Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly

Q.  This is the first time you've had this setup with you and VP of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz.  How did it go up there as far as the decisions being made, the communication?

CHIP KELLY:  To start with, it was very orderly.  I think we spent a lot of time in the last whatever couple of months so that ‑‑ really we're not making decisions when you get to the draft, the decisions have been made before.  Went through a lot of scenarios in the last couple weeks, if this is there and this is there and that's not there, which direction do we head it in.  It kind of fell the way we thought it was going to fall.  There was a couple guys, you know, you hope he makes a couple more picks, but realistically when they got picked, it was kind of ‑‑ I think our scouting staff did a great job of slotting where we thought they were going to get picked.  But I thought it was very organized.  I thought Ed and his group did an outstanding job.

Q.  Do you feel differently than the last two years as far as your input, your role, your voice?

CHIP KELLY:  I think I did the same things in terms of my evaluation of the film, being able to go to pro days, being able to go to private workouts and stuff like that, but I just didn't have final say.

Q.  How was Executive VP of Football Operations Howie Roseman's role different?

CHIP KELLY:  Howie is in there advising us.  He was in there the whole time.  We had our same group in there and a lot of bouncing ideas off of, a lot of trade talks, do we go here, go here, what should you ask for, you know.

Q.  Did you have to lean on him a little bit or did you feel two years of being here you pretty much knew?

CHIP KELLY:  I think we understand it, but again, I didn't run the show, I just had the final decision, so my role never really changed.  If it comes to between player A and player B, then I had to break the tie.

Q.  Was it more nerve‑racking or more fun?

CHIP KELLY:  I wouldn't say it was either of those.  I just think you're trying to make logical decisions in terms of what you're doing, and you've got to really rely on the work you've done up until it.  I don't think it's a ‑‑ it can't be a reactive type thing.  I think you need to just say, can't get caught up in it, and I think we made a really good decision.  There were people we wanted to take [with that fourth-round pick], but when you have an opportunity to get a third‑round draft pick in the following year, I think it's a smart decision.  If you're not ready for it, not playing for it, didn't go through those scenarios, I really like this guy, and I think you can kind of get married to that, but then you shortchange yourself.  Today do we wish we had a fourth pick, yeah.  Next year when we go into the draft and we know we have the extra three, then we're really excited about the decision we made the year before.

Q.  Sometimes teams use these last round picks on projects or developmental guys.  Is that how you see the last pick you made?

CHIP KELLY:  No, and it's good that we can talk about him.  I think [DE] Brian [Mihalik] has got a skill set that ‑‑ it's kind of when you look at it, one of those guys when you spit things through and you just say, height, weight, speed, kind of off the charts.  He's six-foot-nine, he weighs 300 pounds, he's a 34‑inch vertical jump, he ran 4.88 and he's a productive player.  He just played wide defensive end in a 4‑3 defense.  He hasn't been a two‑gap player, but we feel with the physical skill set he has that we can convert him to a four technique.

We also have some prior knowledge, [Eagles outside linebackers coach] Billy McGovern was on staff for them before, [Eagles quarterbacks coach] Ryan Day was on staff, [Eagles assistant defensive line coach] Mike Dawson was there, so guys that have coached him can kind of talk about his work ethic and what he's willing to do.  But he's as ‑‑ if you want the prototype for big people beat up little people, he's obviously the biggest person that we've drafted or brought in since we've been here.

Q.  Was that a value pick or was that a spot you wanted to add to?

CHIP KELLY:  No, it was a ‑‑ again, the highest guy on the board at that point in time, you know, for how we fit in terms of ‑‑ I think Ed said it the best.  We're always going to take the best players that fit our system.  He's not a fit.  He's not a 4‑3 defensive lineman.  He's a 3‑4 defensive lineman.  There's a certain amount of teams that he fit, and he's that ideal ‑‑ if you could put one together, that's what it is.

Now, he hasn't played it, so there's a projection there.  That's why he got drafted where he got drafted.

Q.  Six of your picks have been on defense.  How do you feel about the defense overall after this draft?

CHIP KELLY:  We've got more players on the defensive side of the ball, but then the next thing is, and it's like anything, we've got to get out on the field and we've got to get working and try to see what those guys bring and get rolling from that standpoint.

