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Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly


Q. You have five penalties yesterday. That sounds like an improvement. Is that based on what you are saying about everybody being able to practice?

COACH KELLY: I don't know if it's based on everybody being able to practice, but it's something that we talk about all the time and it's self-inflicted wounds. For us to be successful, we can't be stopping ourselves. We were fortunate, we had two holding penalties on the same drive and came out of it with a touchdown but that's very rare when you just look at things statistically. When you end up that far behind the sticks to even get into scoring position, it's kind of an exception. But you're not going to be successful when you have that many penalties. We talk about it all the time. We emphasize it when we're watching film and tape and why does a penalty occur and a lot of times with a holding penalty, it's because you stop your feet. But the ones we really try to control, the pre-snap penalties, I thought we've done a better job of that.

Q. Is it ever a talent issue? Bills G Richie Incognito said that DE Fletcher Cox fed me my lunch; is it ever just one guy you have to cheat because the other guy is better than him?

COACH KELLY: I don't think we coach it that way, like we don't tell a guy that if you can't block him, just hold him. We're trying to do that in a manner, sometimes you've got to double-team them and maybe give some help to a player in certain situations. There are times when guys just say, 'Hey, I can't block this guy so I've got to do this,' so I don't know what happened on those particular plays, but Fletch [DE Fletcher Cox] is playing at a very high level right now.

Q. They are a team that seems to want to draw teams into the way they play, a lot of pushing and stuff after the whistle. Was that a point of emphasis to not let your guys get into all that stuff?

COACH KELLY: We did, yeah, we talked about it as a coaching staff and in individual position meetings and in group settings of it's important to play with emotion but not let emotion play with you. Don't let them take you out of your game. When you do retaliate, it's really kind of a selfish act because you're hurting your team. You may feel good about that one instant where you kind of got back at that guy for what you felt he did wrong to you but in the end it hurts the team. It's about putting the team goals ahead but we did talk to our guys leading into this game about not getting involved in that stuff.

Q. And how do you think they handled that.

COACH KELLY: I thought they were good, and I do not think the game, it didn't go that way. It wasn't a 'chippy' game where there was a lot of shoving and pushing and all that stuff going on. We were prepared if it went that way, but I really don't think the game itself went that way, it didn't express that way. I thought they competed really hard, and I thought our guys competed really hard.

Q. Special teams have played a huge factor in the last two wins for your team and in your favor. Do you feel like they are reaching a median of how they played last year or do you feel like there has been something different over the last couple of weeks?

COACH KELLY: We don't ever compare it to last year or if there's a median or a goal that someone set a year before or a year behind. We don't talk about that. We know there's a huge impact that special teams can have on games, and yesterday was a good example of it.

Q. When you were talking about the emotions just now, did you say something because it was Bills RB LeSean McCoy --

COACH KELLY: No, LeSean doesn't play that way. It had nothing to do with LeSean. Maybe you were playing a team that has a lot of penalties going into the game just statistically when you look at it.

Q. The TE Zach Ertz pick up, what was the play call? Why did you like it in that spot?

COACH KELLY: We just ran a slant and a flat route. We thought they would be in man and it was third-and-four, both routes get you on the catch and should get you the first down. It was a quick gain throw for us. We could protect it and get the ball out quick for [QB] Sam [Bradford]. We thought they would come in zero man and come in with a blitz, that's what they did, and we got it off.

Q. What's the difference between an illegal pick and a rub in a situation like that?

COACH KELLY: I don't think there's any difference in that. I think their defensive back threw our guy into their guy, so we weren't trying to do anything. [WR] Josh Huff is trying to run a slant route and got jammed.

Q. So that was not a pick at all?

COACH KELLY: No, [WR] Josh [Huff] was trying to run a slant route and trying to get open to get himself clean. That's the quarterback's first read is to throw the slant, and if the slant is covered, then come to the flat route.

Q. What's the biggest change from the team that walked off the field in Detroit and the team that walked off the field yesterday winning two games in a row?

COACH KELLY: Confidence. I think they just got a little confidence in themselves and the guys around them.

Q. QB Sam Bradford talked about how he thinks his footwork has improved as the season has progressed. How has that impacted his play just from what you've seen?

COACH KELLY: I just think Sam, as a whole, has progressed as the season has gone along. Not I think; I know, it takes a long while to play quarterback in this league. There are so many things that you have to get and when we got Sam, we knew with any quarterback it's going to take time. You look at – name any quarterback plying at a high level now and they have been playing in the same system for years, not for months. And that's what Sam's case is; he's just been playing our system for months. But I've said it, and I'll continue to say it, I just see improvement from Sam on a weekly basis that gets you excited about him. I thought he threw the ball extremely well yesterday. We could have helped him a little better. I thought we had too many drops. That really would have extended a lot of things for us on Sunday. But I think Sam has improved in all aspects of his game.

