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Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

Posted Aug 27, 2013

How is Bryce Brown today with the ankle?

COACH KELLY: He's good. Finished practice yesterday.

I know, he had said after practice he wanted to have it checked out again?

COACH KELLY: No, he's going to practice today. But we haven't practiced yet, but I didn't get any reports from our trainer that there was any issues.

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that he has been watching as much Oregon tape as he can get hit hands on; how much do you think that will help prepare his team for September 9?

COACH KELLY: We are different, but I would do the same thing. It's either watch Oregon tape or watch nothing. It's going to be a combination of our preseason games.

It's no different than when we have to prepare for the Chargers. You have to kind of look at what the history is. You have a new staff there, kind of how that works; where Coach [Mike] McCoy came in from, kept up on the defensive stuff. That's commonplace I think.

Did you go into the last game wanting to work more on offense a little more than the passing game, or is that just the way it turned out in terms of the ratio the first half?

COACH KELLY: No, we didn't go in with the thought that we were doing this or doing that. We don't go into any game with that thought.

On a day to day basis, what's your role with the defense or involvement specifically with the defense?

COACH KELLY: I meet with Billy [Davis]. I watch all the practice tape. I'm more involved in the offensive side of the ball from a practice standpoint with those guys, but I watch all the tape from a film standpoint and me with the staff and talk to those guys constantly on a day to day basis.

When Billy is working out game plans throughout the week, what he's going to take out for certain protection schemes, does he run that by you at some point?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, we meet and go over what their game plan is and how they are going to approach things, pick each other's brains.

You have 20 or 22 guys to still release, Thursday night, how much in your mind is set and how much is the roster going to be decided ?

COACH KELLY: There's a lot up in the air right now and I think every chance you have an opportunity to see our guys compete; and obviously the games are different than the training sessions out here. It's the last real good shot of us getting an opportunity to see how they react in an environment. It's as close to a regular season as you can get, so it's a huge night for all of those guys.

What's your evaluation of Vinny Curry through the first three games?

COACH KELLY: I think Vinny's done some nice things. Obviously gives us pass rush ability and is picking up what we are doing on the defensive side of the ball, but I've been pleased with Vinny.

Is his pass rushing ahead of him being a run stopper?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, probably. Yeah.

With the team going to a 3 4 at times, how many linebackers are ideal to have on the roster?

COACH KELLY: You know, you would like to be two deep, but it just depends on the depth there, but is it keep five inside, three outside. In the ideal world, you like to keep four outside linebackers, four inside linebackers. But it doesn't always work out the way you want it to work out.

Clay Harbor said he will play one half inside the other half outside of wide receiver. If he makes the roster, is that how you still view him, as a swing guy?

COACH KELLY: That's one of the unique traits that Clay brings, the ability to play multiple positions certainly is beneficial to him. Maybe separates him from some of the other tight ends that don't have the ability to go outside.  So I think that's a plus for him. His versatility is a plus for him.

What about on the offensive line, you can play tackle and guard, or let's say center and guard, does that help your chances more  than to specifically play guard or tackle?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, it has to. You're only going to have seven or eight guys active on game day so you're not going to be able to keep ten guys active on game day. You're not going to have a backup left tackle, backup right tackle. You can't be two deep.

When you get to a 46 man roster, you're only keep being seven or eight active on game day, so that's huge.

Does that apply to the linebackers, too, when they play inside?

COACH KELLY: It applies to everybody. When you only have 46 guys active on game day, you've got to have versatility in your non starters, because there's just not enough numbers. If you're two deep at every position, you know, that's 44 excluding specialists. And at some positions, you're going to carry a third, a third running back, so where does that spot come from? It's got to come from somewhere.
If you're talking about making the 46 man roster, that versatility part is huge for guys that are not the starters.

Who is the linebacker right now that has that ability to go inside and out?

COACH KELLY:  We'll see when we get playing. That's part of what this whole deal is for us. We've cross trained a few guys from that standpoint, but can you see it demonstrated on the field.

So would Danny Watkins have a little bit more of an obstacle in making the roster because he is  --

COACH KELLY: I'm not getting into who has obstacles or whatever. We'll play and keep the best guys, but when you talk about backup guys, they have to have versatility.

Do you get a final say on the 53-man roster?

