Chip Kelly has a bunch of sayings (“Chipisms” they’ve been called) that he’ll throw out there on occasion to get his point across. A couple examples from Thursday:
On doing things the right way: “Bad habits are like a bed; they’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.”
On the players’ attitudes: “It takes the same amount of time to be miserable as it does to be happy.”
And he'll deploy an analogy from time to time as well. Like on this day, he compared the quarterback position to golf when discussing the ups and downs of Nick Foles.
"Sometimes that position is a lot like a golfer. You can go one week and be in contention and you're leading and you have a great round, and the next week the guy doesn't make the cut, and that's unfortunate. But what we need out of Nick is consistency, and he understands that."
So what kind of sample size do you need to properly judge a quarterback? How long until you can say what type of play is most representative of the player?
"Three tournaments," Kelly joked. "I don't know."
He danced around the question. But it's a relevant one. The Eagles held onto Foles this offseason because they felt they needed to see more before eliminating him as a potential solution at quarterback. So far this season he has had a couple big ups and a major down. He'll add another entry on Sunday in Oakland. Good or bad, will it be enough to definitively say what Foles is or isn't?
Jeffrey Lurie seems to be a fan of the second-year QB and weighed in on the situation in an interview with CSN Philly.
"I don’t know anybody who wasn’t like really erratic (as a rookie). So I think you’ve got to just look at it really in an analytic sense. Anyone who thinks that a rookie quarterback, whether it’s Nick or Matt [Barkley], is going to flow through and be Player of the Week every week is silly.
“[Foles] is going to have an opportunity now to show us all. We just have to be supportive. I hope the players around him protect him well so we can see him flourish, and [to] know what we have going forward would be great.”
From Kelly's perspective, no football decisions will be made with 2014 in mind if it hurts the team's chances in the here and now. If Michael Vick returns to health and is deemed the best option, Kelly intends on playing him.
"Our mentality is, who are we playing right now," he said. "And I think it’s a disservice to those other players on our 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 are playing this week. And we’re playing the Oakland Raiders and that’s it. That’s the deal."
It will be Foles against the Raiders and maybe the Packers after that. It'll be interesting to see if he bounces back after a damaging performance against the Cowboys two weeks ago. Was it a bad round or just part of who Foles is as a quarterback?
There's only one way to find out. For, as another Chipism tells us, "With a quarterback, it's like a tea bag. You don't know what you have until you put it in hot water."
WHAT YOU MISSED
The recent success on defense can be partly tied to the play of the front.
How to get on Kelly's bad side, Vinny Curry's reaction to trade talk and Lane Johnson's beef wtih Pro Football Focus in a new feature called Inside Voices.
Sheil hands out some midterm grades to the defense.
Kapadia busts out the All-22 to diagnose what has been going wrong with the defense.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Jeffrey Lurie continues to have full confidence in Kelly. From Geoff Mosher:
He harbors no concern that Kelly will follow in the footsteps of Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino, looking for the quickest escape route back to college when perfection isn’t achieved from the start.
“He’s so committed,” Lurie said. “One of the things with him is, you see it, through adversity he loves the challenge of fixing things and making it great. He loves the challenge that teams have stopped his offense a couple of times. He doesn’t get deflated. You need that.
“The real good ones -- we talked about Bill Walsh and Jimmy [Johnson], [Tom] Coughlin and [Tony] Dungy and Chuck Noll and Tom Landry -- they’re not reading the newspapers. They’ve got an energy, a dynamism and intelligence and they are forging ahead. And Chip fits that.”
Jim Trotter of SI.comlooks at some teams that could be in the market for a new quarterback next season. Here is what he said about the Eagles and Vick:
Michael Vick isn’t the long-term solution. He’s in his 11th season, will be 34 next year and hasn’t played a full season since 2006, his last year with the Falcons. Father Time is undefeated against aging players, but he’s Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks when it comes to aging players who rely on their legs more than their arm.
I'm heading west to stare at some redwoods and watch some football. We'll have you covered from coast to coast.