PHOENIX -- Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly met with reporters for 72 minutes on Wednesday at the league's meetings, going over a variety of topics about the team and his move to the NFL. We'll have comprehensive coverage from the interview, but here's video of Jeff McLane's analysis, as well as the entire transcript.
On what he knows about the team now that he didn’t know a week ago: “We got some more players. But we won’t know anything until we really get our hands on them. I’ve said that since Day 1 because of how the rules are set is that on April 1 we finally get to start our offseason program. We got a chance, when the free agents came in that have been through the building, just to kind of get an understanding of what they are like. But real brief meeting. Usually that stuff is just about physicals and making sure that they’re healthy.”
On how he feels about the additions: “Yeah, we’re really happy. We felt like we had some needs on defense that we had to address immediately. We felt like we could do that, so I’m really excited about getting April 1 to come around so we can work with these guys.”
What grade does Chip Kelly get after two months on the job?
|| 2018 (22.6%)
|| 2376 (26.6%)
|| 653 (7.3%)
|| 128 (1.4%)
|| 135 (1.5%)
|I — It’s impossible to tell until the season begins. |
|| 3626 (40.6%)
Total votes = 8936
On whether the free agents allow them to take the best available player in the draft: “Yeah, that helps. You had some depth issues, obviously, we lost Nnamdi and DRC. You don’t want sit there with no corners. So you add a couple of guys in that situation, it gives you a little -- I guess the best way to say it is -- comfort knowing you don’t have to reach for somebody at No. 4 just because you don’t have somebody at that position.”
On dealing with chemistry issues in college: “On the first thing, there is nothing for me to construct there now because I’m just starting. At the college level I think part of it is that evaluation process and what type of person you’re going for. And we were very, very, very thorough. And we were kind of known that we didn’t jump into the recruiting battles just because we didn’t have enough information. Just because he could run a good 40 or lift a lot of weight doesn’t mean that he’s a good football player. So there are so many different things that get involved in that. What’s their approach to the game? How much do they love playing football? How hard are they willing to work?...”
On his involvement with free agency: “Very involved. Our whole staff was. The great thing about our organization is that it’s a real collaborative effort from the coaching staff and personnel department.”
On the scouting in the NFL compared to college: “No, same process in terms of what you’re looking for and how you’re trying to build a team. We didn’t have a personnel department at the college level so you don’t have a lot of legwork or groundwork that’s been taken care of for you but its still the same process in terms of evaluating players.”
On whether there are more voices in the room: “Yeah because we have a personnel department. We were really bound [at Oregon] to nine full-time coaches.”
On whether that’s an adjustment: “No. Anytime anybody adds any value to helping you make a decision you should listen to him.”
On whether a personnel staff relieves some of the burden: “Maybe when the season gets going, but [not] right now because we’re not coaching anybody. We can’t talk to anyone in the building right now.”
On the difficulties of not being able to talk to players: “I don’t look at it as difficult because it’s the rule. So you could sit there and complain about it the whole time but the rule is not going away, so it’s just, what are the rules, embrace them and move forward.”
On whether he’s found loopholes: “No, there’s guys who have been around the building that stop and say hello. Jason Kelce is always in there working. Herremans is working. Michael’s been there a lot. Maclin’s been there a lot. Avant’s been there a lot. But it’s, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ How is your family?”
On whether the system requires offensive linemen to be a certain type: “No. I think everybody is looking for the same thing. You want an athletic person at all spots. But they still have to be tough, hard nosed, physical, be able to knock people off the football.”
On which Pro Days he’ll attend: “We have a lot of individual workouts scheduled more than a Pro Day. We’re in the process of nailing that down. Right now we’ve done one. I’m waiting till we get back to see the schedules. But we went to West Virginia’s.”
On the direction he’s leaning: “I’m really waiting. We’ve studied tape but I know we have a process of we get a chance to practice with these guys before the draft so I’m really waiting on that.”
On Geno Smith’s workout: “Just your typical watch a guy throw in person. I think at the Combine it’s a little bit scripted. Were sitting up 30, 40 rows up above, kind of watching. We’re getting a chance to see him on the ground -- throwing motion, how he moves, how he carries himself.”
On whether he ran the workout: “No, I did some things, Billy [Lazor] did some things, Pat [Shurmur] did some things. We had a chance to get him on the [chalk]board.”
On his impressions of Smith: “I like Geno.”
On whether he’ll pick Smith first: “I don’t know that...”
Q. Matt Scott same day? (MOSHER)
On working out Matt Scott: “It wasn’t the same day [as Geno] because I met with Matt and I can’t be in two places at once. The days are running together but they weren’t the same day. May have been Tuesday.”
