UCLA football wide receiver Kyle Philips spoke to reporters after the Bruins’ pro day on Tuesday, breaking down his performance running routes and catching passes, detailing the interviews he’s had with NFL scouts and getting excited about a return to Westwood.
How did it feel to come out here for your pro day?
It was amazing, just being back home on the field I've been practicing on the last four years. So it felt good, I love this place, I love the field, had all my boys here supporting me and everything, so it was fun.
Different energy here vs. Combine in Indy?
Absolutely cause you just feel back home. There's no nerves, just completely comfortable, surrounded by a bunch of good people you're close with.
Thoughts on your performance today?
Pretty good about it. There was about one rep I think I would rather have that. Other than that, I felt like I ran really good routes, caught all the balls, especially with how short time I had, at the Combine I sprained my AC joint, so I really only had – yesterday was my first day on the field and today was the second. So taking that into consideration as well, I feel like I did really good.
How's the shoulder feeling?
It feels good, yeah. I've been getting a lot of good treatment where I'm training, they're taking care of my shoulder so it's definitely improving fast.
Some mock drafts have you going to the 49ers?
Anywhere I go, I'm just thankful. I'm not really putting too much into all that stuff, draft boards and all that. Whatever team drafts me is gonna get a great football player, someone who works out every day.
NFL teams surprised with how well-versed you and Dulcich are in offensive schemes?
Absolutely, I think that’s more of a UCLA thing. With the way Coach Kelly runs this place. We all felt extremely prepared for the bowl games, for the combine, talking to teams, talking about football and all. Just shoutout coach Kelly. In the moment it’s really tough. But when you look back through it, he prepared us so well, so it was awesome. Especially bowl games picking up offenses super easy. All thanks to coach Kelly.
Receivers you emulate your game after?
I like Cole Beasley and Hunter Renfrow, just because I know I'm going to get that comparison. Just short slot, all that. So I try to take a lot from their game. With them I just love how intentional they are with all their movements. Whether it’s the lean, the eyes, the head. Everything has a purpose. There’s no wasted movement. Another one is Keenan Allen. We have a different body build but something that I like that he does, at the top of his routes he has a little skip step, freezes the DB when he makes a move. So I've been able to add that a little bit. The last one is Davante Adams. Just the release package. I love the split release that he does. So I took that too.
Maybe being teammates with Terrell Burgess again?
I’ve definitely thought about it. That would be cool. Good little reunion from high school. We’ll see what happens.
What do you do between now and the draft?
Go back to work, that’s all there is. We don’t have anything else on our plate. I’m just going to put some weight on, get faster, get stronger. When I get drafted it’s time to go.
What's helped guide you through the draft process?
Everyone at UCLA. i’m not at UCLA anymore but just the open phone. I can call any of those coaches anytime. Coach Neuheisel i was calling him nonstop trying to ask him questions, ask him about football offense. He actually helped me make my script today for all the routes i was running. Really everyone on staff has been phenomenal, just helping me, making me feel really comfortable with everything i’ve been doing
Which teams have talked to you the most?
I couldn’t tell you. We met with every NFL team a whole lot. Bills a good amount, Eagles...
You and Dulcich talked to the Eagles?
Eagles quiz us a lot on football, offense plays. Me and Greg killed it, so i’m really proud about that.
What does into making a pro day script?
Just what teams want to see from you. I’m a short slot so they know I can do a lot of the short to intermediate routes. So they want to see a little bit of that shiftiness, twitch. Also, a lot of teams don’t think I'm too much of a deep threat so I want to show that I can also do that well, run some deep balls, catch the ball down the field.
Some teams do it different. Some will just pull up your film and go “what’s the formation. What’s each guy on offense have.” you have to be able to run through it. Others will be “Draw up these plays. How will this change vs. this coverage.” With the eagles they sent us a packet in advance, some formations, some plays. When we got here they were just asking us questions about it. Quizzing us whether we studied or not.
At the same time as Dulcich?
Yes, so we’d be there together. We’d play two different positions. He’d ask me one thing - this is the play what do you have. “Ok greg, was he right.” stuff like that. It was fun.
Similar to how you're quizzed at UCLA?
100%. So we’d have our 48 hour question game. 48 hours before the game we have a team meeting and each position group goes, their coach picks a guy. They have to stand up in front of the whole team. And they ask a question about the scheme, what we’re running. So we have to be very detailed when you’re explaining it in front of the whole team and they tell you if you’re right or wrong. That was honestly more nervewracking than anything I've had to do with teams so I felt very well prepared.
UCLA career in retrospect?
I definitely wanted to win a rose bowl here which is a little unfortunate, kinda came up short. Just super thankful for my time at UCLA. i made a lot of great friends, met a lot of amazing people, had a great time. I’m really thankful for all my coaches at UCLA.
Making the decision to go to the NFL instead of coming back?
I was talking to my family and I already got my degree, finished it in the four years I was here. I gave coach Kelly everything that I had. There wasn’t a single day I took off in the meeting room, in the film room, or on the field. I gave everything I had and I just felt like I was ready for that next step, ready to play in the NFL. make a team, win some games, win a super bowl.
Ethan Garbers throwing you the ball?
It’s amazing. Me and Ethan got a great connection. yesterday was my first day throwing with him before the pro day just because of my shoulder. We have that connection that didn’t go anywhere. He was dropping me amazing balls. He’s one of the quarterbacks I think. He’s going to be very good in the future here.
Punt return catching multiple balls?
Certain days coach Foster would have us back there – 'You’re up, how many can you get?' I’ve definitely done it before. It’s probably been a year or two since I’ve done it.
I got five which they said was the record.
Is that a real drills?
I think it’s just a combine thing to end the day on a fun thing. “We’ll see how many this guy can catch, how good he can actually catch the punt, judge the ball, what not.”
Almost had that sixth?
I felt like I just needed to take one more step under and I would've been set, so it is what it is.