Jeff Driskel says Chip Kelly’s offense allows him to use his “God-given abilities.”

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Jeff Driskel spoke to a group of reporters in the 49ers’ media room Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.

Q: You’ve met Chip Kelly, right?


Q: What was your first meeting like?

DRISKEL: It was just a quick meeting. He sat us down and was telling us that we’re part of the team now, and it’s a great responsibility to be a 49er, and personally I’m so excited to be part of such a great tradition. I’m just honored to be here.

Q: How closely did you get to know Trent Brown and Kelvin Taylor at Florida?

DRISKEL: Ian Silberman as well. There’s three guys I played with in the past. I know them all really well. I had a chance to see Trent today. And Kelvin, we’ve been cutting up, hanging out a little bit today. So it’s been awesome. It’s really cool to see four former teammates in the NFL together. I think that’s pretty rare. It’s just a great opportunity for all of us, and I look forward to not just getting to work with them, but getting to work with everyone else as well.

Q: What kind of interaction have you had with Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick so far?

DRISKEL: Very little. Today was just rookies around. So very little. I met Blaine back when I was in high school at an Elite 11 camp, and he was one of the counselors. He helped me out and it was good to get to know him there. Just look forward to working with him and learning from him as well as the other quarterbacks in the room.

Q: Any texts with those guys?

DRISKEL: Just real quick with Blaine, like, “What should I bring?” Stuff like that.

ME: What’s your mindset for this offseason and what are your goals for this season?

DRISKEL: My mindset is just to come in and keep my mouth shut and learn, because there is a lot to learn. And I just want to come in and work hard and earn the respect of my teammates.

Q: Looking back at your early days at Florida, do you think you were burdened by expectations?

DRISKEL: I don’t really look back in that light. I had a good experience there. Four good years there. Graduated. Had a lot of fun. Met a lot of great people. Won a lot of games. So, my memories of Florida are positive experiences. My last year at Louisiana Tech, another positive experience. My mindset is to move forward, and that’s what I’m going to do.

Q: How different is it now, being a sixth-round pick, not having that same spotlight on you – do you think you benefit from that?

DRISKEL: I don’t think that has anything to do with what I’m going to do or how I’m going to work. If I was a first-round pick or an undrafted guy, I would work the same. And I think that’s most people’s mindset, is I’m going to come in and earn the respect of everyone else no matter where I got drafted.

Q: Did you take a few trips to see teams during the pre-draft process?

DRISKEL: Yeah, I took a few trips.

Q: Can you say where you went?

DRISKEL: Yeah. I went out to San Diego, went to Kansas City, went to Denver, went to Houston. But wouldn’t look to much into those.

Q: Were you thinking along those lines, that one of those teams would draft you?

DRISKEL: I think naturally you kind of think like that, but there was a lot of people along the way that told me, “Don’t get your sights set on one particular spot.” So I didn’t. And I was just so excited to talk to Coach whenever he called. It’s been awesome ever since, and can’t wait to get going.

Q: Have you got the playbook yet?

DRISKEL: Not yet.

Q: Have you done any research on Chip’s offensive style?

DRISKEL: It’s hard to do research. Obviously, I’ve watched a bunch of Eagles games and Oregon games in the past, but it’s hard to do research. There’s not the ins and outs of the playbook just online, so it’s hard to that research. But we’ll be getting it soon enough, and I’ll have a lot of time. I will definitely dedicate myself to getting it down.

Q: From watching those games, how do you see that offense adapting to your skillset?

DRISKEL: I don’t think it’s going to adapt to me.

Q: Or you to it.

DRISKEL: I think that it’s an explosive offense for explosive players. I just look forward to getting into it, learning it and competing every day.

ME: Are you an explosive player?

DRISKEL: I think I am, yeah. I believe that I am.

Q: You signed your deal already, right?

DRISKEL: Mhm, yeah.

Q: You had a lot of ups and downs, played at two schools. Do you think you come into the league a little better equipped than maybe a typical quarterback just given everything you’ve been through at this point? Are you a little mentally stronger than if everything went real smoothly for you in college?

DRISKEL: I don’t know if I’m any more equipped than anybody else. I think that going through some tough times helped me as a player and as a person. I’m kind of battle tested in that respect, know how to handle when times aren’t always going great. In the NFL, that’s going to happen. And I’ve just proven that I can respond from that and move forward.

Q: Can you stay for the rest of the offseason program?

DRISKEL: As far as I know.

Q: You’re packed and you’re here for good?

DRISKEL: Yeah. Hope so.

ME: How much experience do you have running the zone-read and how comfortable are you with that play?

DRISKEL: I’ve done it a lot. In just about every offense that I’ve been in, I’ve done the zone-read. It’s a play that I feel like I’m good at. I’ve got a good feel for what the defensive end is going to do, and have a good feel for hitting it up inside and getting down when the defense collapses on me. So it’s a play that I’ve done in the past, and I know it’s a part of the offense over here.

Q: You were the 14th or 15th quarterback selected. As you were watching the draft, or following it, and you see quarterbacks taken ahead of you, does that put a little chip on your shoulder? Does it make you feel like you have something to prove?

DRISKEL: As a competitor, you always want to be regarded highly and you want to be the first one taken. You think you should before this guy or that guy. But at the end of the day, I’m happy that I landed here. I think it’s a great fit. Just can’t wait to get to work with these guys because I think it’s the perfect fit.