On Matt Scott: “I like him. Good, athletic quarterback. Good kid, competitor. That’s what this process is all about. We get to bring 30 people to our place to sit down and visit with them and get to know them a little bit better. A lot of guys you met at the Combine you get a chance to talk to them there so we’re just trying to be very thorough in our evaluation. But we’re not doing anything differently than 31 other teams in the league.”
On why he’d take a quarterback early with Vick and Foles on the roster: “It would make sense if they are the best player out there for us to take. We’re always looking to improve the team.”
On whether that quarterback would get on the field: “The best players are going to get on the field so if he’s good enough he’s going to get on the field. If he’s not good enough, he’s not going to get on the field”
On whether a quarterback would lose trade value if he’s not playing: “I’m trying to get the best players on the field to win games right now. I don’t think anybody is thinking, ‘We need to play this guy in a regular season game to make his trade value go up.’ Whoever we play in the opening game we’re trying to beat them. We’re not worried about trade value.”
On whether there’s a rush to decide on a starting quarterback: “No. That’s the key position in the NFL. So I don’t think you can build what you’re going to do based upon how we get trade value. That’s way down on the list of priorities of what you need at the quarterback position.”
On whether he needs to use one of his 30 workouts on Dion Jordan: “No. But there are some situations with certain guys that you want to find out medical information on … if we were to bring Dion in, it would be to find out how his shoulder is, not what he is like as a person. A lot of our evaluations are medical deals where you get some information on them.”
More on Geno Smith’s workout: “Geno did a real nice job. I think Geno sees the game very well. He’s got a great understanding. Dana [Holgorsen] has done a great job with him in terms of his ability to run that system. He’s got a pretty good understanding of coverages, good understanding of protections.”
On why Connor Barwin will be better this season: “I think you got to watch the tape. He was asked to do different things …position moves and things like that. I think sometimes people just look at raw statistics and say, ‘Hey, this guy had more sacks this year when he was rushing the passer quarterback’ I do think athletically he can run. He’s relatively new at the position because he played tight end up until his senior year at college. He just had one year [at OLB] of college under his belt and then his time in the NFL. Real impressive guy. You talk to Gary Kubiak, I know he didn’t want to lose Casey or Barwin. They couldn’t afford to keep those guys.”
On whether he needed an OLB with experience in the 3-4: “Yeah, I think no matter what you need pass rushers in this league. It’s a passing league first. You better try to find as many pass rushers as you can. But that’s not the reason we took him. There are ton of outside linebackers out there that are available but we didn’t take them just because we wanted to get a that’s played the position before. We took him because we wanted to get a guy that has the skill set that can get after the quarterback and he’s proven that he can do that.”
On Billy Davis’ scheme: A. “We’re on the same page, that’s why I hired him. Our defensive staff understands just like our offensive staff does that everything you do has to be personnel driven. You can say we want to run this defense but if we don’t have that personnel available to us we would still have to play games. so how do we adapt and what do we do to adjust? That’s one of the great strengths of Billy’s, he has that ability to adjust and adapt depending on what kind of personnel he has.”
On whether it’s the 4-3 under: “No, and I don’t know what that 4-3 under that you’re talking about is. Whatever you call it – it’s 4-3, 3-4 - there’s seven guys. However you want to space them out, it’s still seven guys, and four secondary guys. So I’ve never gotten caught up in what the number is.”
On what dramatic changes could be made to alter the D scheme: “Nothing. We haven’t had the draft yet. We also haven’t had the chance to fully evaluate our players, because all I’ve ever done is seen them on film. We can’t get them on the field and say, ‘Hey, Antonio Dixon’s a pretty good player.’ He only got X amount of snaps last year, so you don’t have a ton of films to evaluate on. But now when you get a chance to work him out on the field, he actually can be an answer. Or some of those others guys. Ced Thornton, what can he do? That’s what this whole process is all about.”
On the scheme going into pre-draft camp: “We have an idea. I mean, we’re not just going to have 11 guys standing around and just doing whatever you want to do. We’re going to line them up. But you also got to evaluate what their skillset is, and then your job is to put them in the best positions to make plays. Where you say, ‘Hey, we really think that these guys will be great in this front. This is how we have to do it. Where we have to be more one gap than two gap. Or more of a slant and angle team. Or we have to be more of an outside pressure team because we’re not going to get a great inside push, because we don’t have guys who can have an inside push. The process is evaluating what you have, then finding out what your strengths are and trying to play to their strengths. And a lot of times hide their weaknesses. But until you get your hands on them and get a chance to see them…”
On the quarterback competition, with different types of players and different skillsets: “In our first mini-camp, we only have three days. You can't put an entire offense in in three days. You have a set schedule, and let’s go out for the first couple of days and chuck the ball around, and hand the ball of, and say, ‘Alright,’ and then really sit down and evaluate what they can do.”
