Chip Kelly: “We don’t try to operate at a very quick pace.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Chip Kelly’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


The move to bump up LB Shayne Skov, what have you seen from him and how can he fit in and help you guys?

“Shayne was actually a difficult cut at the cut to 53, because I thought he did enough to make the team. Obviously, we felt like we had six inside linebackers that were NFL quality players. So, that was a difficult day for Shayne and for us. But, I told him, we looked at it if we could clear waivers we’d get an opportunity to put him on the practice squad and really look at it as you are our sixth inside linebacker and if we ever had to make a move we would bring him up immediately. So, I think we were fortunate because of our depth there. We are obviously going to miss [LB] Ray-Ray [Armstrong]. Feel bad for him in terms of having to go on IR and going to be out for the year because I thought he was playing well for us. But, I think we feel confident in being able to bump Shayne up and with [LB Gerald] Hodges and with [LB Michael] Wilhoite and with [LB Nick] Bellore, that we still have some depth at the inside linebacker position.”

Does he cross-train at both spots, Shayne?

“Yeah, they all have to. If you’re not, [LB NaVorro Bowman] Bo doesn’t cross-train, but all of the other four do. Just depending on what were to happen. Bo is the MIKE, but the other guys, Gerald can do both, Bellore does both, Wilhoite does both and Shayne will do both.” 


Ray-Ray was obviously good in coverage. Any of those backup linebackers who are–?

“Mike is good. Mike would be the next guy up in that situation. Those guys had a really good battle in camp between the two of those guys in who really was going to be that coverage linebacker for us and real confident in Mike in being able to do that.”


Is S Jaquiski Tartt a guy that can do that too?

“Yeah, he’s got a lot of different roles in terms of safety and what we’re doing with him in some of our other packages. So, that’s not a maneuver that we’d be making right now in terms of moving him to linebacker.”


I think in 2010 when you were at Oregon, you took a trip down to Santa Clara and maybe a couple other places. What was the point of doing that and what did you learn on those visits?

“Well, one of the things I think in our sport which is pretty neat is in research and development people will let you come visit and talk with them. In almost every case, that’s a spring trip because once you’re in the middle of your season you don’t have the time to do it. One of the things I always wanted to do when I became a head coach was I’d love to watch someone practice in season because how you practice in the spring, whether it be in the NFL or in college, is a lot different than how you practice in season. So, just to get some ideas of in-season practices. Obviously being at Oregon and being in the Pac-12, you couldn’t go visit another Pac-12 team. And then, a lot of the other teams, we had played Boise or had games coming up with some of the other really good teams in the West. You weren’t going to be able to visit a college. So, I took a trip and went, my first time I went and because I knew [Seattle Seahawks head coach] Pete [Carroll] from the league, I got a chance to go watch the Seahawks in season and then because of my relationship with [former 49ers and current University of Michigan head coach] Jim [Harbaugh] I came down here and watched them I think the next year and then the following year I actually went to Air Force and watched Air Force practice in-season as they prepared whether it be their big workday during the week or Wednesday or Thursday. I can’t recall which day it was. It’s just an opportunity to grow as a coach.”


Were you looking at how they organized their practice, the pace at which they ran it?

“I was looking at everything. There wasn’t one specific thing. I think, if I go watch a high school practice when I was a college coach, I may be able to pick up something from that, take down a note of, ‘Hey, how this guy taught someone how to pull on a trap block, that’s a good way to do it or that’s a good way to present it.’ So, I think when you’re going, I wasn’t going to get, ‘Hey, I’m looking for this thing specific.’ I think you just go in with wide eyes and I’m a lifelong learner. You can get anything out of it and I don’t think you just go and look at, ‘I want this one specific thing and I’m not going to pay attention to anything else.’ So, I spent all my time trying to take as much information as I could in on all three of those visits and I was fortunate because of, whether it was Jim or Pete or [United States Air Force Academy head coach] Troy Calhoun at Air Force, that they allowed me to do it. Not a lot of people would allow people to come in, especially in-season, but it was good experience for me.”


