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Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

Posted Sep 2, 2014

On how important the use of the dime package is to the defense: "I think really is depends on what the offense you're facing is going to do.  You get a lot more spread sets and a back, that’s a difficult match up at times.  I think just the more weapons you have obviously on defense to match up to what the offense puts on the field, the better.  So there's going to be some weeks I think maybe you'll see that more than some other weeks just depending on what we're going to face. But it certainly helps to have someone like [CB] Nolan [Carroll II] that knows how to do that."

On what he thinks of the development of LB Marcus Smith II: "He's still developing.  I thought he got better in the last two preseason games.  He obviously played better in the Steelers game and the Jets game than he did in the first two.  You've seen some improvement from him and he's doing a better job setting the edge, turning the plays back in, creating some pressure at the outside linebacker spot from a rush standpoint but still has not really gotten to the quarterback.  He's always done a really good job in the drop aspect but you have to be able to do all three, you have to rush quarterback, set the edge and drop.  So working on two phases of that now."

On how much LB Travis Long's injury affected the team's linebacker situation: "It affected it just because Travis is a versatile player and he played both inside and outside for us and was a four core special team guy for us.  If Travis was not hurt, he would have made our football team.  It the same reason why we don't say who makes the team until after the last preseason game.  You have to deal with what happens in those games and make adjustments in terms of what you have.  I feel bad for him because he worked so hard. He had the same injury to the other knee coming out of college and therefore couldn't go to the [NFL] Combine and missed a couple of [things].  Really came on for us and did a great job for us last year as a practice squad player and really developed, worked extremely hard in the offseason and was putting himself in a position to really contribute here."

On LeSean McCoy's thumb injury: "Everybody is practicing except for [WR Josh] Huff and [T Matt] Tobin.  Everybody is full and I don't think there's any lingering effects on anybody."

On the team's kick returning situation if Josh Huff can't play: "If Huff can't play, Nolan Carroll."

On the pass pressure from the team's starting defensive line: "I feel good about it but we consider [DE] Vinny [Curry] a one when it comes to pass rushing.  You could say some of our nickel packages, Vinny was in with the ones and did some good work and so did [DE] Brandon [Bair].  We'll mix and match those guys in there with the other guys depending on what nickel package Bill is going to put out there.  I'm pleased with where they are going and we are going to need it this week."

On whether he feels good about the defensive line's fit and progress: "Yeah, I do."

On why the team decided to keep only three running backs on the active roster: "We always keep three running backs.  They did it last year until we got an injury and we brought another guy up.  When you only have 46 guys that can go, if you overstock at one position, then you're going to be understocked at another position.  That's just the nature of how the game goes.  We started last year with three running backs."

On whether RB Matthew Tucker's situation was any different, since the Eagles had him on the team last year: "On the practice squad and he's on the practice squad again now.  He was on the practice squad last year because [RB] Chris [Polk] hurt his shoulder so we brought him up.  If we have an injury, Tuck’s on the practice squad again and we'll be able to bring him up."

On whether Chris Polk would be able to do everything in practice Tuesday: "Chris is going to go today.  He may not [do everything], they said he's going.  So that means he's going."

On how he's going to move forward with K Cody Parkey: "Well, I don't have another kicker, so it's not like we're going to put the No. 2 guy in.  So he's going to kick    I'm thinking about today, so he's going to go.  You can be the doomsayer and worry about the negative part of it.  I'm worried about being positive and let's go.  So he's our kicker."

On the difference between evaluating a specialist's mental toughness against evaluating a positional player's mental toughness: "Yeah, I think it's different by the position you play.  I think obviously a kicker isn't going to stick his face in there and knock people down.  There's a different type of mentality to it.  It is different by position, yeah."

On his excitement level for Sunday: "We are excited and we think the preseason counts, so I think every chance you get a chance to compete against another team, it counts.  But obviously it's year two and we have a bunch of guys that have been around us and we have been around them so you feel like you're a little bit closer in terms of what we are trying to get accomplished.  But you're excited to get going here.  They are for real.  They count."

On what's different entering this year, his second year, compared to last year: "I just think there's a comfort level because you've been around the guys longer and you have a better understanding of what they are about.  But I mean, it's still the same schedule, the same routine, we do the same things similar."

On whether there is a higher level of comfort this year: "Yeah."

On what he knows about Nick Foles now that he didn't know a year ago: "What do I know about him?  Philosophical day?  I mean, he's a hell of a competitor.  He doesn't get frazzled very easily.  Nothing really bothers Nick.  I think that's an outstanding quality that he has is whether it's throwing 27 touchdowns and two interceptions, he's the same guy every single day when he comes out here whether we played really, really well the week before or we didn't play so well the week before.  I think that's a real interesting quality.  You never knew what you had a year ago just because he had not been in games and didn't get a chance to see him test it.  I think his ability to handle both praise and blame, I think is an admirable quality for a quarterback to have."

On whether there's a connection between Kelly's tenure and the team's collective age: "Do old people beat up young people?  Ask Bernard Hopkins.  I don't know.  It's just, we are trying to get the 53 best players out there and that's kind of how it fell."

