Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly met with reporters on Thursday at training camp, but he wasn't much in the mood to talk about the signs his offense will use when calling plays. Here's the transcript:
Q. Can you kind of talk about what's behind the big signs that you guys use and why you went that route in college and brought it to the NFL?
COACH KELLY: No. (Laughter.) Next question?
Q. Can you elaborate on that?
COACH KELLY: No, we're not ‑‑ we could tell you what all our signals are, too, but that's not going to help us.
Q. Just why you went that route.
COACH KELLY: Honestly, no, we can go on to something else. I'm not going to explain why we go through that whole thing.
Q. Jason Peters yesterday said he's playing three quarters. Is that a plan specific to him, or is that consistent with everyone else?
COACH KELLY: I think that's what Jason hopes he'll play. With every guy we've talked about, we're going to get him two quarters and then we'll evaluate at halftime how many snaps he'll get, not get. There's a certain amount of work Jason needs to get in, he knows that. I love his mentality. If you ask Jason, he wants to play four quarters. That's that. We'll monitor all those guys no matter who it is at every position and see really how many snaps are we getting; are we getting enough work, not getting enough work because you have no idea going in, you kind of have a ballpark plan what you want to do, but how does it express itself. You get a lot of three‑and‑outs and don't have many snaps in the first half, then you've got to get them a lot of reps in the second half. If you're getting a lot of reps in the first half then you may back off.
Again, they're not ‑‑ it's just like I talked about earlier in the two preseason games with Nick [Foles] and Mike [Vick] how we were going to distribute those snaps. You don't ever have an understanding ‑‑ we know the first drive is going to be X amount of plays and the second drive is going to be this. You don't know how it's going to turn out. Our plan right now for all those guys is to try to get them two quarters and then at halftime we'll make a decision on how much farther we'll go with those guys.
Q. Are Brandon Graham and Trent Cole still adjusting ‑‑ how do you feel about your numbers at outside linebacker, your depth?
COACH KELLY: It's interesting you ask the question because there are going to be less numbers after Saturday's game because you've got to cut down. You look at your numbers, how are you at 90, we probably could use another guy, but there was no way to bring a guy in for three or four days and then we've got to cut that group down again.
At the end of the day we've got to try to figure out who the 53 are. For this last week at camp you probably shout another number, but after Saturday that number is not going to exist anymore anyway because you've got to cut down to 75.
Q. Is that a scenario you guys will focus on after some major cut downs?
COACH KELLY: There's not one position we would say we'd rule out looking at anybody because you don't know who's available. We're always going to try to improve this football team and take a look at what's available. You know, you can say in the draft hey we want to address this need, but if your opportunity to pick the person that you felt could address the need you felt doesn't come up, then you just don't go that route. I don't think we all went into the draft saying we want to make sure we get a quarterback. When you look on the board and see Matt Barkley sitting there, we're going to take the best guy available. So every position, when the cut down days come, we're going to look at them and ask can they improve us and make us a better football team.
Q. How do you feel about your experience at that position?
COACH KELLY: You know, they're learning. I think Connor Barwin has great experience at that position because he's played here before and I've been really impressed with Trent and Brandon as they come along, but you always want more depth no matter what position you're at. You'd like to have another guy or two there that you can count on. But there's want‑to‑haves and need‑to‑haves, and again, it depends on what's available. But we're not just going to take a guy for the sake of taking a guy.
Q. Do you see Todd Herremans or Kenny Phillips playing Saturday?
COACH KELLY: It all depends on how they practice the next two days and kind of see where they are. A lot of the decisions I leave up to the trainers. They tell me who can go and who can't go.
Q. Is it going to be Michael and Nick or would you like to get Matt in?
COACH KELLY: We'd like to get Matt in if we can, but again, it depends on how many snaps we're getting. Obviously Michael is going to go in the first two and then does he go into the third, and if he goes into the third, how many snaps we still need. Nick needs a ton of work. The one thing about Nick, and it's really a credit to him, I think you almost forget being around him that he's just a second‑year player. He needs as many snaps as he can get, too. As you start to get into this game, distributing those will be a little bit different.
Q. What have you learned about Michael as a person and a player in your time here?
COACH KELLY: What I've learned about him is how passionate he is about this game. He has not missed a day, and he's here every single day. You listen to our strength and conditioning guys, and if I ‑‑ I asked them the other day from top to bottom if you can rank our guys, and he was our number one in terms of his attitude, work ethic, helping other players, everything in terms of weight room, off‑the‑field things, things that were not ‑‑ I'm not in the weight room every single day with those guys, but I always get input from them and what's going on in there.
Every facet of what you've asked him to do since he's been here he's been outstanding at.
Q. Have you found that the defense that you want not only here but that you wanted at Oregon was the type of defense that has given you problems in the past?
COACH KELLY: That's a good question. I mean, there's certain elements ‑‑ yeah, I don't really look at it that way because I think what we do offensively is a little bit more unique. I think we want a defense that gives the majority of the teams we play problems, you know what I mean, so it's more of that aspect. But there's certain elements to defense that you want that no matter where you are ‑‑ your ability to recognize and diagnose, are you turning your back too much to the ball so you don't know really where it is, can you be a great gang tackling team, are you putting your team in position to make those plays, a defense that can create turnovers. There's a lot that goes into that. But not necessarily on how people defended what we did because I think what we do is a little bit unique compared to some other offenses that we're going to face.
