see our guys cover and compete out there and really get to play press because that is really a big coverage in this league and we plan on using it, but we haven’t had a chance. They have been forced and handcuffed by whatever the rules are, we just can’t play it, everything has got to be off, so it’s really tough to say where a guy fits and where a guy doesn’t fit."

On whether he will give Boykin as many looks on the outside as he does slot: "Yeah. We are giving reps to everybody, I mean there is no one that’s down right now, we don’t have any preconceived notions of saying he can’t play outside or he definitely plays inside because we haven’t had the opportunity to evaluate him that well."

On whether he has seen has Boykin’s tape from last year: "(Jokingly) No, I haven’t watched him at all, is he on the team? Yeah, he can play man to man, but now we get a chance to see how he fits in (defensive coordinator Bill Davis’) scheme. What was he asked to do in that scheme last year, I don’t know, we didn’t ask those guys. We will see and that’s when we get back on July 25th, that there is a lot of evaluating that has to go on then, and now we are not handcuffed by what the rules are in what we can do and can’t do."

On how important these three days of minicamp are to see if things are clicking: "I don’t know if we are as concerned with clicking as just what can we get in before we don’t get a chance to get with them anymore. It is not like we are trying to game plan anybody right now. We are not getting ready for Washington or we are not getting ready for our first preseason game. It’s just a matter of we still have a lot of insertions going on. On both sides of the ball and on the special teams stand put because it is really limited. You have actually less practice opportunities in the NFL than you do in college. In college you get fifteen practices in the spring and with this you get ten OTA’s and three days of minicamp. It is a lot shorter time so we still have a lot of work to do. It is not a matter of clicking, it’s a matter of giving them as much so they can study and get tape and look at things on their own when they get a chance over the six weeks when we are not together."

On what Coach Kelly is going to look at to separate the quarterbacks from each other: "Who can move us the best and who gets the football team up and down the field, you know that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t have to be that he throws a prettier ball or all those things, there is a lot of different things. How do you manage a game, how do you secure the football? Are we not turning it over? Are we constantly moving in a positive direction? Are we getting into third and short and converting them? Things like that. It really is who moves the team the best is what we are looking for at the quarterbacks."

On whether it will take a while for the quarterback battle to play out: "I don’t know. We have to let it play itself out."

On whether the cards on the sidelines are personnel groupings: "They represent a lot of things. There are a lot of different guys. We are not doing what we do on game day because our coaches are coaching. Billy is just trying to get stuff in as fast as he can. There are things you do in practice that would be different in the game. None of our coaches signal in practice because they have to coach."

On how important it is for the running back to catch the ball out of the backfield: "That is huge. I think you have five eligible receivers and you want to be able to make sure that the defense has to defend them all. If you become a protection first running back scheme and now there are only four receivers they have to match up with, you are going to face a lot more double coverage and the biggest thing is if you are going to play man coverage, who is going to match up with him and do you have a guy that can exploit that. I think we have a couple of guys that are pretty good at it, so it’s a huge part. I don’t think people realize it limits what they can do to some of your outside receivers if your running back is pretty good. I think it’s a huge plus."

On whether RB Chris Polk and RB Bryce Brown have those capabilities: "They have shown some signs of it. Some big guys can do it too, there is not much difference size-wise. I think LeSean is 212 (pounds) and Polk is 218 (pounds) and Bryce is under 220 (pounds) now. There are only five or six months difference between three of those guys."

On whether it’s good that those guys are dropping weight: "No. That’s what they were. I think Bryce came in at 223 and he’s now 218, so I don’t know what he played at last year, but I know what he was when we got here on April 1st."

On whether this is where he thinks the team should be at: "I never looked at it that way. We don’t have any, ‘Hey we need to get to this point.’ I teach teams different that I coach. Some teams grow in different ways, but the one thing they have done and the challenge we have had was they have gotten better every single day. They are real inquisitive, they ask a lot of questions, they really take this seriously. It is real important to them. They have been great in the meeting rooms, they have been great in the walkthroughs, and they have been great in practice. For us right now it is just constant improvement and that’s what we have seen from them, and that’s what we want out of them, and that will continue to be that way. You never arrive in this game so if you think you arrive you are going to get passed quick."

On whether the team is different since April 1: "I don’t know if they are much different. That group I met on April 1st was pretty enthusiastic, pretty excited to be here. I think the one thing that I love about them is that they have been very consistent. We haven’t had guys pulling teeth. Every day they have been here they have come and have done the work, and they have been good. We get to approach the guys in the weight room and I get a chance to watch them there live. They have been great everyday they have been here."

On whether there is any other natural nose tackle outside DL Isaac Sopoaga: "In the NFL? I don’t know. I don’t know exactly where (defensive end Clifton Geathers) was when he wasn’t here."

On how Coach Kelly has seen DE Clifton Geathers bounce around positions with his size: "Clifton has done some really good things since we have had him here. I think he has extremely long arms, long levers, and can really separate and really uses his hands extremely well. We’re excited. You didn’t really know exactly what you had until we got him here. Big body and that is what we want on our defensive front are big guys, and he really fits right now and he can play a couple of spots in there."

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