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Quotes: Kelly on Reynolds

Posted May 10, 2014

Did this kid [Ed Reynolds] transfer from Oregon?

CHIP KELLY: No, we broke the streak. We did not recruit him. He played against us, yeah. Very good football player. Actually, son of former Patriot linebacker, Ed Reynolds. Big, physical, 6'1", 207, extremely intelligent. He’s another high football IQ guy. Will do a good job in terms of what we're looking for in the safety and quarterback of the defense back there getting us lined up and putting us in the right positions. Could have gone back for another year at Stanford and chose to come out. I think he probably would have been picked a little higher if he went back for another year, because he had an injury and missed a year, I think. He played as a freshman and then missed a year. Really happy to get him. Enjoyed him. He was a kid we brought on a top 30 visit. Got a chance to see him, sit down and talk football. I know our defensive coach is really happy with him.

Is it a coincidence that you have drafted many players with NFL bloodlines?

KELLY: Half brother of it's like six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon? I mean, it's probably a coincidence, I think. He's obviously the one thing about him is he's grown up around the game. You know, you can sense that when you're around him. I think that's the one thing about it is how much he really loves playing football. Physical, hard nosed. What you're looking for. Again, like I said earlier, I think if he would have gone back, he would have been drafted higher in next year's draft. So we really feel good about getting him.

Was the 2012 film different than the 2013 film? Because he was a big time player in 2012.

KELLY: Yeah, I think there are ebbs and flows. Depends on which games you look at. I think when you're picking guys on this day, there's going to be something. There is maybe not a consistency in terms of play. Some games are better than certain games against different people. There is just a little more up and down. I think when it's really clean every time you put the tape on, those are the guys that probably get picked a little higher.

How was he used most often? Was he back, free safety?

KELLY: He did both. That is the one thing. They run a three four scheme at Stanford and they do a really good job of it. Derek Mason is the head coach at Vanderbilt and had run their defense for the years that Ed was there. So it's a pretty complicated scheme. It's an NFL scheme. Obviously, with David Shaw being there and David has an NFL background in him. So I think that's the other thing about him is I think he was really exposed to a really, really good defensive system at Stanford, so that's going to help him transition to the NFL a little easier than some other guys.

Did he cover tight ends and slot receivers?

KELLY: He did it all for him. That's another thing. Sometimes it's tough when you're evaluating some guys on film, because you see their athletic ability, but you're not sure how it's going to translate when you see people that run similar schemes to what are run at this level and what Stanford does it helps in your evaluation because you're not guessing or projecting. You say, here's evidence that he's done it.

How do you balance who it's best to go with when you have a lot of depth at that position?

KELLY: We can't win, can we? No matter what position we pick. If I took an offensive player, you guys don't take any defensive players. Now we're taking defensive players and we're taking too many. I don't think we have a lot of depth at safety, to be honest with you.

You have six safeties?

KELLY: That's six, but we have to have 90 to go to camp. We had more last year. I look at it as we lost Pat, we lost Coleman, and we lost Colt Anderson. So we replaced with Jenkins and we replaced with Maragos, we're still down one the way we look at it. We carried five safeties last year on our 46 active roster. So we only have five right now. So obviously there is going to be competition. There is going to be a battle behind Malcolm and Nate and how Earl fits into it. Those three guys are a little more established. How does Chris fit in? You don't know. But I don't think it's one position that there are certain positions if it you said depth, I would say I think we have depth at quarterback. I felt like we had depth at running back. It was a real conscious effort looking at the safety position in terms of being able to get someone in there. And he's really body type 6'1, 207 fits with what you're looking for for an NFL safety.

What kind of scouting report did he get from Zach Ertz on Reynolds?

KELLY: Yeah, I think they obviously trained I think David does a good job with a lot of those Stanford kids. Zach was going back to Stanford to work out. And there were a bunch of kids in this draft that were working out. Obviously they've got a tremendous program out interest and has been highly, highly successful. So a lot of the guys in the area, I know Zach and Ed are good friends. Probably competed against each other a lot, just on one on ones and in practice. So Zach had really good things to say about him.

When you look at the safety depth now --

KELLY: No, we may still take another one. We're still looking. As this thing winds up, we knew going into it if we picked up an extra pick, we were going to draft six or seven guys and we had to get another 15, 16 free agent type guys in here. We had 68 on the roster, so we have to bring us to 22 to get us to 90. That is the rest of the day, in terms of us getting aligned to see who doesn't get picked today. We've got one more opportunity to select a player, and then go out and find the Jake Knotts, and the Matt Tobins of the world that made our team last year as free agents so we can create some competition.

