The Sports Daily > Duck Stops Here
Chip Kelly gives sleety reception to look-ahead mentality: won’t talk about 2014 qb, Mariota

In Philadelphia, the knights of the keyboard are apparently slow learners.

Yesterday they asked him about the future. You know, with the Eagles 3-5, Michael Vick out long-term with a nagging hamstring injury, Nick Foles coughing up a hairball against Dallas, and Matt Barkley turning the ball over in five of 10 possessions in his first action as a rookie, is the team looking ahead to next spring’s draft? Is their any interest in Tajh Boyd, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, or the guy you coached in college, Sports Illustrated cover boy and Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota?

Last question, please: The Philadelphia media is already talking about next year, and they’re asking the wrong guy at the wrong time (Rich Schultz photo).


Kelly shot it down with a burst of New England rapid-fire redirect. In a story from Comcast Sports Network/Philly he said, “That’s not our mentality,” Kelly said. “Our mentality is: ‘Who are we playing right now?’ And I think it’s a disservice to those other players on the team and it’s a disservice to our fans if I’m thinking about who our quarterback is going to be next year.”

“I’m thinking about beating who we’re playing this week. We’re playing the Oakland Raiders and that’s it. That’s the deal.”

The answer has a familiar rhythm for Duck fans. And whether Kelly and the front office begin evaluations in January or between bites of a sandwich and frame-by-frame preparations for a rematch with Terrelle Pryor, who’s currently the Oakland quarterback, the Eagle brain trust has to realize that one of the key problems with the marriage of the Kelly system and the team’s personnel is that he doesn’t have a quarterback that fits. Vick is 33, with no playoff wins in 9 years. Foles was 11-29 passing for 80 yards against the Cowboys, sacked three times. Barkley is, well, Barkley.

Who’s the best fit? Bridgewater has the golden passing arm and superb pocket sense. Manziel has the Brett Favre flair. Tajh Boyd reminds some of Donovan McNabb. Mariota knows what Kelly wants to do, hand-picked to run his offense at the college level. He’s calm and quick on his feet, Eagle fans argue, but the kid is so skinny. He’d be as soft as a Center City Pretzel with brown mustard.

The NFL doesn’t have a draft lottery but if it did, The Birds seem destined for a few dozen ping pong balls. It’s a crippled team with serious defects. In a year when several durable, dynamic multiple-threat quarterbacks are available, it’s only natural that fans and reporters would begin to speculate.

Just don’t ask Chip Kelly to join in.