COACH KELLY: Yeah.

At what point did you come up with how many numbers you wanted, when you interviewed in January, did you have an idea on how you wanted to build the roster?

COACH KELLY: No, I think everybody knows kind of an idea. I mean, you guys can all do the math much. You do it every day, any ways. It's always plus one minus one, because you can't make a guy. We are definitely keeping X amount of receivers.

Well, what if you don't have X amount of receivers that you think are game ready? You're not going to keep one for the sake of keeping one if you're fourth tight end is better than your sixth receiver, or your fourth running back is better than this, or your sixth receiver is better than the third tight end. You have to have some flexibility in that.

So there are more guidelines than stringent numbers, but there are some spots where you hope you're two deep but you're not going to be able to be  especially when there's a big difference when you go from the 52 to 46, because now you have to lead who your DX on game day  and a lot of that has got to have some flexibility because it depends on injuries that week that you're facing.

You're going to try to play somebody but your tackle is banged up, and you may carry an eighth lineman that week; but if you carry an eighth lineman, then you have to be down somewhere else.

Some teams where the GM has final say on the roster. Do you feel being here now that it's almost a necessity for a coach to kind of have the say over the players?

COACH KELLY: No, I don't. We're on the same page in everything. There has not been a decision that's been made personnel wise where I've felt one way and he's [Howie Roseman] felt the other way.

Do you think that will ever happen as long as you guys are working together that you'll agree on everything?

COACH KELLY: No. It's utopia. It will always be on the same page.

Are you amazed then that  --

COACH KELLY: I'm not in a hypothetical world  no, I'm not amazed that it has. But I think when you analyze it, there's never been a situation when we've been going from, there's this guy or that guy and
two guys are standing on soap boxes saying we're going in one direction and not another direction.

I think when you have guys that are professional and can see the other side of it and understand how it fits in the grand scheme of things, I think he sees big picture, I see big picture, so I think that's why we get along so well.

Can you talk about the 2012 draft class and whether that was something that was attractive to you, before you took the job, when you were analyzing  --

COACH KELLY: I never looked at the draft when I was taking the job. That wasn't  I didn't look at it and say, hey, they had this draft, let me take this job.

But the grouping of players  --

COACH KELLY: I didn't look at it. That wasn't a factor in me making a decision.

You spoke a few weeks ago about not having the luxury of thinking long term and you want to win this year. Have you looked at coaches coming in and how long it has taken them to turn things around, and what was required in those situations?

COACH KELLY: No, I haven't.

The versatility, does that change how you do your evaluation  --

COACH KELLY: No, I think it's part of the same thing. When we were at New Hampshire, you didn't have as many numbers so you still had to look at what guys can be more versatile, because the same thing with the scholarship situation, it's different. But it's still the same thing.

I think versatility is the key, and you still have travel rosters in college and you can only bring X amount of guys to a game. Some of those decisions that you make towards the end  in your travel roster, it's kind of like your active, deactive, it's the same thing. Like why are we bringing the fourth running back when he doesn't contribute on special teams when the sixth receiver does contribute on special teams.

So the numbers are a little bit higher because your travel roster is bigger than 46, but you still run into the same issues, no matter what it is. If they expanded the roster and said you could have 53 guys active and the roster was 60, you would still run into the same questions of, why are we keeping this guy over keeping that guy. When you're not the starter, versatility becomes a huge thing, because it gives you an opportunity to kind of take more than just one role and you don't get position specific.

He may be this position, but he also plays on four special teams, so that's almost like you gain four starting spots.

At Oregon, your mantra, it's pretty well known, was win the day. Can you just talk about how you arrived at that in your own words?

COACH KELLY: Just about embracing the process and that's what it's all about. I think too many people see too far down the road, and you know, it's not  you can talk about championships all you want. But if you don't take care of what you are supposed to take care of today, it really doesn't matter what your long term goal is.

It's just making sure you're focused no matter what your long term goals are, have to be on the short terms, and what can I get accomplished today. Maybe we just weren't smart enough to look long term. We can control and we can control today, and if we do it, go to bed, get up tomorrow and do it again. It's about being consistent with your behavior.

And I think too many times, everybody talks about the big picture, but they neglect to look at what the small picture is, and you know, it's an accumulation of things on a daily basis that gets you to where you are a year from now.

