Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

Q.  Does DB Eric Rowe stand out to you at corner, safety?

COACH KELLY:  We think he can do a lot of things. That's the thing about him. He has 45 career starts, I think nine at corner, 36 at safety, I think 33 were at free safety, three at strong safety.  Versatility was one of the things you look at and from a height, weight, speed parameter, he's kind of off the charts in terms of what he can do from a physical standpoint.  There's a lot of things that stood out for him.  He's another guy, we'll get him here and throw him in the mix with the guys we've got in the secondary and figure it out at that point in time.

Q.  When you worked him out, do you do drills differently to evaluate his corner and safety skills?

COACH KELLY:  No, when you work out DBs, it's a DB workout, so every skill is kind of highlighted: ball skills, change of direction, back pedal, ability to flip your hips.  All those things are highlighted whether you're a safety ‑‑ basically almost most teams kind of use the same work out whatever DB you're looking at.

Q.  Did you get a little nervous that another team was going to take him?

COACH KELLY:  We were working it a little bit there.  We felt, and he was the guy we wanted all along.  I wouldn't have been surprised if he went a lot earlier.  We kind of had him and [Cowboys CB] Byron Jones as the two guys we kind of targeted.  When Byron went off the board really early, we were really nervous and just hoping a chance he could fall and it worked out for us. Q.  Can he match up with tight ends like Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham?

COACH KELLY:  He's a taller and longer guy, so you hope those are the things, but we'll get him in here and look at everything he can do.  The fact that he's got that many starts under his belt at safety but then really excelled this last year at corner I think was very intriguing to us.

Q.  Was there a team you thought you had to get ahead of?

COACH KELLY:  I don't know if it was get ahead of because what was going on was a lot of people were trading up.  If you looked at the board and said, 'Hey, I think they need a corner,' then all of the sudden, you look up and someone jumped them and took that spot.

So there was a couple more trades ahead of us where you were interested and you're like, 'Okay' ‑‑ you look at a team, hey, maybe they took a corner in the first round and you feel pretty good but then someone jumps into that spot so you really can't predict what's going on.  I know there's a lot of phone calling going on around the league it seems like right now in the second round.

Q.  More than last year? COACH KELLY:  Yeah.

Q.  Were the Miami Dolphins the first team you looked at?

COACH KELLY:  No, we were working for a while.

Q.  The scheme specific skills at safety, does Rowe have those?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, that's what we're looking for.  We're looking for safeties that can cover and this kid played actually corner so he's got those skills.  He can play corner.  So we'll figure out exactly where he fits but he may start out at corner for us.  We've got a lot of time here but it was getting what we thought was the best secondary guy out there for what we do and he was the guy we targeted since the draft ended last night. That's the guy we wanted.

Q.  When he was at safety, did he do a lot of single-high and play centerfield?

COACH KELLY:  He played free safety.  He started 33 games at free safety, started three games at strong safety, so he's done it both.  He's been down in the box and he's been a high safety and he's also played obviously corner, so really, the one guy that was kind of prototypical in what we are looking for as a defensive player in the secondary was Eric.

Q.  Was it a priority to get a defensive back?

COACH KELLY:  No, I mean, you have a wish list kind of going into it but you also, and I think I said it yesterday, when need crosses over the talent line, that's when you get in trouble because you're reaching.  We had a very, very high grade on Eric.

If we ever traded back, he was a guy that we really targeted if we were going to move back yesterday in terms of being able to get.  We were fortunate enough in terms of what we felt about him to get him where we did.

Q.  Other safety prospects have talked about when you bring them in and watch film and tell you what they see and how they can read offenses. How did Rowe do in that regard?

COACH KELLY:  Really outstanding.  Really strong from a mental standpoint.  He's got a very good football IQ.  I think those are some of the things that stood out with him and his ability to recall what they did at Utah when you put the tape on, tell you the coverage, explain it, but not only explain it from the safety position but explain it from a corner position.

A lot of times they are a byproduct of their experience so they don't know what it's like when you kind of move them outside but he can do that because he actually has done it in game.

