This is the transcript of Chip Kelly’s Week-12 Thursday conference call, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
Will the guys have a shorter day today and what are your Thanksgiving plans? Is this just a work day or will you take some time off too?
“Today is a work day. It is a shorter day. Well, it is a shorter day, but it isn’t a shorter day. We started earlier. We started at 7:15, so they’ll get out a little bit earlier this afternoon so they can spend thanksgiving with their families. The coaches have got their work after practice to do and then they’ll try to get out of here a little bit earlier themselves.”
When you’re looking at this extended trip coming up, aside from saving the travel time, what other benefits are you hoping to find in it?
“That’s what we’re hoping to find. It’s really not that deep.”
Have you guys settled on your practice schedule, what times you’ll be practicing in Orlando?
“We’re going to practice at the same time we practice on the west coast, so 1:00.”
So, that’s like 1:30 or so or 10:30?
Is DB Jimmie Ward going to take part in practice today?
“Yeah, he’s supposed to do something today. I don’t know to the extent of what, but [49ers vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Ferg said that he’s allowed to do something today. I don’t know what exactly that will be until we get out there.”
So, he has a chance to play Sunday in Miami?
“I can’t make any predictions on that. I don’t, he’s just going to see what he can do today, but I don’t know what that means for the weekend.”
Looking at you guys offensively, obviously WR Jeremy Kerley has been a big bright spot this year. With the Patriots holding him without a reception, does that kind of illustrate just how valuable he is to the offense that he’s really a must go-to factor in games?
“I don’t understand the question. But, I guess so. Yeah.”
I’m kind of just trying to gauge on just how valuable he’s become in the offense. For arriving so late as he did before the season started, he’s done well week-by-week. Is he that integral that he has to be involved to get the offense going? That’s basically the question.
“Yeah, he’s obviously a very talented player. We’re really happy that we had the opportunity to get Kerls as late as we did. He’s extremely smart. He really knows how to play the wide receiver position and knows the little ins and outs and tricks of the trade of being a veteran in this league. He catches the ball extremely well. I think he’s got as good of hands as anybody I’ve been around. You watch him in terms of how confident you feel with him catching punts and how confident he feels when the quarterback throws it to him that he’s going to come up with the catch.”
DL DeForest Buckner is among the league leaders in defensive snaps this season. I know that he’s used to playing a lot at Oregon, but is that something that you’re conscious of and is there an effort to try to give him more breaks as we get into the final stretch here?
“Yeah, we’re aware of how many snaps everybody plays here. So, we know and monitor our players on a daily basis in terms of where they are from a health standpoint, how much they play, how much distance they travel and all those other good things. So, I think overall defensively we’ve just got to do a better job on third down and get him off the field and not play as many snaps.”
What’s LB Aaron Lynch’s status? He’s been trying to get out there and practice the last couple of weeks. How’s the ankle looking to you and are you expecting him on Sunday?
“He’s practiced every day this week and we’ll continue to monitor him and make a decision either after Saturday’s practice or Sunday’s workout.”
What have you seen from S Jaquiski Tartt throughout this practice week so far?
“He’s practiced the same way he’s practiced every other week. He’s always in tune with the game plan and works extremely hard out there.”
And he’s ready and you’re comfortable with him taking on a bigger role this week?
“Yeah, I mean he’s played a ton of snaps for us. So, it’s not like he hasn’t played football for us. So, he’s been out there a ton for us except for the one game he missed I think with the muscle injury. But, besides that he’s played a ton of football for us. So, yeah, he’s ready to go.”
When it came to studying the Dolphins on film, rather than just going back over the last few weeks to see what their latest tendencies are, did you go back to the start of the season and maybe see where they’ve really made improvements to where they’ve won five in a row at this point?
“Yeah. We’ve watched every game that they’ve played this year. So, you don’t just look at the last games.”
Where do you think they’ve really made their strides?
“I think the running back is playing a lot more for them and as their running game has taken off I think their offense has taken off. So, I think you can point to that from an offensive standpoint.”