You know it's not  let's not try to jump to a year from now. It's take care of what you can today and what you can control is just today.

On that note, you have ten days between Thursday's game and the following game, and then three games in ten days, what's going to be your schedule after Thursday, and how conscious are you going to be of the three games in ten days?

COACH KELLY: We are conscious of them because we know them, but there's not much  once this starts, there's not much you can do, because you play Monday and then you've got to come back the following Sunday and then you have to come back the following Thursday, so there's not going to be a break time in between.

We'll have a couple days off here, I think Friday and Saturday off, after the game on Thursday, and then, you know, we'll work out, but we really won't start putting our game plan in with our players until the week of. We are going to stay on the same schedule the week of the Redskins, so we are not getting a jump and getting into things on Sunday with those guys. But we are going to work out with them on Sunday.

So that Wednesday  --

COACH KELLY: Yeah, we will try to get back into our normal week, what our normal week would be in terms of getting ready for a Monday game.

Earlier you talked  yesterday in practice, why you were doing an extra day of practice during the week  can you kind of rehash that for us, about why that practice before the game is probably a little more than what NFL teams do in terms of the walk through?

COACH KELLY: It's just makes sense to us. It's what we did. It's what worked for us at other places I've been. We are just going to stick to that schedule. I'm going to do what works for us, just because someone else does it one other way doesn't mean that that's the way it should be done.

You're big obviously on your players being healthy and what to eat, how sleep, etc. So I assume that even though the extra day, there's going to be something that's going to  there's going to be less compensation for overworking them that extra day?

COACH KELLY: You lost me.

Are you going to practice as hard each day?

COACH KELLY: No, I mean obviously  

Less and less  

COACH KELLY: You temper as you get closer to game day. That's a consistent message in terms of how you want to do it.
But I know the way we practice at Oregon, I would argue we were the freshest team on almost every day we played because we have a pretty good understanding of how it's supposed to work. So that's what we base it on.

Who is going to start at safety on Thursday?

COACH KELLY: That's a good question. I haven't  we haven't sat down and finalized that. I know what's available. There's only a couple guys available.

You said that Patrick Chung is probably  --

COACH KELLY: Pat is not going to play. But he's the only one right now.

Would you rather Earl Wolff and Nate Allen start together or would you rather have them  --

COACH KELLY: I just said this  who do you want to start? Do I care who starts? No. I never have. That part's  and I know it's a phenomena of who starts, but who plays the second snap, who plays the most snaps, that's the part that's the most important. I've always been like that. I don't care what  you can be the sixth man from the Boston Celtics, you play more than the starter; you want to be the sixth man or the starter? You walk out, we don't introduce you as an individual. So it doesn't matter to me who starts. Just matters who plays well.

Matt Barkley, this is the last we will see him play a game for a while, probably won't get reps once the season starts, how is a guy like that continuing to improve and progress when he's not getting  --

COACH KELLY: I think Billy Lazor has done a pretty good job there. His career of developing quarterbacks, and that's a big thing, what is your game plan when your guys are not playing because that's the one position where you're not going to play, barring an injury, you're not going to play multiple guys out.

We've talked about it and what his plan is for Matt and for Nick [Foles] if we kept going and Mike [Vick] stays healthy, you've got a couple of guys that you've got to really make sure that they are on top of their game, and it's hard, because they don't get those reps and it's not like you can throw them in a scrimmage situation because you're always scrimmaging during the week, you are always planning for your next opponent. There's a plan in place from how much we are throwing what days we are throwing on with those guys to continue to develop them.

But the alternative isn't a tasty alternative, either, it's, hey, let's get them a lot of game reps. If they are getting a lot of game reps, that means your starting quarterback is out.

Has a decision been made with the 75-man roster, you have one spot left to release?

COACH KELLY: Howie is working on that right now so we'll have it pared down by 4 [pm].

Is there any appreciation for what Rex Ryan is going through with the quarterback thing with the Jets right now? It's been all over the news, he's kind of back and forth, a lot of questions, can you just relate to that frustration?

COACH KELLY: No. I mean, there's 32 of us, everybody has got things they have got to deal with and I don't look at what one guy has or another guy compared to anybody. So not our issue.

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