SANTA CLARA — Here’s a transcript of Chip Kelly’s post-game press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
What went into the thinking in starting QB Blaine Gabbert and just giving him the two series?
“We were just trying to break it up by snaps, so obviously, I think, trying to figure out how many we were going to have in the game. We just missed in the first drive with him, but then he came back in the second drive and we had a chance to go down the field and score. Green Bay went back out on the field and had a long drive, so we started to move into the second quarter. We wanted to keep our ones in for both of those guys, so we just felt like how many snaps we were going to get in the second quarter. We were trying to balance it out if we could with [QB] Colin [Kaepernick] and him to see that they both had the same guys to play with, so that you can make some evaluations based upon that the only thing that changed was the quarterback.”
How did Kaepernick do?
“He was up and down, I think, like all of us offensively. We weren’t very consistent except for that one drive. I think that was kind of the story of the game. We flashed but we didn’t. We weren’t consistent enough in any range, whether it was running the football, converting, protecting, catching it. We had a couple drives there, I think, where some drops contributed to what we did. So, just disappointed in the offense as a whole.”
Do you still consider this competition open or is it coming to a–?
“We’ll sit down as a staff, we’ve got to watch the film. You’re never going to make any decisions just walking off the field in terms of where you are. We’ll sit down as a staff and kind of see where we are, the overall state. First and foremost, we have to be better offensively. We played better in the Houston and the Denver game. We didn’t really play very well on offense at all at any position, so we have to clean that up.”
I know they both played with the ones, but did you give consideration to starting Colin Kaepernick and would that have mattered at all in your mind?
“We just thought it was snaps, so we didn’t really, it wasn’t a long discussion about who starts. Starting to me, you can start the game and then the guy goes in on the next play. I think it’s just a ceremonious thing.”
One of them has to start week one.
“I understand that.”
Does this mean that Blaine Gabbert is likely to be the starter?
“No, it means we’re going to evaluate this like we’ve always said that we were going to evaluate it. Our goal today was to see if we could get even amounts of snaps for those guys with the ones and that’s what we were looking for. I’m just talking about today. I’m not talking about the future or moving forward or anything from that stretch.”
With Blaine having started the first two games before tonight, why not give Kaepernick a longer run?
“Again, we were just trying to get the snaps. So, what that was, again, Blaine had three-and-out and then scored and then we took him out. It’s also a byproduct of they had a real long drive, our defense trying to get [Green Bay Packers QB] Aaron [Rodgers] off the field. Aaron had that one long drive that they scored on to tie it back up. It may have been a different thought process if after Blaine’s touchdown we forced them to do a three-and-out. Then all of a sudden, there’s time left on the clock in the first quarter. It was just trying to even the snaps out. We knew once that drive started going, we talked on the sideline that, hey, we’re going to get Kap in there and let him go.”
Any thought to keeping Colin in for the third quarter just to give him more snaps?
“No, just because of what we were doing up front and not having [T] Joe [Staley] and that group in there protecting him, I thought it would be a little bit different.”
Did you have script plays for this game as if it were a regular season game?
Is there a timeline when you want to make a decision on your starter? How soon?
Is T Anthony Davis your starting right guard?
“We’ll see how he played in this game, it’s an evaluation. He’s gotten more snaps in practice and we’re working. And a lot of it is feedback from Anthony and how comfortable is he in terms of us being able to run everything. We didn’t run a whole lot schematically today and a lot of that was we had some guys in some new positions and we wanted to give them a chance to at least do some things that they felt comfortable doing. So, we weren’t very expansive with the playbook and some of that is because we were moving some different guys around.”
Why did you guys sit out LB NaVorro Bowman, LB Ahmad Brooks and S Antoine Bethea?
“We just wanted to see, number one, wanted to see the safeties play behind Bethea in that situation. Wanted to take a long look at [DT] Tank [Carradine] and the other outside linebackers, because obviously [LB] Aaron [Lynch] is not going to play in the first four games, so really who is going to play opposite of Brooksey and we kind of know what we have in Ahmad. And, the same thing with Bo, where are we if Bo were to go down and how comfortable are those other linebackers playing the MIKE spot. It was just a chance to get more reps for the other linebackers, the other safeties and the other outside linebackers because we know that Bo, Ahmad and Antoine are going to be there for us when we play the Rams.”
You got CB Will Redmond on the field tonight, has he come along as you’ve hoped?
“He’s still a work in progress, but it was good to finally get him back. That was his first game experience. Again, we’ll take a look at the film a little bit more closely to see where he is, but it was just happy. Both him and [S] L.J [McCray], who have not played, and see where they are and also see the effects of where they are, does the game-like situation affect them a little bit from the physical standpoint. We will obviously monitor them as we get ready for this short week against San Diego.”
Is Kaepernick comfortable with the entire playbook or do you have to call specific plays?
“No, Kap is comfortable with everything we are doing. So, it wasn’t anything to do with Kap or Blaine in terms of their knowledge. Our quarterbacks are really comfortable. Again, Anthony Davis, it is his first game playing guard. We are moving some different things around there, but it had nothing to do with the quarterbacks comfortability in terms of what we call or what we do.”
Do you have any preliminary reports of the severity of WR Bruce Ellington’s and DT Quinton Dial’s injuries?
“No, I don’t. I didn’t get anything. I was told Bruce was a hamstring. I didn’t even get anything on Q. Dial yet, so that’s usually follow-up after this.
I ask this because there’s some chatter around the topic, is there any chance Colin would be cut before Week One?
“We’ve never had a conversation about that. That’s never come up. There’s never been a conversation about cutting Colin Kaepernick.”
Can you talk a little bit more about Tank Carradine and what you’ve seen from him in his position change?
“Yeah, I think Tank has really taken to it. Playing on his feet, setting edges. He’s a physical force when it comes to rushing the quarterback. I think he had a sack tonight, if I remember. I think he’s an outside linebacker in what we do defensively. He’s not a down guy. He’s not a hand in the ground guy. He is an outside linebacker and we’ve been encouraged with him and that’s why part of our decision with Ahmad was to see if we could get Tank some more snaps, specifically against the ones and we knew with Aaron and that group, that we were going to play against a pretty good offense and let’s see how Tank can do against them. We’ve been really pleased with that transition. He played some defensive end before and was an interior pass rusher, but having him on his feet and playing outside linebacker, I think he’s taken to it.”
Why does the offense have so much trouble starting games?
“Well, I think we have a small sample size to say that. I think there’s not one specific thing, if there was you would try to correct that immediately. We had a couple of drops to start a game. We’ve had some missed passes to start a game. There’s a combination of things, but there are signs that they can do the right thing. You look at the second drive that we got out there and did a nice job. Started moving, got into a rhythm. Usually when we get that first first-down things continue to move in a positive direction from then. It’s something, obviously, that we need to clean up because you don’t want to start the game with a three-and-out.”
It looked like the turf was coming up. I didn’t see a lot of guys slip. Were you happy with the turf–?
“I saw a couple, but again, I’ll talk to our guys. I don’t think I saw anybody specifically slip because of the turf, but it looked like there were a few divots out there.”