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Chip Kelly talks QB, DeForest Buckner, Carlos Hyde, Sharks, Warriors, more

This is an absolutely fantastic interview. I'd recommend listening to the whole thing, but here's a transcript. Chip Kelly was on KNBR talking QB, draft picks and Carlos Hyde, and Kelly had all sorts to riff about. The full audio is here.

On what he's been up to:

Nothing. Just hanging out. Lot of vacations. Lot of down time. Nah, we've been working back here since April 4 with the older veteran players. They get a chance to come out for the offseason program. And we obviously had rookie minicamp last week after the draft, and the rookies have joined us now. So we're right in the middle of our offseason program.

On rookie minicamp:

Well I think the good thing is everybody showed very well. So I think, it's exciting to get your hands on these guys. We've got a lot of offensive linemen in this group. We took a couple DBs. Obviously DeForest Buckner and the defensive line. Took a quarterback in the [sixth] round, Jeff Driskel, who's really shown well in the week that he's been here. So, we've been really pleased with the whole group."

On Chip Kelly getting DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead from his Oregon days:

There was, but to use your analogy, I imagine those two guys would have been the biggest kids in your dorm, also. There's a reason for it. It's not the comfort level, it's the talent level. And they're both extremely talented. Their best football's ahead of them, and they've had outstanding college careers. It's interesting to say because of youth and what their size potential is, as they continue to grow and get strong. I'm really excited about the two of them.

On if they're the ends in 3-4 DE:

Yep. We've got multiple ways to deploy all those guys. And it's such an ever-changing game that you're in 3-4, 4-down spacing, is it a passing set, and you're in nickel and those guys are inside rushers. But they have versatility to play across the front. You could line one them up as a nose if you had to. It's a good problem to have.

On DC Jim O'Neil and who he is, what he does:

Well, Jimmy came over from Cleveland, he was the defensive coordinator there. He's been in the league for almost ten years now. You know, he's an outstanding teacher. That's the one thing that really kind of, I gravitated to in terms of, I think the best coaches have the ability to get their knowledge to their players. And everything I heard about Jimmy, that kind of shown through. And that's what I've seen here in the three or four months we've been working together, I think his package is likable, it's learnable, it's aggressive, we're gonna get after the quarterback. It's a quarterback-driven league, and you have to disrupt the timing of the quarterback or you're going to get picked apart. It relies on a lot of man coverage on the back end, that's why we got a couple more corners here in the draft, to go along with the players we already have. But it's an aggressive, attacking style. The system is very learnable, and I think our players have really grasped it here in the short time that we've been together.

Murphy talking about Kelly, O'Neill trying to build a winner:

We're just going for the Irish guys. Kinda like your show. That's the criteria. [Murphy: You have to get Baalke to put an O in front of his name]. I think McBaalke is better.

On his starting quarterback for 2016:

I have no idea. We're not playing a game until September. At this point in time, it's early, and one of the players, Colin, is injured right now, so he's not been a full participant in everything. He's still working extremely hard at the rehab part, but I think people forget he had a thumb injury, a shoulder injury, a knee injury that he's coming off of. So, right now, Blaine's out there, Thad Lewis is with us, and Jeff Driskel are the ones taking the snaps in the offseason program. Kap's at every meeting, Kap's at rehab, Kap's at every practice, doing what he can. But we don't know exactly what we have until we get those guys up and running. That won't be determined until preseason camp.

On Blaine Gabbert strengths:

He's extremely athletic. It's interesting, the three of them, if you look at Driskel, Blaine and Kap, they're all 6'4 plus, and all can run. All of them are at 4.6 or under 4.6, which is kind of rare to have three guys that can kind of do the same thing. But it's beneficial to you. I think the one thing that jumped out right away was how athletic Blaine is. I did not see him, we did not play against him while I was in Philly, so this is really my first exposure to him. But I think his athleticism is the first thing that kind of jumped out at me.

On doing any 40s between QBs in practice:

We have not done that yet. Maybe we'll have a little carnival, and we'll get some races.

On if he's into having fun at practice (music and other things), compared to Pete Carroll:

Well, we do use music at practice for a multiple of reasons, but there's not a lot of time in the offseason program. Really it's kind of get in, get your work done, and get out of here. I think the players appreciate that. You're not monopolizing all of their time in the offseason, but when they're here for four hours, they're working. And that's the one thing about this group that has impressed me more than anything, it's how hard they work.

On his interactions with Kap this offseason:

He's been great. Been here every day. Has not missed a day. People might be caught off guard by that, but the offseason program in the National Football League is voluntary. So they do not have to be here every day, and you can't say, "I'm gonna fine you if you're not here." It's totally up to them. Almost every one of our guys has been here every day. But Kap's been here every day, he's been great in the meeting room with the quarterbacks, and the offense when we're doing our full install meetings. The first thing that struck me about Kap is he's really intelligent. I think he's got a great grasp of what he did in college and what he did in the couple different coordinators that he had here at San Francisco, and then what we're doing now and what we're installing. There's a lot of kind of, they did this here in San Francisco, he did some of this when he was in college. So he can kind of put the things together really quickly. I was really struck by how intelligent he is, and how sharp he is in the classroom.

