May 9, 2014
Kelly on Matthews | Complete Coverage
On whether he had a sense that the Eagles were going to draft him:
"Yeah, I definitely had a feeling [it was going to be the Eagles]. I had a great interview and a great time up there meeting with the coaching staff and everybody. I got a really good vibe and it's great to be on board."
On whom he spent time with on his trip with the Eagles:
"I was actually able to spend time with coach [Chip] Kelly and the whole coaching staff. I also got to spend time with the [general manager Howie Roseman] and president [Don Smolenski]. I got to watch the players work out and I spent time with the strength coach. I had a great feeling going in, so I'm just really blessed and really excited to go ahead and get going with the team."
On what makes him think he can thrive out of the slot:
"I played a lot of slot in college. I played the `X' and the `Y' and I played the `Y' predominantly in a lot of `10' personnel so I know how to run the seam and do the speed game and all those types of things. I can also play the outside, too. Whatever role they want me to play, I'm going to go there and do that to the best of my ability because I feel like the better I do with that role, the more roles I can get later on."
On any possible similarities between the scheme at Vanderbilt and Kelly's scheme:
"There are some similarities. We actually had four films from the Eagles in our office. Before I even got to go meet with them for my interview, I watched a couple of those films from last year to kind of get a taste for it. There's an answer for everything. If you want to go too high, [the Eagles] can run up the middle with a great running back, you can go one high and leave man-to-man coverage on the outside, you've got great receivers who can exploit man-to-man coverage. I definitely got a taste for it, but I can't wait to divulge into the playbook and really learn some stuff."
On whether there is any pressure with coming in as the first wide receiver since the team released DeSean Jackson:
"No, there is no pressure. I feel like when you have God on your side there is no pressure. I wish the best for DeSean and all of his future endeavors with the Washington Redskins but I have to go in and be the best Jordan Matthews I can be and not worry about all that."
On whether making plays in traffic is a strength in his game:
"Of course. My coaches always tell me, `If you want to be a big receiver, you have to play big.' That was always the mindset I took into my game. I always made sure I watched big receivers and watched how they scored in coverage and got open and caught the ball. I try to apply that to my game and make sure I can be a top receiver."
On the relief of not being the focal point of the defense each and every week given the team's multitude of weapons:
"It's definitely going to be a little bit different than my time at Vanderbilt. Like I said, I'm going to go in and be the best teammate I can be. I want to definitely earn the respect from those guys so I'm going to go in, shut my mouth and get to work."
On how influential his cousin, NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, has been on his career:
"He was definitely influential. I think one of the most influential things was watching him as a young child and growing up and being able to study his game and trying to apply some of those things to my game. He has given me some advice and I really appreciate that. Hopefully our relationship can grow as time goes on."
On whether he has trained with Rice in the past:
"I've talked to him about it, but I haven't been able to train with him."
On why he thinks he slipped to the second round of the draft:
"I think that was just God's plan. I don't have the answers. I don't know how this whole process ultimately works. At the same time, I was blessed to be put in a great position. I'm not worried about anything ahead of me. I'm ready to go and work for the Eagles."
On the difficulty of being in New York City last night and not hear his name called:
"I was used to it coming out of high school because I was not a heavily recruited guy. I was made for this. I think God put me in that position and put that chip on my shoulder. I wasn't going to get complacent but now I'm definitely not going to. It's just part of it and I'm glad that I landed in a great situation."
On whether Kelly communicated to him how he ultimately wants to use the slot receiver position:
"Not too much. I know from some of the game films I watched you definitely have to be able to go across the middle and catch balls, but you also have to be able to help with the bubble screens and also block on those screen games, too. So I just have to get in, learn it and be the best I can be."
On why he thrives in the middle of the field:
"Because I'm hungry. Every opportunity I've ever had in football I had to go out and grind for it. Nothing was ever given to me, so when the ball is in the air, it's mine so that's my attitude whenever I go out on the field."
On graduating college in three and a half years:
"I graduated with an economics degree. That was really important to me because I wanted to make sure that I was completely done with school when I got to the NFL because I wanted to wake up as a professional athlete and go to bed as a professional athlete. I didn't want to have to worry about going back to school or any of that stuff. I want to be a complete football player so I didn't want any distractions off the field including school. I was glad I was able to finish that and also give that degree to my mom."
On looking forward to playing in an uptempo offense:
"I'm definitely looking forward to it. The one thing about me is that I always make sure I'm in shape. I'm big on cardio and trying to keep myself in tip-top shape. I can run forever so this is definitely a perfect situation for me."
