Thursday, December 25, 2014

Chip, asked if Nick's the guy: 'Yeah'

Chip Kelly more or less made it official that Nick Foles will quarterback the Eagles in 2014, but if you were looking for a stirring, emphatic statement, you didn't get one.

Chip, asked if Nick's the guy: 'Yeah'

Chip Kelly wrapped up the Eagles' season Monday, but 36 hours or so after the final game wasn't enough perspective for Kelly to make a lot of specific statements about what he wants to accomplish in the offseason.

As you'd expect, Kelly was asked extensively about moving forward with quarterback Nick Foles. Kelly, asked if he expects Foles to be his starter, said, "yeah." Which is kind of why he keeps being asked -- it would have been the perfect spot to say, "absolutely, he's a rising star in this league, I'm very lucky to have him here to build around," and so on. When asked followups, Kelly did again praise Foles' decision-making.

"I think he's extremely accurate, with where he puts the ball," Kelly also said, when asked to enumerate Foles' strengths. "I think he's very young. I think people still sometimes forget about that. He didn't become our starter (for good) until Mike went down in the Giants game (Oct. 27). In the short body of work he did, I think he did an outstanding job."

Kelly said Foles "demonstrated in the time that he was in there that he deserved to be the starting quarterback."

Asked if there would still be some sort of quarterback competition going forward, Kelly said: "There's always competition, and I think you can ask Nick that, too. I don't think Nick is going to think 'I can go out and throw 12 interceptions in a row' -- which he'll never do -- 'but I'm your guy.' I think everybody kind of feeds off that, and they understand that. And then if you also have a guy that's not competing to be the starter with Nick, then what if Nick gets hurt and then all of a sudden the other guy goes, 'Oh my God, I'm not ready to play because I thought Nick was going to be the guy.'? "

"Obviously, you've got to have one (designated) guy. Right now, Nick is that one guy, but I don't think Nick has ever been afraid of competition. He showed me that the first time we had that. We're always going to try to continue to upgrade at every position, and I think all of our players know that, and I think the guys that are true competitors really embrace that."

Conclusion drawn: Don't be surprised if the Eagles invest, say, a third-round pick in a QB, who would come in behind Foles (and Matt Barkley), but with the long-range future open-ended.

Other Kelly highlights:

*Kelly said no one has asked for permission to speak with any of his assistants. Asked if he would allow them to interview for other opportunities, he said he would talk to them individually about "what do they want to do and how do they want to go about it."

*Kelly wouldn't speak on potential Eagles free agents. He said of Vick: "I love Michael Vick. I mean, that guy is awesome, and I think how he handled a very difficult situation, because of Nick's success ... Unfortunately, he got hurt, and that gave an opportunity to another guy, and I think sometimes for a lot of people, you put yourself in those shoes, that's hard to wrap your arms around, because it's not like Michael was wrong and Michael got benched. It was just a unique situation, and I think how he handled it, and how he helped Nick through the process, it just tells you the type of person he is and the type of teammate he is, and I think that didn't go unnoticed by me, and I appreciate everything he did my first year here."   

*Kelly said he'd grade himself "58.8" percent. Why? Because he won 10 of 17 games.

*Kelly said he won't get involved in contracts. He had no comment on DeSean Jackson saying today he wants his deal redone, with more guarantees.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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