This is the transcript of Chip Kelly’s Week-13 Wednesday press conference from Orlando, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
What was your reaction when you heard of the move that Oregon made yesterday with former University of Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich?
“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother. He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell-of-a football coach, but he’s an even better person. So, just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all knew it when we signed up for it, but when it happens you’re still kind of taken aback by it.”
Have you had the opportunity to reach out to him yet?
“I talked to Helfy this morning.”
And of course the follow-up to that is your name is mentioned. Do you stand by what you said a couple of weeks ago that you’re where you are right now and you intend to remain here?
“Yup. So, we’re done with that, I hope.”
Did Oregon reach out and ask for any–?
“No. The only person I’ve talked to is Helf. So, we can talk about the Bears.”
They didn’t ask for any recommendations or anything like that?
“No. I have not talked to anybody at Oregon except for Mark Helfrich.”
There’s no chance you’ll be Oregon’s next head coach?
Because of where you stand on kind of helping build that program, would you expect to offer a recommendation if–?
“I have no idea. I love the people, everybody associated with the university. They were fantastic to me. So, if I can help them, I can help them, but my thoughts are with Helf right now.”
What have you gotten out of this experience so far? Only one day of practice, but how do you feel about packing up and coming to Orlando from–?
“I feel good. It’s not about packing up and coming to Orlando. It was about not going back. So, it saves you on travel and wear and tear. Traveling in this league is difficult when you’re going across country and to have to go back-to-back across country just didn’t make sense. A lot of teams have done it. I know I talked to [Miami Dolphins head coach] Adam Gase last week. Miami stayed in California when they did it. I know the Raiders stayed in Florida when they did it. So, it’s kind of common place in our league.”
How did you first connect with University of Central Florida head coach Scott Frost and obviously it seems like–?
“He coached with me at Oregon. He was on our staff at Oregon as a wide receiver coach for four years. So, I worked with him for four years.”
You inherited him on your staff or did you–?
“No. We hired him. I had been there two years previous before Scotty came out.”
How did you learn about him or how did he come across your–?
“He was a quarterback at Nebraska, won a national title.”
“Tall, blonde-headed guy. Watching him play quarterback at Nebraska.”
Watching him play quarterback, did you know he was going to be a good coach?
“I knew a lot of people that knew him. We got a chance to interview him, he did an unbelievable job in the interview and we were fortunate enough to hire him.”
He seems to be a young coach on the rise. I assume that doesn’t surprise you?
“No. I knew Scotty would be successful no matter what he chose to do. He just decided to get into coaching. He’s a very, very, very good football coach.”
With the way WR Rod Streater played the other day, whether WR Quinton Patton’s up or not, will Rod see more action?
“Yeah, he should. I think with Streat, all this is a meritocracy and he merits playing time. I thought what he did was really valuable for us, especially late in that fourth quarter there he made some really big plays for us. [WR] Chris Harper’s the same way. I thought he had a huge first down for us. So, it’s about trying to get the ball in playmaker’s hands and those guys did a really good job.”
I think the run game-wise, you guys are ranked in the top five. Passing is still down pretty low. How do you temper that? Do you want to see the passing game get a lot better?
“We’re equal opportunity. Doesn’t matter how we get our yards as long as we get our yards. More important than our yards is our points and that’s the biggest thing. As I said the other day, we had 475 yards of offense but we only scored 24 points out of it. We’ve got to do a better job scoring more points.”
Are you checking the weather reports to see how that might impact the game plan against the Bears?
“Yeah. We watch the weather no matter who we play every week. So, we keep a monitor on it and see what’s going to go on. I don’t expect anything. I was told when we played the Patriots, it wasn’t going to rain. So, that was a different story. Everybody’s weather’s different. No matter where you live, they’ll say if you don’t like the weather, wait a half hour, it’ll change. So, I’ve heard that everywhere traveling around the United States. We monitor it every week, keep an eye on it and we’ve got a better understanding of what it’s going to be like.”
WR Torrey Smith was saying yesterday he can’t remember a successful go route that he’s run this year. Is it something where defenses are specifically taking that away from him?
“Well, I think he’s faced some good corners and they’ve done a good job against him and we haven’t been able to connect with him. That would be nice if we could do that, but we haven’t been able to do that.”
What strikes you about Chicago’s defense, their scheme, personnel?
“I think that their two outside players, [Chicago Bears LB] Pernell McPhee and [Chicago Bears OLB] Willie Young are real tall, long, athletic and big. Willie played defensive end when he was at Detroit and did a really nice job there, but they’re two of the biggest outside linebackers we’ll face. And then they stay in the game when they go to nickel. So, they come to defensive end. I think their front is very stout. Their two defensive linemen are very big inside, all three defensive linemen if they stay in base is big inside. They’ve lost a couple linebackers just like we’ve lost a couple linebackers. So, I think it starts with their front and I think their front’s really kind of done a really good job of controlling the line of scrimmage in the games that they’ve played.”
What did you like about Chicago Bears QB Matt Barkley when he was coming out of school?
“Matt was one of the most prolific quarterbacks to ever play in the Pac-10/Pac-12. I think he holds a lot of the records still, played a lot of big games in college. I coached against him in a lot of big games and he was always poised, never really got rattled. I think he’s got a really good arm. I think he’s got a real sharp mind. He’s getting his opportunity now, but I thought when you watched him play last Sunday, I thought he played really well against the Titans. So, we expect the same thing coming in and we better be prepared against him.”