As a coach, quarterback accuracy seems like an innate trait. But, as a coach, how do you coach accuracy from your quarterback?

“I don’t think it’s an innate trait. I think it’s something that they really need to work on. It’s a byproduct of a lot of different things; protection, being on the same page as the receivers, the mechanics about you, how you throw the ball, how are your feet set. There’s a lot to it. I don’t think it’s as easy as some people think it is. It’s the most difficult position to play because you’re trying to execute something while someone is trying to take your head off. It’s not as easy I think as people think, but I think it’s a huge part of being a very, very good quarterback are the ones with repetitive accuracy is what you talk about on a consistent basis. Not only just getting it to the receiver, but getting it to the receiver in a position where he can go make a play on the ball.”


With that said, where did QB Blaine Gabbert kind of run into some issues in his first two games?

“Again, I think it’s not always the quarterback. And I try to say that not to take pressure off of Blaine, but just because that’s the case. We had one in the preseason game and he’s like, ‘Well, it was a bad pass to the running back.’ Well, the running back is supposed to run a flat route and the running back didn’t run a flat route. So, the quarterback looks like he’s very inaccurate on the throw, but it’s not the quarterback’s fault. He’s expecting the running back to go up three yards, plant and drive to the sideline at five yards and deliver the ball on time there. When the running back runs the wrong route everybody looks at it and says, ‘What a bad throw by the quarterback.’ Well, sometimes it’s not the quarterback’s fault. It’s a combination of everything. Or the quarterback gets put off his launch point because we missed something in protection. We had a play the other night when we had everything blocked up well, but the three-technique just beat our guard and was in the quarterback’s face before he had an opportunity to throw the ball. Now, that’s not the quarterback’s fault, but that’s what he has to deal with. There’s a lot that’s involved in all of that and I think being good in the passing game on the offensive side of the ball takes all 11 guys. It doesn’t just take a quarterback that’s an accurate guy because if you can’t protect him he’s not going to be very active. Or, if your receivers and the quarterback aren’t on the same page, you’re not going to be very accurate.”


ME: Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins said the offense needs to get back to the basics. What are the basics that you haven’t been doing?

“You should ask Curtis what he meant by that because I don’t follow that one.”


ME: Do you disagree with his statement that the offense needs to get back to basics?

“I don’t know what the context of the question was. So, it’s tough for me to elaborate on what Curtis said. That’s maybe something you could talk to Curtis about.”


The offense wasn’t running at the usual, very quick pace that you do at times in the Carolina game and I know you can switch that up at will, but why, it seems to be an advantage. Why slow down?

“I guess, again, that’s a misconception we talk about all the time. We don’t try to operate at a very quick pace and don’t try to run more plays than other people run. Just trying to take advantage of what the defense is. Sometimes when you’re playing against a multiple defense, you want to make sure you’re in the right play and we can have checks that are done at the line of scrimmage. So, again, it goes back to, we talked about a long time the misconception that we want to play fast. It’s just one of our tools in our toolbox that if it helps you because you know the look you’re going to get and you can get them before they can lineup, it’s beneficial to you. But, if you play fast and say, they have six guys on the right side and you run a ball to the right side and you lose four yards on the play, then playing fast isn’t a real good thing to do. So, I think sometimes when you’re playing multiple defenses, you want to be in the right look, you want to make a check at the line of scrimmage. So, it’s all part of what we do. It’s just one phase. We can play fast if the situation dictates that we play fast. But, there was a lot of checking that went on in the Carolina game. So, if we’re checking in the Carolina game to make sure we’re getting in and out of the right plays, then obviously when you’re going to check then you’re not going to play fast.”


They’re still not able to substitute guys in during that–?

