Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has something bold to say about himself and his team—specifically, about the quarterback position.
The Eagles were rumored to be extremely high on quarterback Marcus Mariota (a former pupil of Kelly’s during his tenure with the Oregon Ducks). It was rumored for months leading up to the draft that Kelly was attempting to move up into one of the top two overall draft spots to land him.
Obviously, it didn’t work out.
The Tennessee Titans forsook any tempting offers they may have received, opting instead to take Mariota for themselves.
Speaking to CSN’s Derrick Gunn after the 2015 NFL Draft, Kelly admitted he didn’t know if his team could win a championship with Sam Bradford leading a stable of four quarterbacks heading into the 2015 season:
“You don’t. If you could predict the future, me and you would be at the Kentucky Derby right now making some money.”
Throughout the draft process, Kelly kept touting Bradford as a perfect fit for his high-octane read-option offense. At the same time, however, and often in the same breath, he made it known the position was still wide open, going so far as to bring Tim Tebow on board to “compete for a job.”
Everyone knows the quarterback position is the single-most important position on any team’s roster. It’s almost impossible to win Super Bowls without a top-tier signal-caller. Unless you feature a legendary defense, it’s unheard of.
The Eagles don’t feature a legendary defense, in case you were wondering.
Kelly is desperate to get over the hump, and he thinks the Eagles have the players in place to get the job done now.
“Ten wins … has it been fun that we took over a 4-12 team that has won 20 games in the past two years? We went from 4-12 to 20-12, but we still haven’t won a playoff game and we understand that. We’ve got to get better and we’re always going to strive … the one thing I can promise is that we’re not going to just sit there and hopefully in a couple of years we’re going to build this thing. We’re not waiting for the draft of 2017 to turn this thing around.”
Kelly also had this to say about himself and the team’s future, as it relates to the quarterback position, during the interview:
“We’ve got to build it around it, but when you look at all the winning organizations … if you want to play with the odds as we want to play, it’s got to be with a quarterback situation and then the only way you’re going to get a quarterback is you got to be really not very good so you finish in the top 1-2 in the draft. If we’re not very good and we finish with the top 1-2 in the draft, I don’t think I’m going to be here, so we better find another way to find a quarterback. And that’s what we did with Sam.”
Never mind the Eagles were rumored to be attempting to trade Sam in an effort to move up for Mariota. Never mind every word that comes out of Kelly’s mouth can be considered both true and false. He’s apparently confident in Sam and the rest of the circus known as the Eagles quarterback depth chart.
Until he’s not.
Kelly’s not wrong about how this league works, though.
If the Eagles don’t continue winning—if they don’t “turn this thing around” soon—then owner Jeff Lurie will certainly be forced to abandon the Kelly project and turn to a more traditional approach once again. Until that happens, Kelly will undoubtedly continue entertaining us with his frenetic approach to this game called NFL football.
Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports