San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly was on the Murph & Mac show on KNBR this morning to discuss the team's Week 7 loss. Below are some of the topics that he discussed. The questions are paraphrased.
What do you do when adversity hits?
CK: "Like we normally do, we'll watch the film, as we just completed watching it this morning. We'll meet as a staff on both side of the ball and then our players are in this morning and we'll have a team meeting and position meetings and go over the tape and, you know, make the necessary corrections when you can see it on film. Kind of explain where we are and what we need to do to get better."
With the bye week here, when are the players around?
"They're off tomorrow for the rest of the week so they're in today. Today is our correction day."
And then they come back when?
Is that difficult if you are trying to make corrections and the CPA says you can't see your players for seven days?
"You can vary the days off, but for us, I think we've been at it since July 31. And we're into, almost the end of October here so it's a needed break for them. A chance to kind of get ready for the second half of the season. And everybody has one so it's kind of the same protocol around the league."
What thoughts come about from a six-game losing streak?
"Well, I think the biggest thing is that you're trying to find the solutions and that's where you need to be positive in terms of how we approach it. Identify what the issues are and then make the necessary corrections for those issues. And then your job as a coach is to put your players in position to make plays and that's what we'll continue to try to do here and we got a good group that they really -- they work really hard here. That's not the case. Sometimes you can get on them about, 'Well, your practice habits are this. When you don't practice well, this happens to you.' I think this group does a good job in terms of their approach and how they handle things and what they're doing. They're just as frustrated as everybody else in terms of the results that we're getting. But we're not focused on the outcome. We're focused on the input. How hard are we playing? How much time are we putting into what we're doing? Let's control what we can control."
Are there any similarities in what you saw from previous collapses?
"I think every situation is different depending on who you are playing. But I think the one thing that we need is consistency in the phases -- you know, special teams, defense, and offense at the same time. You look at the beginning of the third quarters, our defense does a heck of a job to stop them, to set the tone for it. We get a three-and-out basically and then we force them to punt. Then we fumble the punt. And those are the things that you can't do. You can't hurt yourself. That was on us. That wasn't Tampa Bay making a play. There are times when you look at guys and you're like, 'Hey, that's a heck of a play by a heck of a player.' They've got good players and you understand that, but when you see plays like that where you have a critical mistake and it's our fault, it's not a Tampa Bay induced mistake. It was a 49er induced mistake. Those are the things that you can't do and expect to be victorious."
Regarding the Colin Kaepernick sack/fumble that resulted in a score, are things like that frustrating for you?
"There was an outside blitzer coming that we should have had picked up. So, that's not on the quarterback. Kap's going through his reads. We're in seven-man protection and six guys are coming, we expect to pick that up and we don't so that's not on the quarterback in that situation where he gets sacked and hit in the back and fumbles. You can't draw that one on him. We've got to do a better job on the pickups and our protection to make sure when they're bringing one less than we have the numbers to protect, that we've got to protect it so that the quarterback has time to execute the throw."
Will you use the bye week to re-evaluate the quarterback situation?
"I would think Colin would stay at quarterback. He's done some really good things with his legs to extend drives and to keep things going. I think people have to make decisions about playing man coverage. When you play man coverage, then the quarterback can hurt you with his feet. We need to -- as a team -- do a better job in the pass game from the quarterback spot, from the receiver spot, from catching the ball. We had too many drops again yesterday. And to protection. Everything on the passing game is not always on the quarterback."
Is there anything that you can do to help the defense?
"I think as a group, that's on us as coaches to make sure we're putting our players in position to make plays and we're not doing that well enough in the run game right now and that's something that we have to look at here over the bye week."
Is it time to have a discussion with DeForest Buckner regarding his play against the run?
"No. I think Buck has played real well during the season. So I disagree with you on that point."
There are "experts" that say he is having trouble against the run.
"No, I don't see that."
What about your changes at linebacker? Did you see any effect?
"Yeah, I think what we tried to do at the linebacker -- and I mentioned it last week -- is to rotate the snaps with those guys and to get all three guys involved and I think that's what we tried to do over there. Just that Hodgy had started earlier in the year. Wilhoite had started a little bit. Kind of shared with those reps a little bit so I think you saw all three guys in there with Bellore, with Hodgy, with Wilhoite."
How would you prioritize what needs to be worked on during the bye week?
"I don't think there's a priority and I don't think we look at it as a priority. I think there's a lot of things we need to do to clean up and that we need to do to get better. It's not an order. It's not like you're cleaning your house and you're going to take one room at a time. We need to be better on the defensive side of the ball and getting stops, we need to stop turning the football over, and we need to catch the ball better on the offensive side of the ball, we need to protect the quarterback, we need to tackle better on the defensive side. But there's not a priority, like, 'Let's do this first and then do that second."
How do you continue to get your players to believe?
"They understand that I think and for them -- obviously, it's everything for us in terms of 'This is what we do. So this is our job. This is what our passion is. This is how we handle things.' It's the old adage, '90-percent of the people don't care about your problems and 10-percent are happy that you have them.' Let's not worry about what the perception is out there. Let's, as a group, focus on the input, focus on what we do, what we bring to preparation, what we do and bring in terms of our emotion to playing the football game and take care of the things that we can take care of and not worry about the outside things."
Is DuJuan Harris someone that you want on your roster going forward?
"Yeah, I think DuJuan did some nice things yesterday and it was a positive in the run game. There were probably a couple of runs that he wants back, but I thought that he did some great things. He caught the one ball there on third-and-long, which was a really good throw for Kap. He checked it down and DuJuan turned it into a positive and got us a critical first down at that point and time. So there were some positives from DuJuan that I think we can build on with him."
Is there a way you can explain to the fans what you see happening later in the games and the team's late-game fades? Is the team out of gas by that point?
"No. I don't think there's a set answer like that. I think when the defense gets a three-and-out and we fumble the punt, that's got nothing to do with our defense. That's got to do with our special teams. So I think, there's not one as I said earlier. That you can't just say, 'Hey, it's this. Let's fix this and we're good.' It's playing better and more consistent as an entire team and I think that's what we need to do to be successful."
What's the story with Phil Knight being on the sideline on Sunday?
"Yeah, Phil and Penny are very close friends of mine. They've come and visited since I left Oregon and coached in the NFL. They saw a game when I played at Philadelphia -- I mean when I coached at Philadelphia. This one fit into their schedule and it was good to see them. Good to catch up."
Did he have any advice?
"He said what he normally says. 'Just do it.'"
You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.