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Quotes: Head Coach Chip Kelly



Q. What's up with CB Byron Maxwell?**

COACH KELLY: He was in yesterday for treatment; he should be out there today. I don't know how much he'll do today, but we feel like he'll be good to go this week.

Q. What was his injury?

COACH KELLY: He has got an ankle [injury].

Q. Is WR Jordan Matthews okay?

COACH KELLY: Jordan will be out there today, yeah.

Q. And the guards, G/T Allen Barbre and --

COACH KELLY: They will be out there today.

Q. What were their issues?

COACH KELLY: Just banged up a little bit from the game.

Q. In studying quarterbacks who came off ACL injuries, did you look at Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer at all?

COACH KELLY: He had not come off the injury yet.

Q. But he had before --

COACH KELLY: Yeah, we looked at all guys that had been through things. I mean, really it was really a lot with our doctors. We didn't study just quarterbacks; we studied ACL injuries with our doctors.

Q. Earlier in the season, people were questioning QB Sam Bradford; he was struggling a little bit. Do you feel like he's in a rhythm now? Is this what you envisioned from him?

COACH KELLY: Again, I've seen Sam progress as the season went along. I don't think Sam or anybody in this building is concerned about what anybody outside this building thought.

Q. You talked about Carson Palmer and his ability at the line of scrimmage to check and set protections and the value of that. Do you see your system evolving over time to include more of that?

COACH KELLY: We do that now, so that's a big misconception. Sam does a lot of things for us at the line of scrimmage.

Q. He does a lot of changing the protections?

COACH KELLY: He does a lot of everything at the line of scrimmage.

Q. Relative to the rest of the league?

COACH KELLY: I don't know what the rest of the league does. I know what we do.

Q. All four backs had a carry last week, which is kind of hard to do in the course of a game. Is there a game plan going in that you want to get somebody -- or is it the feel of the game and how it goes?

COACH KELLY: A lot of it depends on how the game goes and where you are. Are you down? Are you throwing a lot more? Are you up? Are you running the ball a lot more? We had planned on going into last week's game playing all four of those guys and Duce [running backs coach Duce Staley] did a good job of getting those guys in.

Q. TE Zach Ertz has had an up-and-down season for various reasons, injuries being a part of it. In these last three games; do you see him having a big role?

COACH KELLY: We don't have any predictions. If you're asking me to predict for fantasy owners out there what I think Zach Ertz's production in the last three games are going to be, it really depends on how people play him. If they want to double him and try to take him away, that means the quarterback has to go to somebody else.

Q. Has he had the season you envisioned from him?

COACH KELLY: Well, he was hurt to start the year. He had a core muscle injury that he had surgery on during camp. I think that really set him back in terms of where he was kind of coming to. He had a real good off-season program and we're excited, but for him to have the production he has coming off of that injury and that surgery I think is pretty good.

Q. Is Arizona blitzing as much as they did last year and how do you prepare for that?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, more, actually. They lead the National Football League in blitzing. They blitz the most. I think they are right at about 50 percent. So one out of every two snaps, somebody is coming, and they bring them from all different areas. So they have continued what Todd [former defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals and current Head Coach of the New York Jets Todd Bowles] was doing there and actually are doing it a little bit more. So it's something, we had a high blitz number going into the Bills game and really had to prepare for that. You always have to prepare for blitz, but these last two opponents, the Bills and the Cardinals, are teams that are really going to come after you. A big part of our preparation this week is trying to handle those blitzes and how we're going to be able to pick them up.

Q. How do you handle a guy like Arizona Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu who blitzes a lot off the edge?

COACH KELLY: You just have to have someone assigned to him, know where he is, look at the coverage and see where he's coming.

Q. How good has he been playing this year and how do they utilize him?

COACH KELLY: He plays very well. He plays nickel and safety for them.

Q. How do you think you guys have been this year with the blitz pickup?

COACH KELLY: I think our guys have done a good job. They work extremely hard at it. They haven't had many clean shots at the quarterback and there have not been any missed assignments when we thought somebody was supposed to be picked up. When you really look at it, there may have been one or two, but there were not very many when you thought someone was supposed to be picked up but he wasn't picked up because we had a miscommunication. I think our guys have done a good job communicating that up front. Sam and Kelce [C Jason Kelce] have done a good job of getting us in the right protections and putting us in those situations.

Q. What do you see out of the Arizona wide receivers? It seems like they all have different skills.

COACH KELLY: It's an outstanding group. You have a Hall of Famer, arguably, in Fitzgerald [Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald], Floyd [Cardinals WR Michael Floyd] is playing really well. Brown [Cardinals WR John Brown] is really a speed guy. They can take the top off the coverage, and they will try to take shots. That's the one thing Bruce [Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians] does is Bruce will push the ball down the field. Carson can push the ball down the field and they have some receivers that can get down the field. So that group of three is maybe the best group of three we've seen so far this year.

