SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Chip Kelly’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
How about OL Anthony Davis? Has he made any progress in the concussion protocol?
“He’s in the concussion protocol and until he gets released to us there’s nothing to update. He’s just in the concussion protocol and we’ll see where that goes and how he responds to what they’re doing with him.”
Will he be on the field today in a no-contact shirt or anything like that?
“No, he hasn’t gone through the whole concussion protocol to get to that point yet.”
Do you know how he got a concussion?
“In practice last Thursday. In a padded practice.”
I thought there’s no contact in pads and stuff. Am I wrong about that?
“Yeah, you’re wrong about that.”
So there was contact?
“There’s one padded practice a week.”
And he got hit in that one?
“Yeah, in that one padded practice last Thursday.”
Did you see it?
“I did not see it.”
ME: Why is your offense averaging only 3.2-yards per carry right now?
“We’re not running the ball effectively overall as a group. I think the combination of you’ve gone against two pretty good defensive fronts, you’ve got to give the other teams credit at times. It’s not always us. There’s two teams out there, so I think obviously we knew what the strength of the Rams and their front was and obviously when you go against [Carolina Panthers LB Luke] Kuechly and [Carolina Panthers LB Thomas] Davis and [Carolina Panthers DT] Kawann Short and [Carolina Panthers DT] Star Lotulelei, but we’ve got to do a better job for us to be successful on the offensive side of the ball, running the ball.”
With the passing game, did you expect, or what do you guys have to do to get the tight ends more involved in the passing game?
“I don’t think it involves anybody. It just involves who’s available and who’s open. Some people take away one aspect of your passing game, but then the slot receiver gets more catches that week. Then they try to double the slot or take away an outside receiver and then someone else is available. I think when our tight ends have been called upon, we used them a lot more in the preseason, but it seemed like people weren’t covering the tight ends in the preseason and now as we’ve gotten to here they’ve gotten some attention. Although. [TE] Vance [McDonald] did have the one 75-yarder against Carolina that was a positive for us. For us, they’ve all got to be involved and I think all five options when you’re throwing the ball have to be there because the defense is going to be able to, no matter who it is, take someone away from you. But, if they do take someone away from you then you have to be able to have some other guys step up in those situations.”
You talked about Seattle’s scheme yesterday. They’ve been running that same scheme for years. What’s it say about that defense, the fact that they’ve been able to do that same scheme for as long as they have and still be really effective?
“Well, I think the one thing that gets overlooked, it’s the players. You can run any scheme you want, but if you don’t have the players to execute that scheme and what they’ve done and [Seattle Seahawks general manager] John Schneider and [Seattle Seahawks head coach] Pete [Carroll] have done is gone out and got people to execute that scheme. You’ve got two All-Pro players in [Seattle Seahawks DE] Bennett and [Seattle Seahawks DE Cliff] Avril up front. You’ve got two All-Pro inside linebackers. You’ve got three All-Pro players in the secondary. You’ve got seven All-Pro football players and it’s not like the other four aren’t very good players either. But, I think they’ve done a great job of identifying what they’re looking for and going out and getting the pieces to fit into what they’re doing defensively. This has always been a player league and the game of football is a player’s game. It’s about your personnel and do you have the personnel to execute because anybody can implement a scheme and say it’s not the, the scheme is one aspect of it, but then being able to get the players to fit into that scheme I think is what Seattle has done a great job of.”
Following up on that, how much does Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas kind of make that go just as much cover-three and everything they do? How does he fit?
“When you have a free safety like Earl that can cover sideline-to-sideline, the ability to be a middle closed team consistently, almost all the time, it plays to his strengths. He has such great range. He can help both corners. He’s such a great run defender and even though he looks like he’s lined up deep, when the ball is run he’s at the line of scrimmage by the time the ball gets to the line of scrimmage. So, he allows them to play a certain type of scheme. But again, you have to have players that fit into it. Again, you’ve got to give John and Pete credit for going out and getting those guys. Again, probably seven All-Pro guys on that defense that you’re going to face.”
What are you seeing out of OL Trent Brown through two games since he’s still relatively new to the starting lineup and how does he do run blocking-wise?
“I think Trent’s been really good in our first two games. Obviously it’s really his first two games with us and his chance in a new system, but I think he’s adapted really well to what we’re doing. I think he’s been equally good in both run blocking and pass blocking. There’s always fundamental things because he is new to the position. He’s not scratched the surface in terms of how good he can be. That’s the exciting thing about him, because he has such a high ceiling. But, you continue to see the little teeny things and the little and teeny improvements that go on on a weekly basis, that he may have gotten beat on this move in the third preseason game, but he didn’t get beat on it in the first game. Saw something a little bit slightly different in the first game against the Rams and then you didn’t see that when we get against Carolina. He continues to get better on a weekly basis and we’re really excited about what trajectory he’s headed on right now.”
