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Head Coach Chip Kelly

Posted Jun 6, 2013

Coach, can you tell us if this is what you expected at this stage?

COACH KELLY:  I didn't have any expectations going in, and I said yesterday and I'll repeat it again today, we wanted to improve, and I feel like we've improved every day out here.  There are a lot of new things for us, for everything they put in, schemes, personnel, and going through all the different scenarios.  So you've got to put them in, and coach them on tape.  We've got real good film today.  They've still got lifting this afternoon and meetings, and we're not done for the day.  We'll clean up some things.  So a lot of good scenarios came up in the two minute drill there that we've got to coach up and talk to those guys about before they take off here.  So (I’m) real happy with where they are and where I expect them to be.  I didn't have any expectations going in.  My expectations were that they improve every day, and I feel like they've improved every day.

What is the most important thing you think you’ve achieved so far?

COACH KELLY:  I don't know.  I don't have a good answer for that.

Are you happy?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, I'm a happy guy.

What is the plan for the next six weeks?

COACH KELLY:  They have a program, (created by) our strength and conditioning coaches (for) what they can and can't do.  By league rules, it's not like we can say, ‘Let's meet at these certain times.’  They can lift here, but we can't have any instruction with them or anything like that.  They're on their own to work out.

Are you going to be prepared  ...

COACH KELLY:  Are you stalking me or something? (Joking)

You're the coach.

COACH KELLY:  We've got work.  We're still in the office the next couple of weeks, and we've got break downs to do over our first four games and we'll have a chance to look at the Redskins and Chargers and Chiefs and Broncos.  For our coaches and stuff, we have some work to do.  But the players will be done after tonight.

How much work do you feel you have to do?  This is your first time at it as head coach in the NFL.  Training camp is obviously coming up in a few months.  Before the season starts, how much work is left here?

COACH KELLY:  There is a ton of work.  There is work every day.  You're never done.  You've never arrived.  There is always something to do.  We've got a schedule.  We have a yearly schedule, so we know where we're supposed to be and what has to be broken down and when we're reporting back here and all these things.  So we have a schedule.  We never feel like our work is done.

In building your program here, why was it so important to you to incorporate some of the sports science principles and hire a sports science coordinator?

COACH KELLY:  Why was it important?  If you can make them bigger, faster and stronger and use proper nutrition, I think everybody does that.

Do you think you're setting a trend, sort of in that direction in the NFL?

COACH KELLY:  I've never thought about me being a trend setter.  I'm not a trend setter by the way I dress, so (I’m) just trying to make our team better.

But from a strength and conditioning stand point, you want to transfer what they're doing in the weight room and exercise and what it can do for you on the football field rather than just lifting weights?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, everybody wants good players.  We're training to play the game of football.  It's how we negotiate the ground.  They're never going to bring a bench press out and put it on the 50 yard line and saying do the most reps.  It's about training football players.  We're training for the skills.

They have to be great in change of direction, but they have to have a certain amount of power and certain amount of endurance, so those are all the important things we're working on.

Do you find the experience different so far?  Some that you didn't anticipate?

COACH KELLY:  I think the days are different, but we anticipated that.  You know what I mean?  But we practiced at Oregon in the morning, and then our kids left and went to class and then came back at night.  So we just don't have that break during the day that they have.  But actually, in college, we had more practices in the spring than you do in the NFL.  We had 13 opportunities and (were) a lot more limited.  And none of them in full pads.  In college, you can be in full pads 12 of the 15 days.  So sometimes in college, you get more opportunities to do evaluations, and that's why I know we get a lot of questions about the depth chart, but it would be unfair for anybody to make a depth chart when we don't have any pads on.

You can break up their concentration too in college where everything's got to happen in the stretch of time that you've got, right?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, I mean, we have different hours in college.  You have them for four hours a day in college.  In the offseason program you have them for six, and in minicamp you have them for eight.  But there is more you can do in college for the offseason than there is here, and there is more you can do in the summertime.  Our players in college all work out with our strength coaches in the summertime.  But in the NFL they're kind of on their own.  It's two different animals from that standpoint.

Coach, what is your message?  You talked a lot about guys and seeing them on the field.  What do you know about the guys after minicamps and that kind of stuff?

COACH KELLY:  We have an understanding of their athletic ability and how they run, change direction and things like that.  But there are still a lot of things to be evaluated when you put the pads on.  It's still a physical game.  A lot of guys look great in shorts and T shirts, then they disappear when you put the pads on.  So we have an evaluation in terms of athletic ability.  How fast some guys are.  Their ability to change direction and things like that.  But until we get the pads on, we can't tell.

How does that translate to quarterbacks as well?

