Transcript: Chip Kelly announced Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback

Oct 11, 2016 at 12:39 PM--



Opening comments:

"Just to announce; we're going to make a move at quarterback and we're going to start [QB] Colin [Kaepernick] this week. Give him an opportunity to run with the ones. I believe you've got to do it at the beginning of the week just because of how reps are distributed. Our ones get, obviously, more reps than our twos during the week in practice, so to get him to run with the ones you've got to do it at the beginning of the week. So, we're going to do it at the beginning of the week and see where we go from there."

I know there were some conversations, he had to adjust his contact--?

"That's got nothing, I don't deal with contracts. It's got nothing to do with his contract."

Chip Kelly Announces 49ers Starting QB in Week 6 

It was a football decision?

"Football decision. I don't even know where his contract status is. That's a good question for him. But, I've never discussed his contract or will I discuss his contract."

How lively was the debate or was it kind of an easy decision?

"I don't think lively or debate or whatever. I think we were very analytical and sat down as a staff and watch tape and went over everything. We've had a couple days to kind of digest everything where we are and I think offensively we need to be better and we need to just make a move. It's really not, it's not [QB] Blaine's [Gabbert] fault. I think it's just as a group offensively we need to be better in a lot of ways, so we're going to see what we can do and make a move here. It's really one of the only maneuvers we can make based on our depth, where we are and what we're doing."

A couple weeks ago you said Colin wasn't the same guy who was running a 4.5 and throwing the ball all over the field. Is that pretty much the same or--?

"Well he's not, again, and we've gone over this ad nauseam, he's not the same guy he was in 2013. You can just look at him physically. That's just the point I tried to make when people brought that up."

I was asking, over the past couple of weeks has he--?

"He's worked. Again, I've said this since day one with him, he's worked extremely hard on his rehab. You are talking about a guy that missed the offseason because of the injuries and that's the only point I ever tried to make about that."

You often reference 2013, he played 16 games--?

"Whatever year it was, 2014. What did he weight in 2014? That's the only thing I ever brought up. So, we can let that go. That's my point is he physically is not where he was pre-injury. Before that he was a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, a little bit stronger. He will admit that. He's worked as hard as anybody I've been around in terms of his rehab. That's the only point I've ever tried to make since day one. Hopefully we can let that part go."

Will Blaine be the number two quarterback?

"Yeah, we're going to go forward. But, you've got to distribute the reps. So, you can't go all week long and then say, 'Hey, we're going to make the move on Saturday,' but then Colin didn't get enough reps with the ones."

What was their reaction when you told the quarterbacks?

"They were fine. They are both professional. They both understand. It's obviously the conversation with Kap is different than the conversation with Blaine, but it is what it is and we've got to make those decisions and sometimes you've got to make the tough decision."

What kind of expectations do you have for Kap for his first game?

"I have the same expectations for our team, to be successful and score points on the offensive side of the ball. That's what we're looking for."

Will the practice reps be reversed?

"Yes."

How much will the offense change?

"It doesn't change. They are both similar type athletes in terms of what they can do. They both run. They both throw. So, I don't think you'll see schematically we're not going to change our entire offense to do this. You're not dealing with two different types of athletic people. Blaine obviously, Blaine had 70 yards rushing in our last game on 10 attempts. Blaine can run and do what we are doing offensively. Kap can do what we're doing."

You said he wasn't ready to play full-time just a few weeks ago. So, what changed?

"He's gotten, when I made the decision on our starting quarterback it was over five weeks ago. We're talking six weeks of rehab between when we were ready. He also didn't miss two weeks of preseason camp. So, based upon the time that we had him in preseason camp, he wasn't ready from a physical or a mental standpoint in terms of where we were to start the season and that's when we made our decision based then. We're in Week 6 now of the National Football League. We were talking about that decision was after the San Diego Chargers game, so that was over six weeks ago."

He had the arm issue in August. How has the arm looked in September and into October?

"Yeah, we haven't had any issues since that issue in August. So knock on wood moving forward we won't have any other issues with the arm."

What's his biggest area of growth since that span, since the regular season started that you've seen from Kap?

"I think he's gotten physically stronger in those six weeks."

Did you talk to the coaching staff? Did you consult any players?

"Yeah, we talked to just our coaching staff. We meet and talk about everybody. We talked about everything we can do on the offensive side of the ball to improve. Just our coaching staff."

You talked to both of the quarterbacks this morning?

"Yeah, I did."

Can you just give us an idea of what Colin's reaction was or any words he said to you?

"Yeah, he said 'Let's go.' Like I just said earlier when they asked the question, it was very professional on both their parts."

If they were drastically different style quarterbacks would you have waited to announce this until later in the week?

"No, because again I don't deal in hypotheticals and they are not drastically different style quarterbacks. So, I never thought about if they were drastically different would I hold or whatever. They're not, so I didn't have to think about that."

I didn't even know I was asking a hypothetical question.

"It was a hypothetical."

Did any part of this decision, was it a factor of the team maybe needing a shot in the arm too? Was it an emotional decision?

"No, it was not an emotional. It was just we need to improve on the offensive side and that was the decision we made to move forward offensively."

Are you worried at all about his protest being any kind of distraction to the football side?

"No. I think we've answered that question ad nauseam as much as the weight question that we've answered. It has not been an issue and I think of how Colin has handled it, he handled it very straight forward with our players when it first came about way back when in August and it hasn't been an issue since then. So, I don't see it changing from that standpoint."

Forgive me for asking a non-football question. I'm with CNN. Donald Trump.

"No debates or whatever."

Donald Trump said that his comments were basically locker room talk. Is that locker room talk?

"I'll stick to football. You can ask someone else the political questions."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers





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