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Game Vs. Panthers: HC Chip Kelly


After tonight, how do you tell Michael Vick he isn't your starting quarterback?**

COACH KELLY: That's a good question. I thought Mike, you know, put another good game together but we're going to evaluate everything. I thought besides the throwaway that Nick couldn't get out of the end zone, he did a nice job too. I think we have two quarterbacks that can play in an NFL game, so we'll continue to look at it. But you feel better about that situation.

Sometimes I think you get nervous because you don't have anybody, and it's a default decision, but again, I thought both those guys played well. I know Nick wants that throw back. But Mike's got a good grasp of what's going on. So it's a positive for both of those guys. And I thought Matt Barkley did a nice job when he was in there.

So you're saying Nick tried to throw it away, he wasn't trying to force something there?

COACH KELLY: No, he was trying to throw it away, that's what he said.

On those first two drives a lot of those throws were short passes, was that designed?

COACH KELLY: Just depends. I just think it's good decisions to take what the defense gives you. They played off a little bit. Obviously, I think Mike did the same thing. They were playing off of DeSean, so you have to throw the ball underneath at times. But I think both those guys are not forcing it, and that's a good thing. I think if they can let it come to them, and we tell them all the time, you don't have to make it happen, let it happen. So if they're going to let you throw it down, we've got some guy that's can run after the catch. So we can keep, instead of being a one‑play drive for touchdown, it happens to be an eight‑play drive for touchdown, as long as we continue to drive the football. Playing quarterback is about making good decisions. With the exception of the throwaway, he made a good decision, just couldn't execute it. I thought both those guys made good decisions tonight.

On the defensive side of the ball, did you see more of what you were looking for in terms of tackling better, and getting to the ball more effectively?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, part of stopping people is getting everybody to the ball. It's a lot easier to tackle when there are people swarming to the ball. For the most part, we played with really good effort on that side of the ball. So it's a lot easier, when you get four, five, six guys in the picture making tackles, that makes things a little bit better. But I think for all those guys, the game slowed down for everybody. For those guys against a pretty potent offense, they have some pretty good receivers and obviously a talented quarterback.

I think we're all pleased with where the effort is. There is still a lot of work to do in all phases of the game, but from week one to week two, we have to be happy with where they are right now, but we have to build on it. It doesn't mean anything if we don't improve when we get back out on the field on Saturday.

Cary Williams, did you kind of like his attitude?

COACH KELLY: I've always liked Cary's attitude, but the game's got to be played within the whistle. He didn't get flagged or anything. But I've never had any problem with Cary's attitude.

Do you have a quarterback named for the Jacksonville game so they get both the playing time Saturday?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, I'd gonna name Les [Bowen]. He'd be the best at it. You good, Les?

You talked about a guys knowing that it will come to the point where the guys know who the guy is?

COACH KELLY: No, I said I hope that's what happens. I said usually that happens, I didn't say it was going to happen.

Do you feel like that's happened here one way or another?

COACH KELLY: No, we're going to watch the tape. I've told you since day one, we're not going to make any rash decisions. You can put your pens down if you think we're naming a starting quarterback in this room right now.

Foles hasn't stretched the field yet in terms of his playing time. Is that just the play calling?

COACH KELLY: No, I think Nick does a great job of taking what the defense gives him. He's a really good decision maker and doesn't force it. Just to stand back there and show everybody you can throw the ball 70 yards doesn't make you're a good quarterback. It's about completing the ball. Can you take your team, drive them down the field and put them in the end zone? And I think Nick's proven that he can do that.

How do the guys separate themselves, the quarterbacks? How do they in your mind and the coaches' minds separate themselves so you can make that decision?

COACH KELLY: I mean, we're going to make the decision. I think they're doing a great job of making it difficult, because they're both playing at a high level right now. So I look at that as a positive. We've got two guys that can play football in this league. But we're going to have to make a decision. We're not going to sit there and rotate them on every play. So we'll see. You have no idea. One of them may sprain the ankle walking in the parking lot, and then the decision is made. I don't know. I think it's a good situation the way both those guys are playing right now. I think they can move our offense, and that pleases everybody.

Did you see enough of LeSean McCoy?

COACH KELLY: No, LeSean needs to practice, and LeSean needs to play, and he'll be the first to tell you that. So, you know, you're too rusty at times, but obviously, he's extremely talented. But even he said it when he came back. He missed a couple days of practice, and when he's out there, he's kind of off a little bit, because you need to get into rhythm. I think he wanted to play longer tonight, but we have to be smart with him. Is he talented, yeah? But does he need to practice? Yeah, everybody needs to practice, and everybody needs to play.

It looked like Nick had some trouble with the shotgun snap?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, I don't know. I have to look at the film on that one. But that's obviously part of being a good quarterback is being able to secure the football. I don't know. Sometimes it's tough from the vantage point I have - was it the snap or him taking his eyes off of it? But he's got to be able to see the snap in and read the coverage.

What did Mike Vick show you specifically out there?

COACH KELLY: Very accurate and ran really well. He was 8 for 8 until he threw the Hail Mary at the end of the first half. So I thought Mike, again, in two weeks in a row I thought he's made very, very good decisions. I think he can put the ball on people, and obviously, he's a weapon when he takes off and runs.

