Is defense in the NFL dead?COACH KELLY: I would say the answer to your question, and I will answer it now, if you look at Tampa Bay's scores I would say they're not dead. They're 13‑10, 16‑14, 18‑17, 23‑3. I think that was a hell of a game [Dallas vs. Denver] from what I understand. I didn't see it. But I don't think you can look at that one game and say that. I think there's some teams playing some really good defense right now.
COACH KELLY: Yeah. You know, he went through yesterday. We want to see how he rebounds. He went through everything full yesterday, so how does he rebound today, is there any residual effect from it, so today is a big day for Pat.
Things have been a little bit messy for the Bucs record wise and with the change in the quarterback. How do you look at that team this weekend?
COACH KELLY: That's easy, put the tape on. That team plays extremely hard. Defensively they fly around. I just mentioned it earlier, they haven't given up many points, and when you look at the Saints are undefeated and they won with a field goal right at the end of the game, every team they've played has a winning record. It was a last‑second field goal. The Cardinals game was a last-second field goal and the Jets game. It's just look at the tape and see how hard they play.
I think their running back is outstanding, [Doug] Martin is outstanding. They've got some really good receivers. I think Mike Glennon is a good quarterback. We looked at him coming out last year. They've got an outstanding offensive line, defense is good, special teams is good. You don't really get caught up, I think, when you're evaluating who you're playing by what's written, all that other stuff, because when you look at the tape there's some really good football players over there.
How much work did Mike Vick do yesterday?
COACH KELLY: Mike got through all individuals and got a little work in seven on seven, so we'll see if he can expand on that today. We'll get a feel when he gets down there and starts running around.
Do you get a feel from Mike that he is improving, that this could happen on Sunday?
COACH KELLY: I get a feel from Mike that he is improving, and I just go day by day, and I'm on Thursday.
Did you get a sense of where he is today? How did he come out of yesterday?
COACH KELLY: He said he felt good. I talked to him in the weight room. Thursday is a lifting day for us, and he said he felt good, but we'll see what happens when we go and get warmed up today.Making that decision on Sunday between Vick and
COACH KELLY: I don't dictate. I would be fine with no one ever getting hurt any time and then I don’t have to make any decisions.
How late can you make the decision, I guess?
COACH KELLY: 12:59.
COACH KELLY: No, I mean, really, we'll see how it is as we go into it. Again, we're never going to put [Mike] in harm's way and we're always going to do what's best for the team. The good thing is we still have three full days. We've got Thursday, Friday and Saturday of training to really get a full evaluation of where we are with this whole thing.
How much will you listen to Mike in that process? Obviously he wants to play, but do you go by the trainers, go by Mike, a combination?
COACH KELLY: I go by all of it but we certainly have to listen to the player because he's going to be able to tell you. First and foremost if he tells you he can't go, you're not going to say the trainers say you can go so you're going. The other way around, you have to know who you're dealing with. But Mike has been honest, Mike will give you kind of where he is and how it feels. He's been that way so far, so we'll see as we get closer to game time where we are with it.
Have you seen enough from Nick Foles in a short period of time to believe that he can be a starter in this league for 16 games?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I have. I've said that before. I think Nick has the ability to be a starter in this league, and we're excited about him. If the opportunity presents itself on Sunday then I am excited to see Nick out there. I thought he did a great job in the second half, getting us down the field, especially the first drive at the end of the first half against the Giants, putting us into field goal range. I'm excited about Nick, and I think he can be a starter in this league. I said that when we made the decision that it felt like you need to have two quarterbacks and I feel like we do have two quarterbacks.
You've coached a lot of different quarterbacks over your career. Do they have different internal clocks based on their physical abilities, if you know what I mean? People talk about ‑‑
COACH KELLY: Ability to wake up in the morning or ‑‑
No, you know what I mean, in terms of timing, knowing when to release or being willing to release the ball ‑‑
COACH KELLY: It depends on what you're calling, I've said that all along. What plays are you calling and what are you doing. I don't think you can put a clock on a quarterback the entire game and say it's out, it's not out. If you're calling a seven‑step drop with max protection and trying to throw a post route 35 yards down the field, it's not going to come out as quick as a quick slant.
Right, what I mean is do certain guys have characteristics that either it's weaned into them because of their abilities or not in terms of the willingness to do that? You can call anything you want. The way they operate in their minds based on their physical abilities. I would think you have analyzed all of this.
COACH KELLY: I'm lost on the question. I'm still thinking about waking up in the morning. (Laughter.)
COACH KELLY: No.
Were you aware that his arm was bothering him, or is it something that he didn't ‑‑
COACH KELLY: Yeah, that he wasn't fully healed from when he got hurt in the UCLA game? Yeah, we were aware of that.
Where do you think he is now in terms of the shoulder and his progress?
COACH KELLY: We've seen him get stronger and stronger as he's been there. His arm is a lot stronger than when he first got here, but we could tell that. He got here and started to do some things from a rehab standpoint with our guys in the strength and conditioning program, and he'll be the first to tell you that they did a really good job he felt like after spending at least just two, three, four weeks with our guys in the strength and conditioning that his arm felt better, and you could see that from the first time we had him in mini‑camp to when we had him in the OTAs in June that the ball was jumping off his hand a little different than when he was here in May.
