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18 November 2015

Week 11 Conference Call Transcripts: at Philadelphia Eagles(11/22/15)

(On his decision not to take Tampa Bay’s head coaching job in 2012)
“What led to the decision was just my desire to stay at Oregon. I was very close to that team, close to that coaching staff, and at that point in time during my career, I just felt like the right move was to stay at Oregon. It really had nothing to do with Tampa. I had met with the Glazers and they expressed a very intriguing vision of what they were going to get accomplished there in Tampa, and I know there’s a rich history from Coach Dungy to Gruden and how successful they had been there. I was really excited about the opportunity, but the longer I had to think about it, it was really just staying at Oregon with that team and with those coaches was what my decision was based upon.”
(On what attracted him to the Tampa Bay head coaching opening in the first place)
“They contacted me. I had never interviewed or had any discussions with any NFL teams up until that point and never really envisioned myself in the NFL. I was always very content in the job that I had. We had a really good thing going at Oregon – had a great administration there, we had a great bunch of players, a great coaching staff. So I was very comfortable there. The opportunity to interview for the job was just presented as, ‘Why don’t you just come kind of find out what we’re all about.’ And I was very impressed with their whole organization in terms of what they had to offer as an NFL franchise. But, really, at that point in time, my decision was more based on my ties to Oregon than anything about the NFL.”
(On Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston and Kelly’s experience with him coming out of college)
“Really, really impressed with Jameis. The one thing I think when you meet Jameis [is] just how sharp he is in the game of football. We talked to Jameis when we were at the Combine and I came away really impressed with his football acumen and how dialed-in he was to everything about the quarterback position – not just routes, [but] protections, checking run plays, the whole deal about being a quarterback. He was very, very impressive. We knew based where we were – I think we had the 20th pick in the draft – that we weren’t going to be involved with either of those quarterbacks coming out.”
(On Winston’s red-zone run plays and whether those are due more to opportunity or talent that wasn’t necessarily showcased during his college career)
“No, I thought he could run when he was in college, too. He’s a very athletic player, was a great baseball player at Florida State. He’s got all the tools you’re looking for: the athletic ability, the brain, the process. Everything that’s thrown at him in terms of being a quarterback in the National Football League. So that’s not surprising to us. I know he’s not a blazer, but he’s a really good athlete. He’s not a 4.4 guy, but he can beat you with his feet and you have to be aware of that.”
(On whether he has made a decision about Philadelphia’s starting quarterback this week)
“It just depends on Sam’s [Bradford] health. Yesterday was our first day out on the field. We have another training session today. So we have four more training sessions before we have to make any decisions in terms of where he is. He’s working really hard at his rehab and we’re excited about a chance to get him back.”
(On his confidence level in backup quarterback Mark Sanchez)
“Extremely high. Mark’s played a lot of really good football for us here, and really it won’t change anything we do if Mark’s our quarterback. If Mark has to go and Sam can’t go, we’re excited about the opportunity.”
(On whether he is disappointed in Philadelphia’s offensive production given the changes that the team underwent this offseason)
“We actually only made four changes on offense, so I think that gets a little bit overblown in terms of we made wholesale changes. We made the same amount of changes, I think, on defense that we did on offense. It’s just a matter of, I think there’s a lot of self-inflicted wounds [like] our production in the red zone. We’ve certainly moved the football – we’re Top 10 in yardage in the league. But you don’t get points for yardage. It’s about points scored. We’ve had some turnovers in the red zone that have certainly hurt us, penalties in the red zone that have hurt us. So we think those are byproducts of just what we do. If we can clean that up, we think we’ll be okay.”
(On having lost three very closely contested games)
“I think you can look at the three of them – we lost a game by one, a game by two and a game by three. It comes back to self-inflicted wounds. The penalty situation hurt us. In both games we’ve had a touchdown called back because of a formation not being aligned the proper way. There’s the difference - you score a touchdown or come away with no points, there’s the difference in the ball game. So I think just some of the penalty things and some of the detail part of it has to be cleaned up on our part.”
(On the New England Patriots and their success this season)
“I think they’re undefeated and I think they’re doing a heck of a job. You’ve got the premier quarterback in the league and the premier coach in the league. It doesn’t surprise me that the Patriots have a successful record.”
(On the quarterback-coach tandem of Brady and Belichick)
“I don’t know. It’s certainly up there. I haven’t really put my thinking cap on in terms of quarterback-coach tandems. I know Otto Graham and Paul Brown were are pretty good tandem. You can put those guys up there with them. But, I mean, talking the history of the league, Sammy Baugh had a good career. Not sure exactly who his coach was with the Redskins. [Belichick and Brady are] certainly right up at the top.”
(On the length of time that Brady and Belichick have worked together)
“Yeah. It’s been 15 some-odd years or 16 years or however long Tom’s been in the league. You’re talking about a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame quarterback.”
(On the Tampa Bay defense)
“I thought they played really well against Dallas in all phases, especially defensively in terms of what they did – shut down [Darren] McFadden and Dez [Bryant] and [Jason] Witten and that crew. We had played Dallas the week before. I think they’re really grasping what Lovie’s doing down there. Lovie’s a heck of a coach and really is one of the architects of that Tampa 2 defense – [he’s] been with it so long and they’re playing it really well. You’ve got some outstanding Pro Bowl-type players in [Gerald] McCoy and Lavonte David. You throw [in] the rookie, Kwon Alexander, who’s playing at a really, really high level right now, middle linebacker, and doing a really good job out there. I think they’ve settled at corner. Sterling Moore has played really well for them, he matched up in the Giants game against [Odell] Beckham and then kind of getting matched up with Dez last week in the Cowboys game. [Jude Adjei-]Barimah seems like he’s really settling in at the other corner spot. It’s a sound defense. He’s going to blitz you about every third play, come after you, he can play zone, he can play man, they can press you – so I think you have to be prepared for all. But it looks like they’re really playing well as a group. As a full 11 defense, I think they’re doing a really nice job right now and last week was a really good example of it.”
(On the importance of being able to control the 53-man roster)
“All organizations are structured differently and I think it really depends on the general manager and the head coach and everybody being on the same page, knowing what they’re looking for. There’s a lot of different ways to do it.”
(On the Tampa Bay offensive line)
“I think that they’re a real solid group. They’ve looked good all year, from what I’ve seen. Obviously the rookies came in and played really well – played better than most rookies usually do. The left tackle [Donovan Smith] is a big guy. He’s done great in the run game and he’s been pretty good in protection, too. They haven’t, as a group, given up that many sacks this year.”
(On whether Philadelphia does anything differently when preparing to face a rookie quarterback)
“No, not really. We’re going to do what we do on defense and they’re going to do what they do on offense and we’ll see who plays better.”
(On his impression of Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston)
“He’s playing much better than a typical rookie. He looks really kind of composed out there. He’s not making a lot of mistakes. Obviously we all knew he had a big, strong arm and we’re all seeing that, the more we watch film. You can see that he can make all kinds of throws. I’ve been really impressed watching him actually kind of avoid sacks, make guys miss when they get there, and also making those throws while he’s got somebody hanging on him. He’s been very impressive so far.”
(On Philadelphia’s season thus far)                         
“I think as a group – offensively, defensively, special teams – I think we’ve just been inconsistent. At times we’ve been very good and at other times we haven’t. For us, it’s just about execution, paying attention to details. And like I said, we’re going to run our defense, they’re going to run their offense, and whoever executes better is going to win the game.”

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