Reid: Geno Smith In Play For No. 1 Pick

PHOENIX — When the Chiefs traded for  Alex Smith, the conversation about Geno Smith being taken  with the No. 1 pick in this April’s draft was shut down.

Andy Reid opened it back up on Tuesday at the AFC coaches breakfast.

“That doesn’t mean Geno is out of the water,” said Reid, surrounded by a group of Philadelphia reporters during the second day of the owners meetings. “I’m going to keep my eyes open on everybody. I think Geno is a good quarterback. We’ll just see how it all goes, get this workout thing going.”

It could very well be that Reid is simply not ready to show his hand yet. Asked how many players he is considering for the top pick, Reid said between eight and 10. That is a really high number at this stage of the process, even if  he is being thorough.

“You can’t force a pick there. You can’t say, ‘I need this position’ or you’re going to miss a good football player, and that’s what you want to get from that position right there,” said the former Eagles coach, who was celebrating his 55th birthday Tuesday. “So we’re going to work everybody out and see what’s available.”

Some other takeaways:

— Reid was asked about the level of interest he had in trading for Nick Foles.

“I had my eyes on Alex really when I took the job there. I wanted to make sure I evaluated the guys on campus and checked them out,” he said. “I really liked Matt Cassell. Sometimes I just think change can be good.”

— On his decisions to speak with Chip Kelly during the Eagles’ coaching search.

Jeffrey [Lurie] asked me if I would do that when I left, and I had no problem doing that. Jeffrey was very good to me. And then, really as a coach you want your players to be taken care of, you want them to have a good coach. Those are all kids we recruited there, drafted there, brought there, so  you want them to have something positive. I think Chip is a good football coach and it will work out great for him.”

— On Kelly in the NFL:

“He’s got different innovative and creative ideas. He has a great relationship with Phil Knight, so he’s on the cutting edge of all their technology. I think he’ll bring that into the league. I think most of what he does will work at this level. I think he is going to blend it. He brought Pat Shurmur on, and I think he’ll blend the pro style with what he does with the spread, and I think the tempo stuff will translate that he uses.”

— Reid said he didn’t talk to Kelly about hiring Shurmur, shooting down the theory that Reid had influenced that decision.


At Long Last: A Philadelphia Eagles Bridal Garter Set

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but it’s never too late to surprise the man in your life with Philadelphia Eagles bridal garter set!

Even if you fail your pre-wedding football quiz, a la Diner, you can make up for it by flashing a little post-wedding green. And if you’ve got the kind of man who’s turned on by $8.50 Eagles lingerie, you might just be the kind of gal turned on by Andy Reid’s mustache. In which case, do I have the t-shirt for him!

Chickie’s and Pete’s Following Andy Reid to Kansas City

Chiefs coach Andy Reid misses Philly cuisine so much, he’s apparently requested Chickie’s and Pete’s install a branch right in his new backyard, in Kansas City, Missouri.

This year, a Chickie’s & Pete’s pavilion will debut at Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun, an amusement park operated by the company that owns Dorney Park. The Kansas City location will offer Crabfries, traditional and lobster cheesesteaks, and cheesesteak nachos. Pete is also in talks with the Kansas City Chiefs about a Chickie’s & Pete’s in Arrowhead Stadium.

Alright, Reid probably has nothing to do with it, but how else can you explain the demand for something like crab fries in a place completely devoid of seafood culture? That said, you might be able to trick Missourians into thinking those fries actually have a crustaceous element to them. [Foobooz]

Report: Chiefs, Eagles Talk Foles Trade

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.INDIANAPOLIS — The Chiefs and Eagles discussed a potential Nick Foles trade earlier this week at the NFL Combine, according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today.

Per the report, the Eagles told Kansas City what they’ve said publicly: That Foles is going to compete with Michael Vick for the starting job, and that he is not currently on the market.

The report is notable though because it reiterates the idea that Andy Reid is definitely interested in acquiring his former quarterback.

As we wrote about earlier this week, a potential Foles trade depends on a number of key questions, the most important of which is this: What can the Eagles get for him? For the right offer, no player is off-limits. If Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly receive an enticing offer, they’ll have to at least consider it,

But on the flip side, they don’t have to trade Foles. He’s inexpensive, young and has flashed some potential. There’s no harm in keeping him on the roster as insurance with some upside. Kelly gave Foles a pretty strong endorsement earlier this week.

Given the lack of options on the market (Alex Smith, Matt Flynn top the list), this is not the last we’ll hear about Foles as a potential trade chip. Even if the Eagles plan on keeping him, expect them to field some calls in the coming months.

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Key Questions Surround Potential Foles Trade

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.While the NFL Combine is technically a draft event, it’s also another meeting of the different arms of the league: coaches, GMs, scouts, reporters and agents.

So you can expect to hear some some non-draft related buzz in the coming days. And that buzz could very well include Nick Foles‘ future.

We last talked about Foles when a USA Today report suggested that Andy Reid and the Chiefs would be interested in acquiring him. Soon thereafter, reports surfaced that the Eagles had no plans to trade Foles.

Ahh, the games teams play in February.

To get a firmer grasp on the potential of Foles being dealt, let’s answer some key questions.

What will the market be like?

This is always the No. 1 question when it comes to trades. If you can get two teams seriously interested, you’re in great shape. And sometimes, it only takes one.

Franchises looking for quarterbacks don’t have a lot of options this offseason. Quarterbacks are graded differently based on scheme and coaching. But this is not a QB-rich draft. West Virginia’s Geno Smith is probably going to be the top signal-caller taken, but Mike Mayock said earlier this week that he sees Smith as a “20 to 32″ pick in the first round. A team will almost definitely take him higher, but the point is there’s no QB considered to be a top-five no-brainer selection.