Q.  You said Rowe was the guy you wanted; how do you get a feel for where he might go?

COACH KELLY:  You really don't.  It starts on what price are you willing to pay?  What do you have to really move and really it's just picks.

So what are we willing to give up?  We didn't want to give up a third or a fourth if we didn't have to and obviously we didn't.  I think a lot of times, you offer something to a team and they come back with a counteroffer and say, 'What about this?'  'Well, we are not going to do that.  That's too much, that's too expensive for us to make that move.'  So it worked out in terms of trading the two fives but getting a six back, so really we lost one player.

Q.  Did you try to trade earlier?

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, we tried to trade a lot earlier.

Q.  And they wanted too much --

COACH KELLY:  Yeah, that's kind of how it works with everybody.  Just like when we were on the clock at 20 yesterday, we fielded a lot of calls but we didn't feel like it was enough, there wasn't enough offered for us to say, 'Okay, we'll take that to move back.'  Because if you take it and move back, the player you want may not be there when you move back.  There's that, you can't predict it.  So it's a little bit unpredictable.

Q.  When Vice President of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz met with us about a week back, he said he was still getting used to calling around the league and making trades. Is he making the majority of the calls so far tonight?

COACH KELLY:  We split that up.  I think we have done a really good job of delegating wherever it is.  [Director of Pro Personnel] Rick Mueller and [Pro Scout] Louis Clark are on the phones and Ed is on the phone and I'm on the phone, so it's really just how it comes in.  A lot of times you're trying to get involved with something but then someone is calling you so there's three or four phone lines going on at once.

But it's very organized up there, not very chaotic at all.  So I thought we did a really good job in terms of handling this and getting out of it what we really what we really wanted to get out of it.

Starting yesterday when the draft ended, [Rowe] was a priority for us getting up as we came in today and talked about our strategy. What are we going to do and what are we willing to give up to go get that player, and is it too expensive? We had opportunities to move up but it was just too expensive and we felt like we really wanted to keep our third pick, really wanted to keep our fourth pick.

Q.  When you say Rowe's off the charts from a physical standpoint, what specifically ‑‑

COACH KELLY:  He went 4.45 in the 40.  He was a 3.94 in the short shuttle and he had one of the best three cones at the Combine, 39 inches in the vertical jump and I think 20 reps in the bench press.  When you look at from a height, weight, speed factor, he was in the top‑25 percent of all the defensive backs that were out there and I think in most cases in the top‑10 percent.

Q.  And you can see it off the tape?

COACH KELLY:  You can see it.  It's evident that he has a skill set.

Q.  Did you think Byron Jones would be available in the second round?

COACH KELLY:  No.  We felt if we moved back, then he would probably be there. But we thought he would probably go on the first day.

Q.  How do you determine what's too much to give up?  Do you use a trade chart?

COACH KELLY: We have a trade chart but I think it's changed a little bit with the new CBA, there's a formula and there's math involved in it.  We had a computer doing it.  I was told there would be no math so we have a computer that actually computes that for us.  You just say 'What is two fives and this,' and hit a button and it comes up.  Is it a negative number or a positive number? If it's a positive number, we would agree to it.  When it's a negative number, no.  But if you're buying, you may have to give a couple points.  If you're selling, you obviously want to get a couple back.

Q.  I don't think Oregon played against Utah in 2012.  Do you have exposure to Rowe at all on the field?

COACH KELLY: On the field? No, we didn't play against Utah. The only game we played against Utah, he was still in high school.  I did not see him in person, no.

Q.  On film did you see Rowe as a college coach, like did he catch your eye earlier on in the draft process?

COACH KELLY: No.  When I was at Oregon, I wasn't scouting for the NFL, so I wasn't really looking to ‑‑

Q.  But you can see some ‑‑

COACH KELLY: But we were never going to play Utah so I would never look at him and say, 'Hey, there's a guy. You have to really take a look at him,' and say, 'Who is that safety,' because there's a two‑game stretch where you don't play them until it's two years out, so I didn't really think of it.

