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Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly


Q. Did you see a little more aggression out of QB Sam Bradford on Sunday, in terms of first downs? Or was he just taking simply what was given to him and what you guys thought he could take advantage of?

CHIP KELLY: I think he was taking what was given to him, what we thought we could take advantage of.

Q. TE Zach Ertz had, I think, 220 yards receiving at this point last year, and it is just about 100 this year. He said yesterday he is doing a lot more blocking. How do you see his role in the offense?

CHIP KELLY: I think he started slow coming off the injury. He didn't have preseason camp. Obviously, he had surgery, and really didn't get cleared. We weren't sure until the week of the Atlanta game if we were even going to have him for that game. I think he's progressed nicely. We were happy that we got him back; he's obviously a weapon for us. He is doing a better job blocking. I think that's part of what he has really wanted to improve on so he can be on the field more, and he has been on the field more. But, I think the numbers for everybody on offense are down just because we haven't been successful on the offensive side of the ball.

Q. The running game obviously hasn't been where you want it to be. But it seems to have been a little bit better when RB Ryan Mathews has gotten the ball, than when RB DeMarco Murray has? Is that just chance? Is it--

CHIP KELLY: No, I thought DeMarco did a nice job; had a 30-yarder. When you look at the numbers overall, and study them over four games, you also have to remember DeMarco didn't play versus the Jets. So, I think that's part of it, that there is a game that he missed in there. So, we need to get all those guys going, to be honest with you.

Q. I'm not just talking about the aggregate though. I'm talking about yards-per-carry, that sort of thing.

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, again, I think there is not enough data for you to just say that, ''This' is better than 'that'' because one of them didn't play in the one game where we had success running the football.

Q. You guys have said, this week, that the players are going to try to play through injuries. Given the state of the team, are you going to just trust that? Or will you have to see something in warm-ups?

CHIP KELLY: We've got to see through training this week and what goes on on the practice field. And then where we are on Sunday in terms of that and make a determination on who can go and who can't go. Because if you can only go for-- we had a couple guys that just went for a couple of plays on Sunday, you can't then re-sub and say, 'Hey we need to activate somebody else.' You have to live with it, so we'll have to make some determinations as we get to Sunday.

Q. What is G/T Allen Barbre's injury?

CHIP KELLY: You can talk to Allen about that.

Q. Are you going to have to make a roster move maybe?

CHIP KELLY: No, we don't anticipate doing that right now.

Q. On third downs, what do you see are the issues on third downs and how to correct that?

CHIP KELLY: I think a lot of it goes to first and second down. I think lack of success on first and second down. I've got to do a better job play-calling and put us in better situations so we've got a little bit manageable third-down situations, in terms of always being in third-and-long. Percentage-wise, you're just not going to convert as much as you are going to convert on third-and-short and third-and-medium. So I think it's an effort for us to do a better job on first and second down.

Q. T Jason Peters was one of those players that was only able to go a handful of snaps last week. Somebody who has had, arguably, a Hall of Fame career to this point, what have you seen from him the first four weeks as he has been struggling through injury?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, he just only got injured in the last game, so I think he played well against Atlanta and Dallas and the other one, in the Jets game. It is just we couldn't get what we needed from him because he's hurt. That's just-- he's as tough a guy as I've been around here in the three years I've been here, and if he can go, he will go. But, he's a guy we've really got to take a real good look at this week in terms of what he can give us.

Q. G/T Matt Tobin, he's your starting right guard and your back-up left tackle. With Peters uncertain, how do you manage Tobin during the week?

CHIP KELLY: Well, it depends. It could be [T] Lane [Johnson] at left tackle. We have a couple combinations that we can work there. We have to get through -- today and tomorrow are our two big workdays during the week. And then Friday and Saturday, we'll take a look at where we are. We've got four days to take a look at the combinations we can have in there if Jason can't go.

Q. What did Bradford do right on that scramble? The 16-yard scramble?

CHIP KELLY: To [TE Brent] Celek?

Q. When he scrambled and ran himself--

CHIP KELLY: They were just in two -- we caught them in a coverage, they were in two-man. They rushed four guys and didn't have a contained rusher on the right side, so everybody had their back to him. It's happened to us a couple times. I think when you do play two-man, or that type of coverage, and you don't have anybody responsible for the quarterback, then you have to be very conscious of where your rush lanes were. And the rush lane on the right side got collapsed, so he kind of got flushed to that side because there was a push in the pocket. And then as he came out and he was looking to throw the ball, everybody was in coverage and had their backs turned to him. So, obviously, he felt like he could pick it up with his legs and he did. Good, smart decision on his part.

