These quotes are from a discussion with Eric Hansen before Kiel told Kelly he was transferring, in response to a question about Kiel-to-transfer rumors (EDIT: added a link to the article). Yes, sure, words are just words, but aside from Tommy Rees last year, given Kelly's history of having a quick hook for QB's if he's unsatisified with their performance makes me inclined to believe him. To be clear, if Kiel wants immediate playing time I don't have a problem with him transferring, and I also don't have a problem with what Kelly says below.
"It will all shake itself out this spring," he said. "And I say that because (Kiel) really hasn't been given an opportunity. He came in as an early enrollee and had the spring to just run around there with very little knowledge base of the college game and understanding protections. He just did things because he's a big, strong athlete.
"We gave him a little bit of a sniff of it in preseason camp, but not a lot really, quite frankly, because again there was a learning curve there and we needed to hit the ground running. So this spring is going to be, quite frankly, his opportunity to show himself.
"So he may transfer at the end of spring, He may be the starter at the end of spring. I think the question is fair, but I really couldn't tell you how to answer those questions other than this spring will definitely determine his place within the program."
Kelly talked Thursday about his philosophy of competition among QBs when asked how he manages egos and expectations, giving the revolving door at the position before his arrival.
"I don't know what happened before we got here," he said. "I know what I laid down within the program about expectations and the parameters for all positions, not just quarterback -- left tackle, guard. And I'm going to recruit somebody to beat you out. And they know that coming in.
"So if you're a quarterback and you don't think I'm going to bring in Malik Zaire to beat you out, then you need to transfer. I do it in the right way. I'm not saying it's a callous, cold way of doing it, but my job is to continue to bring in the best fits for Notre Dame, both on and off the field. So if you're a bit uneasy about the situation, then I welcome your transfer.
"I've done it since I've been at Grand Valley (State) that way -- try to continue that competition within the ranks, because the guys that crack are the ones you want to crack. [EDIT #2: I think it's worth noting here that Kelly said this before Kiel told him the news - it's not a petulant response to the transfer, but a straight statement of his philosophy.] I can tell you if the program's humming and it's doing it the right way, you're going to have some transfers, because you're building competition within the ranks. And it's always going to be that way."