COACH KELLY: He's got a foot injury. It's just a preventative thing. He'll be better in a couple days.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spent some time with you. What did you say that was so useful to him?
COACH KELLY: I don't know specifically. He was here for a couple days. I've known Urban for a long time. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he's one of the all time great coaches in college football. He's very good friends with [defensive coordinator] Billy Davis. Billy and him went to college together. I visited Urban when he was at Florida and went to Ohio State this year to watch him practice. He's one of the guys I talk a lot of football with. We share ideas and we get as much out of them as they get out of us.
When you share ideas, what do you share exactly?
COACH KELLY: It's all—it's plays, it's schemes, it's what are you doing off the field. It's everything.
During S Malcolm Jenkin's career, he has not been a high volume interceptions guy. Is there luck involved with that or is it a scheme thing?
COACH KELLY: I don't know what—I mean, I didn't really study Malcolm until we played the Saints this past year, so I couldn't tell you why he had not had a high volume. I think he has a good understanding of route combination. He's made a lot of good plays in camp so far. I could not tell you why he had not had any. He's had a couple picks the last couple days. I watch him in drills and I think he catches the ball really well.
Can you talk about the offense this year, as opposed to last—and catering the scheme to certain players. You'll have a knew outside receiver and slot receiver, RB
COACH KELLY: It always changes. It always changes. I've said it since day one, your offense is always personnel driven.
So the biggest thing that you have to do is identify the skill sets you have and adjust those skill sets and that's what football has always been. Our offense has changed every year I've been in charge of the offense, whether I was at New Hampshire, Oregon or here. Our quarterbacks had different skill sets. We were running more power running plays when [former Oregon QB] Jeremiah [Masoli] was quarterback. He was an outstanding runner. He was different than [former Oregon QB] Darren Thomas. Darren was more of a pocket passer and could do some different things. Darren was actually really good at throwing on the run, also.
Whatever their strengths are, try to cater to those. So they have got some new guys, so we'll tweak what we are doing based upon what their skill sets are as we continue to evaluate here and say, how do we run this as we post—we didn't do this that much in the past, but now that we have a different type of person in that situation, let's do this.
The defense, a lot of times they know what's coming, the execution, etc. And yet I keep hearing everyone saying, oh, well, coaches are going to have the off season to figure out Chip Kelly's offense, etc. Do you change things to counter that?
COACH KELLY: We don't change—you self scout yourself and you're five for five on a certain pass pattern, you don't say we're not going to call it again because they know it's coming. They still have to stop you in certain situations. It's still football. That's just the talking season where guys will say they have had time to figure it out.
We don't do anything revolutionary offensively. We run inside zone, outside zone, screen play, power play, we have a five step game and we have a three step game and we run some screens. We're not doing anything that's never been done before in football.
The shoulder throw, was that in the toolbox last year—
COACH KELLY: It's no different than running a slant or running a hitch. It's just something to do. Coverage is tight and you have to beat the guy over the top and maybe the way to beat the guy is to throw it behind him. It's not a big deal.
Is it something you worked on last year?
COACH KELLY: I think everybody works on that. Just depends on how people defend you.
Giving offenses a different look, how is that experiment going?
COACH KELLY: It's not an experiment. It's just two positions, so just depends on how Billy makes a call on how they want to deploy him. Either guy could rush and either guy could route and sometimes both rush and sometimes both route. It's just a play call. It's not a switch an entire position that you're going to play somewhere else. It's no different than being a left receiver and right receiver.
Those responsibilities are different, right?
COACH KELLY: No. In general, no. Usually our ‘jack' drops a little bit more than our ‘predator', but our ‘predator' drops, so it's not like Trent [Cole] has to learn something new. Billy makes a call, he's going to tell Connor [Barwin] to rush and Trent to drop.
COACH KELLY: He was a little sore but he should go today—
What was it?
COACH KELLY: I don't know, I didn't even ask. He's going today so it wasn't even a concern.
What are your thoughts on the league putting more emphasis on pass interference?
COACH KELLY: Just tell us what the rules are, we play by them. It's good that we have the officials here. When they come in, they do a great job. They present—they had a video they showed from the league and they sit down, the four guys we have right now are outstanding. They sat down by position groups and explained how they see things. They had an opportunity to practice with us. They are getting work on that, but then if they threw the flags yesterday, we charted them and then they got a chance to go in and meet with the position groups and say—and watch the film with the guys.
So if they called an offensive holding, this is why they called it; this is what I saw. If they called a defensive pass interference or illegal contact, we had an offensive pass interference so they were in with the wide receivers explaining how they are going to emphasize that this year.
I think to anybody, as long as it's called the same way for all 32 teams, it doesn't bother us. Just if it's called one way one game and another way another game—but it's not like that. We are aware of it. They voted on all the stuff at the league meetings and presented it to us there, so we are pretty conscious of what's coming down the road.