Q.  How was Rowe at the Senior Bowl?

COACH KELLY: I thought he fared very well at Senior Bowl.  That's really the first time we got first live-action look at him.  He was a guy we had identified.  Our scouts, [West Coast Area Scout] Trey Brown, did a great job laying the groundwork when we were out there, we had our first initial meetings before he went to the Senior Bowl. Certainly a guy we had to keep an eye on.  We had a lot of people really take a good, hard look at him at Senior Bowl and for our coaching staff and Ed and myself and other scouts besides Trey, that was our real first exposure to him.  We were impressed with him from then.

Q.  I think there was a similar size and build of prospect last year for Utah that played cornerback safety, I don't know if you scouted him ‑‑

COACH KELLY: I know [Raiders CB] Keith [McGill].  He was a little bit taller, a little bit longer.

Q.  If you were looking at Keith ‑‑ did Eric pop out also?

COACH KELLY: No, we were really just focusing on that class.  So we don't really start looking at the next group until you start the next class.

Q.  Where are Rowe's trends specifically as a corner?

COACH KELLY: He's a press corner.  He's that big, physical press corner we are looking for.  He's over 205 pounds, long arms, physical and I think that's why Utah moved him outside.  They felt like he had the skill set and it was a good move by [Utah Head Coach] Kyle [Whittingham] in terms of doing it, and really one of the better defensive coaches in college football, Kyle Whittingham at Utah, and just really raved about him.  I was out there for his pro day with Ed and [Defensive Backs Coach] Cory [Undlin] actually went back out and did a private workout with him.

Q.  You're down to seven picks now.  Do you want to try to get another one back?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, philosophically you always want to get picks back but I think you don't want to sacrifice if you have someone you want.  You just look at what's left on the board and 'Hey, we have a shot at getting him.'  There's a couple that we sweated out and Eric is a guy we really sweated out; is he still going to be there, is he still going to be there, is he still going to be there? You really just see how it expresses itself and what's gone off the board.

Philosophically, you always want more picks but you're not going to say, 'Hey, we are taking picks for the sake of taking picks.'  If there's someone you really want, we're going to take him.

Q.  Last couple years, guys you've brought in for visits, how valuable have those been to you as far as reinforcing what you thought of these guys or just the opposite?

COACH KELLY: I think they are really valuable.  Any time you get an exposure, you get a better idea of what they are all about.  And I know some people, Ed mentioned, use them as smoke screens or things like that.  We're not into that.  I want to find out as much as we possibly can about each individual prospect so that when we are really involved and kind of looking at them we are making accurate decisions.

Our mantra is we don't care who we don't get.  We care very much who we do get.  So everybody is, 'Oh, we should have had that guy.' We'd better really know about that guy we get.  That's where we are trying to dig deeper and work even harder at knowing everything about those guys and trying to get out as many times as we can, if we don't bring them in here, we are certainly going to see them at their place and just visiting with them.

The scouts really did a really good job in terms of getting all the background information, because the tape is the tape.  I think anybody can look at the tape but then you have to dig and figure out how do they really fit in terms of what we are trying to build here. Eric is a lot like [Eagles WR] Nelson [Agholor].  You'll get a chance to meet him tomorrow and you can kind of see what he's like as a person and his character and all those other things.  That's integral into what we are doing but the only way to do that is you have to go find out whether you are bringing them in here or getting on a plane to go see them at their place.

Q.  You've taken nine Pac-12 guys since you've taken over, is it just because you've seen these guys?

COACH KELLY: I never saw this one.  I mean, you guys are going to write anything you want, so I don't care, Pac-12, Utah is close to Oregon geographically, I don't know.  Maybe there's vowels in the names or whatever (joking).  I think they are all good football players and that's why we selected them so we don't specifically look at one side or another side.  We just ‑‑ there's also really good football.  There's a lot of Pac-12 players that were selected last night that we didn't take.  I think Washington had three in the first round. Oregon had two guys taken in the first round last night and we didn't take them, actually.  We haven't taken Jake Fisher ‑‑ yet.  (Laughter).

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.