“Yeah, everybody, I don’t think the substitution, there’s never been an issue with teams not being able to substitute because when you change personnel, they can change personnel. So, if we put 11 personnel in the game, they’re matched up with 11 personnel. So, if we want to go fast and put two tight ends in the game, well then the officials are going to stand over the ball and let them match. So, I don’t think matching up or playing fast so they can’t substitute, that rule changed a while ago and the offense doesn’t have an advantage where in the past, what you could do is you could run a guy on before they could run a guy on and then they let you snap the ball. Now if you watch the mechanics of it, the referee stands over the ball and actually looks at the sideline and says, ‘Are you going to sub and if you’re going to match then we’re going to let that guy come on the field.’ So, that aspect of it, it’s at least four or five year now that rule has changed so that it’s not an advantage in terms of trying to play fast and catch them with the wrong grouping on the field.”


What’s your take on the Seahawks secondary and how they might play WR Torrey Smith?

“I think the Seahawks secondary is probably the best in the league right now. You know, you’ve got three perennial Pro Bowl players in [Seattle Seahawks SS Kam] Chancellor, [Seattle Seahawks FS Earl] Thomas and [Seattle Seahawks CB] Richard Sherman. You know, the one thing about the Seahawks is the Seahawks do what the Seahawks do. You know, they try to dictate to you offensively on how you’re going to play based upon how they play. They’ve got a great scheme that those guys have been in for a long time. They are very comfortable in that scheme. They’ve played together for a long time and [Seattle Seahawks CB] Jeremy Lane, the other corner, is a very good player too who bumps inside to nickel when they get into a nickel package. So, his ability to be such a versatile player, he’s really good too. But, Richard’s usually going to end up as the left corner on defense or the right corner as we face him. Earl’s usually the high safety. Kam’s the guy that comes down in the box and they do what they do. Occasionally they’ll match, but you don’t know if they’re going to match. But, a lot of times they don’t match but then they can play different coverages because sometimes when people match, you know, you put Torrey on the other side, if 25 goes over, you know what the coverage is. Well, they’ll leave Richard over there and cover a tight end and they’ll still play man behind it. So, I think some of their versatility from their secondary allows them to disguise things even better from a coverage standpoint.”


Their defensive front has also been together for a long time. So, with that defensive front, what’s unique about that that allows the secondary to be as effective–?

“Well, the whole group, they’re number one in the league right now in defense I think in total yardage and points. There’s a reason for it. You know, you’ve got [Seattle Seahawks DE Michael] Bennett and [Seattle Seahawks DE Cliff] Avril in that group in the front. You’ve got two of the best inside linebackers in [Seattle Seahawks LB K.J.] Wright and [Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby] Wagner inside and then the secondary as I spoke about. So, they’ve got playmakers at every level and that’s where the whole group as a whole has been together a lot. They’ve got great experience in Pete’s system and then they play it as such. So, there’s not a lot of inexperience when you’re going against this group this week.”


But, how’s that defensive front, what’s unique about that front seven and the pressure–?

“I just think their athletic ability and that they can generate a pass rush with four guys. That they don’t have to manufacture rushes by always blitzing you and trying to get an extra rusher or attacking your protections as they can break down. They can rush four against your five and still get home.”


At what point in your coaching career did you start implementing non-verbal play calls and was that done to help playing in loud road environments?

“Non-verbal play calls–.”


Hand signals and–?

“That’s just a, I think since we started coaching that’s how, you either signaled the play into the quarterback and then he called it in the huddle or if you lined up in no huddle, you signal it into everybody. So, say, 25 years ago.”


Your 2014 meeting against Seattle, is that still relevant? Is that something you have looked at or will look at this week?

“Yeah, we have looked at it, but I don’t know how relevant it is. It’s obviously different personnel here, different scheme here in terms of who we are. There’s a lot of the same faces there which is one of the reasons they’re such a good defense. But, we look at everything. So, we’ve probably got 10 or 15 games that we looked at in terms of preparing for Seattle. But, I don’t know how relevant that matchup was in terms of what we’re going to do on Sunday.”

This article has 54 Comments

  1. Hmm…seems coach feels questions asked by a certain reporter, are, how do you say, dumb? This is the second interview I’ve seen where he hasn’t really answered this certain reporters question (the other being when he was asked about how the team played last year). From this report, every other question was answered…but one…

    1. Yeah, that seemed to come across as a little hostile to Grant. I wonder if Chip has a chip on his shoulder about being called predictable.