Your Saturday practices, what are they like? It's not just a walk‑through, correct?
COACH KELLY: No, it's not. We do a lot of special teams work and then we do a lot of situation work offensively and defensively kind of going up and down the field, throwing the ball full speed, timing routes, things like that. We're not out there very long. We practiced for an hour and eight minutes on Saturday, but we're moving. It's not a walk‑through.
So that's still a day that you would use to evaluate the quarterbacks?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, because we're throwing the ball and receivers are running routes at full speed, so that's another day for us to get a set of eyes on Mike, on Nick, on whoever it is on that day.The Bucs run out of a very heavy package, use a lot of two‑back, sometimes two tight ends, sometimes extra tackles. Have you played yet a team that does that similarly, and how does that make you adjust defensively?
COACH KELLY: You've got to treat the extra tackle like a tight end. We've played some three tight end sets. The guy is eligible so you still have to cover him, if he declares eligible, not that they're going to throw it to him, but you can't say, hey, we're just not going to cover that guy at all. It's like trying to face 13 personnel teams. We've seen that, and we can simulate that in practice because we do have three tight ends and we have four tight ends so we can simulate those looks for that guys or we can bring in an offensive line that can simulate that form.
Do teams have trouble getting to Doug Martin because he tends to be a little ‑‑ he's shorter and he's fast and he's got big offensive linemen in front of him? Is that the challenge is trying to get off those big guys to get to the little guy?
COACH KELLY: No, I think they've got a good scheme in terms of how they do it. Obviously it starts with them up front, I think, no matter who you are. If you're got a good offensive line that's going to help you. He's a powerful runner. He is kind of difficult to get to, but I think it's part of their scheme and their design in terms of how they do it.
The fact that
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I don't think the starting matters, it just matters how many reps he's getting, and I think he's gotten a lot more reps, especially with Pat being out. Whether he plays the first play of the game or he plays the next 80 of the game, it's that experience, and I think they're all byproducts of their experience, and the longer they get out there, the more times they get to see things, the more times, I've seen this before, I recognize this pattern coming out, it's a benefit to them. That's the difference between a rookie and a second year player and a third year player. Do you learn from those experiences, and that's one thing with Earl and all of our rookies, I think they have done a really good job of learning on the job. The difficult thing you have to live with is that they're learning on the job. It's that they don't have that experience. They don't have two years in the league, three years in a league, four years in a league that they can kind of call back on, when I've seen this bunch formation I know what the route combination is going to be. They may have studied it, they may have seen it on tape, but until they kind of see it where it becomes a natural response to do this instead of maybe sometimes you're half a second slow, getting to where you're supposed to be, that's where that experience is helping him. He's obviously in a better spot today than he was three weeks ago, but that's what the deal is all about when you're a young player in this league.
COACH KELLY: I think Bryce has been productive when he's been in there. I know he's a physical threat when he has the ball in his hands because he just runs so hard. I think sometimes he's had a couple times where he just couldn't get going, couldn't get started or he's a hair away from getting it turned and getting around the corner and getting going, but we still have a ton of confidence in Bryce, and I think we've got three backs that we feel pretty confident in with LeSean [McCoy], Bryce and Chris [Polk].
What can Vick do right now and can't do right now as he's recovering here? What is he kind of limited with?
COACH KELLY: Not a good dancer right now. He's got a hamstring. It's whatever you can do with a hamstring. But I think he's done a good job of following the course of what Chris Peduzzi and our strength coaches have for a plan to rehab him. They're not out there ‑‑ I don't look at them right now, they're not running him in full sprints up and down the field on the side field and trying to see if he's okay. It's what can he do and can't he do. I'm not over there for a lot of stuff, especially a lot of that stuff goes on in the rehab process and they're in the weight room and doing those things. But when we were in drills and when he's in practice he's with the quarterbacks. He's going through drops, he's throwing the ball to receivers, and like I said earlier, we got him involved a little bit in seven on seven yesterday, and we'll see if depending on how the beginning of training goes, can we get him into more today or not get him into more today, and all of that really comes back to the feedback that Mike gives us.
When your team is playing a rookie quarterback, what's important?
COACH KELLY: You know, I think what's important is making sure that if we are in disguise situations that we can hold our disguises in terms of trying to get them to think one way and then move to another thing. But really it's not just a rookie quarterback, it's every quarterback, is that we have to be fundamentally sound in what we do. We just can't say, hey, we've got a rookie quarterback so let's try to put all this new stuff in, and I think sometimes that's what gets you in a lot of trouble is you almost out think yourself. We still have to stick to the game plan that we have within the structure of our defense and then make sure we're where we're supposed to be when we're supposed to be there.
How do you plan to use
COACH KELLY: The same as his role has been in the last couple weeks. He's backing up LeSean and got a couple carries in the Giants game depending on how the game dictates itself, and the one thing Chris has done an outstanding job, he's played really, really well for us on special teams and really getting a lot of contributions from him as a wing on our punt team, doing a good job of covering kickoffs. He's the other returner back there deep with Damaris [Johnson]. He's doing a really good job from that standpoint, and then how the game expresses itself, how many snaps we get on offense really dictates how much he'll get. Obviously LeSean is the number one guy, but we got him in early and I think it was in the second quarter against the Giants, and we'll continue to do that as long as we're getting enough reps on offense to do that.