COACH KELLY:  It's not.  The quarterbacks don't get hit.  It's a totally different game.  You can stand there in the pocket, and the guys are whizzing by you and tapping you on the hip.  It's a different deal when you lineup against the Patriots.  They are not going to tap you on the hip when they come by you.  You can find out there are a lot of guys that are tough guys when no one can tackle you.  When they tackle you, you turn into a different ballplayer.  So there are a lot of evaluations that need to be done in a game like setting.

We have preseason games to do it and get a chance to get these guys evaluated so.

Coach, what is your message to your players and your team as they depart here before training camp?  What is the overall message?

COACH KELLY:  It's on them in terms of what they do in the summertime in terms of coming back. We'll see them in July.  We'll know.  That is the great thing about this: You can't fake football.  If you didn't do any work from the time you left here on June 6th and show up on July 25th, we'll know because your body will tell you what you can do.  You can't just take time off.  I think our strength coaches have a good plan they'll put together and present to them this afternoon, and then it's up to them.  But it's the same rules for everybody.  So I don't think there is any reason to complain about it. Everybody deals with the same situation.  Everybody's going on a break now and everybody's coming back in whatever it is, 15 days before the first preseason game.  It's the team that prepares the best over that time that's going to have the advantage.  So it's up to them and it's on them.

At the same time, is it good for guys to get away and refresh and recharge the batteries?

COACH KELLY:  I don't think that.  I'd be here every day if I could.

You don't take a vacation?

COACH KELLY:  This is a vacation. Talking to you guys.

If you look at DT Fletcher Cox, what have you done to bring him up from double teams and what is your impression of him overall so far?

COACH KELLY:  I don't know about the double team question or where that came from, again, because it depends on where you are scheme wise.  It's tough to double team a defensive end unless you're turning protections and things like that and doing it in the run game.  I don't think what we're doing with Fletcher is trying to see how we don't get double teamed.  What you do see with him is he's big, fast and explosive.  And he can be an impact player for you.

Talk about the mental position. How has S Earl Wolff come along in terms of his knowledge?

COACH KELLY:  I think he's picked it up pretty good.  He's only been here for a short amount of time.  Didn't have the minicamp before, so he missed three days because he wasn't here before we drafted him.  But I think he's got a good grasp.  Came from a good system.  Was coached well down at NC State by Tom O'Brien and those guys, so he had a good grasp of football when he came in here.  He's like the rest of those guys.  We'll see, and finally get an evaluation and put the pads on him.

What did you learn about QB Nick Foles and QB Michael Vick in these workouts and OTAs and minicamp?

COACH KELLY:  Kind of what I thought.  They're both coachable.  They both want to win.  They're both here as many hours as they possibly can be here.  They both really work at the game and want to get better.  Doesn't matter how long Mike's been in the league or Nick or what systems he's come from.  They're both really wrapping around what (quarterbacks coach) Billy (Lazor) and (offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur) are teaching them.  So I think it's fun.  And for all the guys here, it's been kind of refreshing.  You didn't know what the reception was going to be like when they got here or what guys are going to be like.  Well, you guys got to show us what you know before you do it.  These guys have jumped in with both feet and been fantastic at picking things up.

There's always been talk of the option and what works in the NFL. Is that a fallacy?

COACH KELLY:  Is it a fallacy that we run quite a bit of it?  Yes.

No, that it can't work in the NFL?

COACH KELLY:  I don't know.  Ask the San Francisco 49ers if Jimmie (Harbaugh) thinks it's a fallacy or (Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll or (Seahawks quarterback) Russell Wilson.  It's not like we're doing something that someone hasn't done in this league.  I don't know.  I've seen (49ers quarterback Colin) Kaepernick run up and down the sidelines.  Maybe people think it's a fallacy because the ball is in the other guy's hands.

Do you think that's why it wasn’t accepted by the veterans?

COACH KELLY:  No, because I think that's the biggest misconception.  If you watch us, we may run two of them in practice.  We don't come in here and say we've got this play that no one knows about, watch it, and we run it twice.  We have an offense that has a great size to it in terms of what we're doing, that's just one small part of it. It's a weapon to be used.  It's a tool in the toolbox. If that situation comes up, you use that tool.  If that situation does not come up, we may not use that tool.  But we have it in our toolbox, and what we want to do in our offense is have enough tools in our toolbox that we can compete every Sunday.  And then take those tools out.