      1. Based on previous pressers it is obvious that the coaching staff is on the same page with certain things. One being that they don’t compare the past with now, and the other being that they won’t speak for someone else.

        The question would have been better if it was just, “Do you think your offense needs to get back to basics?” Or “What are some of the basic things that your offense does which you’ve noticed are a bit off from last week?”

        As soon as Kelly heard Modkins’ name he wasn’t going to give an answer.

  2. Chip and Kap are made for each other. Two guys that had success until they got figured out. You can’t be a one trick pony in professional sports. You may have short term success but most likely you will be a has been in 1 to 3 years.

  3. Guys, we are 2 games into the season. R-E-L-A-X!

    The offense is clearly not running on all cylinders yet. Chip has installed a very different offense, and this is a very young team. Why would anyone expect the 49ERS offense to get off to a fast start this season, playing 2 of the better front sevens in the NFL, including an east coast road trip (in which west coast team historically struggle, regardless of being handcuffed due to a short week), against the defending conference champion, on a short week, leaving very little time to prepare offensively (or defensively)? We really need to be careful here, and keep things in perspective. 2 games is not a large enough sample size to draw any firm conclusions.

    Would you like an example?

    Aaron Rodgers famously told Green Bay fans to “RELAX” after week 3 of the 2014 season. They Pack had begun the season 1-2, and were coming off of an embarrassing offensive performance against Detroit, in which Rodgers totalled 162 yards passing and the Packers scored a grand total of 7 points through 4 QTRS. Their offense appeared to be stuck between gears, ranking 28th in total yards at that point, and Aaron Rodgers had failed to reach the 200-yard mark in two of those three games. Following week 3, Green Bay went 13-3 for the rest of the season, and finished the season 6th in total offense that year, despite the slow start.

    Another factor to consider here is that the 49ers offense is operating with one of the league’s worst group of WR’s. This was clearly a weakness coming into training camp, and only got worse after losing 2 of their top 4 WR’s following season ending injuries (Ellington, Rogers).

    On top of that, Gabbert is clearly not yet comfortable running the inside-zone, or the power play, and he certainly hasn’t developed enough chemistry with his top slot receiver (Kerley), which is a key cog in Chip’s offensive system, nor has he developed chemistry with probably their best possession receiver (Streeter), after CFL star, Eric Rogers tore his ACL early in training camp.

    Another factor to consider is the offensive line. This might be the most improved position group on the 49ers 2016 roster. However, the 49ers had been experimenting with different combinations on their OL, and there was a lot of “fluidity” as far as determining the team’s best starting 5, thanks in part to the lunatic – Anthony Davis, and rookie OG Joshua Garnett, who missed most of the team’s offseason activities due to academic rules.

    Unfortunately, the schedule makers didn’t do the 49ers any favors this season, as things won’t get a whole lot easier going into CenturyLink Field this week. The Seahawk’s home field advantage is going to be another major test for Chip Kelly’s 49ERS who likely aren’t yet well enough prepared to operate. As a matter of fact, this is probably the toughest stadium in the NFC for opposing teams to function.

    As Aaron would say, I suggest we, as diehard, dyed-in-blood 49ER fans, R-E-L-A-X, and give this offense a realistic amount of time to develop, before we start digging into specific offensive issues. After all, if we were being honest, a slow start to the season should have been EXPECTED.

    And let’s face reality. There probably isn’t enough talent at WR, or perhaps QB, for us to expect this team to be at the top of the league offensively, no matter what kind of scheme these players are working out of. It’s going to take a minimum of one more offseason, probably 2, before we should realistically expect the 49ers offense to start rolling through their opponents on the way to the postseason. That’s reality, and reality bites.

    One more point. On top of everything I have mentioned above, remember this guys …… IT’S NOT HOW YOU START THE NFL SEASON, IT’S HOW YOU FINISH!

