COACH KELLY: "Happy Thanksgiving. What we got?"
Q. The pace for
COACH KELLY: "It would be really cool if he could, I'll tell you that."
Q. What would be realistic?
COACH KELLY: "I don't look at it that way. Never have. Never will. I mean, we were on pace after six games to be unbelievable. And then we had two games where we didn't do anything offensively.
"I say it all the time and I don't mean to we've got a one game season, we are playing the Arizona Cardinals and that's all we're concerned with."
Q. We talked to Bruce Arians yesterday during a conference call and he was asked about the read option and he said it's a great college offense and said that up here, the fact that it exposes the quarterback to hits probably makes it more of a college offense than a pro. Just interested obviously as someone who uses it as a part of his offense, what do you think of that comment?
COACH KELLY: "I don't think it's an offense. I think it's a play. And we don't run read option if you want to get really technical.
"We run a zone read play every once in awhile. It's like saying our offense is a power offense because we run the power play; or the old Green Bay Packers, their offense was the Green Bay sweep offense and it isn't.
"Everybody's got a bunch of plays they run offensively, whether everybody's got a quick game, everybody's got screen, everybody's got drop back, everybody's got out of pocket, power, counter, inside zone. I never looked at it as an offense."
Q. Do you find still the plays that involve the quarterback running, there's still resistance to them in the NFL by coaches that have been around for a long time?
COACH KELLY: "I don't really think about what other coaches that have been around, whether they have been around for one year or ten years what they think. Our staff puts together a plan that we think is going to be successful that week and that's all we concern ourselves with."
Q. What is the difference between read option and zone read?
COACH KELLY: "Zone read is just one guy. You read the defensive end or whomever and keeping it. If you're running read option, you're pulling off of him and then you have a pitch back and then you pitch back the ball."
Q. The way the 49ers run it, is that similar to the way you guys do it?
COACH KELLY: "No. They have three guys in the backfield with two tight ends and they run it from a pistol formation. So I think it's very different from what we do. Same thing I think what the Redskins do is very different from what we do."
Q. Do you find that you use it less with Nick?
COACH KELLY: "I find we use it depending on what the defense is deployed and how they are doing it.
"I know Nick picked up a couple of critical third downs in the Green Bay game for us and picked up a couple of critical third downs in the Redskins game for us but we don't use it as much as people think we use it.
"About ten years ago when everybody started, we played a game when I was at New Hampshire, running plays out of the shotgun, and every play we ran, everybody yelled draw. Well, because ten years ago whenever you handed out of the shotgun; it was a draw. Didn't matter if it was sweep or power or counter or zone or whatever. It was a draw. It's however you want to label it."
Q. Did you run more of that at Oregon with the three guys?
COACH KELLY: "No, I didn't do any of that. No, that's not what we do. We're a spread out team."
Q. Quarterbacks get hit in the pocket and injured all the time. Do you think it's inaccurate for people to assume that a quarterback is more likely to get injured on a read option play than he might on another play?
COACH KELLY: "I think basically to answer I don't care what other people think. It doesn't bother me. I mean, to spend time for me to think about what someone else thinks is counter to anything I've ever believed in my life. If I believe what other people think, then that means I value their opinion more than I value my own.
"Quarterbacks get hurt in practice, quarterbacks get hurt running out of bounds and quarterbacks get hurt when the blitz hits them and they don't recognize it. I don't look at it that way and I've never looked at it that way."
Q. Is naming an offense, like the San Francisco West Coast offense, is that a dated idea? Is that just not the way things are done anymore?
COACH KELLY: "I don't know how things are done. I keep I try to say this all the time. Here is our offense. We run the See Coast offense. If we see something and we like it and we think it fits, we're going to run it. The Philadelphia Eagles run the See Coast offense; let's run that today and we'll go from there."
Q. Are you comfortable with the way Nick was protecting himself, particularly in the last game? He's kind of, never has been a running quarterback, and maybe he's not now, but when he gets in open space.
COACH KELLY: "Yeah, we've always prepared the same thing. We preach touchdown, first down, get down. I've said it since the day we've got here and it's the same thing I've talked about when we were at Oregon and it's the same thing I talked about when we were at New Hampshire. I think it's a big deal in terms of your quarterback, if they are running, no matter who they are and I don't care if you run off a scramble.
"If you take off when everybody is in man coverage and you can gain the first down, we need to get a first down to keep the drive alive and that's a big deal for us.
"One of the big plays that occurred in the Saints Cardinals game earlier in the year was everybody was covered and Drew Brees ran it in. And as smart as Drew is, instead of hook sliding, because if he hooked slide, he would have been down at the one; he dove at the one and scored a touchdown.
"I think it's just making good decisions no matter who you are or what play you call. If you're a quarterback in the open field, you have to know what you can get, what you can't get. I don't think any coach in the NFL or college wants a quarterback taking hits unless you have that Tim Tebow type that you're running power, and Tim Tebow is usually delivering the blow, not accepting the blow."