Q. How long did you expect that to take?

COACH KELLY: There's no timetable on it. I don't think anybody knows. But I just know it's not an easy position to play and just name a quarterback who is playing well right now and look at how many years he has been in that system. Very rarely is it a first-year player that does that, whether he's moving into a system or whether he's a rookie coming into the league. You know [Cincinnati Bengals QB] Andy Dalton was playing at a really high level but now what year is he in Cincinnati's system. Look at how well Cam [Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton] is playing and look what year that is with him at Carolina, it's five years for him. And then you look at the Rodgers [Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers], the Breeses [New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees], the Bradys [New England Patriots QB Tom Brady], Roethlisbergers [Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger], the guys that are playing really, really well right now, it's because they have experience and it's something you can't manufacture. It's just you have to let it play itself out.

Q. Is it fair to say that you would like to have Bradford here long-term?

COACH KELLY: We've always wanted Sam here. We wouldn't have traded for him if we thought he was going to be here for a year.

Q. The team you're playing this week, the quarterback might be the exception to that, looks like he kind of really took to the system as soon as he got there. What do you expect from him?

COACH KELLY: Well, he's been there three years.

Q. He's been doing a good job ever since, but is it --

COACH KELLY: He's been there three years and he's also 38 years old and has played a ton of football in this league. So I think the wealth of experience that Carson [Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer] brings to Bruce's [Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians] offense, it's kind of unparalleled. There are not many guys that are that and really he's the guy that's pushing that whole offensive system right there and they are playing extremely well right now.

Q. When you go against a quarterback like that, how do you try to prepare? Do you just have to be --

COACH KELLY: You have to -- it's a lot, going against Carson [Palmer] will be like going against [Patriots QB] Tom Brady, like going against Eli [New York Giants QB Eli Manning], those veteran quarterbacks that have seen everything. You have got to be able to give them varied looks. You can't sit in the same things all the time because he'll pick you apart. He's so sharp and can change things at the line of scrimmage and put themselves in the right protection, put themselves in the right routes, so you've got to give them a lot of different looks. You have to attack them a lot of different ways. You have to blitz them at times. You have to play coverage at times. So I think it's really an attack that's got to cover a lot of different things. It just can't be, 'Hey, if we play this one coverage, we are going to be pretty good against him' because he'll figure out exactly what you're going to do.

Q. What did DB Eric Rowe do to keep Bills WR Sammy Watkins from getting behind him and what has he shown on film in these last two starts?

COACH KELLY: Eric, he's growing. He has played really well in his opportunities. I think he's a highly-competitive guy. He can be physical at the line of scrimmage. He can run with people. He's tall. He's long. He's exactly what we're looking for as a corner.

Q. After the game, the guys were all talking about the shirts in the locker room that Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie put in there that said, "53 Angry Men". You were talking about the team having confidence, do little things like that fire the team up and bring them together?

COACH KELLY: I guess so. I didn't have anything to do with that, but if that fires them up, we'll get them T-shirts every week.

Q. Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians has questioned the zone read a few times and up-tempo offenses. Do you think defenses have adjusted and caught up to up-tempo and are defending it better? Also, do you ever look at a different kind of offense that huddles, like the Cardinals run, and see the benefits of that?

COACH KELLY: We study everything in terms of what's going on. I mean, I don't know anybody would look at us to run zone read, because we don't run zone read. So I think there are some misconceptions in terms of what people do. But we are always looking at everybody we play and what plays they play and how you can implement them into your offense.

Q. He has also said the up-tempo doesn't allow the quarterback to be a leader; he said that at the owner's meetings last year. Do you buy into that?

COACH KELLY: I don't know what version of up-tempo he's talking about, so I don't understand that.

Q. Several of Bradford's teammates yesterday said that since he has been back, he has been more vocal as a leader. Have you seen that from him?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, I've seen Sam gain more confidence as the season has gone along here, and I think that's just a natural maturation process that goes on.

Q. I think Bradford drew two offsides penalties with his cadence. Maybe he wasn't comfortable enough early in the season to be able to do that?

COACH KELLY: Yesterday, we got four.

Q. And all from him changing?

COACH KELLY: Well, we were just changing snap counts.

Q. Would you have tried to do that when he was still kind of --

COACH KELLY: We have. I think a lot depends on the defense, and I think Buffalo going in, we knew we had a shot because they had jumped offsides, just looking at the statistics going into the game. Some teams are better at it than other teams. But it's another thing of Sam getting more comfortable in terms of what we're doing.