On whether he was being sarcastic when he discussed LeSean McCoy's practice habits: "I have never been sarcastic in an interview here.  I didn't understand the question.  I didn't understand the question and I wanted to get on the practice field.  [Sarcastically]  He's the best running back practice player I've ever had since I've been here.  [Laughter]"

On whether he challenges LeSean McCoy: "I don't challenge him.  I think he challenges himself.  I think he has standards and goals and aspirations that he wants to achieve, and he understands that the way he's going to achieve them is that he does have a unique ability that the goals and aspirations that he has, they are attainable.  A lot of people can say they want to lead the NFL in rushing but not everybody has the God given ability to do it, and he does.  If he’s going to set goals and aspirations for himself, he has to go out and work for it and I think he really understands that.  He had an outstanding offseason and came to camp in the best shape of his life and training every single day out here.  I think he realizes this is the prime part of his career.  He's no longer a young player and he's in the meat of his career right now and he'd better take full advantage of it so that he doesn't be a woulda, coulda, shoulda guy and look back on it and say, there's a short window sometimes for running backs and he's right in the middle of it right now and I think he's taking full advantage of it."

On why Nolan Carroll II would replace Josh Huff as kick returner and not Darrenn Sproles: "The way we're doing things from a return standpoint. I think the way Nolan hits things, he really fits in terms of what our blocking scheme is right now but you'll see Darren back there.  You asked me who the first guy is.  That doesn't mean it can't be on the second kick if the other guy isn't in there.  [CB Brandon] Boykin could be back there, Brad Smith could be back there.  We have a lot of guys that could return kickoffs."

On how much more Darren Sproles can do: "He can do a lot.  You know, we're excited about him.  Again I've said he's a really talented runner and you'll see him carrying the football, and he's obviously a weapon coming out of the backfield.  So you'll see a lot more out of him."

On whether the team is consciously deep at some positions: "I think it's part of the way guys showed themselves, but really it's the same numbers we kept last year.  We kept four tight ends last year because [TE] Emil [Igwenagu] was up at the beginning of the year. We kept three running backs to start last year, you have six receivers, safeties are down but corners are up but DBs are the same.  We kept five safeties and four corners this year and we kept five corners and four safeties so still nine DBs last year."

On how Matt Tobin's injury affected the offensive line's structure: "They played their way on the team.  Those guys,  we had planned on keeping them just based on their performance.  Had nothing to do with Tobin being hurt or not being hurt.  He's on the active roster and the other guys are on the active roster."

On what stands out about Jacksonville: "There are some unknowns just because they have got a new running back, [T Luke] Joeckel is back, they have [RB] Toby Gerhart playing running back now and they have got some new receivers they brought in through the draft. They’ve improved on the defense, they have [DE] Red Bryant and they have a really good, solid defensive line.  You saw them in the preseason but obviously the preseason is different than the regular season but I think they are a team that's an up and coming team.  I think [Jaguars head coach] Gus [Bradley] did a good job with them. They brought Zane Beadles in from Denver. They did some things in free agency to help them on the offensive side of the ball and obviously Red Bryant is a force on the defensive line.   I think they are a good football team and they have gotten better and I really respect what Gus has done.  Gus has done an outstanding job down there.  He has a blueprint of what to do and he's done a really good job with it.  They are physical on the defensive side of the job and they have some weapons offensively."
On how well he knows [Jaguars head coach] Gus Bradley: "I mean, we have a league meeting in March.  Gus is it a really, really nice guy but besides the league meeting in March, I haven't seen him."

On the QB situation in Jacksonville: "You have film on both.  They have not changed offensively scheme wise when Blake is in there compared to Chad.  Not that they can't, but I think they are similar type guys.  I don't think they are obviously going to come out in the wishbone.  Blake [Bortles] is a legitimate NFL prototypical quarterback, so I don't think that their scheme would change very much but we are not going to go chasing ghosts and saying if this guy is in, we would imagine they would run this offense.  You have to go just based upon what [offensive coordinator] Jedd [Fisch] has done in his career.  The offensive coordinator, he does what his background is."

On Jaguars rookie WR Marqise Lee: "He was on our board, very talented kid and we were really, really high on him.  Had a very, very high grade.  I saw him up close and personal at the times we played USC.  He has a great knack for the deep ball, does a great job of adjusting to it and he's an unbelievable competitor.  Any ball that's thrown he really thinks is his and he's got a great mentality from it.  Really fun kid to be around, got a great work ethic.  I think everybody at USC still just raves about him as a practice player.  He's everything you want and really excited to compete against because I know what type of player he is, and he put up some pretty good numbers on him so hopefully we can shut him down a little bit better in the NFL than I did in college."

On how he evaluates WR Jordan Matthews going into the regular season: "Just excited.  I think he's one of those guys that you see every day, he's kind of like a sponge. He just wants to get better.  He's always trying to figure out new things, what to do.  He's that type of guy.  He just wants more and more.  I think the biggest thing with Jordan, there's some other guys on the team that are like him, is that we have to make sure that we manage him because he's got such a high motor, whether it's in the meeting rooms or on the practice field that we have to make sure that he understands that we are playing a 16 game season here.  He's been awesome to coach, real excited about getting a chance to see him in his first game."

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