On Montana comments about Kaepernick being too quiet:

Well, I think the first thing in being a leader is you have to be authentic. So you can't be something that you're not. And there have been many great leaders that were quiet, but their actions, their ability to care about other players, their ability to kind of put themselves in the back and put other people in the forefront, are qualities that, I don't just associate being a great leader with someone that screams and yells. Because if that was the case, every great talk-show host in America would be a great leader.

Kelly (around 11 minutes): You didn't do the update yet. The re-intro, that's it. (Kelly riffed with them about the constant reintros they do during interviews.)

Murphy: You are of course listening to Chip Kelly on the Ummah guest line on the Murph and Mac Show. There you go, how's that?

Kelly: That's perfect. I just get a kick out of that. I don't really think there are people driving down the road going, what are we listening to? I think they probably tuned in because they know what your station is all about. There can't be that many random people...

Mac mentions how much they want to introduce him to Lee Hammer, the program director. Murph mentions how if Hammer thinks it has been too long since a reintro, he'll make a hand gesture in the window:

Kelly: Is there a set re-intro hand gesture?

Murph: Yea, it's kind of a NBA traveling, NBA official traveling.

Kelly: Lee Hammer sounds like a professional wrestler.

Mac: He doesn't look like one though. He's not built like a wrestler.

On Kaepernick trade request, "the elephant in the room":

I don't agree that there's an elephant in the room. My conversations with Kap, and I've said it since I got here, is that he's always expressed to me that he's excited about what we're doing and where we're headed. I understand there's a business side to this deal, and that's why everybody has agents and that's why we have a front office. They can deal with it on there thing. On a football level and on a day-to-day basis and how we get along, it's been fantastic. We set that kind of parameter to begin with, is that, that's how it's gonna be. When you're here, we're gonna coach the heck out of you. He understands that and he's been great with that. So we haven't had any elephants in the room or anything to speak of from that standpoint. I had conversations with him before April 4 that were just kind of generic. And when I talked about that, we couldn't talk football, of how we feel your skillset relates to what we're trying to do, it's just kind of how are you, what are you like as a person. So I've had great interaction with Kap, and so has our quarterbacks coach, and our offensive coordinator and everybody in the building.

On needing to socialize with players:

Well, you can't go to dinner, because you can't pay them, because that affects the salary cap if you pick up the check. You can't take them out to eat and pay for it. We have enough interaction during the day. I think when our day is done, they're ready to get on to their other lives. They have wives, they have girlfriends, they have kids. They don't want to keep hanging out with us, I don't think.

On running back position:

Carlos is a stud. He's been full-go since we started in the beginning of April. Participated in everything. And he's as advertised. To have someone that size that is that agile, has that vision, it's really impressive to see him work every day. There have been no restrictions on him at all. He's full clear, 100 percent, and he's going. He's really good, we're really excited about him.

On everything being great, and sunshine and roses:

Yea. That's the way it should be. Offseason controversy, that's not big on our agenda.

On Bay Area sports, and if he's checked out Sharks or Warriors in playoffs:

Oh yea, fan of both of them. I met Doug Wilson a couple times, the general manager of the Sharks. I went to one of the Kings playoff games. It's an unbelievable environment to watch a game in. Was extremely excited last night with the 5-0 victory. And you can't help but be a fan of what the Warriors are doing. It's just so exciting to watch. To see Portland get close and get within two, and then Curry hits a shot that, I mean you can't figure out how he gets it off, and it's in. It'll be exciting because OKC is a good team, too. So I think that matchup will be a lot of fun to watch. I'm just a fan of sports, you've got to get excited about that one.

On Blazers fans and the culture up in Portland:

They do. And you've got to give them credit. They lost four starters from last year's team, and made it as deep as they did in the playoffs. I thought Terry Stotts did a great job with that team. He really did a good job with that team.

Now the great part about being a fan and being in the Bay Area, you now get to see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook come in to play against Thompson, and Curry, and Draymond. It's going to be a lot of fun.

On calling in as "Chip in Santa Clara" talking any Bay Area sports:

The best part about this is I'm a fan. So I've seen the other side when people think they know what's going on in a sport, and try to lend their expertise analysis of it. I don't go to a basketball game or a to hockey game and say they should have done this, ‘I didn't like the neutral-zone traps that Doug was running here,' or, ‘They're doing dump-and-run and we need our defensemen to flip their hips quicker.'" I just go as a fan.

Murph talks about Chip dropping hockey knowledge, asks if Bobby Orr scoring against the Blues is his reference point:

Yea, that was Bobby Orr, he scored against the Blues.

On if he was Ray Bourque-era Bruins fan:

I liked Ray Bourque. Hell of a guy. Remember when he gave his jersey number up to Espo?

Mac explains that story. They thank him.

No problem. Chip from Santa Clara signing out.