Q.  Because you had to give up a couple draft picks this year, what does this do for tomorrow and post‑draft stuff?  Does it kind of put more of a priority on ‑‑

CHIP KELLY:  No, we have certain positions, but we're moving on that already.  As I was walking out of the room, we've moved towards free agency and just do they not get picked in the following picks with the rest of the draft, and then in that final draft pick is made when Mr. Irrelevant is picked, then after that it kicks in, but we've got that very organized, very detailed in terms of what direction we're going.  But what it turns into is that that person is now available to the other 31 teams in the league.

Really who presents the best opportunity.  There's a little bit of recruiting that goes on.  There's the same salary pool that's available to every team in the league.  So how we allocate it and how we do that, but I think Ed and his group upstairs are doing a really good job, and we're organized and ready to go after that last pick.

Q.  Are there any unique challenges a guy that height has technique‑wise to be able to play?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, there is, a little bit, but I think, you know, with [Eagles defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro] and knowing how to teach it, and we do have some taller, longer guys in that position, that's what we're looking for, and he's really, if you could ‑‑ a 6'8", 300 pounder that's got that explosion in him a little bit, it'll be an interesting transition as he goes from a 4‑3 defense to a 3‑4, but we think there's a big upside there and we know his work ethic because there's guys on our staff that actually were on his staff in college.  We're excited about the opportunity to get a chance to work with him.

Q.  How much interaction did you have with him during the pre‑draft process?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, went up to his pro day and then we had him in for a top‑30 visit.

Q.  What do you like the most about what you've put together in this off‑season?

CHIP KELLY:  I like our ‑‑ just from the two weeks of the exposure we have to the guys there, is their attitudes.  I think they've been outstanding when we've had them in the classroom and had a chance to meet with them and then getting the feedback from what our guys in the weight room have said, and really as a staff I think we're all really excited to get out on the field and start to work with them again.  But I think we've got some guys that ‑‑ and you just look at how they did it, we traded for [Eagles QB] Sam [Bradford], the following Sunday he was here and he's been here every day since.  We signed [Eagles RB] DeMarco [Murray], he's been here every day since.  Guys that came in, they're working, they're really putting all their time in, and excited to kind of get our hands on them when we finally get to work with them on Monday.

Q.  Three of your offensive line are over 30.  Does that factor into how you look at that position as a whole?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, it does.  You know, and again, there were guys that we really wanted in this draft, but you know, in each round they were taken before we had an opportunity to pick.  We're going to stick to our board, and I've talked about that, when it crosses.  But again, I think you look at our line in terms of being able to go play this season, I think we're excited about the group we have to go play this season.  We do have to address it as we move forward in the future, and then maybe there's one or two or three or four guys that we sign here that are undrafted guys that will have an opportunity like [Eagles G/T] Matt Tobin that's come in here and made our team as an undrafted guy, and that's kind of the direction we're going to go, at least this year.

Q.  Do you look at T Jason Peters as a guy ‑‑ he's very athletic.  Do you think he's got two, three more years?

CHIP KELLY:  I don't put a number on it, but I know he's a unique individual in terms of what he can do and what his body is like.  I know it's definitely one because of the way he's working right now, there's absolutely no question that he'll be the top tackle in the game this year, and we'll just see ‑‑ continue, but you just can't predict the future, and you don't know what happens from an injury standpoint, if he were to have one.

I feel solid in terms of what we have this year.  What we really have to address moving forward what we're going to do at that position.

Q.  Do you have an idea of how this offense is going to function?  Do you have an idea now of how Bradford is going to project?

CHIP KELLY:  It's a combination of both.  We wouldn't have traded for him if we didn't think he fit in terms of what our vision is for what we're trying to do, but we still need to see him out on the field.  We've got plenty of time.  It's the beginning of May here, so there's a lot of time before we open up with Atlanta.  I'm comfortable with that.

Q.  How many players did you have on your draft board, and how much did that draft board change from whenever it was first put together until this weekend?

CHIP KELLY:  I don't know the exact number.  I couldn't tell you that.  It always changes, I think, as you gain more information.  It's probably not really finalized until probably a couple days ago.  There's a lot of things ‑‑ a lot of times you had some guys that went to the medical recheck in Indianapolis just last week, hey, this guy was ‑‑ now we take him off the board just because medically he didn't get cleared by our doctors and our trainers.  Really it wasn't really finalized until probably last weekend.