CHIP KELLY: We just selected Jordan Matthews. I think the first thing you do is you look at his numbers. I think they're off the charts. He's the all-time leading receiver in SEC history. He's 6'3". He's a little heavier than he was at the combine, 217 pounds. He ran 4.46 at the combine. Great wing span, vertical jump. Intelligent kid that graduated college in three and a half years. We're really, really excited to get him. I think it played out the way we were hoping to play it out. We really liked him, and we had the big conversation last night in the draft room with him and Marcus. How we do it, we thought the pass rusher would go first. So we took him and held our breath on what it was for us to get up to where we didn't think at 54 he was going to be around, and he made the move to go up. But I think gaining the extra pick when we went back, so we had two threes instead of having a four, it worked out perfectly. So we have two third round draft picks and two guys that were the targeting, and we ended up getting them. Sometimes it plays out the way you want it to, other times it doesn't play out. But I think right now we're pretty excited.
There are still a lot of wide receivers on the board. What separated Matthews that convinced you that you want to trade up for him?
CHIP KELLY: That's a good question. I think the one thing we talked about is man coverage. The one thing he does is catch the ball in traffic. He made an unbelievable amount of contested catches. You know, he's got such a wing span and will go up and get it, and can play both inside and outside. We're probably going to start him inside. If we've got Jerry Maclin on one side and [Riley Cooper] on the other side and throw him inside, and he has experience. So I think the kind of thing that would separate him from some other people is he does have experience. Only a couple guys in the draft that we felt you could at least see on film that played both inside and outside. Some are inside receivers some are exclusively outside receivers. We felt he was one of those guys that could do both. He's got the speed to play on the outside. He's got the size. He can do a lot of the different things that we can do. The big thing for us is the intangible things that Jason Avant brought playing inside that slot receiver, being a physical guy, and I think he can do that along with exploiting man coverage.
How much does the competition he's facing week-in and week-out in the SEC factor into his evaluation?
CHIP KELLY: That's a great question, and it's huge. I think a lot of times when you're looking at guys, it's apples to oranges. Can you say this guy had a productive, and had X amount of catches, but who is covering him? I think you saw more man coverage than a lot of other guys. Because I think in that conference, the defensive backs match-up. In some conferences, they may only have one corner or two corners, so they play a lot more zone. In that conference, there is a lot of man. It's a defensive conference with some great football teams and great coaches. The remarkable thing you kept seeing with him is I think everybody knew when Vanderbilt went into the game that he was the guy that was going to get the ball. Obviously, he's the all-time leading receiver in that conference, yet he still kept getting the ball, so it's a credit to him.
Is it important to have a wide receiver with size?
CHIP KELLY: The most important thing for a receiver, and I know I talked about big people beat up little people. That's more of a defensive philosophy for us. But at the receiver position, it's your ability to beat one-on-one coverage. We see it so much. Honestly, I don't think people really beat it. You're going to have to catch a lot of contested footballs. I think that's one of the things that makes Riley such a good target. Is that Riley's, you know, 6'4, 6'3" plus, 6'4. Coop's over 230 right now. I think he can muscle and go get the ball. I think people play defense so close in this league, that your ability to go get the football is really what kind of separates people. That's the one thing that was a tangible thing when you look at the film and look at him on film. That's what you see.
As a follow-up to that, you spoke about reconfiguring the position. How does this factor into that?
CHIP KELLY: Just the same thing. The number one thing we're going to see, is we see a ton of man. I think people match up to us because of what we do and the speed and tempo that we play. It's the easiest thing to get lined up quick. Hey, you've got him. It's the next play to line up again. I've got him again. If we're going to see it a lot, how do you get guys that exploit that coverage? I think that's what we do. In a league where sometimes people put smaller guys in the slot, we wanted to put a bigger guy in there. I think that match-up, if you're a smaller DB is going to play in the slot and have to match up with a 217 pound guy that can run 4.46.
Are you surprised that you were able to trade a fourth-round pick to move up?
CHIP KELLY: Nothing surprises me. No. Seriously, I see some picks, and Buffalo traded one next year to move a couple places. And somebody in the first round yesterday traded a 5 to go in the one spot. I think it's who you're dealing with, and everybody's value is a little different. Obviously, there is a chart that you follow, but there is nothing that really surprises me. We tried a lot yesterday. What was going to get us to where. But I think the one thing is we're very conscious. We still think there is depth in this draft, so we're not going to sell our souls to move a couple spots. I think we've got a plan going in.
We were fortunate. I think there is a nail biting time going in. Same thing as I said yesterday. There were six guys that we're taking if we could have moved up. But the price to move up is too rich. But we weren't going to give a second to move up so far in the first and come out of it with one player. We feel that the situation we're in right now you're going to get four top players out of 86. We think that's pretty good for us at this current time. So we'll see. But we could do some more things in the third. So, you know, I don't know. What is the [newspaper] deadline tonight?