Q. How do you think Nick has done against the blitz?
COACH KELLY: "I think Nick's done a really good job against the blitz. I think it's one of his strengths, because I think he's intelligent and he's got a really good understanding of what we're doing. You know, a lot of it starts up front with us setting protections and making sure we're all on the same page but I think Nick overall has done a good job against the blitz."
Q. How do you use tempo? Does tempo discourage teams from blitzing as much or making it more difficult for them to set up their blitzes?
COACH KELLY: "Just depends on how defenses, how much they practice against it and what they do and how they handle it.
"I think most of the time this year, teams have practiced against it because it's more prevalent in this league now and so I think teams are defensively doing more to keep their packages in there and they can still run them. So I have seen when we have tempoed people, they have still blitzed us."
Q. The offensive line has played together all year. What's that stability meant to the offense and what you're able to do?
COACH KELLY: "I think it's just overall for any position, if you continue. We've had the same three receivers. We've had the same tight end.
"I think whenever you continue to play and when you have starters with games lost, I think it's always a difficult deal just because of the preparation part of it and getting guys ready to play in games. With the limited amount of snaps that you have during the week in practice, to try to get someone else ready and prepared to play at game speed with people, especially in a position like the offensive line, when the guy next to you, you know, there's a lot of calls being made. A lot of times, you've been next to each other so long, they are assumed. Like we've seen this 30,000 times so we know how we are blocking this.
"If you get a new guy in there, there's that experience factor and the more experience you have, the more comfortable you get with the people around you, the easier it becomes for you. It's a huge thing for us, not only in the o line but a lot of our positions because we haven't lost many guys, especially starters to injuries that have had them out. It's really helped us."
Q. Foles has only had one ball batted down at the line. Do you see some sort of direct correlation to what he did in the preseason in training camp with the fly swatters and has that helped him?
COACH KELLY: "I think it helps because it just gets them to understand throwing lanes and that you just can't let it rip no matter what. There are defensive linemen that are going to be over there and that's part of the problems with the drill itself in seven on seven is your quarterback can get into that comfort zone where he's got to get the ball off. He can't hold it that long, but yet you're not rushing him.
"So how do you get really good work on routes and timing and reading coverage and all those other things without doing everything 11 on 11 all the time? We just feel like it's added to it. I think it's helped a little bit."
Q. Do you expect everyone be healthy enough to play except for
COACH KELLY: "As of today, yeah. Everybody's gone full. I'm pretty consistent. I'm going to answer it the same way. We have three more days of training. If we had to play a game today, everybody would be eligible to go except for Earl."
Q. When you look at Bill Davis's tenure as defensive coordinator in Arizona and the last year specifically, the numbers were not great but
COACH KELLY: "I didn't look at numbers."
Q. Okay. Well then what did you look at from his time there
COACH KELLY: "I didn't look at his time there. I looked at what does he know from a football standpoint, how intelligent is he and what type of teacher is he and that's what I look at.
"I think people get so caught up in statistics that sometimes it's baffling to me. You may look at a guy and say, ‘Well, they were in the bottom of the league defensively.’ Well, they had 13 starters out. They should be at the bottom of the league defensively. Is that Billy's fault? I don't know what it was but I don't look at it that way. That's not been my mindset.
"I hired (former Oregon offensive coordinator and current Oregon head coach) Mark Helfrich as our offensive coordinator when I was at the University of Oregon. Their numbers were not great at Colorado. But you sit down and talk football with Helf for about ten minutes, he's a pretty sharp guy and really brought a lot to the table and he's done an outstanding job. He's now the head coach at Oregon. People get caught up in that.
"A lot of times as a coach, you may have a great player. Whoever coached Adrian Peterson, is that the best running back coach in the country? I don't know. I've got to meet him. He could actually be. But let's find out what he teaches and what he does.
"But some of it, you're teaching to what you have available to you and sometimes that's something that I consider. So I'm not a big I don't look at the statistics part of it and say, ‘Hey, we need to get that coach.’ Sometimes, honestly, if you look at statistics, you need to get that player."
Q. When practicing inside, how is the lack of space affecting you? What have you been able to do to compensate for that?
COACH KELLY: "I think we're fine because when we are doing all of our group work, we're on the field. I think we have to compensate a little bit – obviously, you'd like it to be a little bit bigger but you can adjust. Your kicking game suffers just because of the ceiling, but you've got a 60 yard field, so we don't if we are throwing the ball, we still have enough room to throw the ball down the field. We've got everybody cleared off in those situations so I think we're fine."
Q. Seems like
COACH KELLY: "I think Bryce is doing a really good job when called upon. I think the difference between this year and last year is that ‘25’ [
"But I think he's had some big plays for us when we've called upon him. I think when he has a limited amount of carries like he has, when he does slip, I think it's over-amplified. If he had 20 carries in a game and slipped on one, you don't really talk about the slip. When he has three carries in the game, and slips on one, you kind of think about the slip. I think it's more his numbers are not what they were a year ago but I think it's because we are healthy at the other spots."