ME: What do you like about the fit?

DRISKEL: I just think it’s an offense that allows me to use my God-given abilities.

This article has 54 Comments

  1. Just be patient with this guy. Allow him to develop and let either Blaine or Kaep get ruined before this guy. So when it’s time for him to play the team will be stronger around him. He has a lot of talent to work with.

  2. DRISKEL: My mindset is just to come in and keep my mouth shut and learn, because there is a lot to learn.
    I already like this kid!!!

    1. Exactly! That is what every employer wants to hear from a “rookie”. Pay attention all millennials!

      1. Wasn’t Tom Brady picked in the 5th or 6th round? He didn’t turn out to be chopped liver or that $10 beer you are talking about. .

        1. Apparently, Jeff Driskel was overheard telling Jed York, ‘I’m the best decision this organization has ever made’….

  3. You and that zone-read Grant….

    I would have died if Jeff was like “Its the read-option fist of all…”


  4. The hate for Kaepernick is unreal. So unreal he have to try and justify a 6th round pick being a potential starter for this team. A 6th round pick that left the best division in college football because he wasn’t good enough. Just stop people and get over your distaste for Kaepernick. It’s so annoying to see the constant adolescent comments hating on him. He gives the 49ers the best chance to get to a super bowl over the next 3-5 years.

    1. Sorry but I don’t see the hate. I think most think as I do. I’d like to see him succeed but I think we differ on how that best might happen. I say elsewhere. Not hate involved at all.

        1. I was starting to count the posts that agreed with your view of this blog. So far I’m still at one. I wish I wasn’t.

    2. Well that kid that you mention was the best QB in the country coming out of HS. Very highly regarded. Went to Florida to follow Urban Meyer. Problem was that Meyer decided to take a medical leave and disappeard from Florida. Driskal ended up staying with a program that was horrible to put it kindly. His play was not good. He transferrd to LT and had a soild year. The kid is 6’4 234 with a very good arm. Not to mention he clocked a 4.47 in the forty. I support Kaep as the starter this year if he is committed to the team. But if developed properly, Driskal can be something special. Just imagine Kaepernick but stronger mentally.

      1. Bro the only difference between his numbers at Florida vs his numbers at Louisiana Tech is good competion vs lesser competition. I’m not saying he isn’t talented but I don’t think he’s ever going to be a starter in this league.

        1. No one thought Kaep was either coming out of Nevada. They knew he was talented but would take a long time to develop. This kid has rare ability just like Kaep. You will see. Except he is stronger mentally.

      2. I’m certainly pulling for Driskel because I don’t think that Gabbert is the answer and I think it would take a miracle for the FO and Kaep to mend fences over the long term. No matter what anyone says about Kaep’s faults, he did us good and the 49ers pretended to have his back right up to the time that they decided to throw him under the bus. (Kinda like that Harbaugh fellow) . Hard to get beyond that – I don’t care who you are.

    3. Sorry, if you have followed my posts, you would see that I love Kaep and hopes he wins multiple rings.
      I just was being sarcastic, and kidding about past posts that stated that players who give good interviews are better QBs than Kaep who has given poor interviews.
      The tattoo comment was also another tongue in cheek comment.

      1. Seb, as you know I’ve been critical of Kap. Now that he’s healthy and in a system that’s supposed to be friendly to him, we’ll see how he does. I would be ecstatic if he won the starting job in a fair contest and revived his career, and I would think Kelly feels the same way. I don’t think it’s going to happen, though, for above-the-neck issues.

        By the way, regarding Kelly, isn’t he a breath of fresh air when it comes to press conferences?

    1. Pot ..

      now.. if only the other two stooges would
      follow him out the door …
      (Pears,.. and Jonathon Martin’s twin brother as well)

      1. They already cut Corey Acosta; I think that’s why George said “two more cuts” (Acosta and Devey were the first two).

    1. I think it’s Gaskins and Je’Ron Hamm. We are going to keep Thompson so we have extra arms in camp (especially with Kaepernick still only doing light throwing); Kelly had to do some of the throwing during this most recent workout since we didn’t have enough QBs (he likes to have multiple sets going at the same time).

      We have enough running back bodies to let Gaskins go (with Hayne, Davis, Hyde, Droughns, Taylor, and Harris). Additionally, with the addition of Cajuste as an UDFA, we now have 5 TEs to find time for (including Anderson, who we probably want to spend some time seeing what we got given he was out all of last year).

    1. Since we have nothing exciting to talk about we can just talk about a 6th round draft pick.

      Right now he is the 5th qb on depth chart. Most likely practice squad.

  5. Branch – 49ers waived Devey, Acosta, Gaskins, (Dylan) Thompson.

    Devey of course. Mildly surprised about Gaskins.

    1. I wouldn’t have guessed Gaskins, but now that they’ve cut him, I can see it. Impressive measurables but never impressed two prior coaching staffs, even after Hyde’s injury.

            1. Part of that is terrible run blocking, but unlike Hyde, he isn’t quick enough to make something out of nothing.

  6. Q: From watching those games, how do you see that offense adapting to your skillset?

    DRISKEL: I don’t think it’s going to adapt to me.

    Haha, that was pretty witty. Ok, I really like this guy!

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