What triggered the move up tonight? Did you know? Did you figure you were going to do this or did something happen that made you think you better?
CHIP KELLY: Yeah, we had two guys we were targeting and one went. So we had to go. We had to go. It's when do you go and what's it cost you? The earlier you go, the more it costs you. So it's kind of when are you in? When aren't you in? The other thing in a lot of situations is who is willing to deal? Because there are a lot of spots, and it happened last night and it will happen tonight. You'll call and say, hey, we'd like to do this, and they don't want to do it. It's the same thing. At 22 we were ready to move. At 26 we didn't get any calls. So you can kind of say you hope it works one way. But there is always going to be a partner you're going to get with.
Were you surprised a player of that caliber fell out of the first round?
CHIP KELLY: No, again, there is value where. We talked about it today when you come back in. These three days the draft is the biggest spectacle of everything, and why it's turned into that, I don't really know. By Monday it all falls back in. I think we have two outstanding offensive linemen that we re-signed. Jason Peters was an undrafted free agent. How that happened, I have no idea. And Jason Kelce is a sixth round draft pick. Tom Brady is a sixth round draft pick. So we all, everybody, I'm not blaming anybody. Everybody goes crazy about the draft, and he's a first, he's a second, he's a third. And then on Monday, it doesn't matter. It's who is the best player, as we go back to that.
I said it last night, I think Marquis [Lee] is a heck of a football player. We played against him. I still have visions. He had like 500 yards in two games against us. I certainly know him. Recruited him. I think he's a great player and I think he'll be a great player in this league, so we were trying as hard as we can. We had two guys targeted here in the second, and we got one of them. And we're really excited about it.
The way the receivers were, there were so many different sizes, shapes, how they run. Did you find yourself -- was it hard to evaluate and find separation with a lot of these guys? Was it almost getting nit-picky as far as what they do?
CHIP KELLY: I don't think it's nit-picky. I think it's what you believe fits for you. Because you can say that guy's a heck of a receiver, but we're kind of looking more towards this. And that's where there were so many and there are still other guys out there that I think are going to be outstanding players in this league. We may take another one. It depends on how it goes here. I still think there is a lot of talent. But that is the one position I think -- I don't know how it ends up, and I don't think in a draft you can ever really analyze until a while out in terms of how they turn out in terms of being professionals. But the receivers, there was no question on the depth. I think at some other positions, it fell off very quickly. There is a run, and then all of a sudden, there is not a lot left at that position. But I still think there are top-notch quality receivers left in the draft, and we'll see how it plays itself out. I think in that question, it's not as much being nit-picky. It's what are you looking for? I think for us, the unheralded position for us and maybe the misconception is trying to find that guy to replace Jason Avant inside was a big deal for us. Because Jeremy Maclin, we have outside, and Riley Cooper outside. So really trying to find who that is. We've got some guys on our team that are competing for that right now. But to be able to throw Jordan in the mix with those guys gives us more confidence as we move forward.
Are the offensive concepts you run similar to those of Vanderbilt?
CHIP KELLY: Yeah, I think there are certain things that everybody does. But when you watch them on film, they do some really good stuff. I would say we do some things they run. There are [things that] probably every team in the country when you look at them on film, they're running something. Your receiver on X amount of routes, they run a go route, a post, an X, a corner. The one thing about him and how they used him, you could see his whole game. Some guys are just stuck outside or stuck on one side in certain offenses and they don't switch that. He did everything. When they went to spread sets, he came inside and played the inside receiver, so you saw him work inside against people and saw him make a ton of plays outside. Catching screens, catching deep balls. When you have as many catches as he's had in his career, he's probably run every route out there.
What have you seen from him on screens? I think he caught like 40% of his catches on screens last year?
CHIP KELLY: Yeah, he's a big, physical guy. So when he catches it, he can go. He's got outstanding speed. He caught a screen I think it was in the bowl game against Houston and turned the corner. He was down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown. He can separate from that standpoint. But I think he's got some physicality. He gets up the field and gets positive yardage in terms of him catching the ball. That's one of the reasons that James and that staff at Vandy used him in that manner.
Does the fact that he's related to Jerry Rice have anything to do with it?
CHIP KELLY: No, but it's not a bad thing. I think you're going to look at it, but I don't think we make determinations of who is this kid's tree and who is this kid's tree. We're not that deep in our analytics. We may start though if he turns out to be a really good player. We'll find out who else Jerry is related to.