Looking at the guys you have in this draft so far in free agency with respect to your special teams, how much better do you how much better do you feel about your special teams right now than maybe at the end of last year?

KELLY: Well, we do feel better. It was an emphasis. I think people can tell by the additions that we've made. But that was a real conscious decision of us that we had to upgrade really our coverage units in terms of how we were doing things. We felt like with Nolan Carroll, Chris Maragos and Bryan Braman, with some of these guys that we drafted that that's really going to help us. At times when we're looking at players especially today, we usually have a dot on their tag that from their tag so that the person with the dot is going to be a core special teams player in terms of our opinion. So far with the decisions that we're making, we're erring that way. If there are two guys that are equal and this guy's a better teams player, we're going to take the guy that's the better teams player.

Is he in the same situation as Ertz was last year when it comes to participating in mini camps?

KELLY: I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet. I don't know if he's graduated or hasn't graduated yet.

It says here he's returning for the spring quarter.

KELLY: Yeah, on the quarter system, I don't know when it ends for him. He could fall into that though. There are five schools. I think it's Oregon, Oregon State.

They said he does.

KELLY: He's got to go back? Okay.

So is that a concern at all? Because you had mentioned Ertz there was catch up time last year with him. Is that a concern for you?

KELLY: Those are the rules. We'll deal with them. With technology nowadays, you're allowed to Skype and talk to those guys. They're just not going to be here and obviously he'll be behind. But Zach got through it. But the rules are the rules, and there is nothing you can do about it.

You spoke about the benefit of Oregon guys, and I think Jimmie Johnson kind of did the same thing in his first few drafts, taking players that he knew and recruited. Can you talk a little bit about that process? Do you go into any of these drafts thinking that I have some of the guys in my head that I saw over all these years and if I have the opportunity and it's the right round, I'm going to try to go get them?

KELLY: No, I don't look at it that way, but I do believe I have a knowledge because I've seen them in person. So I can weigh in on them with not just, hey, my evaluation of them on tape is this. I've got a chance to see a few of the guys that we've taken live. But it's not a let's take him because I saw him live over let's take him. We're still going to go through the whole process and let everybody weigh in. There's never been an instance where, hey, I feel this way about him but everybody else feels this way. They don't think he's as good as I think he is, but we're taking him anyway because I know him. It's really a big, collaborative effort in terms of that. But I think it's a benefit that not only myself but some of the assistants and a lot of the guys in the NFL, Pat [Shurmur], Billy [Davis], [Dave Fipp] and all those guys. But I can defer to guys in the SEC with Jeff Stoutland because he came from Alabama and played against him. He may know something about him. I know he weighed in on Bennie Logan because he had to coach against Bennie Logan. So it was firsthand knowledge. What was it like when you were game planning at Alabama and you were going to play against someone like that? So I just think it is helpful to us from that standpoint. But it's not the whole narrative is that we're going to take the guys we know just because we know them. I didn't know anything about Jordan. Didn't really know anybody who coached him, but he stands up and takes it, same thing with Marcus Smith. We didn't have inside knowledge. I know I had a great conversation with Charlie Strong about Marcus, but same thing. It helps, but there's not one reason that everybody's a pick. There can't be one thing that you circle back to all the time.

You said yesterday at this point, you asked the other guys, you know what you think and you kind of defer to that. But do they bounce it back with here's the guy that we're thinking about? Do they come back and then defer to you to make and support the decision?

KELLY: No. I don't think when people I guess when guys make decisions after or what they put a film grade on them they don't come back and say what did you think of my grade? The grade is the grade from that standpoint. I think it is good that we have so many different people that we'll get a chance to look at him because you're going to have outliers. Somebody's going to be high. Somebody's going to be low. You usually get into the ballpark and when you put them together, you get a cumulative decision in terms of where these guys are.

On the pre draft visit, what did you decipher from that visit that you didn't know from film?