How is your offensive playbook?  The one you've been running in practice hasn't changed from the one you had in Oregon.  Have you changed much?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, because we have a whole bunch of different guys in the room.  That's the great thing we did offensively and defensively.  First and foremost, when I was hiring staff, I wanted to hire a lot of smart people.  Then let's sit together as a group and say, ‘Alright, what did you do in the quick game? How do we want to do the quick game?  This is what we did here. How did you call it in Cleveland, (offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur and defensive coordinator) Bill (Davis)?’ (Wide receivers coach) Bobby (Bicknell), came from the Buffalo Bills: ‘How did you do it?’ How did (offensive line coach) Jeff Stoutland do it in Alabama. We all came up with what is the best way for the 2013 Eagles to run it.  And we did it in every phase: the screen game, the dip game, drop back game, the run game, all those games.  What's our two minute offense going to look like? It's a collaboration from everybody we put together on our staff.  And everybody has a say, and we'll all talk it through, and then we'll, as a group, decide on what is the best thing moving forward.

That being said, how much of the offense is being installed as you head to camp?

COACH KELLY:  Percentage wise?

About half?

COACH KELLY:  You want fractions?  I'd say two thirds.

What is your plan for the next two weeks?

COACH KELLY:  You can't be on the field with them, so they're still learning how we do things in the weight room so, they'll spend time with (strength and conditioning coach) Josh (Hingst) and those guys in the weight room in terms of how that works.  We'll do some kind of showing them how to get from point A to point B.  Right now, they know how to get from the hotel to the airport and how to get here.  There are some different things just trying to get them acclimated to where we are and how things are going to work.

And (cornerback Jordan) Poyer and (tight end) Zach (Ertz) will be here?

COACH KELLY:  They're supposed to be here. I think they're coming in Sunday night and should be here for Monday.  Because the last day for classes no, they've got another week.  Their class is the 14th.

So they'll be here the second week?

COACH KELLY:  Yes.

What will training camp be like?  What will you tell people about Chip Kelly's training camp?

COACH KELLY:  It will be at the NovaCare Center. 1 NovaCare Way, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19145.  It will be kind of like we do now.  It's not much different than minicamp except we'll have pads on for a certain amount of it, and maybe it will be a lot more physical than what it's been in the minicamp sessions.  Our practices are right around the same timeframe, kind of set up the same exact way.  So it's not like it's a radically different thing when you go to training camp.  So we'll walk in the morning, and the days we're allowed to have double days, we'll have some of them but not a ton of them.  We really get into games pretty quick.  But we only have a week and a half before we have to start playing games and then we get into game weeks.

You have five weeks until training camp.  What do you expect from your guys between now and training camp?

COACH KELLY:  I expect them to be professional and prepare like this is their year.  And that's what I think they expect of themselves.  So this is your job and this is what you lived your whole life to do: play in the NFL. Now you have an opportunity.  So there is a responsibility that goes with that.  So it's, I believe, a privilege to play in this league, and with that privilege goes responsibility.  So I expect our guys to work their tails off.

Have you thought about what it's going to be like to cut players because Andy Reid and other NFL coaches say that is the hardest part of the job.  You didn't have that at Oregon?

COACH KELLY:  We've already cut players here.  We've let some guys go here and it's a difficult time.  But I think they know that coming in.  There are just the sheer numbers.  There are 90 guys here when we start camp July 25th, and there are going to be 53 when the season starts September 9th.  That is just the reality of it.  They know that going in and they understand that.  But it will be difficult when that time comes.

Do you have a gut feeling right now that you have enough tools in that toolbox to compete in the NFC East?

COACH KELLY:  I haven't watched enough film of Dallas, the Giants, the Redskins, and to be honest, I'm not concerned with that right now. I'm concerned with our guys getting better every day and that's what they've done. You're not going to put the cart before the horse and say, ‘We're this.’  Everybody had new acquisitions. I don't know what the rookies for the Cowboys or Redskins are like, what their free agent acquisitions were like. I have no idea. So for me to compare ourselves to somebody else, I have never been that way anyways. We compare ourselves to ourselves. We improve every day, and that is the only thing we can count on. We've got the guys we've got. We can’t start signing free agents in September, so we've got 90 guys here, and we'll continue to work with them.

How have WR Ifeanyi Momah and WR Russell Sheppard looked so far?

COACH KELLY:  They're doing a decent job.  There is a learning curve for those guys because they haven't been in the National Football League before.  But both of them are eager and work extremely hard.  Russell has done a great job. He’s really become pretty close with (WR) Jason (Avant).  You see those guys tag teaming and going around together.  Jason has kind of taken him under his wing.  And Mo's kind of knocking the rust off.  He missed his senior season at Boston College because of an injury, so he's kind of two years removed from playing.  So one thing you see from him is continuing to improve every day from when we first worked him out in a tryout and brought him in.  He got better during the rookie camp and you saw him improve over that.  So I'm excited about both of those guys.  But we've got some competition out there.  And they add to that.

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