I’m sure you know that QB Colin Kaepernick is on the cover of Time Magazine.
“Yeah, [49ers vice president of communications] Bob [Lange] told me before I got up here.”
I know you’ve said in the past that he certainly has the right to do it. But, what are your feelings about how this has really just taken off nationally?
“Well, I think it’s an issue. You look at what’s gone on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights; it’s an issue that’s at the forefront of our country in that it needs to be addressed, it needs to be taken care of because what’s going on is not right. I think, again, he’s shedding light on a situation that is heinous and shouldn’t happen in this country. We all have inalienable rights as a citizen of this country and they’re being violated and that’s what I think Colin is standing up for.”
How has he done budgeting his time? He’s kind of been a model–?
“Again, a question for him about modeling his time. When he’s here, he’s doing football and when we’re here from 8:15 when we get here in the morning, until 5:00 when we leave, he’s at every meeting, he’s done everything, there hasn’t been anything, ‘Hey, coach I need time because I’ve got this going on.’ He hasn’t done that. He understands what his job is and he’s balanced it really well and I think he’s managed it really well. He’s focused. He’s dialed in when we’re at practice. He’s dialed in when we’re in meetings.”
How do you feel when he takes over the locker room and he talks about his concerns, which are valid and important? I think specifically about after the Rams win, when you beat the Rams, and he was talking about injustice in America and I believe some of the players were uncomfortable with that. How do you feel when he takes over the room?
“I don’t think Colin takes over any room. I think it’s–“
Oh he did after the Rams game.
“I can give you my opinion of what I think. I think he’s asked questions about a subject and he’s answering those questions.”
He should turn down. He should say, ‘Talk to me at another time.’ I was in the room. Were you in the room at that time?
“Yeah, I walked by in the locker room. I’m in the locker room.”
Anyways, so we disagree on if he took over the room. Do you think it’s appropriate that he should be talking about those things after a win?
“Yeah, I do. When he’s asked a question, I think he should answer what his feelings are on those questions. If you don’t believe that’s a thing then maybe you shouldn’t ask him those questions.”
I didn’t ask him those questions.
We have a fundamental disagreement then.
“That’s the great thing about this country, isn’t it?”
With former NFL RB Marshawn Lynch no longer being on that offense, what have your impressions been on Seattle’s running game so far?
“We never scouted them with Marshawn, and I’m a huge fan of him. I think he’s one of the best running backs to ever play in this game. Probably happy we’re not going up against him because of what a great talent he is. But, the two guys in [Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas] Rawls and Seattle Seahawks [RB Christine] Michael have done a really nice job in fitting into that scheme. They’re similar in terms of they’re hard, downhill runners that are trying to break tackles. They’re not dance around kind of guys. They’re physical, downhill runners that are going to attack you and try to get past the first line and into the second level of linebackers before you know it and I think that’s kind of the model, you know again, what Pete and John are looking for, they do a great job of getting themselves the players that fit into their schemes and that’s what they do. Both those running backs, I think, have done a really good job of that.”
Did you watch last November’s game this week or was that a game you watched in the spring, when the Niners went up and Thomas Rawls ran for a ton of yards?
“We watched all those games. So, probably watched about 10, 10 of them. You know, when you’re playing a team and it’s early in the season, you have to go back to last season to watch because there’s not a lot that you gain out of the preseason in terms of your breakdowns and what they’re doing because a lot of people are just doing evaluations, not putting game plans in. And so, they really only have two games for us to watch this year, the Miami and the Rams game. So, when it’s the same coaching staff and similar personnel, then you’re going to go back and look at games from last year. So, we did look at those games.”
Does Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett pose a unique challenge to your defense?
“Yeah, well, I think not only our defense and our special teams because he’s such a dynamic returner in both punt and kick returns and then the fact that he’s really starting to emerge as one of their deep-ball threats to go along with [Seattle Seahawks WR Doug] Baldwin and [Seattle Seahawks WR Jermaine] Kearse and [Seattle Seahawks TE] Jimmy Graham. I think he’s got an added dimension, really kind of burst upon the scene as a returner but has now really kind of started to flourish as a receiver. So, he’s a guy that you know, as we do and we’re going through our scouting periods and looking at what we’re doing, he’s a guy that we always kind of have to know where he is just because of his ability to beat you over the top.”