On Kelly and Shurmur running vastly different offenses: “We don’t, though. That’s the thing. From the passing game schematic standpoint, a lot of the principles we threw at Oregon were west-coast principles. We’re very much on the same page. And the run game, we’re very similar on the same page, except we hand it off out of the shotgun instead of being under center. It depends how you look at it. We run power schemes, we run sweep schemes, we run inside zone, we run outside zone. Pat did all those things in Cleveland.”
On the pace: “That’s different, but that’s not what we were talking about. I was talking what we’re running and the plays we’re running.”
On preference of training camp: “I like the fact that we’re there, because we’re there all year long. There’s not a transition. You’re not moving, picking things up, going somewhere, and then turn around and coming back. Part of what I always wanted to do is get our guys in a rhythm of this is how we do things. The only thing that changes is the schedule starts to change, but we’re in the same spot. I think there’s a comfort level from being in the same spot. The other thing that was amazing to me is when you see that building and what it can provide to our players, from a rehabilitation standpoint, our weight room, video, all those other things are right there.’
On whether any part of him wanted to go to Lehigh: “Yeah, we looked at everything.”
On considering the fan sentiment of Lehigh: “Yeah. And from what I understand, there’s a rule that you can’t have X amount of people on the field at the NovaCare Center. One of the things we talked about as a group is how many people we can get to the stadium so more people can watch us practice.”
On being secretive about practice: “No, not in this league. You got microphones everywhere you go and cameras everywhere you go. It’s a different league, different set of rules. You adapt to the league you’re in.”
On adjusting to people watching practice: “No. We used to have people watch practice a lot up at Oregon.”
On Shurmur and Davis: “We interviewed them and I was really impressed with both those guys. One of the things you deal with in the NFL is who’s available. When people are under contract, they’re not allowed to speak with other teams. You can eliminate, right away, probably 75 to 80 percent of the coaches in the NFL when you take over a job on January 16th, of who’s available to talk to.”
On whether he has history with either of them:: “No. None at all.”
On the biggest adjustment: “I don’t look at them as adjustments. You look at your schedule and this is what you have to do. I don’t think adjustment is the word I use. It’s, what do you do?”
On what comes up that’s different: “The people that I work with have been tremendous preparing you for where you’re going.”
On whether it’s an advantage that there’s no NFL boo on him: “We don’t run some magical offense or defense. You’re talking about the best coaches in the world at this level. They see everything we’ve done at the college level and everything we’ll do, they’ve seen before.”
On different practices going on at once: “We’ve done that, just when you have numbers. We can bring 105 guys to camp in college. You won’t have 22 guys working and another 80-some odd stand around and not working. It just depends on your numbers and what you’re allowed to have. I don’t know the exact number of what we’ll be allowed to have at the mini-camp. …Ninety’s the maximum for the preseason camp. I don’t know what we’ll have for the mini-camp.”
On expectation for how long players will learn his pace: “Depends on what type of learners they are. We’ll figure that out when we get there. I think just in the conversations, we have a team of smart guys. They’ll pick it up quickly.”
On how he teaches it: “You teach the fastest learner, and everyone else has to catch up. …Those guys don’t have time to teach the other guys. Everybody’s moving. That’s the coach’s job.”
On the first thing he looks for in a QB: “I don’t think there’s a first thing, because there’s a million things, so there’s not one thing that trumps the other things. The ability to grasp the offense, number one, number two, how do they process it when they’re on the field. Can you take it from drill to practice? There’s a lot of guys that are great in drills, but when you get them in, they’re OK in 7-on-7, and more people get to 11-on-11 and they’re not as good as they look in drills. So how do they transfer that knowledge from a drill to practice, when you start to get in more team situations. You’re evaluating them as a football player. You’re evaluating, really, mostly when we’re doing 11-on-11 stuff, because that’s how the game’s played.”
On whether he takes away a quarterback running in practice: “No, they got to grasp it all, and figure out what they’re good at, and then we formulate a game plan based on what we feel they can do and can’t do.”
On when he expects Jason Peters back?: “April 1st, when we get going.”
On whether Peters will be medically cleared that day: “From what I understand.”
On when he started going for it on 4th down/2-pt conversions: “I think there’s fallacy and reality. I don’t think very often we went for it on forth down on our side of the field. It would be once or twice a season, depending on the situation. All those decisions are based upon the individual. What’s gone on exactly in that game, not an overarching, ‘hey, we’re going to do this.’”
