Chip Kelly spoke in the media tent Tuesday morning. Here’s a transcript.
KELLY: Just to announce that we’re going to make a move at quarterback. We’re going to start Colin this week. Making the announcement so he can run with the 1s. I believe you’ve got to do it at the beginning of the week just because of how reps are distributed. Our 1s obviously get more reps than our 2s during the week of practice. So, to get him to run with the 1s, you’ve got to do it at the beginning of the week. We’ll see where we go from there.
Q: There was some conversation that Colin has to adjust his contract.
KELLY: I don’t deal with contracts.
Q: This is simply a football decision?
KELLY: Football decision. I don’t even know where his contract status is. That’s a good question for him. But I’ve never discussed his contract, nor will I discuss his contract.
Q: How lively was the debate, or was it an easy decision?
KELLY: I don’t think “lively” or “debate” or whatever. I think we were very analytical, sat down as a staff, watched the tape and went over everything. We’ve had a couple days to kind of kind of adjust everything where we’re going, and I think offensively we need to do better and I think we just need to make a move. But it’s not Blaine’s fault. It’s just as a group offensively we need to be better in a lot of ways. We’ll see what we can do when we make a move here. It’s really one of the only moves we can make based on the depth.
ME: A couple weeks ago you said Colin wasn’t the same guy who was running 4.5 and throwing the ball all over the field. What changed?
KELLY: We’ve gone over this ad nauseum. He’s not the same guy he was in 2013 – you can just look at him physically. That’s just the point I tried to make.
ME: Has he improved over the past couple weeks?
KELLY: Again, I’ve said this since Day 1. He has worked extremely hard on his rehab. You’re talking about a guy that missed the offseason because of the injuries. That’s the only point I ever tried to make about that.
Q: You often reference 2013. Colin played 16 games in 2014.
KELLY: Whatever year it was. 2014. What did he weigh in 2014? That’s the only thing I ever said. You can let that go. That’s my point. He physically is not where he was pre-injury. Before that, he was a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, a little bit stronger. He will admit that. He has worked as hard as anybody I’ve been around in terms of his rehab. That’s the only point I’ve ever tried to make since Day 1. Hopefully we can let that part go.
Q: Will Blaine be the No. 2 quarterback?
KELLY: Yeah. We’re going to go forward, but you’ve got to distribute the reps. You can’t go all week long and then say, “Hey, we’re going to make the move on Saturday.” But then Colin didn’t get enough reps with the 1s.
Q: What was the reaction when you told the quarterbacks?
KELLY: They were fine. They both were professional. They both understand. Obviously the conversation with Kap is different from the conversation with Blaine, but it is what is and we’ve got to make those decisions and sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions.
Q: What kind of expectations do you have for Kap for his first game?
KELLY: I have the same expectations for our team – to be successful and to score points on the offensive side of the ball. That’s what we’re looking for.
Q: Will the practice reps be reversed?
Q: How much will the offense change?
KELLY: It doesn’t change. They’re both similar-type athletes in terms of what they can do. They both run. They both throw. So, I don’t think you’ll see…schematically we’re not going to change our entire offense to do this, because we’re not dealing with two different types of athletes. Blaine had 70 yards rushing in the last game on 10 attempts, so Blaine can run and do what we do offensively. Kap can do what we do.
ME: You said Kap wasn’t ready to play full-time just a few weeks ago, so what changed?
KELLY: When I made the decision on our starting quarterback was over five weeks ago. You’re talking six weeks of rehab between being ready. He also didn’t miss two weeks of preseason and camp. So based upon the time that we had him in preseason and camp, he wasn’t ready from a physical or a mental standpoint in terms of being ready to start the season, and that’s what we made our decision based on. We’re in Week 6 now of the National Football League. When we were talking about that decision was after the San Diego Chargers game. So that was six weeks ago (EDITOR’S NOTE: On 9/26, Kelly said, “He’s capable to be the backup, but I don’t think he’s ready to go full time.” That was just 15 days ago.)
Q: He had an arm issue in August. How does the arm look now?
KELLY: We haven’t had any issues since that issue in August. Knock on wood moving forward we won’t have any other issues with the arm.
Q: What is the biggest area of growth since the regular season has started that you’ve seen with Kap?
KELLY: I think he has gotten physically stronger in those six weeks.
Q: Did you consult with the players?
KELLY: We talked to just our coaching staff. We talked about everything we can do on the offensive side of the ball to improve. Just our coaching staff.
Q: Did you talk to both quarterbacks this morning?
Q: What was Colin’s reaction?
KELLY: He said, “Let’s go.”
Q: Did the team need a shot in the arm from an emotional standpoint?
KELLY: No, it was not emotional. We need to improve on the offensive side. And that was the decision we made moving forward offensively.