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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly says team sticking with Gabbert, other updates

Sep 26, 2016 at 1:59 PM

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You had RB Carlos Hyde in the game late, the first team offense line, going for two point conversions. What was the point of doing that late in the game? Was it to get the momentum--?

"At that point in the time it was a, two-point gets you to 19 which is a three-score game. So, you've got two eights and a three."

But, you probably weren't going to catch up at that point though.

"You never know. We're going to keep playing and keep going and seeing what can go on. I don't know the exact time. I think two minutes to go. So, we're going to just keep playing and keep, you don't have a whole heck of a lot so it's not like you can say, 'Hey, let's go put our second O-Line in.' We've only got two guys, so it's just part of the deal. We're going to keep playing."

Chip Kelly Previews Week 4 vs. Dallas Cowboys 

I guess I'm wondering, is there a sense that that unit needs to continue to work on run blocking--?

"No, it was just we need to keep playing. Everybody needs to keep playing and we need to continue to execute and the more times we get a chance to play, the better we're going to be."

Any health updates?

"I don't have any yet. I usually meet with [49ers vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Ferg later on this afternoon. But, I haven't gotten anything specific on anybody."

There was one guy we didn't get a chance to talk to you about yesterday, it was WR Torrey Smith. It looked like he tweaked his ankle?

"Yeah and then I think he went back in the game though. So, I think, I didn't anticipate anything with him, but I'll find out everything right after, a little bit later on this afternoon. We can give you all that tomorrow."

After watching the film, how did you diagnose the problems stopping the run early in the game?

"Well, the first one we were misaligned and obviously they ripped off a 41-yard gain on it. But, we were not lined up properly. There were a couple times on the zone-read play where we've got to play it better. We've got to squeeze it a little bit more from the outside linebacker spot and fall back at the inside linebacker spot. There were some missed tackles involved there. So, it wasn't one specific thing. It was a few different things."

What did you think overall of your running game these past three games? Is it, are guys doing the right things? Is it a matter of--?

"First off, we played three really good defensive fronts in the Rams and Carolina and Seattle, three of the better defensive fronts in this league. And part of that is you're going to be challenged because you're playing against really good players. But, we need to be better in the running game. The run game sets up everything for us. We need to do a better job there. I thought, one of our thoughts going into the game was to be, we wanted to stay out of the third-and-longs and we did. We had five times we were at third-and-five or less, I mean, eight times we were third-and-five or less, but we only converted, we were three of eight on those and three of those were runs. So, you've got to be able to pick it up when it's third-and-two and third-and-three and be able to run the football to be successful in this league and we're not doing it on a consistent basis right now."

When you study the film of a game like that, are you doing that when you get back last night or early this morning?

"Last night. We've got time after the game because of the way technology is nowadays. We had the game on our iPads or Surfaces, or whatever we have, on the way home. So you get a chance to watch it on the bus and then again on the plane, so you can watch both sides of the ball and then you'll come in and watch it again this morning before we meet as a staff."

Did you watch it with QB Blaine Gabbert, together?

"No, we have meetings with our players tomorrow. Today is a day off for our players."

Is there anything that strikes you about how Blaine is running the offense? Is it similar to last week where a lot of people were not on the same page?

"No, and I don't think last week there were people who weren't on the same page."

You were saying also some of the wide receivers may not have run the right routes or weren't in the right spots.

"Last week? I don't think, I said that's in general when you talk about general pass game. It's not always on the quarterback. Sometimes the receivers can run the wrong route. I think the example I gave you was in the preseason game when the running back didn't go to the flats and the quarterback threw the ball to the flats and then everybody says, 'The quarterback is inaccurate.' But, that was about a preseason game. That wasn't about the Carolina Panthers game."

We've heard you talk about QB Colin Kaepernick's readiness and that he's not quite physically ready. If he's not quite physically ready, why is he the number two quarterback?

"Because he's capable to be the backup. But, I don't think he's ready to go fulltime. He's continuing to work on it. I think he's over there right now. And, Kap will be the first to tell you, if you guys have been around here before, I think his playing weight has been around 225 and he's not at that right now. So, he's going out there and continuing to work, continuing to get better. He had a serious layoff in times in terms of being able to medical rehab. To get the full Kap for what you need, the potential that he has, he needs to continue to just work on the physical aspect of things."

Does that mean that if Blaine Gabbert were to have to miss a game, QB Christian Ponder would be the quarterback?

"Kap is definitely our number two right now."

You seem to be saying two different things though.

"I'm not saying that. Kap is our number two right now and everybody wants to know why Kap isn't our number one. I don't think Kap is 100-percent right now. So, that's what I'm saying."

Is he still getting a quarter of the practice reps?

"He gets, depends on who we play. He got a lot more reps last week because it was a lot of, doing some work as [Seattle Seahawks QB] Russell Wilson. I don't know the exact number, how we broke that part down, but he got more reps last week because of kind of who we were playing. So, some of our scout-squad reps we were able to run our offense because Seattle does some similar things to us. So, he got some reps doing that too. So, I don't know the exact number he got last week whether it was third, quarter, whatever. I don't know exactly what it was, but he did get more reps last week."

How close is Kaepernick to 100-percent in terms of--?

"I don't know. That's a good question for him. So, he'll be able to tell you exactly where he is."

What does Gabbert need to do to get better in this offense?

"I think the entire offense, I think sometimes everybody keeps pointing specifically to the quarterback, but it's not like the offensive line's playing tremendous, the running back are doing everything, the wide receivers are doing everything and we're just not getting good quarterback play. I think it's the entire group offensively. We need to convert. Again, what do we need to do as a group better? We had eight shots at third-and-five or less that we need to convert on third down so we can stay on the field and continue to keep drives alive."

Even if Kaepernick's not 100-percent, do you see him at all getting a shot at some point?

"Well, we'll just see how we go offensively. I mean, if we score 65 touchdowns next week, then I don't see him getting a shot."

How fluid is the situation at receiver in terms of WR Rod Streater and WR Aaron Burbridge and how are they developing?

"They played. I mean, they're getting work. I think Burb played 14, 15 snaps. Streater was in the eight to 10 category. Those guys will continue to get plays as we get more plays on the offensive side of the ball. So, they're developing and coming along in terms of, Burb's still a rookie, Streater we just got a little while ago, he's still kind of learning and there's certain things we know when Streat's in that he's a lot more comfortable with than other things that we're doing. So, I don't think he has the full playbook available to him. When Streat's in there, there's certain things that we feel comfortable, 'Hey if Streat's in then we know we're going to call on this, this and this.' We've got enough to be able call when he's in the game. But, you know, we're a little bit limited, but that's just obviously because we didn't get him until after the cut down day"

Is that situation, you've mentioned the quarterback situation is an ongoing competition I think this morning on the radio. Is it the same with the receivers?

"Those guys are playing. So, I don't see how they're not, they're getting in the game."

Well, playing more.

"They earn that. That's just by example in terms of what they do from a practice standpoint. If someone's continuing to stand out in practice, you're going to make an evaluation every day. You say, 'Heck of another day by Burb. We need to get him on the field more.' That's part of just what this whole process is."

The would-be sack LB Eli Harold had on Russell Wilson, was that a horse collar from what you saw?

"They called it a horse collar tackle."

Sure, they did. What did you see on film?

"I saw that they through a flag and called it a horse collar tackle. So, I'm not allowed to comment."

I understand that, but could you see where his hands were in relation--?

"Yeah, I did. They were up over there and they made the call. You can't get me to say I don't think it's a penalty."

No, I'm just curious. I'm not saying whether it was the right call. Did he have the right technique? Was he using the proper technique that you coach?

"According to what they threw as a penalty, no he did not. I'm never going to go there. Whatever they call, they call. So, we can't complain about that."

How concerned are you about your tight end situation with TE Vance McDonald?

"I think those other two guys played fairly well. I mean, obviously, when you only have three tight ends on your roster and one of them doesn't finish a game, then that's a concern for you."

I guess, in terms of health.

"And that's what I mean. I said, when you only have three tight ends on your roster and one of them gets hurt in the game and doesn't finish, then you'd have to have a little bit of concern there. But, I don't know if it's a long-term thing or a short-term thing. So, we'll see as we go from there. I think [TE] Garrett [Celek] and [TE] Blake [Bell] held up accordingly as they went in there, but obviously if you have someone like Vance, who's what we believe is a really good tight end in this league, if he's not available to us then that's a concern."

How do you think CB Keith Reaser played in his extended time yesterday?

"Again, I think with everybody, I think there was just some inconsistencies. But, I thought Reaser did a nice job in terms of how many snaps he was asked to play. Didn't play in the first game, you know, came back a little bit in the Carolina game, starting to get his feet wet again and continuing to play. I thought he did a nice job for the time he was in there. I'm sure there was one or two plays that he would want back."

On Gabbert, one more, yesterday I think you characterized his play as OK.

"I characterized the offense as OK too."

OK. A day later having reviewed the film, what do you see his overall performance was yesterday?

"I thought it was OK, just like we were offensively. Again, the biggest thing for us offensively is we've got to convert on third downs and we're not doing that right now."

At cornerback, if DB Jimmie Ward has to miss time, is it going to be dependent on matchups whether you go with Reaser or CB Rashard Robinson?

"Yeah. I think it all depends on matchups. So, part of what you do is who you're playing and where are their receivers dispersed and then how are we going to try to matchup with them. So, that's kind of how we would do anything. So, they'll look at everything and find out, you know, if Jimmie's out and if he is, how long is he out for and kind of go from there."

When will you or have you started watching film on Dallas?

"We've already watched film on Dallas. So, today's a big game plan day for us. So, when we're done with this we'll get back into game planning and finish watching the rest of the tape and start to put together a plan."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers
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