    1. 49 reasons

      Well spoken 49R’s…So much better than I could have done….How must the team feel, being in first place in their division and yet being smacked around by their own fans…?
      It sure would make me do a double-take before stepping out onto the field of battle to fight and bleed for them. I believe that ’71 was our first uncontested division championship…by that time, I had been screaming my lungs out for the 49ers for 12 or 13 years. Patience has paid me off to the tune of 5 shining Lombardi’s, and hopefully more to come. kwit Bitchin’

            1. Phillips is good but Pete Carroll is no slouch either. I think what we’re getting at here is the 49ers offense is in for a struggle. Hopefully the SF defense gets over their road woes.

              1. Better than decent Razor. He hass built up that team with Schneider and kept them competitive. I hate his guts but he is doing a great job. Just imagine if he had a decent offensive coordinator?

              1. It’s Trent Baalke’s fault!

                I don’t know. It’s a dirty business, run by a hypocritical league, made up of greedy owners. Maybe less people are able to rationalize the exchange of brutality for entertainment. Or maybe the quality of play is down and the games aren’t as much fun anymore…

                There could be a lot of reasons, but I watch Redzone every sunday that can, and am very entertained.

              2. Grimey, I’m thinking some fans are getting caught up in reality with the protests, while just wanting to escape with their favorite pastime….

              3. I’ve been woke a long time. Racism and police brutality aren’t new concepts to me. I’m building more respect for NFL players now, but I know I’m in the minority among Americans, who hate CK more than rapists, a cheater, and the dirtiest player in the league. And if viewership is down for the NFL, it’s just chickens coming home to roost for the way they’ve messaged and conditioned their audience.

              4. Viewership is down across the board. A lot of it is likely social media and other ways to watch the games. Spending 3+ hours in front of the TV is a lot when someone can just check Twitter or some livestream to catch up on what’s going on.

              5. Probably many reasons why viewership is down but the biggest imo is the fact people have many other options than a TV in which to watch the games now. I’m not sure if the ratings take other media into account, but PVR’s, youtube, twitter, tablets, phones etc, all contribute to a new way of watching everything; not just football.

                There is also the matter of the game being watered down with the rule changes, popular players being portrayed negatively due to infractions or behavior, a steady stream of arrests, suspensions, drug violations on and on and on.

                The league has to adapt to the changing times and they are trying, but it stands to reason that over time new generations will develop passions for other things. ESports are likely to overtake Pro sports leagues in popularity in the not too distant future, especially with all the medical discoveries coming to light in regards to the physical toll being taken on those who play them. I have a 14 year old son who doesn’t watch TV at all, and has little interest in pro sports even though I’ve been indoctrinating him since birth. He only watches things under his control, on his schedule, on a computer or Ipad. It’s a changing world.

              6. Whoops didn’t mean to parrot your post on different ways to watch the game Jack. Didn’t see it until posting mine.

              7. No problem rocket. Your response was a little more in depth than mine anyway. Plus I have the same trouble with my kids that you do. They’d rather watch stuff on their iPads and couldn’t care less about watching the games.

          1. And also unlike the Panthers, the Seahawks have no offense. If Niners put up as much on the sqawks as they did the Panthers this becomes a laugher.

              1. Prime, I’d like to think so. Clink has been the graveyard of a few Niners dreams before though. We’ll see.

      1. Grant, you are splitting hairs, as we say. Five of the Ram’s starting front Seven (4-3 base) are 1st round picks, and held the Seahawks to 3 points through 4 QTR’S last Sunday.

    2. 49, with 3 playoff teams in the first 5 games, the beginning is brutal. Still, a few wins early would give me more inspiration, and hopefully shut up the nay sayers.

      I, too, hope they finish strong.