Are you expecting WR Riley Cooper to be back in a few days—how do you feel about your wide receiver depth if one of the starters is out?
COACH KELLY: I don't know about that because we're not—I don't worry about that. I liked our wide receivers on Friday. We have enough guys to run around. I'm not concerned with that. I don't get involved with what's our depth here, what's our depth there.
I think the biggest decision we are doing right now is making evaluations of who is going to make the team because at some point in time, we have got 12 or 13 of those guys, we are going to have to cut down to five or six depending how we juggle the roster with the 53 man roster and how many guys get on the practice squad.
So we are looking down the road in terms of what happens—if a guy gets hurt, a guy gets hurt. You can say that about any position on our football team or any other team in the National Football League. If we were to lose RB
I think when you do that as a coach and start to look at, what if I lose him, what if I lose him, there's not much you can really do about it.
You talked about sharing with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in the off season. Do you approach other NFL coaches—I don't know if you did any clinics like you used to do during the offseason, were you cognizant of that and coaches gleaning information from you about your offense?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't think anybody in the NFL sits down with anybody in the NFL. Just like when we were in the Pac 12, we didn't visit with other teams in our league. But you visited with teams that you don't play. I think that's kind of how it works at the college level, so kind of the sharing of ideas from that standpoint is how it works.
You may talk to a friend of yours that's in the league about a scheme. Everybody wants the same thing – [like] how are [you] teaching the out route – but I don't think they are getting into real details of what they are doing.
Is it too soon to discern if the upgrades that you wanted to make during the offseason are actually there?
COACH KELLY: I have no idea. We haven't played a game. That's where the game is the big part of it. I think you can get into situations of who is really good at covering punts. You're not doing live special teams work in training sessions. You're going to get your live special teams work in games. So these four preseason games will be huge for a lot of those guys in terms of where we are in terms of covering kicks and punts and being able to see where our return game is, but that's how important those four preseason games are.
Do you see WR
COACH KELLY: I don't know about the word ‘way' but he's ahead of where he was last year. But he has improved. I think it's just a better understanding of what's going on. I think you forget he missed his senior year in college because of the injury, so he was coming off a real long point where he didn't play football, so I think he's just getting back out there, getting familiar.
Obviously, we could notice an improvement with him when we saw during the spring, during the offseason program and I think he's done the same thing here. So he's put himself in position to compete for a job.
Officials have placed an emphasis on getting in shape to keep up with more fast paced offenses. Are you happy with that emphasis the officials have placed on that?
COACH KELLY: I didn't have any issues with the officials last year. So I mean, that wasn't anything that was brought up in our league meetings. So we never really talked about that. I know there was an article written about that a couple weeks ago I think but that wasn't a discussion with the coaches I was aware of.
It looks like the league would like to move to two preseason games and maybe a shorter training camp---
COACH KELLY: I don't know about that.
If they do shorten the preseason, is it tougher to evaluate your guys—
COACH KELLY: I don't know. Maybe you start practicing more with other teams. I don't know. But we haven't gotten anything that's saying we are going in that direction.
What do you think about New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's comments about the NFL becoming more of a substitution game—it's been like that for a while, but wondering if it's going to go even further with personnel and having strength and depth at each spot—
COACH KELLY: I didn't see Bill's comments. Where were those?
He was saying how he's looking back to the early 70s, how things have changed.
COACH KELLY: Dress codes have changed since the 70s, too, except for Howard [Eskin]. I think the game is cyclical. It comes around, goes around. People used to do it no matter where they are. I think a lot of the substitution patterns and things you see depends on if you have guys to substitute. There's a lot more that goes into it. We have talked more about, how does the defense defend this, but we would rather have that guy on the field defensively so, we want to stay in this personnel group a little bit more.
Seeing 11 defenders play is rare ---
COACH KELLY: No, we have obviously morphed from when concrete Charlie was going both ways and playing center and linebacker. The game has moved more towards specialization in the history of the game, and I think you're still governed by a 46 man roster. So you can't say, ‘Hey, you want to have this elaborate receiver package.' If you only have five receivers active on a game day, it's kind of tough on how elaborate you can get because you're going to run those guys into the ground. I think sometimes those decisions are all made on how big your roster is, and until they increase the size of the roster, or I don't know if they ever are, you're still kind of limited. You're not going to carry 4 5 tight ends on game day just because you're going to be short on special teams and you're going to be short on other spots. There's going to be that fine line, you would love to be able to run this and this but you can't because you don't have those guys available to you. For us, we keep three tight ends active o
On game day, we can do some three tight end things. But if one of them tweaks an ankle in a game, well, that whole thing that you practiced all week long in the three tight end set is out the window. You still have to play with what you have, with what's available from a numbers standpoint on game day.