Q. Moving T Lane Johnson to left tackle, if he can play and Jason can't, is it an option?

CHIP KELLY: Yes, it is.

Q. Is Johnson going to be able to practice at left tackle?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah. I mean, we're not going to just do it if he doesn't practice.

Q. But he hasn't practiced?

CHIP KELLY: He didn't practice yesterday, no. But we still have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to go. So, he'll be limited today.

Q. Could you talk about Tobin and what you saw of him to put him outside?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, he's played both. I think to be a back-up in this league, you have to have versatility, so he's a guard-tackle for us. Josh Andrews is a center-guard for us. Dennis Kelly is a guard-tackle for us. I thought he competed really well when he went out there. He had  limited number of snaps because you're really training your 'ones' when you get into the season. So he had limited number of snaps at tackle; had a lot more snaps at tackle in the preseason. But when we had to kick him out there after, I think it was six plays that [T] Jason [Peters] played, he competed when he was out there, and that's the one thing you'll get out of Matt, is he'll fight when he's in there.

Q. How do you explain these slow starts? Is it Bradford working with new players, new offensive line? The offensive line? How do you--

CHIP KELLY: No, I think a lot of that is on us coaching-wise. We've got to put him in better situations and plays, and specifically me in play-calling. We've got to do a better job that.

Q. Do you feel like him throwing those deep balls, getting those touchdowns, having a pretty good game himself, will help him gain confidence to get going here?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, that's a good question for him. But I don't look at Sam like he has a lack of confidence. I don't see it that way.

Q. Going back to the first and second down issue. You're playing behind the downs about 36% at the time in negative plays. So what are some of the ways, after you review this week, that you think you can fix that?

CHIP KELLY: Again, it depends. You can review what you did against another team, but then the next opponent you have is going to play in a different style when you're there. But, I think we have to put ourselves in a little bit more downhill situations so that we're not going to be in a negative situation. We've got to make sure we've got some quick throws, maybe we can get the ball out of the quarterbacks hands that are nice, easy throws to kind of get going. I think with this group, once you establish and can get into a rhythm, we can be pretty good. We did that, I think in the second half, we established a little bit of a rhythm against the Redskins and that resulted in a couple touchdown drives. But the key is starting to get these guys into a rhythm.

Q. You have talked before about some of the similarities between Murray and Mathews in terms of their north-south running. But they're not exactly alike. What are some of the differences in their styles?

CHIP KELLY: I don't see much difference, to be honest with you. I think they're both tough, hard-nosed, physical guys that are going to make one decision on their cut and stick their foot in the ground and go. I think that's why I say they are similar. I think they're a lot more similar than they are different, to be honest with you.

Q. You said you questioned some of your play-calling, or you have with whatever you are doing--

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, you have to, they're not successful. You can't sit there and say, 'It's working.' We're not successful on first and second down; we haven't been successful in the first half of games.

Q. Is part of that maybe use of personnel? Or different personnel that you could use in those situations?

CHIP KELLY: No, I just think it's us knowing what our players can do and putting them in better situations. I think we have the right personnel here, no question about that.

Q. And the use of the personnel that you use in those situations, do you think that's been fine?

CHIP KELLY: I don't understand what you're saying.

Q. Well, could you use different personnel in different situations?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, the 46 guys available to us? Yeah, that's what we're doing. It's putting them in situations where they can make plays though.

Q. What's keeping WR Josh Huff from having a bigger role?

CHIP KELLY: He was hurt. He didn't play versus the Jets. He didn't practice until later in the week last week, so it's just an injury that hurt him. I think when he's back full speed-- before that, he was playing 30-plus snaps a game and was good. But, he went down the Saturday of the Jets game in training when we were up at Monmouth [University] and didn't play in that game. It's tough to be productive when you're not out on the field.

Q. He said he was a hundred percent, and, at that time, it was pretty much the end of the week.

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, but he didn't practice during the week. So if he got recovered towards the end of the week, you already have your game plan around the guys that practiced those situations. So, we can get a full week of practice out of him this week and see where he is from that standpoint. We need him to be a big contributor for us, but you also have to be healthy to be a contributor for us.