KELLY: From film? Most things, football intelligence. You can look at film and you're making an evaluation of this is how he breaks on the ball, this is how he does this, this is how he does that. Why is he doing that way? What was he taught? Sometimes you can say boy, this kid's playing really close to the line of scrimmage. Well, maybe he was taught to play really close to the line of scrimmage. When guys can give it to us and give it back, we put their tape on and spend a lot of time watching them on film and explain to us what you're doing here. So it gives you a better chance to evaluate them. What were you asked to do on this play, and you watch and execute it. Because sometimes, and that's where I, myself struggle with it, and I don't know how people do it. Well, the left tackle got beat inside. Well, it was slide protection, he doesn't have inside. The guy on film rating him has your left tackle gave up a sack. He didn't give up a sack. It was protection. When the guy went inside, the left tackle looked like he didn't do the right job, but it was the left guard that didn't do the right job. So sometimes when you get a chance to sit down and watch film with him, it really clears up the picture for you and gives you a better understanding of it. I think when we put tape on with Jaylen and with Ed, it was amazing their recall of what they were doing. You could tell how sharp they were from a football standpoint. Jordan Matthews, I think Jordan Matthews blew us away from that standpoint. Jordan Matthews could tell you the play that was being run before he ran it. We'd have the tape and he'd look at the screen and say that is the Ole Miss game. I remember this. It's 3rd and 13, here's the play call. I ran a dig. You hit play and that's exactly what happened.

He watched the whole Eagles film?

KELLY: Yeah, he had a notebook and broke down four of our games and came in with questions for us. I think the interview process can tell you a lot about it. You may have a guy show up here and say what do you know about the Eagles? Well, not much.

A lot of times it's no different than you're going to pick a job at Google or Liberty Mutual or a newspaper. What do you know about our company? Nothing. How excited is the employer about hiring this guy? Where is he with it? You know, when the guys that we had, we had Jaylen in here, we had Ed in here, we had Marcus in here. We had Taylor in here. Taylor was more we knew about him. Brought Taylor back for a physical, re check. Who else did we have? I think almost everybody we picked we had in here in 30 visits. Josh didn't come, but we went to him and got a pretty good understanding of him. The same process we do when they come here is what we do when we go there too. So if we know we're not going to get them in on the 30, we need to get that taken care of on the road with those guys.

You talk about the intelligence being five of the six have already graduated. Stanford guy hasn't graduated, Vanderbilt graduate, et cetera. How much weight do you guys put on the Wonderlic?

KELLY: I don't put much into it. I don't think that we've studied it. We've seen guys that have a great understanding of things and don't put a correlation. I think there are other ways to judge that. So that's not though there are some guys that have been really high. But their football intelligence isn't what it needs to be. There are other guys that when you say boy, he's got a low test score, but you meet with him and go to the campus and talk to the academic support people about what he's like because the Wonderlic is a timed test. Sometimes you meet a guy and find out that untimed he could have done this. It's no different than the S.A.T. It's not a huge thing for us. It's really the meetings, sitting down and visiting with them and finding out how they can process things. Part of our interview process is we teach them things and they have to give it back to us. Like they are a rookie sitting in the room, here's a coverage, here's a route, here's a protection scheme, and you can find out the give and take that they'll give back to you from that standpoint.

But the intelligence part from everybody in the league is the same way. I still think Jimmy Johnson in the football life talked about that all the time, that he didn't want dumb players. I need to get smart guys. I think it just makes things so much easier for you in terms of coaching, and you don't have to change things. Like, hey, we can't do this because they can't process it.

Understanding that it's a collaborative effort, the draft process, a decision needs to be made between two players who have the same grade. Is that you who makes the final decision?

KELLY: We haven't really gotten there. I think everybody wants to know that like really what happens in there. But it never gets to that point. I think we look at it, analyze it, and kind of come to the same conclusion. But I haven't yet sat there and I want him and he wants him and then, you know, are we going to box for it? You know what I mean? It just hasn't gotten there. I think we can sit down and reason with it. But we disagree a lot, and I think that's a good thing. This isn't a building of yes men. We really go through it and then we'll ask questions. Well, tell me your view. Why do you feel this way about him? And maybe I didn't think of it that way. Have you ever looked at him like this? I think his value here is bigger than that value there. We've come to logical conclusions on it. But since I've been here, I know it's only year two, but have we gotten to a point where we're adamant about one and Howie is adamant about another, it hasn't worked that way. I don't know if we get to that point what's going to happen, but we haven't gotten there.

Who would win?

KELLY: I could beat him. (Laughing).

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