Chip Kelly On DeSean, Science And the Schuylkill

PHOENIX — More from Chip Kelly‘s sitdown with reporters inside the ballroom of the luxurious Biltmore Hotel Wednesday morning:

On free-agent additions allowing the Eagles to take the best available player in the draft:

“Yeah that helps. you had some depth issues, obviously, we lost Nnamdi and DRC. You don’t want sit there with no corners. So you add a couple of guys in that situation, it gives you a little — I guess the best way to say it is — comfort knowing you don’t have to reach for somebody at No. 4 just because you don’t have somebody at that position.”

On the Geno Smith workout:

“Just your typical watch a guy throw in person. I think at the Combine it’s a little bit scripted. Were sitting up 30, 40 rows up above, kinda watching. We’re getting a chance to see him on the ground — throwing motion, how he moves, how he carries himself.

“Geno did a real nice job. I think Geno sees the game very well. He’s got a great understanding. Dana [Holgorsen] has done a great job with him in terms of his ability to run that system. He’s got a pretty good understanding of coverages, good understanding of protections.”

Whether he will lean on Dennis Dixon to teach the others:

“No. You teach the fastest learner, and everyone else has to catch up. …Those guys don’t have time to teach the other guys. Everybody’s moving. That’s the coach’s job.”

On recruiting taller, longer players:

“You have to adjust to what you have. No one is starting from Square One and saying, ‘How do we build the perfect defense, offense, special teams?’  And you don’t have 100 first-round draft picks either, so you can say, ‘Hey I really like that guy,’ but he’s gone, so you always have to make adjustments to what you do. But we want taller, longer people because big people beat up little people.”

Similarities between DeAnthony Thomas and DeSean Jackson?

“I think they are both similar in size and are fast but DeSean is a wide receiver and DeAnthony is a running back. When we go DeAnthony we looked at some of his traits and thought it was beneficial to get him involved. Because we had LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, how do we get them on the field at the same time?  He’s kind a wide receiver/running back for us but I don’t know if DeSean has those qualities of a [running back]. DeAnthony has been a running back his entire life and my understating is DeSean has been a receiver his entire life, so they are not similar from that standpoint.”

Using Jackson on special teams:

“I think there’s certain times you want to see DeSean. I think everybody in Philadelphia was excited that he was back deep on the last kick against the Giants a couple of years ago. To me, it’s the number of snaps they get, are you running guys into the ground. Is your starting safety playing 60 snaps on defense and then every snap on all four special teams, you need to lighten that load a little bit. But I think if there’s certain skill sets and they can help you win a game, like DeSean did, I think you need to see him back there. But it also depends on who your other returner is. Your other returner may be really dynamic, and you don’t need him.”

On the use of science:

“Those are resources that are available to everybody. We’re trying to put our guys in a position to be successful so why not rely on what the experts say is the right thing to do or wrong thing to do.”

How much sleep should athletes get?

“An elite athlete needs between 10-12 hours a night.“

What issue has come up since you’ve been hired that’s been the most difficult to deal with?

  “The Schuylkill.”

On whether he will have to change his unorthodox play-calling on this level:

“All of my decisions are based upon my understanding of our players and what we can do and can’t do. I don’t know until I get an understanding of what we can do and can’t do. If putting our defense on the field on the 40-yard line isn’t a good idea, we’d rather have them on the inside the 10 or inside the 20, we’re going to be kicking the ball more.”

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