    3. Thank you for your analogy 49reasons. I agree. However, like degenerate gamblers, many faithful are hopeful that the team struggles, so they can bemoan their season, blame some other entity for their own failures through projection, and at the end of the day console one another in self pity and commiserate. This blog should be renamed. There isn’t anything “inside the 49ers” about this blog, because the curator has antagonized the organization so badly that he can’t even get his questions answered.
      The comments of the blog are the true value and the person writing the reports really doesn’t matter. There is more “inside” analysis by the savvy few here who offer their expertise and insight in the comments below the antagonisms.
      Thank you for your contribution here.

      1. Ha…I agree. I have never read a blogger make more predictions and project his personal opinion more.

        I just want to add two things:

        1. The first commenter to the thread called one blogger a “reporter.” Reporters “report” the news, not opine the news.
        2. I wouldn’t admit in my blog that I asked two questions where I was pretty much told to pound sand.

      2. Let me propose an alternate reality. Many faithful hope that the Yorks will realize that they are the problem and not the solution instead of wishin and hoping that the tooth fairy will put a good football team under our pillow. Jed is going nowhere so other changes have to be made. But to just keep changing head coaches year after year and wishin and hoping is not a plan. Wise sages like you Matt are sure that Chip is the one change (it is the only substantive change that was made this year) that will turn around the train wreck that has occurred. It isn’t that those who disagree are just negative people who like to bemoan, as you say. It’s because we have had all of the York BS that we can take. The 49ers are still one of the worst teams in the NFL and all the positive and/or negative comments on this board will not change anything. Until the team is managed properly from the top, don’t get your hopes up. For me, now is the time for the faithful to pray for high draft picks and someone who knows what to do with them.

  4. The Seahawks game comes down to the 49ers defense. They didnt come to play against Carolina and for this team to do anything, it has to start with what Baalke has put his entire past couple drafts into, the defense.
    Buckner, Armstead, Harold, Robinson, Brock, Ward etc. These guys have to show they can travel and shut down an opponent and get timely stops. We know the offense does not have the weapons. But we have spent so many high picks on building the defense that against a team that does not have have M. Lynch anymore and a gimpy Wilson right now, they gotta take advantage and not give up big plays!

  5. Hammer,
    To experience a game live and then to have to endure idiots telling you what you see , has a lot to do with my falling veiwership. Of course, my wife has the best explanation, she says who wants to see a bunch of grown men show casing, The new NFL, the Push and Shove league.

  6. I expect the Niner d to dominate Sunday. Wilson, Baldwin, and Rawls are banged up. Jimmy Graham has never been a good fit in Seattle. They lost Unger last year, no Lynch, and they got shut down by L.A..

      1. The same can be said about the Niners taking out their frustrations. I actually think Chips’ offense and Gabbert match up well against the Seattle d. Short passes and running inside the offensive tackles. I expect the Niners d to force 2 to 4 turnovers and possibly score once or twice. Our offense will have a short field most of the game. S.F. 31-Sea. 3.

        1. I wish I could be as optimistic as you are, but the Seahawk defense is legit, and Gabbert will be hard pressed to move the chains.

          I will be happy if the Niners beat them by 1 point. I think Seahawks will score more times than the Niners, but score less points. Niners 24, Seahawks 23.

  7. The magic number for SF is 20. If they score 20 points they will have scored more than they have against Seattle in any game since 2011. Wow, its hard to imagine… our offense has been even worse than I thought against Seattle.

  8. We need a true 49er fan blog. I have been so tired of all the bay area talk shows and blogs. I just want to talk football. I could care less if CK7 sits or stands. I do not want to talk about NC riots or racism., I want to enjoy football. But right now people like on this blog including grant have just became parrots of the same old same old.

    I think the 49ers win in a conviencing fashion. 2 scores. Then maybe we can talk about football again. Not about the non sense of how perdictble Chip is after a loss that he only had 3 days to prepare for.

    I really like this team. I really like Blain, but everything is so lame that is written. Even when we win we lose on this blog site.

    I have switched to Sirrus radio were the people are better football hosts, this dribble has finally bored my to death.

    I look for Carlos Hyde to have 60 yards.
    Vmac 100 yards and TD
    Blaine Rush for 1
    Plus 3 FG

    23 49ers 13 Shehaws.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *