Chip Kelly talks QB competition, Anthony Davis, more

Jul 31, 2016 at 2:19 PM--

Can you just talk about the quarterbacks and just what your plan is going into camp as far as quarterback rotation and will QB Colin Kaepernick get any first-string snaps?

"Yeah, we're going to split it right down the middle. So, I think we've got 24 reps today with the ones. So, he'll get 12 of those and he'll get 12 reps with the twos. So, him and [QB] Blaine [Gabbert] will split it right down the middle with the ones and the twos."

What do you want to see out of them at full-speed? What are the traits that are going to help you decide this competition?

"I think, first and foremost, is who can move the team the best. That's what you're always looking for. Which quarterback can handle what they're doing and get the team in the end zone. Obviously, you have to protect the ball in doing that. So, we're excited to see it. I think Kap did a great job in the offseason when he was limited, but whatever he could do, he did. He threw, at least, in the seven-on-sevens right at the tail end of mini-camp. So, it'll be good to see him full-go today and the great part about it is I think we're confident in both those guys. It's good to have two. In my three years before, we've had to play two quarterbacks every year. So, it's a good situation to be in."

Chip Kelly Previews 2016 Training Camp 

What are you most curious to see in Colin now that he's full-go?

"Just to see him full-go. Really, that's it. I haven't seen him. I've seen him on film. We've played against him and he was outstanding when we played against him. But, I haven't had a chance to see him full-go. So, just to a chance to see what 100-percent Kap is going to be like."

Is there a time limit that's ideal for one of these guys to emerge?

"I don't think there is and I think sometimes if you put a preconceived date on it, it's not fair. I've been in them before. I just think they express themselves and how they express themselves. Obviously, you'd like to get it done sooner rather than later. But, you don't want to get it done sooner and then make the wrong decision. So, I think how we train and what we do on the practice fields and then obviously the opportunity to play in preseason games will give us a real good indication, we hope, as we head into the regular season."

Kap said during the break between OTAs and now he wanted to gain some weight back that he lost?

"It looks like he's added some. I don't know the exact number, but he looks a little bit bigger than when we left on, I think it was June 9th was the last time we were with him. Talking to him a few times over the summer, I know that he's worked really hard at it. So, the one thing with Kap that you're never worried about is his work ethic. He's kind of a workout warrior. It was just really getting him back to, he had a thumb, he had a shoulder, he had a knee. Let's get him back to 100-percent and let's see what he can do."

Did you have conversations with T Anthony Davis during the offseason? When did you engage with him in talking about possibly coming back?

"During the offseason, no. I talked to Anthony, he called, I believe it was in February was the only time I had really a conversation with him and that was about it. Over the last couple of weeks, he expressed to [general manager] Trent [Baalke] that he was thinking about coming back and then really, my first conversation with him was yesterday. We got a chance to sit down and spend some time together. I told him he's got a blank slate, just like every other player and just like every other coach here. We're all new. I wasn't here in the past. He gets an opportunity to come in here. He did a really good job yesterday in his conditioning test. And so, I'm excited to see him on the field."

With the array of skills that it takes to play quarterback, where do you rank accuracy?

"I think that's huge. It's a game about getting the ball in playmaker's hands. So, repetitive accuracy is a big thing in terms of being able to move, as I said earlier, move the ball down the field. That's a huge part of it."

A couple of the players have talked about how they really like what the practice schedule looks like. Can you explain to us how you're not going to be going full-bore the whole time?

"Yeah. It's just the training effect that has to take place. Obviously, there needs to be some undulations in what you do. You just can't go four hours straight every single day and then expect them to be able to handle that. Obviously, you've got to work to ramp it up. They haven't been playing football. They've been training and I can tell through what they did from conditioning yesterday that they're prepared for this next phase. But, I think you've got to ramp it up. You can't always go every single day 100-percent. It's something we learned a long, long time ago at Oregon. There has to be an undulation so that you get the most out of your training effect and then, really, give them time to recover. There's two phases to this. It's they have train and they have to recover and I think sometimes people forget about the recover aspect of things. But, we've got to give them an opportunity to get themselves ready to go for the next day. So, it's the same thing we did at Oregon and the same thing I did in Philadelphia."

S Jaquiski Tartt is starting off on NFI?

"Yeah. I think he just tweaked something, tweaked a muscle and it should just be, from my understanding in talking to Quiski, just a couple days. So, if he's not full-go today, he has to go on that. So, he's not full today, but I don't envision it being any type of long-term thing."

And everybody else is cleared to practice?

"Everyone else is good to go. Yeah. Again, with [CB] Will [Redmond] and with [S] L.J. [McCray] and with Dors [DL Glenn Dorsey], they haven't gone 100-percent. So, we'll ramp it up with them. We'll start off in individual drills, get a feel for kind of how they feel. I think we talked about not really putting them in team today. But, as the next couple days approach, we'll start to piece meal it in with them, just to be smart. It doesn't help anybody that, hey, we threw them in full speed and they did a great job on July 31st and then pulled something and now they're out for two weeks. So, they're going to go. They'll be in drills and then we'll be cautious as it goes. Really, just kind of monitor them and that's really between Ferg [vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] and his staff and really the individual position coaches keeping an eye on them and kind of where they are."

Do you have to do the same thing with Anthony Davis? Do you have to ramp him up too or is he full-go right now?

"Same thing, I think. We'll see, and a lot of it is feedback from AD. I think AD knows where he is. You can tell just watching him move around yesterday, he's worked. It's not like he woke up one day last week and said, 'Hey, I think I want to play football again,' and hasn't been doing anything. He's been doing something. So, all of those guys have to pass to get up to this phase anyway because it doesn't benefit AD or us if he goes out there and pulls on day one and then all of a sudden, he's sitting on the sidelines. You know, it's like he hasn't come back yet. So, [offensive line] coach Flats [Pat Flaherty] will keep an eye on him in terms of where he is and how he handles what we're doing from a training aspect."

With Redmond, what's his status going in?

"Just like I said. He'll go through all individuals and then we'll monitor him in terms to see what we're going to do in terms of seven-on-seven and team and what we'll do. But, he will not take a full load of any of the seven-on-seven and team. Really, today, the game plan was let's see him in individual and kind of see how he handles it, what he can do and then assess it on a daily basis here as we start to ramp it up and get him ready to go. So, the three in that category were Will, L.J. and Dorsey. Those three are in that status. So, they're cleared. They did pass their conditioning test. We feel confident in that. But, because they weren't full when we left, we feel like we've got to ramp it up a little bit with them and not just throw them in the deep end and see where they are."

You said Anthony has a blank slate. During his year off, on social media, he was taking shots at the front office. Do you need to have a conversation or have you had a conversation with him about expectations as far as that's concerned?

"Yeah, we've talked about everything and I feel real confident where AD is in terms of wanting to come back and play. I know AD has spent a lot of time sitting down with Trent, had a long conversation with him. So, that's maybe something Trent can share with you. So, in terms of the blank slate, I've never been with AD before. I've coached against him and know the type of player he is. But, for me to walk in, it's not fair to him for me to have some preconceived idea of what he is because of something that was written or something that he said or whatever. I don't really get involved in that aspect of things. It's really the face to face meetings and the talks that I've had and they've been minimal, but they've been productive. So, we'll see where he is and that's how I approach it with everybody. On day one, respect is given and then over time, trust is earned. So, we'll see how that goes. But, I was encouraged in my initial conversations with AD."

I've talked to former NFL executive Bill Polian about this and he wondered how do you do this in practice with the pace that you do. How do you make sure the offensive line corrections are done in a way that others guys get it during practice?

"If you look at it, every one of our periods is followed by a teach period. So, it goes team-teach-team-teach-team-teach. So, it's built into the practice schedule itself. So, if you look at what coach Flats does, there's opportunities during special teams, we film practice, we actually watch practice during practice. So, you'll see our guys with the Surfaces out there and when Flats has an opportunity. We may be going to punt, so the offensive line's not involved in punt but Flats will take or myself will take a look at the Surface while practice is going on and then not only can we say, 'Hey, on the third play of team, you stepped with your inside foot, you should have stepped with your outside foot.' You actually can show them visual evidence of that. So, our guys do a great job, our coaching staff does a great job of coaching guys within the practice itself."

