Chip: No Contact With USC

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly denied reports connecting him to the now-filled head coaching job at USC.

“I’ve never spoken to anybody from USC, I’ve never emailed anybody from USC, never got a phone call from anybody from USC, never had any contact,” said Kelly, who stated that the same applies to his agent. “I’m not involved in any college jobs.

“The same thing happened a year ago with Florida. I have great respect for all those schools. I think USC just hired a coach who is a heck of coach — Clay [Helton] is going to do a great job there — but I haven’t been involved in any jobs, I haven’t discussed anything with any colleges.”

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, USC “touched base” with Kelly before giving the job to Helton. Zach Barnett of Football Scoop writes that the two sides had a sitdown in Philly, possibly on Friday.

“I wasn’t in Philly on Friday, so that’s wrong,” said Kelly, who added that he was in New Hampshire on that day. “I haven’t met with them, I haven’t talked to them, I haven’t had a conversation with anybody from USC.”…

“It’s crazy. But really it’s kind of sad that everybody can just write whatever they want or say whatever they want, and then everybody takes it as the truth. It’s the world we live in but if you have to sit there every day and combat everything that comes out, I think you’re wasting time. Our focus and energy has to be on the New England Patriots.”

Kelly maintains that the recent adversity “hasn’t at all” affected his commitment to the job and desire to stay here. “I’ve been totally committed since the day I got here on January 16th of 2013 and that hasn’t changed. I’m here.”

–Kelly said Sam Bradford will practice Tuesday and called it a big test “in terms of him throwing the ball around and seeing if there is residual soreness.”

Asked how an injury to the non-throwing shoulder impacts how he throws, Kelly responded: “The stability on that side. Where he is. And then the other point is, can he take a hit? If you’ve got some instability in your left shoulder — and it’s actually not his left shoulder, it’s his AC — if you have some instability there then you’re susceptible to something if you get hit. And can he handle that, can he take a hit so it’s not something that’s going to affect him long-term.”

— The head coach again backed Billy Davis, saying that he is confident that he is the guy that is able to get this fixed.

— Kelly says that he spoke to Jeffrey Lurie Monday by phone and talks to him “all the time” but has not had a “specific meeting” with him amid the recent downturn. Has he been offered assurances that he’ll be able to see this through?

“I don’t have…I mean, I’m not looking for any assurances or anything, but we’ve never had any conversations other than, next goal is to beat the New England Patriots and what are we going to do in terms of facing the Patriots and game plan and things like that. But that’s all we ever talk about is kind of who the next opponent is.”

— There are no “drastic” personnel moves to be done as a far as bringing in new players from the outside at this point in the season, per Kelly, but he sounded open to elevating backups into bigger roles down the stretch if they show they’re deserving of more playing time in practice.

— Interestingly, Kelly acknowledged that his defense can get worn down over the course of a season by playing a high number of snaps relative to the rest of the league, but says that the responsibility falls on the offense to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“If we’re not getting the requisite amount of snaps, then that’s where we’re hurting our defense,” he said. “It’s really just the production from the offensive side of the ball in terms of what’s giving them an opportunity to wear us down on the defensive side of the ball.”

Ryan Mathews has still not cleared concussion protocol, Kelly said. Zach Ertz has not been fully cleared from his concussion. It sounds like he still needs to visit the independent doctor.

— Asked if he feels he has strong enough relationships with the players to pull him through, Kelly responded, “Yeah, I do,” adding that he leans on guys like Connor Barwin, Malcolm Jenkins, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters and Brandon Graham to help take the temperature of the locker room.