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Chip Kelly Post-Draft

Posted Apr 27, 2013

Opening remarks: "Let's talk seventh round. Obviously, we had three picks. We traded the one pick earlier to pick up (USC QB) Matt (Barkley) in the fourth and we felt that was a good decision to make in terms of getting ourselves in the top of that round. And then we started out with (Joe) Kruger, a young kid. He came out early in the draft. Obviously his brother is (Cleveland Browns LB) Paul (Kruger). He's more of a defensive end-type than an outside linebacker type. We really think he's going to grow into his body. He's just 21-years-old and we think he has a huge upside. (Utah head coach) Kyle Whittingham really spoke very, very highly of him. I thought maybe if he did come back for another year, he would be a very high draft pick next year, but he felt like it was time for him to come out. We had him in for a visit in our top 30 so I had a chance to visit him and get to know him a little bit. I think it will really add some depth for us at the defensive end spot. Then we followed up with Jordan Poyer, someone I know really well. Just an outstanding football player. He's a corner, he's also a nickel, he's also a very, very good returner. I thought we got some depth from a special teams standpoint. I think he had six picks this year as a nickel. He has a lot of experience playing inside and covering slot receivers. He's a tough, physical, hard-nosed player. He'll add some depth for us in the secondary. The last guy is David King. Kind of bookend the Oklahoma picks. (He's) six-foot-four (and weighed) 280 pounds on testing day. He ran a 4.64 as a defensive end. He's a physical, tough, hard-nosed player. The two guys that we really talked about with (Oklahoma head coach Bob) Stoops were Lane Johnson and David King. It's kind of ironic that that was our first pick and our last pick. With those three guys, I think we finished the day, again, following where we were, who was on our board, we kind of had bated breath with all those last picks. We sat there for a little bit, when you go through the fifth round and we picked at the top of the fifth round to go through the whole fifth and the entire sixth and just sit there, kind of sitting at the board and picking off names as they go. We felt like we got a quality group from top to bottom and we're excited to get these guys in here. We have rookie mini-camp not this weekend but the following weekend."

On the experience of his first NFL Draft: "First off, I don't think using war room is real appropriate. We had Sergeant Jones here today and it brings things back to reality. We're picking players in the NFL Draft. I think, really, with not ever being involved in it the one thing that was awesome to me was that it was a very orderly process. You spend so much time leading up to it in terms of your preparation. You just have to trust your preparation. I think teams sometimes maybe panic and they think they have to jump or, ‘I really like this guy.' Sometimes you can get emotionally attached and say, ‘Do we do this? Do we panic and do we have to give up something?' Let it come to you as it came and we felt through the course of the three days that we were here we had quality guys who were ranked higher. After Lane, obviously he was one of our top four guys, and we got him. After that, we felt like everybody we got we had them ranked a little bit higher than where they got picked. For one reason or another, and not in a negative way, we felt that was a positive. The only maneuver we had to make during the whole process was to really just get to the top of the floor so we could solidify the opportunity to get Matt and we felt there was so much value there. To give up a seventh round draft pick to get him, we felt it was the right decision. It was a little orderly, but everyone had a lot of input. It's amazing when you see the whole thing come together because there are so many people upstairs; medical staff to all your scouts to the coaches' evaluations to personnel department to everybody kind of going into it. It's pretty orderly as it goes through."

On why Poyer slipped to the seventh round: "I don't know. You see it all the time. How they fall, I don't know. To think, as the names were picking off, I'm looking at them and it's the only name that's that high on our board and it's sitting there and we had two names going into that were clumped up near the top – Kruger and him. Both of those guys in our opinion were fourth round picks and you're sitting in the seventh (round) and they're there. The tough part sometimes is that they're there and you make a pick in the fourth and you take Matt and there we go. Then you have a pick in the fifth and we had some guys and then we pick (Earl) Wolff and we felt really good about the pick, but you're looking at those other guys up there and didn't think, ‘Are they going to be there two picks from now?' We didn't have a pick in the sixth, so you have to wait all that time. The guys you had fourth round grades on are still sitting there in the seventh round. So we felt really good about that. Why? I don't know."