On whether he does it more than others: “No. Look at the statistics. We’re not the No. 1 team in fourth-down attempts in the NCAA.”
On whether he needs to be more conservative in the NFL: “No, I think those decisions are based upon your team. So a lot of those decisions for me, I had total faith in our defense, so I wasn’t averse to putting our defense on the field in situations. I think a lot of that has to do with you making decisions. It’s a risk-reward. What’s the reward? Obviously you get a first down. What’s the risk? You’re turning the ball over at that point in time on the field. So are you comfortable enough with your defense to put your defense on the field in that situation?”
On whether he wants to shoot down perceptions of him: “I’m not into perceptions.”
On the perception that he’s different: “I don’t know what you want my answer [to be].”
On whether the perception is untrue: “Do we play music at practice? Yeah. Do we run quick-paced practices? Yeah. …I’ve been to other practices where they do that, too.”
On NFL practices at that pace: “Yeah, the Miami Dolphins. They do that, they practice really fast. You watch the Dolphins practice. You watch the Patriots practice, they practice really fast. You can’t play with a pace that Tom Brady plays on Sunday if you don’t practice fast.”
On the Patriots influence coming from him: “No, that’s not what they say. You guys interviewed Bill yesterday. We talk...we’re good friends.”
On recruiting taller, longer players: “You have to adjust to what you have. No one is starting from Square One and saying, ‘How do we build the perfect defense, offense, special teams. And you don’t have 100 first-round draft picks either, so you can say, ‘Hey I really like that guy,’ but he’s gone, so you always have to make adjustments to what you do. But we want taller, longer people because big people beat up little people.”
On DeSean Jackson-De’Anthony Thomas comparison:
“I think what happened is, he knows De’Anthony really well so he talked to De’Anthony about what we do offensively so that where that correlation came from. And all of a sudden it became, ‘DeSean was told he was going to be like De’Anthony.’ That conversation never came up because we’re not allowed to talk football [under terms of CBA].”
On similarities between the two: “I think they are both similar in size and are fast but De’Sean is a wide receiver and De’Anthony is a running back. When we go De’Anthony we looked at some of his traits and thought it was beneficial to get him involved because we had LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, how do we get them on the field at the same time. He’s kind a wide receiver/running back for us but I don’t know if DeSean has those qualities of a [running back]. De’Anthony has been a running back his entire life and my understating is DeSean has been a receiver his entire life, so they are not similar from that standpoint.”
On elements of Moneyball or math that he lean ons? “I was told there would be no math.”
“It’s a different game. There are analytics that you study because you can get information. We’re going to study the statistics of our game but to equate it to Moneyball, no. Even Moneyball itself if you really understand it, that’s not what they did. They had three unbelievable rookie pitchers that nobody ever talks about. All they talked about is how those guys are going to take hits or make people walk and do those other things and it made for a great movie, but if you don’t have three great pitchers in baseball it doesn’t matter, you ain’t getting anywhere. Watch the movie, read the book they don’t talk about those pitchers at all, but those pitchers were really, really good. It’s a good story but we’re not modeling ourselves after Moneyball, I’ll tell you that.
“You’re also dealing with a different thing. There is a different amount of money that is spent in Major League Baseball, their payroll is different than what the Yankees’ is. In this league everybody has the same thing.”
On being statistically-oriented on fourth-down decisions: “Yeah but I’m statistically-oriented on first down, second down and third down also. That’s where I think the misconception is.”
“You can look it up – I think we went for it on fourth down 20 times in 14 games, whatever the number is.
“A lot of our decisions came in the kicking game. If you don’t have a guy that can kick a long field goal what are you going to do when the ball is on the 37 yard line. Will you kick a 52-yarder or are you going to punt it? If it goes in the end zone you have a net of 17 yards. Or do you go for it because you have a good defense and you’re not averse to putting them on the field on the 37 yard line. Those weren’t statistical decisions.”
On going for a two-point conversation in the Fiesta Bowl: “But we don’t go for two. We line up in an extra-point formation and if they don’t cover somebody we take the two points. It’s a different concept I think.
“If you remember that play we scored, they had nine guys on the field for the extra point because they were caught off guard that we could score that quickly so they couldn’t get their entire defense on the field. It wasn’t we’re gambling and went for two, they didn’t have enough guys on the field. We have a system in place where if you don’t line up correctly we’re going to steal two points. The reality and the perception are two different things.”
On using science: “No math, but science.
“Those are resources that are available to everybody. We’re trying to put our guys in a position to be successful so why not rely on what the experts say is the right thing to do or wrong thing to do.”