Q. In cutting the roster from 75 to 53, what was the discussion with S Ed Reynolds at that time?

COACH KELLY: That position, he's a safety. We were only going to keep four. We had a little position versatility. Your corners can play nickel. Ed's not a nickel, he's a safety but a really good special teams player. But it was a very difficult decision for us. We felt like we had some depth in the secondary. We traded away Brandon [Pittsburgh Steelers CB Brandon Boykin] but we still cut Jaylen [DB Jaylen Watkins] at that time and we still cut Ed, but we were fortunate to get both of those guys back. Jaylen is playing really well for us right now on special teams and Ed has gotten better and better at safety. We felt going in that we had some depth. We knew at camp we had some depth in the secondary. So it was going to be a difficult decision, and I said that going into it, I thought we were going to have some difficult decisions back there.

Q. The time Reynolds spent on the practice squad, how did that affect him or help him?

COACH KELLY: I think it has really helped, because I think Ed, when we drafted him out of Stanford [University] because of the quarters rule, they were in a quarter system and he had not finished school yet. He did not come to OTAs that first year, so he missed all of that and he was playing catch-up when he gets to camp. The one thing about Ed is he has really taken advantage of his time on the practice squad to continue to develop and we saw that growth in him. It was a very difficult decision for us to cut him in the cut from 75 to 53. We were fortunate to get him back on the practice squad. He had offers to go other places but fortunately for us he chose us. We knew, we felt like he was our fifth safety, if we ever had an issue at safety we could bring Ed up and then obviously with Couplin [S Jerome Couplin] getting hurt, we had a chance to bump him up. He used that as an, 'I can continue to grow and I can continue to get better,' and we saw it out here on a daily basis.

Q. The Cardinals use a lot of three-wide receiver sets and your nickel defense seems to be playing well; what do you think about that match-up on Sunday?

COACH KELLY: They use everything. They use multiple tight ends, they use multiple running backs, and they use multiple receivers. Bruce Arians does a great job of getting in and out of different personnel groups. We're going to have to be really sharp in everything we do, but it's not just you're going to go out there and see a ton of 11. You're going to see everything. You're going to see two tight ends, three tight ends, you'll see multiple backs. He's as varied as any team will face.

Q. I heard you say this morning that you don't really know what a catch is anymore. How challenging is that to be a head coach of a team and not have an understanding?

COACH KELLY: I don't think it's a challenge. The officials officiate the game and we go by that. My point is it doesn't matter what I think. I can say whatever I want. I think that's a catch. It's not like, 'Okay, Chip thinks it's a catch, let's put the ball over here.' It doesn't work that way. Whatever they make for a call, we just adjust to it.

Q. Do you ever ask for clarifications during the game?

COACH KELLY: During the game? Yeah, but the clarification was it wasn't a catch, so it is not really a clarification. I can argue all I want, but they say it's not a catch, so it's not a catch. Whatever they call, they call and we adjust to it. That's my point; it doesn't matter what we think as coaches or what fans think or what anybody thinks. It's what they call and however they call it we go by how they call it.

Q. Does the NFL Competition Committee need to clarify it in the off-season?

COACH KELLY: I have no say in that. Just tell me what the rules are and we'll follow them.

Q. When T Jason Peters went down, what made you put G/T Dennis Kelly --

COACH KELLY: Because that's where Dennis practiced.

Q. On the left side?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, and we also knew that we didn't think Jason was going to be out for an extended period of time.

Q. People always say, 'You never know how much depth you have until they play.' How pleasantly surprised are you with Rowe and Reynolds in how they have played the last couple games?

COACH KELLY: Surprised? Not at all. I have very great confidence in those guys. Just get an opportunity to get them on the field. I think Eric not being in there before had nothing to do with Eric, it was we thought that Nolan [CB Nolan Carroll] was playing really well. Nolan had an outstanding off-season for us, really competed hard and earned that starting corner position. We had faith in Eric that if we continue to grow him as he continues to get moving along during his rookie year that he would continue to play well and that's what we kind of expected. Same thing is true with Ed. We had a very difficult decision because you're limited in the number of guys you can have, but we always felt he could play safety for us. When we had the opportunity to get him out there, it doesn't surprise us. So there weren't a surprise aspect. I'm just happy for those guys because of how hard they have worked.

Q. If Peters suffered an injury in the second quarter and he was ruled out, you would go T Lane Johnson left?

COACH KELLY: I didn't say. In that situation, that's where Dennis was practicing and we knew it was going --

Q. You also said he was only going to be out for a couple snaps?

COACH KELLY: I now that. But I didn't say Lane was going to move over there.

Q. I extrapolated that part.

COACH KELLY: Good extrapolation. We didn't have that discussion, so it didn't come up. We knew he was out for a couple plays, put Dennis in and then we'll go.