It looked like Jimmy Graham got closer to a full workload last week. Is there something your guys can take away from playing bigger, physical targets last week that maybe can help them–?
“Well, he’s similar, that’s a good point. He’s similar to [Carolina Panthers TE Greg] Olsen in terms of what he does in the passing game because you can flex him and leave him as a single receiver on the backside and he’s going to garner your attention. There’s times where you’re going to have to double him to try to take him away. He’s such a big body that he can body you on play where you think you have him covered but he’s got such length where he can kind of body you up. It’s a little bit of his basketball background where, you know, he can body you up and you can throw the ball, just like when you’re in the low post and you’ve got to kind of throw it over the top. He’s got a great feel for body position on defenders because of his basketball background. So, he’s certainly somebody, again, in the passing game I think it revolves, it starts, really you’ve got to find where the tight end is and then obviously look for the Baldwin and Kearse and Lockett after that.”
Did you know much about G Zane Beadles when you got here and what have your impressions been of him?
“Yeah, I mean, I knew who he was. Been in the league for a while. Was with Jacksonville. I knew coming out of Utah. You know, understood what type of player he was. We just thought when we acquired him, we just got a solid, steady veteran that has played a lot of football in this league. When you’re looking around at the state of offensive line play in general in this league, a lot of guys are plugging young guys in. It’s such a position where experience is so beneficial to you. The tricks and nuances that occur on the offense line I think are huge in terms of what you have to do to be really successful there. So, for us to be able to go out and get an experienced veteran like Zane and kind of shore up where we were at the guard spot. You know, we knew, obviously, we had [T] Joe [Staley] and Trent at tackle, but we were really kind of unsure where we were at guard. So, to be able to get a veteran like Zane to come in here and really establish himself on that left side with Joe has been a huge bonus for us and I think he’s seen so much because he’s been in the league for a while. You know, he doesn’t really get frazzled. He’s very, very consistent in his approach. He’s got a great work ethic, but the one thing about Zane is he’s the same thing every day. It’s a consistent, professional approach in terms of how to be successful and how to work at it.”
I think he’s missed one game since high school. Have you talked to him about how he stays on the field?
“Knock on wood that it does. I don’t want to jinx him on that. But, again, when you talk to Zane a little bit about his background, how in tune he is to his workouts in the offseason, what he does with his body, how he takes care of himself, what his recovery protocols are, he’s been very, very advanced and has kind of approached it as this is his job and everything he does revolves around making sure that he’s healthy and is on top of his game. You look at what you just said, missing one game since high school is kind of a measure of showing you what he does in terms of putting himself in that situation so he isn’t on the injured list and isn’t in the training room all the time.”
With the talent that Seattle has offensively and yet they haven’t done anything production-wise in those games against Miami and LA. How dangerous are they with you guys going up there?
“They’re dangerous. I think, obviously, [Seattle Seahawks QB] Russell [Wilson] got hurt and wasn’t 100-percent. He played and still put up some pretty good numbers. You know, they just didn’t get the conversions in the red zone and came away with field goals. But, you always have to be aware of where they are because of the talent they have. When you put Russell with Graham and Kearse and Baldwin, Lockett and guys like that that are obviously, you’ve got to know exactly what they’re capable of doing. Sometimes, you kind of take a dip, you’re in a little bit of a rut and then you bounce out of it. But, they have the skill and they obviously have the ability to bounce out of that from an offensive standpoint. So, our defense has a big challenge going up there and playing those guys.”
What’s it say about DL DeForest Buckner, just the fact that, and you guys have had some guys banged up along the D-Line, but for him to lead you guys in snaps along that unit, what’s it say about him so far these first two games?
“Yeah, really happy with Buck in terms of his development. You know, one of the reasons we drafted him is we felt that he could come in and play right away and have an impact and I think he’s show that. From even when I recruited him in high school, he was always, there’s a maturity to him and a sense of calm to DeForest where nothing was ever too big for him. You know, he played as a true freshman and that wasn’t really too big for him. He played at a very prominent high school over in Hawaii. I think he’s very comfortable in what he can do and I think he understands that and sometimes, guys have to get into the league, get settled, see things for the first time, experience things a little bit then say, ‘Alright, take a deep breath. Now I understand what’s expected of me and go,’ where DeForest has been one of those guys who’s always seemed a little bit mature beyond his years and there’s a sense of calm and a sense of poise to him where, he came in here even from day one when we had him after the draft, we just jumped right in and seemed like he fit right in and seemed like he had been here for a long time.”