What was he looking for on the defense from that McCoy touchdown? It looked like he motioned Cooper to the one side. Can you explain what he was doing there for the snap?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, we just called motion, and we could have read it and handed it off. He made a good decision, and handed it off. And he and Cooper carried out their fake on the back side.

How was the defense tonight?

COACH KELLY: They were better than they were a week ago. I thought they tackled better. I thought they did a better job of keeping gap integrity on the defensive side of the ball and making the ball go where we wanted it to. I thought we got to the quarterback a little bit, which was pretty good. It didn't let them get comfortable back there. So, again, I was pleased with them. I think I'll always be pleased in games like this, but you're never going to be satisfied. I think we can always play better.

Did you dial up some pressures from Mychal Kendricks, because you've seen him do it before?

COACH KELLY: I don't think it's just the play calling. I don't think Billy's getting specific of who is in there. I think you saw Acho make a couple plays on the same type of blitz. It's just what they were featuring against Carolina. Depending on who was in. But I don't think. You can ask Billy specifically, but I don't think he's game planning it that we need to get this guy. I think a lot of it is by formation and who is coming and who is not coming.

Do you see a lot skill from Kendricks as a cover linebacker and as a blitzer?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, and I've seen that since we started with him. He's a very, very athletic linebacker, and he's arguably our most athletic linebacker. I think he does possess the ability to blitz the quarterback, but he may be our best cover linebacker. So that is a quandary for you.

Do you want to bring him and create pressure or do you bring the other guys and leave him in coverage? But I think his ability to do both, that versatility is going to be key for us.

On having four ACL injuries this year. You mentioned before you were looking to the first three. I know this one might have been here, do you have any further concern about that going forward?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, you're always concerned with injuries. When it seems to be the same one, you have to look at it. I know they are looking at t but I don't have anything specific to visit with you on. But any time it's the same injury, you have to take a look at it and see if there is some way we can prevent it. If we can prevent it or if it's something to do, we'll obviously look at it. But we are looking at it.

4-tight end sets, had you done that before?

COACH KELLY: We've done it in practice. This is the first time we've done it in a game.

What are you kind of looking for?

COACH KELLY: You look to see how the defense match‑up to you when you put different personnel groupings on the field. We had four receivers on the field also. So I think that's the one thing when people asked us about when we drafted Zack, how are you going to play three tight ends? And I think when you add Clay Harbor to the mix, and I thought [Derek] Carrier had played really well today, and we have a couple of tight ends that we can deploy.
So, again, it's a match‑up game at this level. Sometimes you can put defenses in some binds and some of the things you can do. So I think it speaks to the versatility we have at the tight end position.

In terms of special teams, how are you now with the return game, punt, kick?

COACH KELLY: I think it's just like the defense. I think we're pleased but we're never satisfied. I think we'll continue to work. But I think our players have really adapted to Fipper's [Dave Fipp's] system, and they have a really good understanding of what we do. I think we downed another punt.

Russell Shepard made a great play on kick cover. Damaris had a good punt return, Brandon Boykin had a good kickoff return. So we work at it a lot, and you guys that have been to practice, will tell you that. But it's paying dividends in the first two games.

What about Matt Barkley compared to where he was a week ago?

COACH KELLY: I thought Matt makes very quick decisions. When the ball is out, he did a really good job of moving the football team. I think sometimes it's tough to evaluate the quarterback when it's not his fault that we lineup in an illegal formation or someone's jumping off sides and putting us behind in the count.

I thought Matt moved us, throws an accurate ball, a catchable ball, and he's a really good decision maker.

You guys are rotating the D‑line, is that for valuation purposes or is that how you want to play?

COACH KELLY: It depends on the situation. I think sometimes when the drives get a little bit longer because of the talent level of some of those other guys, there's not a big drop off. Is it a tired Soap [Sopoaga] and Ced [Cedric] and Fletcher [Cox] or a full of energy [Damion] Square and Bennie Logan and what not? I think the ability to have six guys and seven guys that's can rotate through there I think makes you better.

Because they're not rotating offensive linemen, so if you can keep bringing some waves at them, I think in the long haul it's going to pay off. Because it also makes Fletch and Ced and Soap and those guys fresher in the fourth quarter because we've given them some blows early in the game. Instead of saying when the fourth quarter comes around, boy, they're really tired, we need to get the other guys in the game. So it kind of gets them into rhythm.
Part of it is from an evaluation standpoint. You don't know when the guys are playing in the first and second quarter how many snaps they're going to get. We want to make sure we can get them on tape. But in the long run, it's going to pay off. When you have that type of depth, you use it. If you don't have a quality guy at the two‑spot, so to speak, it's tough to have that kind of mindset in terms of let's rotate these guys. But I think we do have some guys, and those young guys are really pushing for playing time. So I think that's going to make us better in the long haul.

Have you determined how you're going to handle the final preseason game in terms of ones and twos? Or next week will what you learn be sort of dependant on that?

COACH KELLY: We haven't gotten to the last game yet. There is some thought process of that. We'll finalize our plan over the next couple days for what our plan is going into the Jacksonville game. Obviously, our ones and twos still need a lot of work. We, by no means, have arrived. We'll get that extensively in the Jacksonville game, and see what we're going to do when we get to the Jets game.

Who starts at quarterback against Jacksonville?

COACH KELLY: I don't know, we haven't talked about that yet. Sorry, Les.

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