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Quotes: HC Chip Kelly

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Have you ever had a team at any level you thought overlooked an opponent?

COACH KELLY: Good question. I don't think so.

Do you think it's because that's a sportswriter narrative, that it doesn't happen?

COACH KELLY: I think it happens. But, I mean, I've only been a head coach for a short time, too. I was four years at Oregon. This is my first season here, so...

You specifically do things to avoid it happening?

COACH KELLY: I don't think we do anything to avoid it happening. I think we have the same approach every week no matter who we play. We respect all, but we fear none. That's just a concept that we've always had.

I think on any given Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, whenever you have to play, there's another opponent out there on the field. Anytime you don't take them for what they are, then you're bound to be on the losing end of it, so...

What do you make of the Vikings season? They are 3-9-1, but they’ve lost a lot of close games.

COACH KELLY: They're a really good football team. You turn the tape on. Last week's game against the Ravens, the same thing. I don't think of overlooking opponents. I turn the tape on, see how hard they play.

They have outstanding players. A group of receivers that's very difficult to match up with the rookie [Cordarrelle] Patterson in there. You’ve got a lot of different guys. Two outstanding running backs. A great defensive line. There's a lot of really good football players there, so...

Playing in a dome for the first time this year, what sort of adjustments do you have to make to go inside?

COACH KELLY: You just go play. I mean, obviously it's going to be a little bit louder. We've worked with sound since the first day of practice. You're going to have to make an adjustment when you get there.

But besides that, not many adjustments.

Does the offense change much with Matt Cassel at quarterback instead of Christian Ponder?

COACH KELLY: I don't think it changes much. They both have a little bit different skill set in terms of what they do. The gist of what Coach [Bill] Musgrave is doing there offensively doesn't change much.

Does it look more productive with Cassel?

COACH KELLY: I think it looked productive when Ponder was in there, too. I don't see it that way.

Can you talk about the signs and hand signals at all?

COACH KELLY: Just another way to communicate what we're doing on game day.

You're a big response after turnover guy. In these five wins, you’ve forced 12 take aways but only got 20 points out of them.

COACH KELLY: We look at them. Obviously I think Sunday's game is a little bit of an outlier. The ball was turned over a lot, but we weren't moving the ball very well at all because of conditions.

It is something that I think it's not just turnovers, it's what you do with them. Also I think coaching your defensive guys, just because we turned it over, doesn't mean we have to let them score either. It's a twofold question.

But as our defense continues to create takeaways for us, we have to do a better job of capitalizing and turning those into points.

When you traded Isaac Sopoaga, Vinny Curry became your oldest defensive lineman. Were there any concerns about having such a young group without that older veteran guy? Last five games they played their best.

COACH KELLY: There were no concerns. Sometimes chronological age has nothing to do with the maturity of some people. Nick Foles is a great example of that. He's in his second year. When you sit down and have a conversation with him, he doesn't act like a young, immature man.

We have a good group on the defensive line. Very driven. They all want to be very, very good football players. That wasn't a concern at all.

What do you expect out of Earl Wolff today?

COACH KELLY: We'll see. We’ve got three more days of training. He made it through a lot more yesterday than on Tuesday.

Obviously you're trying to win football games. With the Sports Illustrated cover and being flexed to NBC next week, do you consider yourself with the outside perception this team is having like they’re a rising comet? Or is that something for us to worry about?

COACH KELLY: It's something for you to worry about. Thanks for answering that question (laughter).

What will you do at safety if Earl Wolff can play?

COACH KELLY: I don't deal with 'what ifs'. When we get to Saturday, we'll make a determination where everybody is. We can only have 46 guys active on game day. I'm not trying to jump it. If I sit here all day long, if he's healthy, what do we do? Let's just wait till Saturday, find out from the trainers who can go, make a decision based upon special teams and depth where we're going to be.

Will Najee Goode do everything in practice?

COACH KELLY: I haven't been to practice yet. I don't predict the future.

Earl’s been out a long time. Is that at all a concern if he’s able to play on how much you’ll use him and get him into the flow of a game?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, it's a concern.