Q. It has obviously been a tough year for Peters, it seems like he has been getting nicked a lot and he's in and out, it was only a couple snaps yesterday. But how tough has it been for him and how has he played when he has been healthy?

COACH KELLY: I think he has played well and he has battled. That's the one thing about Jason is he is probably one of the toughest guys we've had. There are a lot of times you don't even know what he has gone through, but what he does to prepare himself on a weekly basis to play; I think he's been a warrior for us to be honest with you.

Q. You mentioned the players' confidence as far as turning things around after the Detroit game. What about you personally, did you get introspective at all after that game with the way things were done at all?

COACH KELLY: I told those guys the same message, it's very simple. I told those guys that sometimes they don't see in them what we see in them. I thought we had a really good football team and what we did in New England and what we did last week wasn't a surprise to us. We had great confidence in them as a group and they needed to kind of go out and shake off what control that you can control and that's your preparation and getting ready for whoever that opponent is that you're going to play and then just go out and play. I think some guys over think it a little bit, but I knew we had a good football team. I wasn't -- my confidence in our group wasn't shaken because I've been around them a long time.

Q. You had told them that all season long every time there was a blip or a loss, you would come in here and tell us that you had faith in those guys. Something seems to have finally gotten through. Do you have a theory on why suddenly they seem to --

COACH KELLY: My theory is that this is an extremely competitive league and there are not just certain words that one person can say that can flip the switch and make a team be good. Just like I said after the Dallas game, when we beat Dallas in Dallas and everybody wanted to know if that was the point in the season when things are going to take off because you beat Dallas, and everybody thought I was the damper on the party saying it's not like that. I said, 'You'd better come to play every single week,' and it's the same thing this week, we've had two good wins, great. We had better go out and train very, very hard to play an outstanding Arizona team coming in here or it's all for naught. Every week is its own individual set of circumstances, its own individual challenges that you have to be prepared for and that has always been the mantra. I think sometimes when you look too far and you're looking down the road and you're trying to say, 'How do we do this,' you forget about what the task at hand is and the task at hand is getting ready to play Arizona, so we'll see. Maybe we've had success for two weeks. Can we handle dealing with success? And that's another challenge that we have to, as a group, kind of wrap our arms around and embrace.

Q. Are the Cardinals as good as any team you've played?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, they are. It's an outstanding team in all phases. They have got talent. They are playing really well on defense. Patrick [Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson] is playing as well as I've seen him play; he's one of the top corners in the league, if not the top corner the way he's playing right now. [Arizona Cardinals S] Tyrann Mathieu is playing outstanding at the nickel spot and safety. They are very active and blitz more than any team in the National Football League. [Arizona Cardinals QB] Carson Palmer should be in the conversation of the MVP right now in terms of how well he's playing and you have Floyd [Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd] and you have Fitzgerald [Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald]. You have a really talented football team that's going to come in here. We played them two years ago here and it was an extremely close game. We played them down there until the last play of the game. We know we have our hands full and are playing one of the top teams in the National Football League this week.

Q. With two back to back prime time games, is there anything you do schedule-wise or training-wise to make sure you're at peak performance at nine o'clock at night?

COACH KELLY: No, we're used to playing these games. I mean, I'd rather play at one o'clock but just tell us when we're going to play and we'll play. We have schedules for whenever we're kicking off.

Q. LB Connor Barwin and LB Brandon Graham had three batted passes. What's the teaching point when you can't get home for outside linebackers or anybody on the line?

COACH KELLY: Get your hands up.

Q. Buffalo did a lot of gimmicky stuff early and it seemed like your defense wasn't fooled. Was that stuff they had showed?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, they do a lot of stuff like that. [Bills offensive coordinator] Greg Roman, as I said, I have a lot of respect for Greg as an offensive coordinator and they can do it because they do so many different things and they have been successful at them. They run a lot of unbalanced line, they run tackle overs. They bring in the extra lineman as a tight end. Sometimes they bring the extra lineman in and then they go tackle over so you're not sure who the eligible is. They kind of tax you from a mental standpoint. Some of the motion stuffs, they played two quarterbacks against us on a couple snaps. E.J. [Bills QB E.J. Manuel] was in there, but Tyrod [Bills QB Tyrod Taylor] was in there, they had some direct snaps to the running back. But those are things that they didn't just put in for our game. Those are things that Greg has shown throughout his coaching career, whether he was at San Francisco -- I actually competed against him when he was at Stanford, done a great job. But he makes you prepare for a lot of different things, and the unique thing about him is he's trying to do that just to get angles to run the football. He does a good job with it but I thought our defense handled all the stuff he did really well.

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