Chip Kelly TIm Walton

Chip Kelly Excited About Offensive Possibilities, Getting Back To Coaching

COLUMBUS — New Ohio State offensive coordinator Chip Kelly met with reporters for the first time since being hired. He had plenty to say about his relationship with head coach Ryan Day, his thoughts on the talent on hand, calling plays, and much more. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.

  • What went into your decision to step away from UCLA? “I do a lot of things that other people don’t do.” His QB coach left before the bowl game so he took that over and he really, really enjoyed it. His wife said that was the happiest he’s been in a while. So he started thinking more and more about that possibility to do that in the right spot and just coach a position.
  • He referenced John Lennon as a kid saying he wanted to be happy when he grew up. “I want to be happy.”
  • Been impressed with the athleticism of the offensive line over the last few weeks.
  • They are very detailed in how they approach practice but the key right now is to just let guys get reps. Then they will evaluate things down the road.
  • “He makes me call him ‘Sir,'” Kelly joked of his working relationship with Ryan Day.
  • He’s known Day since little league and he’s always been a great competitor.
  • “Everything we do here is collaborative.” There is an amazing coaching staff here. Just to be able to sit and talk with any of the assistant coaches, it’s a good experience.
  • Dealing with boosters and things like that aren’t the reason he wanted to leave UCLA. “I was just with Phil Knight two weeks ago.” A lot of guys have been great to him. Sometimes people want to make a narrative of why decisions are made and it’s not always just one thing. The position of head coach has been moving to CEO and he has head coaches who have called him and said “I’m two years behind you brother.” They need to continue to protect this game because it’s about the players. Gene Smith is one of the best influences in the NCAA.
  • Do you understand the stakes here? “The expectations can be no higher than they are in your own brain.”
  • There is a unique approach with the players here. He told that to Mickey Marotti. “It’s impressive.” The veterans are setting the tone and the young players are following.
  • The play-calling will be a collaborative effort, in that if it’s a good play, Kelly called it. If it’s a bad play, that was Day. They haven’t discussed the play-calling yet, but it’s always been a collaborative effort wherever he’s been.
  • This was the best fit for him in his career at this time. “I never thought about quitting or not coaching. I’m gonna coach and then I’m gonna die.”
  • He told his players at UCLA personally that he was leaving and why he was leaving. It wasn’t about taking another head coaching job, he just wanted to go be a position coach and get back to actual coaching. New UCLA coach Deshaun Foster is a great choice and he’s always been high on him.
  • Is there an appeal of getting innovative with the talent at Ohio State? There definitely is, but it was more important about who he got to work with.
  • On Will Howard: Really impressed. You don’t have to talk to him for more than five minutes to know where he’s coming from. There’s a maturity there and he knows his window is short. He is very focused and has a sense of urgency. He has fit in very quickly with the entire team. He was one of the Gold members of the weight room work this winter.
  • Does he want a No. 1 QB by the end of spring? You let these things happen organically. They’re not going to force the issue. It always plays itself out.
  • “The one thing I can tell you after day one is there’s a lot of skill set out there.” It makes it easy to get up in the morning. But they’re also disciplined and they want to work.
  • Pressure is what you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing. So if you don’t want to feel pressure, then know your job.
  • Do you want to be on the field or in the box as a coach? He has thought about this a lot and wanted to coach from the stands during COVID. You can see it better from upstairs but you get a better feel for the game better on the field. So if they could get a zip wire for him. But whatever Ryan Day feels is best is what they’ll do.
  • What role will tempo play? The game is always evolving. When he left Oregon, they were the only team running tempo and wearing shiny helmets. Then when he came back to UCLA everybody had shiny helmets and tempo. You treat it now like a side order at a restaurant. It’s not your main course. Defenses have adjusted as well. “It doesn’t matter what you do, there’s cycles to this game.”
  • Regarding the photo above: “I was telling Tim (Walton) and Caleb (Downs) what a great offensive player Caleb would be and should be.”
  • The talent on the field today? “Obviously there is a very talented football team.” But it’s the non-talented things that are going to help this team win. There are a lot of talented teams out there.
  • What does Ryan Day want from you? “We didn’t really talk about the past and I’ve never been one to talk about the past. Just the future and what’s it going to look like.”
  • Ryan Day is a really good recruiter and he has an amazing place to sell. The fan base are amazing. The people in the building are amazing. The timing and fit have worked out for him. “Today was a good day.”

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