Is his knee is all right or do you have to see him?

COACH KELLY: See him do everything. Evaluate the film. How does he respond. Just because a guy is healthy and can run around, cleared by the doctors, is he making plays in practice or just jogging up and down on the side. All those are factors.

We have Thursday, Friday, Saturday to make determinations on that.

When you travel injured and practice squad players on the road, what is the reason for that?

COACH KELLY: So we can work them out before the game.

How important is it to have Nick Foles, despite all of the stuff he has accomplished this year, still saying that he wants to get better? You have guys that continue to drive and aren’t being complacent?

COACH KELLY: I think that's a big part of what we're doing. I think any good team does. What you did in the past really means nothing. It's what's the next challenge, what’s the next opportunity for us to go out and get better. I think Nick just personifies that.

Jason Peters is a guy who has dealt with some nagging injuries and stuff. What have you seen from his play this year? Is it pretty much what you expected?

COACH KELLY: Obviously a tremendous athlete and it shows. I think the one thing that goes unnoticed is his real attention to detail, honing his craft, how much of a technician he is. He's battled through a lot of things this season, but I think that speaks to what he is.

He wants to be on the field. Whenever he gets an opportunity, I didn't think a couple weeks ago we were going to have him, but he made it through the whole game and did an outstanding job and has worked extremely hard at the game. He's just an awesome teammate and a hell of an offensive lineman.

One thing he said is he lost about 20-25 pounds during the offseason. Have you noticed that has made him stronger?

COACH KELLY: I think we always monitor their strength levels. His strength levels are really good. He's just in better shape now than when we saw him when we first got back here in April.

What kind of special teams work have you been able to get in being inside?

COACH KELLY: We can get everything in. We just can't kick the ball as high as we need to kick the ball. But besides that, we can get everything in.

You can work on coverage?

COACH KELLY: We do everything. The field is the same; it’s just Donnie [Jones] can't boom a punt. Alex [Henery] can't take a normal kickoff just because of the height of the ceiling. We can cover, know our lanes, assignments, how the people are trying to block us and all those other things.

You've had generally all your starters play week after week after week. The chemistry thing, do you take that into account? Do you think that's a factor in why the team has been playing well?

COACH KELLY: I think it's a big factor. When you get to line up next to the same guy all the time, you're a byproduct of your experiences and the more reps we can get -- we're still a really, really young group in terms of all of us being together, so the more reps we can get with the same guys running it and doing things is obviously going to pay off for us.

What has been your approach this week preparing for Adrian Peterson, knowing he’s not fully healthy?

COACH KELLY: We prepare for healthy at every position and we’ll make adjustments if we feel the game plan changes. I think when you watch Minnesota, their game plan doesn't change if Adrian doesn't play because Toby [Gerhart] is a similar type back. We're preparing as if he's going to play.

When you do a scout team, you have certain guys wearing jerseys that represent the other team, are you switching off between Adrian and someone else trying to be Toby?

COACH KELLY: We don't do it with the running back because we know the running back is the guy in the backfield.

The biggest adjustments occur [with] who receivers are and how do we want to rotate and things like that. That's where the jerseys are the most important things for us.

We don't put a pinnie on the quarterback because everybody knows whether Matt [Barkley] or Mike [Vick] is in there that they're simulating [Matt] Cassel or [Christian] Ponder or whoever’s going to be in there so you don’t need to do it there..

The only reason we're doing that is a lot of things have to go off of who the receivers are, who the tight end is. Is it a fullback in the game? Is it a tight end in the game? Just from a personnel standpoint. The running back is the running back.

As a play caller, what is your philosophy about going back to the same things over and over again? Are you hesitant to do that?

COACH KELLY: I mean, we don't think of it that way. We're just trying to call plays that work depending on what the situation is. If we converted on a third and one with a hard hitting play up the middle, that doesn't mean we're going to run it the next play because now we're first and 10 and we’re in a different situation. Everything’s just a situation thing. Is it third down, is it red zone, is it coming out, is it first and 10 and what the defense does in those situations.

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