On collaborating with general manager Howie Roseman upstairs during the draft: "I guess the best way to say it is there wasn't a lot of exchanging ideas today because all the work was done up until this point. So, it wasn't like today Howie was going to say, ‘Hey, we should take this guy who is ranked down here.' We really let the board play itself out. There were certainly a lot of guys we really liked that got picked in other places. You say, ‘Man, that guy goes.' I think it was orderly enough for us and people that fit our criteria in terms of what we were looking for that there was plenty of value there for us and we felt that going through. I said earlier I didn't think the top of the draft all the way through had huge, can't miss guys, but I felt like there was a lot of depth in this draft. That's why I felt a lot more comfortable in Day Two and Day Three because of where we had an opportunity to pick. The unfortunate part is that you wish we had more picks because we felt like there were some real quality players there. You pick and then you kind of waited your turn and hope when you get your chance to pick again that there were some other good guys up there and we felt like that's what happened."

On whether he was surprised that he drafted four Pac-12 players: "I think at the end, until someone mentioned that we lost the three of those guys earlier, it wasn't certainly by design. Now, when people look back at the draft and try to analyze it and try to see how it happened – I think it kind of just happened. There are some other good Pac-12 players that I'm aware of that went other places. When you saw them go, you say, ‘Wow, that kid is a really good player.' (USC C) Khaled Holmes  - we loved Khaled. He's an outstanding center prospect and the Colts took him. I think he went in the fourth after we took Matt. There's a bunch of guys there and you were hoping that you would see him fall and you'd have an opportunity to get him. There are a couple top leagues out there – Pac 12, the SEC, the Big 10, the ACC – but it wasn't by design that we were targeting one thing over another."

On whether he liked the NFL Draft more or recruiting: "The draft because it's over and done with in three days and you're not on the phone with a 16-year-old high school kid for five years. Three days and it's done. There's nothing you can say about it. I think the last guy to hold out was (John) Elway in (1983). I don't think that's happening."

On him still having work to do after the draft in regards to undrafted rookies: "Yeah, they're in the process of doing that now. Again, because of our depth and where we are, we'll probably sign – I don' t know the exact number – five to seven guys I think. Priority free agents and we have those guys targeted right now and hopefully we can get some guys in to fill the roster out. There are a couple positions that, obviously with the certain amount of picks we had today, we didn't address anything and there are a couple positions we didn't pick players at. (Hopefully) we can round out our roster from that standpoint. We feel like we got a pretty good group here and I told our guys Thursday that were here working out is that the predominant amount of our team is already here. They're all working out. We've added some guys in these past three days. When you go through it, we're not going to have a wholesale 15 to 18 guys that we picked up today, whether it was through the draft or free agency, are going to make this team. It's just the sheer numbers of what we have."

On whether he feels he has a good base of guys to utilize now that free agency and the draft are finished: "Yeah, if not, I'd be real depressed right now to be honest with you (laughing). We've gone through free agency and the draft, but it's a constant thing and you'll still look. There's some quality players that didn't sign within free agency. I think some people wait to see what they get in the draft and then can relook at that and see how they fit in as we move. As everybody knows, it's an ongoing process. You're going to sign guys during the season, because the one thing nobody has control over is the injury factor and all of a sudden you can feel, ‘Hey, we're pretty good at this spot,' or when two guys get banged up you're like, ‘Holy smokes'. The numbers of what you can carry can dictate that, too. When you go into the season with 53 men on your active roster and you lose one or two of a position, you're scrambling—you have to have that auxiliary list of people that are out there and are kind of on the streets and you can bring in on short notice. You hope you don't have to get to that, but you have to be prepared for it."

On how much a player's academics are evaluated during the draft process: "I think it's a huge part of it. There's a very cerebral part to this game that I don't know if people give enough credit to.` It's about making good decisions. Dumb people do dumb things and smart people really do dumb things. So, I think part of the evaluation that goes along with how fast someone runs a 40 or how strong he is. I think the evaluation of them making and processing decisions, knowing whether or not you can count on them, and if they're dependable are huge components to making decisions. It's not just a stop watch and a bench press, there's so much more that goes into it. I heard a guy and I'm not taking credit for it, but when people fail or high draft picks fail, it's one or two reasons—usually intelligence or intangibles. We could spend a lot of time during our evaluations on the intelligence and the intangibles. These guys fit what we're looking for. Now it's our job as coaches to get them in here and teach them the scheme and get them moving, but that's a huge part of it. We have to make good decisions—split second decisions when you're on the football field. So, understanding on how they can handle things, how they can learn and if they understand the scheme is important to us."