Q. You've said several times that DeSean can be as good as he wants to be.
COACH KELLY: Have I?
Q. You've said several times that DeSean [Jackson] can be as good as he wants to be.
COACH KELLY: Have I?
Q. That it was up to him, kind of the commitment he made. I was just curious after this long into training camp what have been your impressions of DeSean as far as how good he wants to be?
COACH KELLY: I think DeSean has had a fantastic camp. He shows up every day. He's been out there every single day. I think he's improved. He's getting stronger in the weight room. He's another guy that's kind of bought into what we've asked him to do and helped him make himself a better player. I'm excited to see him once the real season gets along because I think he's a huge advantage for us because he can create some mismatches out there.
Q. You've come in here and obviously made a lot of changes being the new head coach with a lot of guys that have been here a long time. How have the guys embraced how you go about signal calling and the science and everything?
COACH KELLY: They've embraced everything, and that's a real credit to them. Since day one we got here, there was not a whole lot of salesmanship in terms of why we have to do all these things because they basically ‑‑ their thought process was, just me from the outside looking in, is that if you can help me become a better football player, then I'm in, and everyone has been that way. That part, I think, was an unknown going in. You didn't know about that. And if you're a guy from the outside and haven't been a part of it, you hear about [how] it's tough to coach professional athletes, they've got their own mindset, they want to do things their own way. I've never encountered that with one player on this team, and that part as a coach has been refreshing. It makes you excited to come to work every day.
Q. Different players, did they kind of chip in and say, hey, let's do a cheesesteak, let's do a Ben Franklin thing and things like that? Did they give different ideas?
COACH KELLY: I have no idea what a Ben Franklin thing is, so you lost me on that.
Q. Well, either a Ben Franklin or a cheesesteak and all that stuff. Did they say, hey, let's do a picture of this ‑‑
COACH KELLY: You're still on the sign thing, right?
Q. Yeah, I think it's great.
COACH KELLY: I have no idea. No, they have not. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Tra Thomas is now going to be a full‑time member of the staff. Can you talk about how you envision using him?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, Tra was outstanding. He came in through the Bill Walsh minority intern program, and it really started in the summer, but when we got a chance to talk to Tra about doing it, the next day he was here. So he was here all spring with us. He was here all through camp, extremely dedicated, one of the all‑time great Eagles. I think the experience he brings not only as a player, he can relate to the offensive linemen. One thing about Tra when you sit there and watch film with him is just how much he's studied tape on his own and what he learned about the game, and I think he's imparted that to a lot of the young linemen we have. Part of being really good up front is developing that talent, and I think having someone like Tra around here will help us really develop those young guys, but I think he's got a bright future in coaching. We're excited. Very rarely do you say, ‘Hey, we get through the internship program.’ Most guys are college coaches that apply to that, and we've had some really good guys here, but they all left because they had to get back to their colleges. We were just fortunate that Tra still lives in the area and it was kind of a no‑brainer for us to make sure we could keep him here through the season.
Q. Philosophically or logistically is there a unique approach you take toward road trips or road games?
COACH KELLY: We fly if at all possible.
Q. I mean in terms of the schedule.
COACH KELLY: I don't ‑‑ no. I think we're pretty straightforward. We know when the game is and we've got it mapped out from that standpoint. But I don't think there's anything ‑‑ I think people think we do things drastically different, but we're pretty straightforward in terms of our approach to how we do it. It's kind of the same way we approach things here. Really I think the biggest thing in those things is there's not much difference between a home game and an away game; it’s just how do you get to it. We'll do everything at the hotel. That's our plan. When we're here, we'll do everything at the hotel and go over on game day. We've got a lot shorter travel here than we do when we play other away games.
Q. What's your regular season work week look like as far as players' day off, major prep days ‑‑
COACH KELLY: Our players' day off will be Monday, the day after the game, and then we'll practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and then play.
Q. Are there any unique demands that are put on a defense that's running opposite the up-tempo offense that you've noticed over your time?
COACH KELLY: No, I really haven't. It's about plays run. I've heard the question about time of possession, but we've talked about all the time ‑‑ time of possession is how much time can the other team waste. Most games, we lose the time of possession, but it's how many snaps do you face, and I think in both games we've played, we've played more snaps than our other team. We played a game against UCLA a couple years ago, time of possession was 40 to 20. They had 20 more minutes of time of possession, and it was 73‑71 snaps. So they had two more snaps. We won 60‑13. So all I gathered was that they stand around a lot more than we do. So I think when people look at the time of possession, and that's what people look at automatically, time of ‑‑ it's not time of possession, it's plays run is what I look at because you're not exerting any energy if you're just standing in the huddle.
Now, if it's drastically different and teams are snapping the ball and getting 80 snaps against us against our defense and we're putting 50 snaps up offensively, then it's an issue.
Q. So they may be on the field longer, may have to be ‑‑
COACH KELLY: We'll teach them how to stand around better.
Q. No, I'm saying your defense might be on the field ‑‑
COACH KELLY: They're not on the field longer. That's what I just said. I think in the first game it was 86‑65. So they had to defend 65 plays, we ran 86 plays. If you're doing things the way we're supposed to be doing on offense, we need to teach our defense how to stand around better.
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