Q. Do you see a guy like WR Nelson Agholor having to learn on the fly? Last game, he obviously made a nice catch off the 45-yard pass--

CHIP KELLY: I think Nelson is like most rookies. You're going to get some real good plays out of him. I thought that he made a hell of a catch on the post-route that Sam threw. But, he also made some mistakes. I think that's part of the maturation process that goes along with it. He's certainly a very talented, highly skilled player that we're excited about. But, you're going to have some ups and downs as you go through as a rookie in this league.

Q. The coaching staff was high on Barbre coming into the year. What's been holding him back through the first quarter of the season?

CHIP KELLY: Allen Barbre?

Q. Yeah, you guys were really high on him coming in?

CHIP KELLY: Yeah, and I think Allen actually, for us, has graded up pretty good as an offensive guard for us. He's been a little better in pass pro than in the run game. His pass grades are probably a little bit higher than his run games, but I think he's been consistent. And we are pleased with Allen right now.

Q. What jumps out in film about the Saints?

CHIP KELLY: Offensively, obviously, it starts with the quarterback. He's been there for so long and has such a good grasp of what they're doing. They've changed a lot of parts around him, but Drew [Brees] doesn't seem like he's missed a beat. He's an extremely accurate passer, one of the more accurate passers to ever play in this league. There are a lot of times where you'll say, 'Boy, that guy's covered,' and he throws it exactly where-- a lot of quarterbacks, in those situations, will say, 'He's covered' and move on to another guy. And he'll say, 'He's covered, but he's not covered on his back, left shoulder,' and actually throw it to his back, left shoulder. You're dealing with a different type of quarterback than a lot of guys you see in the league. He's in that [Green Bay Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers category where you can say, 'Hey we have pretty good coverage on this play, but we don't because of where exactly he can place the football.' There aren't a lot of guys that can do that. They rotate three back. I think the addition of [RB] C.J. Spiller has really helped them. He obviously had an 80-yard touchdown in overtime against them in a wheel-route where they caught them in a match-up where a linebacker was on him and the linebacker couldn't run with him. I've always admired the way C.J. played because he is one of those tough match-ups. He's got a lot of [Darren] Sproles characteristics to him; he can be a returner. Then, defensively, they give you so many different looks. They're very multiple in what they do. You're going to see Tampa 2-on-1 play, then you are going to see a Zero Blitz with everyone in press-man across the board on the next play. So, there is a lot of multiplicity in terms of what they're doing. They seem like they have a lot of guys roll playing. So, on one play 'this' guy is the same linebacker, on the next play, he's playing defensive line. On the next play he's out in coverage. So you don't have a lot of keys, especially with only four games that you've got a chance to look at. And, the fact that they're all young players, and the fact that three or four of the guys just got back last game. So it was the first time he had [CB Delvin] Breaux, first time he had [CB] Keenan Lewis back. So, what packages are you going to get from [Defensive coordinator] Rob [Ryan]? Because his packages on the defensive side change week to week. You'll see a blitz in Week One that you don't see again. So, he has a new package for each team he is playing. So you can be prepared for those, but you also have to be ready -- he's going to give us things on Sunday that we haven't seen yet from him.

Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you use Drew as an example. In the aftermath of trading for Bradford, the idea that you're going to get a franchise quarterback one way is to find one who has been hurt and then trade for him.  How deeply did you examine Drew's career both before and after his injury, before deciding, 'Hey, maybe we can try this with Sam.' Or did you just say, 'Hey, there's an example?

CHIP KELLY: No, we studied it. I think when you look at his injury-- and that's really a credit to him, no one has come back from what he's come back from. So you can see the case where people would say, 'Don't take him,' and why that existed. And I'm sure you heard, [Head Coach at the University of Alabama Nick Saban] Coach Saban has even commented on what his career would have been like in Miami if they had taken Drew as opposed to not taking Drew. Then you look at the impact that he had. It's a specific case, but I think it is the impact he has had, not only in this league, but in terms of what he has done. He has won them a Super Bowl, he is a Hall of Fame quarterback. I think the reason he was available is because of the injury is really what we looked at, but I still think you have to look at the individual injuries and what they can come back from and what they can't come back from. What he came back from, from our understanding and what that injury was and how they repaired that shoulder, I think he's the only guy that's ever come back from that. That's what you're facing. You've got an unbelievable competitor that's going to give us a huge test here on Sunday.

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