On how much sleep a player needs: “An elite athlete needs between 10-12 hours a night.“
On a player’s nutrition: “Everybody has a dining hall, and they’re not eating Tastykakes and Chickie and Pete’s fries every night. When you get to this level you are always talking about nutrition and their diet and things like that. Some guys do it and some guys leave the building and go to McDonald’s. Did you get the right guy who is going to buy into what you’re doing?”
On their sports science coordinator: “He’s one of our strength coaches along with Josh. He’s got a little bit of a different background but we’re not doing anything drastically different than what most people do in their weight room. I just think that he has a knowledge base that when you meet and talk with him is pretty special.”
On whether he’ll miss the uniforms: “Yeah, I think one thing about the [Oregon] uniforms is the science behind them. They are lighter, they’re faster, they wisk away sweat better. That part was always very intriguing to me.
On not being able to do it in the NFL: “Everything is standard in this league.”
On whether he was tempted to take the Giants job: “I was very tempted to go, because I have the utmost respect for coach (Coughlin). Philosophically, we were very similar in terms of being disciplined, not making mistakes, taking advantage of what the offense gives you. The only reason I didn’t take the job was because I wasn’t going to be a position coach. That’s what I was going to miss if I left New Hampshire. Kind of that stage of my career, it was going to be going back to be a GA again, so you don’t have a position group you can coach, you’re not doing on-field coaching, you’re doing the breakdown aspect of things, which I liked, but the fact that you weren’t going to be able to coach in practice. He just didn’t have an assistant position open.
On hiring coordinators: “I knew going in that I wanted to hire NFL-experienced coordinators. With Pat, Billy and Dave Fipp, that was part of my decision. I interviewed two people and they just really set – I interviewed Pat and I really liked a lot of his ideas. We just kind of hit it off. But I didn’t know him before I interviewed him.”
On facing Coughlin twice a year: “He’ll go down in history as one of the top coaches in this game, so you get a chance to face him two times a year – that game between Philadelphia and the New York Giants has a little bit of juice to it. So I’m real excited about the opportunity to coach against him.”
On whether he regretted not taking the Giants job: “No. I’ve always said before, the big time’s where you’re at, so if you’re happy, and I was extremely happy where I was, I’m not a big second-guess guy.”
On whether anyone will be out: “I am not aware (of anybody who won’t be able to practice right away). But I haven’t sat down with Chris Peduzzi and gotten the whole – we haven’t had that meeting yet.”
On E.J. Manuel: “I like EJ. I knew him coming out of high school, thought he had a really good career at Florida State. Big, tall, physical. Athletic specimen. We’re still in the process of evaluating everybody. EJ’s certainly somebody we’re excited about.”
On Trent Cole: “Just a tenacious player. His passion for playing the game. How physical he is.”
On why Cole’s production declined: “No (didn’t see what might have been problem), because I didn’t go through and evaluate scheme. I’m just looking at guys’ skill sets, what they can do and what they can’t do, not trying to ‘why did this happen?’ or ‘why did they do this or do that,’ or ‘why didn’t they win this game?’ I just wasn’t watching tape that way. I was trying to get, how many times have we watched Trent get up the field? Can he redirect? What’s his ankle flexibility. How does he chase a quarterback from behind? I’m not looking at him and saying, ‘what’s the answer for lack of production?’ I don’t even know what the defensive calls are, so when I’m watching the film I’m not looking at what he was asked to do. Just kind of evaluate him, just like every position, from a skillset standpoint. What skills can he do? Does he still have the ability to get after the football? Does he still have the ability to use his hands and strike with force? Can he separate from blocks and get off of blocks? He can still do all those things.”
On the running backs being a strength: “The little I know, I would think, but until I can really get my hands on them, I’m not being evasive, I can’t tell you. I know LeSean’s talented, Bryce is really talented. Chris Polk was hurt a lot, but I saw Chris play in college, and I know Chris is an outstanding football player. So how does he fit into the mix? You don’t know until you get out there. That’s a position, you’re a sprained ankle away from – it goes from a position of strength to a position of weakness, because you can only carry a couple of guys. Obviously LeSean, Bryce and Chris have got some skills.”
On the difference between a scheme for college and pro players: “I think everybody wants to win. The guys that I’ve met so far have a great attitude and are excited about coming in and playing. Our job is to put ‘em in positions to win.”
On how much Oregon’s offense can translate: “I think we can translate a lot. But until we get a chance to really work with them, we’ll figure that part out.”
On interactions with the quarterbacks: “I’ve talked to Nick Foles on the phone a couple of times, just to see how he’s doing, Michael’s been by the facility, but we can’t talk football until after April 1.”
On having success with a variety of quarterbacks: “What we did is, we adapted, depending on who our quarterback was. If you’ve got a good coaching staff, that’s what you do. The best example in the NFL is John Fox. A year ago he had Tim Tebow, and went to the playoffs. Now he has Peyton Manning and runs an entirely different offense and went to the playoffs. When you’re good, you adapt to who you have.”
On whether he needs one quarterback: “I think you do. I’ve never been a two-quarterback guy. But I’ve also never been a two-quarterback guy, and I’ve said this before, when we were at Oregon, because it was always distinct that one guy was the guy. He separated himself. Because we allowed that evaluation process to be extended, it wasn’t ‘out of spring ball, we have to make this decision.’ So in the course of 37 practices, we had an opportunity for one guy to separate from the other guys, and it was – as I tell our guys, we don’t make the depth chart, you make the depth chart. You make it every single day you go out on the field and show us what you can’t do.”
On what if the quarterbacks don’t separate themselves: “One of the things that allows me to think outside the box is I never deal with hypotheticals. You’ll kill yourself. I could have nine million different scenarios today, on March (20), what if Michael does this, what if Nick does this, and what if Dennis gets in the mix, and then what if Trent Edwards, and what if we draft a quarterback? I don’t deal with that, I just deal with what the reality is. I’m not a hypothetical guy. I don’t look at it that way, or have preconceived notions. I think when you do, you gotta change your mindset. You’re trying to influence yourself before the process happens … I’m trying to come to a conclusion, and we’re in March. The conclusion will come to itself, because it’s going to be played out on the field.”
On using starters on special teams: “I don’t think they can play on all four, but I think special teams are a huge part of this game, and starters are going to have to play. You only have a 46-man active roster on gameday … It’s really just managing the number of snaps they get through an entire game.”
On using DeSean Jackson as a returner: “I think there’s certain times you want to see DeSean. I think everybody in Philadelphia was excited that he was back deep on the last kick against the Giants a couple of years ago. To me, it’s the number of snaps they get, are you running guys into the ground. Is your starting safety playing 60 snaps on defense and then every snap on all four special teams, you need to lighten that load a little bit. But I think if there’s certain skillsets and they can help you win a game, like DeSean did, I think you need to see him back there. But it also depends on who your other returner is. Your other returner may be really dynamic, and you don’t need him.”
On the sense he gets from Michael Vick: “I don’t really sense a whole lot right now, because we haven’t because of the CBA, had a chance to have any conversations really in depth. It’s just getting to know Mike, about himself, his family, where he lives, what his offseason schedule is, and that’s it. Until we really get our hands on these guys, you can’t really answer that question.”
On the culture change of coming to Philadelphia: “I’m familiar with it, because when I was at New Hampshire, I recruited there for 10 years. It’s not like it was my first time in Philadelphia. I know my way around. I’ve got an understanding of it. I’m not from there, by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t a big cultural deal, just because I’m familiar with the area.”
On the Philly fans: “Passionate fans are awesome. That’s one of the strengths of the city. That’s an awesome situation to be in.”
On whether the conservative nature of the NFL frustrates him: “No. I have a lot of respect for all coaches. I kind of bristle when people second guess people, because you don’t know all the factors that go into making a decision. I think when you’re on that side and you’ve made decisions, people don’t sometimes realize how you’re making those decisions. When I watch games I’m just enjoying the game, I’m not trying to figure out what I would be doing.”
On whether there is conservative decision making in the NFL: “No, not particularly. There are some guys that are a little bit more wide open in the NFL in terms of some decisions. But it’s the same in college. We faced some conservative people in college, too.”
On whether he will have to change how he calls plays: “All of my decisions are based upon my understanding of our players and what we can do and can’t do. I don’t know until I get an understanding of what we can do and can’t do. If putting our defense on the field on the 40-yard isn’t a good idea, we’d rather have them on the inside the 10 or inside the 20, we’re going to be kicking the ball more.
On how the perception of him doesn’t meet the reality: “I think if you ask anybody what the reality is and what the perception is, it’s always two different things. If somebody critiqued your writing style and then you would be like, ‘Well, I don’t write like that. That’s their opinion of how I write, but I actually don’t approach it that way. I’m a top down, look at a cone, this is how I did it, this is how I learned it in journalism school, that’s not how I write, but this is what their perception is of how I write. I think the big thing for me is I just don’t get caught up in the perception. I just do my job.”
On how much NFL he watched during the college season:
“Zero. Our Sunday is everybody in the NFL’s Monday. There are TVs on in our complex, so if you’re leaving to go to a meeting, or you’re walking through, you can look up and catch a score. We were always trying to – you’d hear somebody say, ‘Hey, somebody did this that we coached. Hey, such-and-such won. Or Jarius Byrd had a pick. Or Pat Chung may have blocked a kick. Or somebody that our coaching staff and all of us are familiar did something.’ But in terms of watching games, zero.”
On whether his understanding of the NFL comes from the offseason:
“Yeah, getting an opportunity in the offseason to go to camps and watch them practice. Studying tape in the offseason. We get all-22 tape and get a chance to kind of watch them and say, ‘Hey, these guys are doing a really good job in a bunch package. Let’s kind of study that and evaluate how they’re doing it.’”
On learning from old-time offensive minds: “I think everybody did. There’s a genesis of this thing, and I don’t think anybody’s inventing anything new. It’s a very cyclical game. A lot of things that are being done with the Wildcat formation was the single wing formation that was run way back when. Dick Kazmaier won the Heisman Trophy at Princeton running the single wing offense. He would have been a good zone read quarterback. Once the rules were established, I think people were doing things. I think it’s the 100-year anniversary of the forward pass this year. Once that got instituted, the numbers got regulated that it’s 11 on 11, it’s ten yards to get a first down, and usually somebody was doing something that people are now seeing in 2013.”
On what he knows about Billy Davis that he didn’t know a month ago:
“I don’t know if I know anything more than what I learned when we interviewed him. He’s extremely detail-oriented, very well thought out, very organized, extremely positive. There’s an energy about Billy when you’re around him that you just get a good feeling being around him. There are some people that you meet right away and there’s kind of a cloud walking around their head, and everything is doom and gloom. And Billy’s not like that. He’s got an energy to him and a positiveness to him that I think you like.”
On Davis’ autonomy: Billy’s running the defense.”
On whether Davis will call plays: “I never wanted to be micromanaged when I was a coordinator. I think it’s a recipe for disaster. If you get a head coach looking over in the middle and saying, ‘Hey, run this.’ I’m an offensive guy, so I’m going to be in the offensive meeting room, so I’m not going to be in there and it’s very difficult to say, ‘Hey, this is what I think you should do.’ But I think you spend all week look understanding the game plan and meeting with those guys and knowing what they’re doing, giving your feedback during the week, but on game day I just think that’s a recipe for disaster.”
On whether Kelly will call plays on offense: “No, we’re so far away from that. We’re still just putting our offense together, and how we’re calling it, what we think we want to do. We’ll kind of finalize that. And I think a lot of that is overblown, too, because offensive football is all situational. When you script our third down during the week, when you get to third and three at the six, these are the four plays that we’re running. As long as you can read off a sheet, anybody can call a play.”
On the last time he didn’t call plays:
“Whenever since I was a coordinator I called plays.”
On the upcoming schedule:
“We have an offseason program for two weeks. Then that third week will be our minicamp, our veteran minicamp, which is a week before the draft. And then we finish up Phase 1, I think, that fourth week. I got to look at the calendar … for Phase 2.”
On whether they can be on the field in the first phase: No, you can’t be on the field during Phase 1. They can lift and can have meetings, but I don’t think you can get on the field until Phase 2.”
On what he can do in phase one: “You can go back to having meetings. They can lift and meet during Phase 1.”
On how many practices he’ll need: “I don’t know. You may see on Day 1 with some guys. You may not see it until you get until September. I don’t have that number.”
On the quarterback competition:
“It’s usually a history of its back and forth. Guys have good days. Guys have bad days.”
On whether the team gets more confidence from going for it on fourth down: “When you have faith in your players that they’re going to execute something, that helps build confidence. But I think it builds confidence in your defense, because we explain it to them that we’re going to go for it here because I trust you guys to put you on the field in this situation.”
On the feeling-out period:
“Yeah, it’s different. I would think people are going to have questions, guys on the team, just because I haven’t coached at this level yet. I’m aware that’s out there.”
On the comparison from UNH-Oregon transition and Oregon-NFL transition: “I approach everything the same way. It’s still 11 on 11, whether you’re at New Hampshire, whether you’re at Oregon, whether you’re at Johns Hopkins University, or whether you’re at the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s still football. The only difference is more people watch it. That’s the adjustment. But the game itself is still the game itself.”
On a buy-in factor: You’d have to ask them about the buy-in factor, but was it easy for me to coach on my first day? Eh. Because it’s still football. That’s how I approach it.”
On Herremans and Kelce’s recovery: “Those guys aren’t walking around on wheelchairs, I can tell you that.”
On being firm about Peters’ recovery:
“From what I understand. But I haven’t seen Jason Peters. Jason’s still not back in Philadelphia. What I was told was that they think he should be pretty good when he gets here April 1. Everybody when they get in there needs to be checked out.”