On whether there was a certain speed, body measurements, etc. that they wanted at certain positions and did the coaching staff dictate that to the personnel staff: "We were very specific, but they were before this. I think you have to be, because there has to be a certain level that you bring in here. If you constantly take the overachiever at every position, you're going to be too small. If you take the short defensive tackle backed up by the short middle linebacker backed up by the short safety, then all of a sudden you're going to get run over. I think there's some certain lines where there is a combination of all of it. I think you still have to adhere to the fact that we wanted to get bigger and we felt like we did. I think size is important, but there's not one factor that overrides the other. I think you have to look at the whole package when you're making those decisions."

On how many of the eight players drafted did he offer scholarships to or have on his recruiting radar while at Oregon: "We recruited and offered to (TE) Zach Ertz, (QB) Matt (Barkely) was committed already, (DL) Bennie (Logan), no. (CB) Jordan Poyer we made a mistake on—we didn't offer him and Oregon State ended up taking him late. We should have taken him in hindsight. We knew he was a good football player. I wasn't the head coach at the time, but we knew we made a mistake. Hopefully I rectified that mistake. (DE/LB) Joe Kruger we offered and recruited and did not recruit (DL) David King."

On whether there was any point his emotions got in the way and he thought about taking a player from Oregon: "Trust me, the guy that went number three (OLB Dion Jordon) we were considering very heavily, but didn't get the chance to pull the trigger on that one. (LB) Kiko Alonso was a guy I would have loved to—I coached him and I think he's an outstanding football player. I know the (Buffalo) Bills got a great one in him. (RB) Kenjon Barner is the same exact way. We didn't draft a running back. You just look and you're like, ‘Wow, that guy is a really good football player.'  (G) Kyle Long is an outstanding football player. So, four of them got drafted, but it's where we  went in the draft. Dion was gone before we made our first pick, Kyle was gone before we made our second pick and Kiko was gone. It just kind of fell that way. It's unfortunate, but if they were there and we had a pick, I'd have some pretty good insight on those guys. It's just kind of how it falls. I know when the guys picked them when their names came off the board, everyone was nodding that all of those guys were pretty good picks."

On why he wouldn't move up to get a guy like Dion Jordan: "It's the same thing. I think when you start to get emotional and get involved, and I was pretty conscious of that, then what do you have to do to move up? And then when you do it, it's if you move up to get him and that means you don't get Bennie Logan because you don't have a third-round pick, or you don't get Matt Barkley because you don't have a fourth-round pick. It's the accumulation of putting the whole team together. What are you willing to sacrifice to get one player? A lot of times you look at what people did when they jumped, and people do it. The Redskins did it to get (Robert Griffin III) but they gave up a lot to get him. The Falcons did it a couple years ago to jump up to get Julio Jones, but usually there's a pretty good price tag. I think everybody else out there realized how good those guys are, but just really the value to get them... We wanted to accumulate and I think we stuck to our guns. We ended up on the day and we felt like it was a good decision for Matt, but we gave up a seventh-round pick to get Matt. But we just didn't feel like the price was kind of too rich if we were going to move up just to get one player. We felt like there was a pool of good enough guys there that if we didn't get that guy, there were still some pretty good guys left on our board. It worked out for us from that standpoint."

On whether he called any of his former players to congratulate them on being drafted: "Yeah, I was in touch with all of them. Just got a text from Kenjon (Barner) on the way down and talked to Kyle (Long). Same thing with Dion. Great guys and I have a special place in my heart for those guys and that's what made it difficult for me to make the decision to come here was because of guys like that. But I'm really proud of them and I know they're going to be really good players in this league. We'll face off against them but that's just kind of the way this whole process works. You can't draft everybody you want."