Q. What are your impressions of Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon in their defense and going into last year's draft, how did you view him going into that draft as far as a scheme fit for you?

COACH KELLY: We looked at Deone as a safety and they are playing him exclusively at inside linebacker. He may be the lightest inside linebacker in the league; he's 211 pounds, but he's extremely productive. He's their leading tackler. It was a good projection by them. I don't know if they thought of it that way when they projected him. They brought him in last year, he played dime linebacker for them and now they have transitioned him to where he's on the field for three downs as an inside linebacker and truly playing inside linebacker. And I don't know many teams in the league that have someone under 220 playing inside linebacker every single snap. They are getting great production out of him. He's a physical football player. He seems like he has got real good instincts and a nose for the ball at inside linebacker, which I think when you're projecting, not many people project safeties to be inside linebackers in the National Football League. But he has transitioned and done a really good job, and I think he's one of the keys to their defense right now. I give their scouting staff credit for kind of taking a guy that was a college safety, drafting him, moving him to linebacker and having a lot of production out of him.

Q. When you viewed him, was he a more of an in-the-box safety?

COACH KELLY: Yeah, he was a physical -- not that he didn't fit our scheme; I think he can do a lot of different things. He's a real tough, hard-nosed physical guy and that's why I think they have him closer to the ball.

Q. What have you seen from G/T Matt Tobin over the last several weeks at right guard?

COACH KELLY: I think Matt has done a really good job and has competed really well.

Q. Bradford only had one interception in his last four games. As well as he's playing, do you feel like there's another level that he can get to?

COACH KELLY: I think there's another level for everybody, so I don't think anybody has ever arrived at this game. And I think Sam will be the first to tell you the same thing that he has gotten better each week. I think he has a better understanding of what's going on. Kind of the game slows down for him. You can see him getting to different things, which puts him in a position where he can now get to the second, third, fourth option on some plays. He's doing a good job with a lot of things. As the season has gone along, we've given him more things to do and he has handled it extremely well. I don't think he's tapped out by any stretch of the imagination. I think he continues to work at it. He has a great work ethic. He's not a big talker, but he's a big worker and he'll continue to work and get better and that's what we hope, that as we continue to get better as a team, that he'll continue to get better as a player.

Q. With three games remaining, when you brought the guys together this morning, what did you see out of them and what did you see in their eyes? What was your message to the team going forward for the final three games?

COACH KELLY: Well, I didn't bring them together this morning because we met yesterday. We just talked about the highlights of what we did well against Buffalo, showed a couple clips like we normally do, and then just talked about the task at hand and the task at hand is not three games. The task at hand yesterday was really having a good Tuesday. And today [the task] is having a good Wednesday and preparing for one of the top teams in the whole National Football League in terms of how Arizona is playing. And our sole attention is on Arizona and it's not on what's going to happen after the Arizona game or whoever the other opponents are after that game. It's really to prepare for these guys. And really, what you have to do is turn the tape on. And when you look at the tape, [you look at] how well they are playing in all three phases, you look at how well Carson is playing and how well that entire defense is playing. [Those are the things] that will catch your attention, instead of looking down the road that there are three games left and we are at this point in time during our season. We have one game left and our game is the Arizona Cardinals.

Q. How would you assess where the team is right now?

COACH KELLY: I think they are in a good spot. We have a lot of preparation that we have to do because of what they do schematically to attack you. But I think our guys are excited about that opportunity to really have a good week of preparation to get ready for this game.

Q. What have you seen out of the new offensive linemen you brought in, G/T Tanner Hawkinson and C/G Barrett Jones? Are they pushing for any of those spots, the interior spots, specifically?

COACH KELLY: They are doing a good job and we are continuing to develop those guys.

Q. In terms of height, weight, and speed, does their defense remind you a little bit of yours in that they have long, tall defensive inside linemen, the athletic, inside backers, the tall, long corners and safeties that can cover the slot? And if so, is there any advantage in attacking them because you have familiarity?

COACH KELLY: I don't see the same similarities to be honest with you. Mathieu [Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu] is a smaller safety. I think they have kind of put things together. Bucannon [Cardinals S Deone Bucannon], the linebacker, is not your prototypical size linebacker. They don't have the size, but they are really productive players. I think they have done a good job of finding guys that fit their system. So there are some similarities in some positions but there are other positions that are kind of skewed. But I don't look at it as, that team looks like our team. Their scheme is totally different than ours. We don't blitz, we don't lead the National Football League in blitz percentage. I would say we play what we do a little bit different than what they do.

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