At right tackle, are you going to work a rotation into the starting unit?

"Are we going to make a rotation?"

Yeah, on the starting unit at right tackle?

"Yeah, well, AD is going to start on the bottom. He hasn't been here in the spring and he's got a lot to learn. He knows that coming in. So, there'll be a rotation out there with [OL] Trent [Brown] and [G/T Erik] Pears and I think we had [OL] John Theus out there, who did a nice job for us after we drafted him. So, there'll be a rotation with everybody. And for the early part of camp, the number of reps are distributed the same. So, the ones get the same amount of reps as the twos as the threes. So, it's pretty even across the board as we start. Right now, we're just trying to get better, get our feet back underneath us. Kind of get our understanding of the offense, understanding of the defense, understanding of what we're doing special teams. Then as we start to get closer to Houston, which is two weeks away, then we'll start to hone in on exactly where they are. But, it really doesn't matter to us whether you're with the first group, second group, third group. You're still going to get reps, you're still going to get a chance to put plays on tape that now you can take a look at with a critical eye and say, 'Hey, alright, I was good here. I was poor here and how do I correct what I'm doing in those situations?'"

Are you still conducting daily hydration tests and do you have any softer restrictions this year?

"Anything that's done from an assessment standpoint is handled by [director of human performance Mark Uyeyama] Uye and the strength and conditioning room and Ferg. Those guys, as I said when I first got here, for some reason no one heard of sports science until we got to Philadelphia. It was going on everywhere in the National Football League and these guys have been on the cutting edge of that for a long time. I'm very confident in those guys handling anything they have to do from that standpoint. Whatever they've done in the past, they are continuing to do the same thing. Uye and Ferg are kind of cutting edge restrictions in terms of how that stuff goes."

Do they handle socks?

"Do they handle socks? As long as they've got socks on, they aren't getting blisters, we're in good shape."

Do you consider Kap behind at all in terms of physical or mental because he's been rehabbing all offseason?

"I haven't seen him full physically, but mentally, the one thing that impressed me was how sharp he was in staying on top of everything. As I said, he was in every single meeting asking really, really intelligent questions. He seems like he picked things up fairly quickly. If you watched him, and anybody that was here in the spring time, he stood directly behind the quarterback, whoever was in, and took snaps and was getting mental reps and there was a lot of times where I probably had more interaction with Kap than I did with the other quarterbacks, because I'm back there talking to him. You know, 'What'd you see? Where'd you go'? 'It was cover-two, I would have thrown it over there.' He was getting the mental reps out of it. He's back, from a physical standpoint, he's been cleared. We'll see where he is from that standpoint, but mentally, he was really sharp in the spring and really impressed with him from that standpoint."

What do you want to see out of NT Mike Purcell and the other nose tackles that will be filling in for NT Ian Williams?

"Same thing, just the growth. We've got a little bit of a baseline on the guys that participated in the offseason program, so Mike was impressive. The biggest deal with any of those guys, whether it be offensive linemen or defensive linemen, we still have not had pads on yet. So, to be able to say, 'Hey, this guy's this,' or 'This guy's that,' it really won't happen until we get in full pads and obviously the offseason program and then here for the first few days, we're still not going to be in full pads. So, once we start to get the pads on I think you'll see, especially in the line play, some guys kind of separate themselves from the other guys. But, we were impressed with what Mike did in the spring time. To go along, we had [DT] Quinton Dial in there, now we're getting [DL Glenn Dorsey] Dors back, so we feel like we have three or four guys that can help ease the pain of losing someone as talented as [NT] Ian [Williams].

Is Ian's injury career-threatening?

"I don't know that. The way it was kind of explained to me, and I think maybe talk, I don't know if Ian is still here, but he wasn't going to be able to play this season and I know that was kind of crushing to him, but for him, the competitor that he is, I wouldn't rule him out of anything long-term, but I just know he wouldn't be able to play this year."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers

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