On whether he felt an obligation to call QB Michael Vick when they drafted Matt Barkley: "I called everybody. I hope this doesn't get overblown. I called Brent Celek when we took a tight end and James Casey. I called Mike and we talked to Jason Peters and we talked to Todd Herremans. It's just kind of the way we've done things. When we signed people in free agency I called our guys just to make sure they know where we were. I'm really big on open communication. I don't want there to be gray areas. I think sometimes there are gray areas because there's a lack of communication between people. This is what we did and it's the same message that they had when they sat in this room on the first day I met them. As we went through the draft and we added people through the draft at certain positions, so I talked to Nick (Foles). Left a message for Mike; haven't heard back from Mike. But I talked to Celek, talked to James Casey, talked to Herremans, talked to Jason Peters. The list goes on and on in terms of where we are. Just to make sure we're on the same page with everybody."

On whether he found that his values were in line with general manager Howie Roseman's and vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble's: "There was a lot of discussions and I think that's healthy. If you have a bunch of people who agree about things every single day, I don't think that's the right way to go about things. I think we have a lot of very smart people upstairs and everybody has value. Eventually you have to make a decision on where someone is placed on the board, but I think when you listen to them, you take insight from them. Not everybody is correct 100% of the time, so you can listen to them. ‘What did you see and what was the value?' If you respect people and they respect you, then it can be healthy. It's important to get different viewpoints of how things are and how things work. But then as a group, you have to come together and make a decision. I think they had a great schedule in terms of how we put things together and how we looked at things. I don't think any decision we made was ever rushed. We could sit down and let it kind of sit there and listen to it, take a look at it and make some decisions as we kind of orderly place the thing together. They knew what we valued in players and we got a lot of input from them. You really truly have to rely on them. They're on campus, they get a chance to go work them out. I could say, ‘Hey I didn't like that kid because I saw him on film,' but you may not know. That day it was windy or rainy, the kid had just hurt his knee in practice on a Wednesday, but you need to look at this game in 2011. They've done a lot of leg work and a lot of time. Coaches don't have time to do all the personnel work, it's just not humanly possible. We have games to prepare for during the season, we don't watch anybody play live, we don't watch how people react during things. We're basing a lot of it just on video, but we have a lot of people who have seen them in person so you have to take their insight. There are a lot of very smart people up there who have some really good insight, so it's the smart way to do it. I think everybody should listen to each other and as a group we come together for a decision."

On Gamble's role and how valuable he was having come from another organization: "It was really valuable. I knew Tommy from when he was with the 49ers because he was on our campus all the time at Oregon. They had (RB) LaMichael James down there, they had (FB/TE) Will Tukuafu down there, so he's had some of our players. So I've seen and had the chance to interact with Tom and talk to him about personnel and a lot of different things for the last six years. I go back to when Tommy was looking at kids when I was at New Hampshire. I've known Tom as a personnel guy in this league for a long time. When the opportunity for him to come on board came about, it wasn't like, ‘Who is this guy?' I was very familiar with him and very familiar with his work. I thought he was a great fit and we were fortunate to get him. His familiarity, not only with the Eagles, because he had been here before, but with Howie and also myself and some of the guys on our staff that knew him. If you're a college football coach, you know who Tommy Gamble is because he has been on your campus looking at players for a long, long time. I think that familiarity helped with us getting along together."

On whether he talked to any coaches who came from college to get their advice on his first draft: "The only guy I've talked to extensively about making the jump from the college to the pros was coach (Dick) Vermeil. He's been great. I actually talked to him just before the draft started. He's been a great resource. He's a local guy. (Assistant defensive backs coach) Todd Lyght actually played for him for the Rams. If you're a college coach or a pro coach, the respect people have for Dick Vermeil, and he's been great. If I've had questions, I've had the opportunity to call coach and kind of bounce some things off of him."

On whether he thinks the team has enough talent in the secondary: "I don't know. But we're bound by the rules we have, so it's not like I can say, 'Hey, let's go grab that guy.' He's probably under contract. We're going to go with the guys we have. I think we did a good job in free agency in adding (CB) Cary (Williams) and (CB Bradley Fletcher) and (S Patrick) Chung and (S) Kenny (Phillips) and those guys that we brought in. You add (S Earl) Wolff to the mix, you add (CB Jordan) Poyer to the mix, that's part of the whole deal. At some point in time you just can't keep saying, ‘I need this guy, I need that guy.' These are the rules we're bound by. We used free agency, I thought we did a really good job in our approach to that, I thought we did a good job in the draft and now we have to get on the field and coach them up and go play."

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