Q.  La'el Collins, was that a decision made this weekend or previously?  Was it a hard decision?

CHIP KELLY:  It wasn't a hard decision, no.  No, it was just ‑‑ really, I don't think we should be talking about draft picks.  I think two people have lost their lives, and I think that's a little bit more important than that.  We weren't really thinking about the draft at that point in time with him.

Q.  A few of your draft picks unprompted talked about the culture of your program, said they left visits with you actively hoping the Eagles would choose them. Is there any sense of they like me so I like them at play?  Like do you know who wants to come play for you and that makes you like them more?

CHIP KELLY:  I think when you visit with most prospects, you get the feeling that they want to come play for you because you don't get too many guys that go to a visit or you get an exposure to them that try to turn you off because there's only 32 employees out there in this game.  Usually you're going to get the best from them.

But we also understand what we're looking for and get a good feel, and I think it's like anything.  Maybe when a kid has an opportunity to pick a college you get a feel when you're on the campus for the first time that I think I fit in here really well, and you kind of get the same vibe.  You know, there's something to that.  There's an attraction, because we always talk about there's tangibles and intangibles, and some of the tangibles are non‑negotiable in terms of how we're looking at height, weight, speed.  If a guy runs 4.8 in the 40 we just can't draft him if he's a wide receiver or a defensive back.  It just doesn't fit.  But there's also intangibles that go along with it.  You can also run 4.2, but it's kind of give and take, and that's kind of how you come down to your final decisions and then you hope you're right, and they hope you're right.

Q.  Talk about seeing these guys in the weight room. LB Marcus Smith told the team website that he's bigger, stronger and feels better right now. Have you seen him?

CHIP KELLY:  I haven't seen him in the weight room.  We're not allowed in the weight room, so I haven't, no.  That's a question for [Eagles strength and conditioning coach] Josh Hingst and [sports science coordinator] Sean Huls.

Q.  What are your expectations of Smith?

CHIP KELLY:  To just ‑‑ as I said since the beginning, just more consistent play.  There's been times where he's flashed and you're really excited at what he does, and we just need it on a more consistent basis from him.

Q.  Do you think you're a more talented team right now?  You've gone through your decision‑making phases here and through the draft and free agency.  Do you think you're a more talented team?

CHIP KELLY:  Honestly I don't know, nor does I think it matter.  I think what matters is when we put that team on the field in August.  I mean, actually in September now when we open up against Atlanta because there's a lot of things that can happen between now and then.

Our goal, though, was when we finished with 10 wins the last two seasons, that's not good enough, so we're always going to be striving to make this a better team, a better organization, and that's what we've been charged with doing, and that's what we're going to try to do.

Q.  How close did you get to acquiring Dolphins DE Dion Jordan?

CHIP KELLY:  Didn't at all.  We weren't close at all.

Q.  Were there discussions?

CHIP KELLY:  No.  I mean, we weren't close at all.  I know what was reported, but we weren't close at all to any deal or trade or player talk or anything in terms of dealing with Dion.

Q.  There was no trade talk at all?

CHIP KELLY:  No, we weren't close to any trade talk.  I mean, if you guys know how much organizations talk about trading players, I mean, it's every day.  Hey, are you interested in such‑and‑such?  Yeah.  Well, we're not interested in trading him.  Or are you interested in this guy?  We're looking for that.  We're out of that.  It goes on a lot.  Were there discussions, yeah, but there's probably discussions with everybody on Miami's roster, everybody on our roster.  That's why I'm being honest when I say, is everybody available?  Yeah, everybody is available at a price, but most of the time the price will never, ever match what we want.

It's never going to happen.

Q.  Did discussions end? He had two suspensions ‑‑

CHIP KELLY:  We didn't have any discussions.  We had a brief discussion in February and then that was it, so the discussions didn't end the other day because we weren't even having the discussion.  The last time there was ever a conversation I think was sometime at the Combine, and it wasn't moving anywhere then, so it was over.

Q.  We met three of the guys here.  You obviously place high importance on character.  Do you feel like that is something maybe you place more emphasis on than other teams?

CHIP KELLY:  No.  I mean, I think everybody has their own little model in terms of what they're looking for, but I don't think we're unique in that aspect in terms of how we approached it.

Q.  The two that came in today already have their college degree.  Does that matter to you?

CHIP KELLY:  We've talked about that before.  To us it's not a ‑‑ I mean, it's something that you look at.  To me because it's a sign of commitment, have they set out and done something that they invested in and then said, hey, I followed through with it and I did it, so I always look at it as a positive, but it's not a deal breaker.  Obviously the [Eagles WR] Nelson [Agholor] situation, Nelson graduated early.  You know, but the most I think the rest of them do, [Eagles DB] JaCorey [Shepherd] did, I think [Eagles DB] Randall [Evans] graduated in December.  I know [Eagles DB] Eric [Rowe] has.  I think [Eagles LB] Jordan Hicks graduated in three and a half years and is working on a Master's Degree.  I mean, that's just another kind of way to evaluate players in terms of commitment, the ability to stick to things, to set out and make goals and kind of stay with those goals.

Q.  In signing WR Miles Austin and then rescinding the tender for RB Chris Polk, what went into both of those?

CHIP KELLY:  We thought Miles obviously a talented players in the production he had with the Cowboys, but you really look at the season he had last year with his 47 catches in Cleveland and go and watch all 47 catches on tape, there's contested balls, just a wily veteran, knows how to run routes, has outstanding hands, catches the ball away from his body, is a physical player, has both played inside receiver and outside receiver.  You know, we just thought the value for getting him on a one‑year contract was just a win‑win.  I think he wanted to be here, we wanted to have him here.  I think we got a guy in an older presence because we are young at the wide receiver spot that's been in this league for a long time, has been around for a while.  You put him and [WR Riley Cooper] as the veterans in that room, and then you've got guys like [WR] Jordan [Matthews], [WR Josh] Huff, now Nelson, all those guys, and we throw them in, and we feel pretty confident in terms of what we have.  We think we've got a nice mix in there, so I thought he fit really well.

Chris's situation, we talked to him about extensively where we were and what our role was, and we did have a role for him, but I also think he felt like he wanted to see if he could fit in somewhere else because we are a little bit top heavy at that position, and I understand that.  But did we want him back?  I would take Chris back in a second.  Chris would have made this football team and we would have carried four running backs and three tight ends if Chris was still here.

Q.  The versatility that you have in the previous defensive backs that you drafted as well as Jordan Hicks, how important is that for you, especially when you're building the defense back up?

CHIP KELLY:  It's not an end‑all, be‑all, but we certainly look at it as a positive.  You know, any time when we're looking at linebackers now, we want three‑down linebackers.  We don't exclusively say 1st and 2nd down linebackers can't play for us, but in an ideal world you want a guy that you don't have to take off the field in 3rd down, ideally a guy that can play inside and outside, the ability to play inside in coverage in the secondary and play outside in coverage in the secondary is a positive.  Is it the end of it, if he can't do that we're not going to take him, no, but I think the versatility, we just look at it as a positive, the same thing we do with wide receivers, are they inside outside receivers, are they exclusively an outside receiver.  If you're exclusively an outside receiver and you're the best in the game, we're going to make that work, too.  But I think the versatility we look at as a positive.

Q.  Is there anybody on the current roster who's eligible for an extension?  Is there anybody you would like to extend for long‑term?

CHIP KELLY:  I mean, I don't think it's fair to anybody to discuss contracts in terms of where we're going to go or what our thought process is.  But I really like a lot of our guys and I hope most of them stay here.

Q.  Talk about the job Ed did his first three months and also this weekend?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah, I think the thing that struck me about Ed right from the beginning when I was kind of charged with you need to go find somebody that ‑‑ to put this thing together is just how detail oriented he was.  My first meeting with him, and he brought me up to speed exactly what had gone on in the fall in terms of the scouting process and where everybody was and kind of where we are and what we're looking at and how things are being done is really just kind of taken aback at how detail-oriented Ed was and how organized he was, and that's really what we needed because I'm not available in the fall.  I watch a lot of tape on Saturdays, but that's just me watching tape.  I don't know much about the backgrounds or any of those things.

But that struck me, and then when I had an opportunity to go around the country and interview a lot of guys, I always felt like I would interview Ed last because I'd seen everything, and then be able to compare him to, and again, he blew me away from terms of his organization, how detail-oriented he is, how intelligent he is, and kind of his vision about how we can move this thing forward and how we can make it better.  He hit the ground running.  We got together that first day after he got hired and organized the scouts and really integrated our scouts and our coaches.  I think the group of them did an outstanding job, and if you watched how well our scouts and coaches worked together, it's unique, I think, in terms of how we do it, but as we look at it, as we're trying to make the Eagles the best team out there, and it can't be personnel department against coaches, coaches against personnel.  You guys coach, we pick.  We're all on the same side, and all we want at the end of the day is the same goal, is we want to win a championship.  This city deserves it, and that's what we're going to do, and we're going to leave no stone unturned until we get that done.  That's what this operation is all about.  We're not satisfied with 10 wins.  I don't think anybody is satisfied with 10 wins.  We'll continue to do what we have to do to make sure that we don't win just 10 games, we win 11, we win 12, we win 13 and hopefully bring this city what it deserves, and that's a championship.

Q.  Ed had talked about ‑‑ he mentioned things being a little different in terms of everyone has a voice at the table.  Can you walk us through the process that you take as coaches and scouts when you talk about players?

CHIP KELLY:  I'd like to but I really don't want to share that.  But I think everybody's voice is heard, and I think everybody is allowed to have their own opinion.  We want people to not be on the same page as us because that's not what we're looking for.  We're looking for everybody to see it from a different view.  Everybody has a different set of lenses.  Everybody has a different set of perspectives based upon their experiences in terms of what they bring.  We've got guys that have done it different ways, and that's what we want to do.  The only answer I don't accept is when someone says, why do you do it that way, because we've always done it that way.  Give me a reason, and you know what, there's a lot of things we've changed since Ed has taken over, you know what, that's really good, let's see if we can move in that direction, because we all believe that's going to make us better. I think we've got a bunch of coaches and scouts that are really growth‑minded and not fixed‑minded, and we're going to continue to do whatever we can to see if we can make this thing work.

Q.  This was a defensive heavy draft.  Was that a conscious decision coming in?

CHIP KELLY:  Yeah.  And when your needs match the board, then that's when you're in good shape.  When your need crosses that talent line where you're pushing a guy, and I think for us fortunately for us in terms of what we really needed to fix, you know, I look at running back.  This was an outstanding draft for running backs.  But we didn't have to go take a running back because of what we did in free agency.

As we looked at it, it fit, but there was no one here that we felt like we just kind of went, you know, we really have him here but let's push him up into this round and let's select him because it's at a need position, so I think it just worked for us in terms of how we selected them, and we'll see when we get them on the field.

Q.  Are there spots you feel you still need out of your veteran guys, or will you trade to supplement or add?

CHIP KELLY:  We'd like to get a couple o-linemen in here, specifically to talk about that position.  We need four at least, just because we're down.  We've got 12, and we usually like to bring 16 in our 90, but that's a priority for us here as we look at the undrafted guys and see what we can put together from that.  And then we'll look at some other avenues. We're always going to look at other avenues.  Now, once you set the 90, you're going to have to replace those guys.  You're going to have to let some people go.  But I think really the one priority position ‑‑ the other thing is tight end I would say.  We didn't get another tight end.  We lost James Casey here in the off‑season.  We're really excited about where Trey Burton is, but we'd still like to get a couple of tight ends here to be able to compete with Brent Celek and Zach Ertz.

Q.  How would you say this group of draftees is different from what the Eagles would have drafted a couple years ago?

CHIP KELLY:  I don't know.  I wasn't here a couple years ago.

Q.  Yeah, you were.  2013.

CHIP KELLY:  I was going to get out of the question by saying 2012.  I could have walked off, right?

I think every class is different just because of what's in that class.  And I think that's the unique thing about the draft, what a first‑round pick ‑‑ if you look at the draft, when we were in the draft my first year here, three of the first four picks off the board were offensive tackles.  I don't think an offensive tackle went until 12 this year.  There were really no quarterbacks in that draft.  I think as you look at how it played itself out, I think every draft class is a little bit unique based upon what's available, and I think that's what separates it.  Sometimes it's not by ‑‑ that's what that organization wants and that's what they need.  You can't force the issue, and I think that's the one thing that we tried not to do in this draft is to not force the issue.  But I think every draft is kind of unique, and that's the one thing, everybody is always looking for that elusive quarterback, and that's why there's so many quarterbacks drafted in the first round that don't end up making it, because everybody wants that position, but in this draft I think it was clear‑cut and everybody looked at it the same way.  There were two, and what the next one was like or the other one is like, I don't know.

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