Ducks Arrive in Phoenix

The Oregon Ducks arrived in Phoenix today and held a media conference at Sky View Airport.

Oregon Ducks arrival press conference Head Coach Chip Kelly Sky Harbor Airport, Sunday, January 2, 2011 Opening remarks:

"We're excited to be here. We had a very non-dramatic flight down here. It was real quick. The kids are fired up to be here to represent the University of Oregon. Getting a chance to play in the national championship is what these guys have worked for since actually last January when we came back after the Rose Bowl. We're excited to be here. We've got another full week of preparation before we play the game. But we're ready to go."

Q: What does it mean to have Duck fans here?
A: "We're excited. The groundswell of support we've had, from wherever we go around the country, our coaches felt it when they were out recruiting during the month of December. To have the support that we have everywhere we go, it's an exciting time to be a Duck, and we're going to need them all on the 10th."

Q: What's the team's demeanor when it travels, and was today's trip like any other?
A: "Yeah, it was, because it's a business trip. Our guys know we keep the same schedule when we leave the ‘Cas' (Casanova Center) ‘til we get to the Eugene airport ‘til wheels up. It's just like any other away game for us in terms of how we traveled today. We've just got a couple more players with us than we normally do on a travel squad."

Q: Any drama at the airport? Did everybody make the flight?
A: "Besides Coach Aliotti's two hips, where he's got to get wanded getting through, we were pretty good."

Q: You've been practicing for weeks. It easier now to finally be here for final preparations, and is it a more relaxed atmosphere here?
A: "No, we don't look at it that way. We knew the day we were picked to play in this game that we had 35 days to prepare, and we're counting it down, we've got our schedule set up. So we haven't talked about, ‘We wish the game was here,' or ‘This changes how we prepare.' We'll get back cracking at it tomorrow with a Monday practice, so everything's right on schedule for us right now."

Q: Was there a point in the schedule when you knew you had something special?
A: "I knew we had something special, and I've said it before, during spring practice. We had 15 practices in the spring and we didn't have a bad one. I could tell the players' mindset was they understood what our vision is for this football program, and the way we were going to get there was through hard work. When I watched them practice in the spring, I think they understood that we were going to be in this situation at the end of the year if we prepared to be in this situation at the end of the year. And it started actually last off-season for us."

Q: Is it important to have a couple of key days here early to get some work done?
A: "We feel every day is important, so there's not, ‘Let's get it out of the way early and then start coasting.' Every single day for us is extremely important. Our players' mindset since we got back at it after finals has been the same way, and they understand that we got a real good amount of work in when we were in Eugene, and now we're down here to get six or seven days in here, and then we'll be ready to play the game. But there's no day that's more important than tomorrow, and that's what it starts with."

Q: Where does dealing with media stand for you as far as your job is concerned?
A: "It's No. 1 in my book." (Laughter)

Q: Do you have anything planned with the team for today?
A: "From a football standpoint, no. We've got some administrative things when we go back to the hotel about what's going to go on, what's the schedule during the week. But we'll start tomorrow morning with meetings and practice. But from a football standpoint, no, but there are some administrative things when we get back to the hotel."

Q: Did everyone make the trip?
A: "Everyone made the trip."

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