INDIANAPOLIS --- New Eagles coach Chip Kelly sparred with the national media for about 15 minutes Thursday, refusing to be pinned down on just about anything, from how his offense will look to how he evaluates Nnamdi Asomugha.
But asked about trading quarterback Nick Foles, Kelly said: " I want to coach Nick. I want to get a chance to spend time with him. I've said before, I'm a big fan of his, the way he plays the game, his toughness, his ability to throw the ball, very accurate. I want a chance to hopefully get him out on the practice field."
Of course, that declaration came with the usual disclaimers about not being able to predict the future; the Eagles certainly will trade Foles if someone offers them a first-round pick, probably even if someone offers them a second-round pick. But just because Michael Vick has a reworked contract and former Oregon QB Dennis Dixon has joined the mix, Foles isn't neccesarily leaving.
Later, in a side session with fewer reporters, Kelly denied that the offense he will run in Philadelphia will preclude a slow-footed QB such as Foles from being a good fit. Whatever that offense is.
Which quarterback fits best in Chip Kelly’s system?
Asked if he could see Foles running his offense next season, Kelly said: "Yeah."
More than a month into the Kelly regime, there isn't a whole lot we do know, other than that the new guy hired a whole bunch of assistants.
Highlights from the Chipper's first appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine:
*Asked about Oregon DE Dion Jordan, who could be a consideration for the Eagles at fourth overall in the draft, Kelly said: "Dion's just a special guy in my heart. I had an opportunity to be with him for five years. He came into Oregon as a receiver, moved to tight end, we switched him over to defense the beginning of his sophomore year. He just had a huge impact, not only on the field but off the field. I'm excited to see him."
*Kelly said he's watched every game and every tape cutup of current players, but "until you see 'em in person, at our first minicamp, you don't really know. The film will tell you a lot, but it doesn't tell you everything. Part of making decisions is about meeting them as players and kind of finding out what their work ethic is like, what they're like on the practice field, what they're like in the weight room."
*Asked by Cleveland reporters why he decided he wasn't interested in coaching the Browns, Kelly said: "For me. I decided that Philadelphia was a better opportunity ... the best fit."
*Kelly really didn't want to venture an opinion on the play of Asomugha, who is due to make $15 million this season, if the Eagles keep him. "I think Nnamdi has a skillset, that can play football," Kelly finally allowed.
*"I can't tell you what the future's going to be, who it's going to be" at quarterback, Kelly said.
*Kelly acknowledged that he won't be able to see everyone practice before some personnel decisions are made; free agency starts March 12, which is also the date at which teams must be under the salary cap. "A lot of that is on our personnel department, because they know 'em a lot better than I do at this point in time. I'll give 'em my opinion on where we are ... Those are the rules we're goverened by."