On whether he needs a franchise quarterback to win: “I think everybody approaches it the same way. We still have to play, so if you don’t have a franchise quarterback you just can’t throw your hands up before the game and go, ‘We don’t have Tom Brady, so we’re screwed today.’ Every coach’s job is to put their players in position to make plays. You have to adjust and you have to adapt. I think that’s where people make mistakes. Mike Shanahan did an unbelievable job. He had RG3 and he ran a certain offense. And then RG3 got hurt, Kirk Cousins went in the game and that offense changed drastically. Kirk Cousins didn’t have a carry. Now you watch that tape and understand that game. Hats off to what they did on offense.”
On whether the system does not require a superstar quarterback: "Yeah. Because we didn’t have a traditional marquee QB at Oregon."
On whether there's a best time in the day to practice: "Physiologically? Yes."
On whether there's a set time to practice: "I think it depends on what you’re trying to get accomplished and done the entire day. You have to factore lifting into that, meetings into that. What you don’t want to do is change it on a daily basis. You want to try to get into a rhythm and a set system so your body can get acclimated to what you’re doing. We were governed by different rules in college because we had to go to class. You had to kind of work around the academic schedule. It’s a little bit different here. We practiced in the morning at Oregon (because). . . it first came about because of academic conflicts late in the afternoon. So we were starting to get out on the practice field at 4:45 and not getting off until 7. That was pretty late. The biggest chunk of time to have practice was in the morning."
On not needing to worry about academic restrictions: "You have (other) restrictions here with the CBA in terms of when you can do things and how long you can do things. It’s still regimented. You have a walk-through here, there’s got to be a three-hour window here, that kind of thing. There’s not academic restrictions but there’s still some restrictions."
On whether he knows when Eagles will practice: "No. We’re just working through minicamp and getting an idea of where everybody is. Trying to get a feel for how we fit logistically."
On whether he gave thought to coaching in the NFL before Tampa Bay pursued him: "No. I’ve always been just do your job and not worry about. . . I’ve seen too many guys not take care of their job because they’re always worried about (inaudible). When you take your job, you always have to look at it like I’m going to be here for life and do the best job I can. If an opportunity arises, then you kind of cross that bridge when you get to it. But the people that are always looking for what’s the next best thing don’t take care of what they should be taking care of on that day. I’ve never approached it like that."
On whether the read-option is the 'flavor of the month': "I’d say they could be right (either way). Anybody can say whatever they want. I don’t have a crystal ball and can be able to predict if everybody’s going to do it. I don’t know. They used to say three yards and a cloud of dust. But that kind (of went out the window). Everybody throws the ball a lot more than they used to. Twenty years ago, if you would’ve told somebody we’re going to throw the ball 65-70 percent of the time, they would’ve told you that’s a recipe for disaster. They would’ve told you you have to run the ball and play good defense. The game’s always evolving."
On whether he'll use the read option: "It depends on who your QB is. If you were my QB, (probably not). You have to adapt."
On what issue has been the most diffcult to deal with: "The Schuylkill."
On not being able ot work with players until April: "It’s not an issue because it’s always going to be the same thing. I think people that complain about things are consistent, you’ve got to live with it. It’s like the story of the construction worker who goes to work and opens up his lunch box and he’s got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Six months later, (still) peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Finally the next to him says, `Why don’t you have your wife make you a different sandwich?’ He says, `I make my own sandwich.’ So, don’t complain about it. We knew the rules going in. I’ve never looked at it and said, `Boy, I wish I had these guys in March.’ It’s just what you’re dealing with. The thing about this league that’s awesome is everybody has the same rules. It’s consistent.
On how many days each week he spoke to the media at Oregon: "Post-game. Sunday night we had a call-in thing. Monday I didn’t (talk) because I had to go do a booster club function. Tuesday we had a press conference. Wednesday we talked. Thursday we talked. Didn’t talk on Friday because it was the day before the game. So five out of seven (days)."
On whether it's true he wasn't a fan of walk-throughs on the day before a game: "We practiced the day before the game."
On whether he can do that in the NFL: "Practice? Yeah. I mean we’re not – and this is another perception – we’re not in full pads the day before a game, smashing each other in the head. But we’re going to run around a little bit. That’s another misconception about what we do or don’t do. We’re in shorts and t-shirts the day before a game, or sweats depending on the weather. We’re not in full pads. So when people ask do you practice the day before the game, it depends on what your definition of practice is."
On his visor: "The only time I wear a visor is on the practice field or at a game. I didn’t walk around in one."