And then there’s free agency. Take a look at this list. Assuming Joe Flacco isn’t going anywhere, you’ve got Matt MooreJason CampbellDavid Garrard and others of that ilk. Not an impressive group, to say the least.

Alex Smith will probably be the most-coveted QB on the market. But teams wanting Smith will have to match the 49ers’ asking price (and pay him a reported $8.5 million in 2013).

KC Joyner of (Insider) makes the case for three teams – the Chiefs, Bills and Cardinals – to go after Foles. Here’s what he writes about the Chiefs:

Since the Chiefs are evidently not sold on any of the rookie quarterbacks in this year’s draft and Andy Reid is highly familiar with Foles’ talents, paying a somewhat inflated price to the Eagles might be the Chiefs’ best quarterback option.

What will the Eagles want in return?

This is probably the most difficult question to answer.

On one hand, Foles’ numbers were rather pedestrian. He completed 60.8 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 6.4 yards per attempt, which ranked 29th in the NFL. Foles had accuracy issues and had trouble hitting receivers downfield.

On the other hand, he was playing with a banged-up supporting cast and one of the worst offensive lines in the league. He showed the ability to escape pressure and complete throws on the move. Foles also demonstrated toughness, standing in the pocket and taking hit after hit.

Friend of the blog Sam Lynch made an excellent point about Foles’ contract. According to, he’s due base salaries of $500,000 in 2013, $615,000 in 2014 and $660,000 in 2015. In other words, he’s a cheap investment. Teams looking to acquire Foles are taking on pretty much no financial risk. And at the very least, they’re getting themselves a competent quarterback who can compete for a starting spot or be a good backup.

That’s what makes this situation different than the Kevin Kolb deal. When the Cardinals traded for Kolb, they had to sign him to a new deal, which ended up being worth $63.5 million over six years ($12 million guaranteed). Acquiring Foles requires no such commitment.

Foles was taken in the third round with the 88th overall pick. Considering the Eagles spent a year developing him, you’d think they would want more than that draft slot in return.

What is Foles’ value to the Eagles?

The answer to this goes hand-in-hand with one other question: How much value does Chip Kelly put in a quarterback’s mobility?

An interesting note from Greg Cosell recently in a Yahoo Sports column about the read option:

What other NFL teams could make effective use of the read option? Tennessee with Jake Locker? Minnesota with Christian Ponder? Miami with Ryan Tannehill, the former college wide receiver? There’s no doubt in my mind Chip Kelly will run it in Philadelphia now that the Eagles brought Michael Vick back. I have studied Oregon’s offense, and it is evident it was structured on the quarterback’s threat as a runner. To believe otherwise is to not understand the schematic underpinnings of that offense.

In the past, Kelly has pointed out statistics detailing how his quarterbacks at Oregon haven’t always put up gaudy rushing numbers. And that’s true. But the key phrase in the above passage is “threat as a runner.” Some of Kelly’s core offensive philosophies seem to be rooted in how many players the defense positions in the box. As he’s said in the past, it’s simple math. But that math is based on the idea that the quarterback can pose a threat to run the ball.

Could Kelly design an offense with Foles at quarterback? Sure. But does he want to? It doesn’t seem that way.

And that’s really what it comes down to. 2013 is not about the Eagles making a Super Bowl run. It’s about Kelly getting his system in place. That’s why the Eagles re-structured Michael Vick‘s deal and (to a lesser degree) signed Dennis Dixon.

This is not to say Foles is worthless to Kelly. As I mentioned above, at the very least, he’s an inexpensive backup. Maybe Vick will struggle in the offseason, and Kelly will decide he’s better off going with Foles. That seems unlikely, but it’s possible.

The point is, to assume the Eagles have to trade Foles would be incorrect. It all depends on the market and the offers.

The bottom line

The way I see it, Reid is the key figure in this equation. No one knows Foles as intimately as the former Eagles’ head coach. The Chiefs are in need of a quarterback, Reid has invested time in Foles, and by all accounts, he and Howie Roseman/Kelly maintain a good relationship.

If Reid sees legitimate upside in Foles, he could be willing to make a serious play for the 24-year-old quarterback.

It’s possible that other teams could join the fray, but that’s probably less likely, especially when you consider how disastrous trading for Eagles quarterbacks has proven to be in the past.

We’ll hear from the key players – Kelly, Roseman and Reid – later today. But don’t expect the Foles trade buzz to die down any time soon.

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Report: Andy Reid Wants Nick Foles All to Himself

Now that Michael Vick is back for good, and Chip Kelly product Dennis Dixon has been signed too, presumptive Eagles starting QB Nick Foles may be expendable. Ever eager to relive those 2011-2013 Eagles glory years, Chiefs HC Andy Reid wants his man back. USA Today reports:

The Chiefs and new coach Andy Reid are interested in acquiring Foles if he becomes available, according to a person informed of the team’s thinking. The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs haven’t discussed their thoughts publicly, said the team is working on plans to add a quarterback and considers Foles a possibility.

It could be spurious, but given Reid’s fondness for the chap, in addition to his stubbornness and refusal to abandon a bad strategy, it makes sense too. [USA Today]

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Importance Of the Billy Davis Hire

The void Jim Johnson left when he passed away back in July of 2009 has not yet been filled.  The Eagles went  through three defensive coordinators in the last four seasons, and they all fell short. It is one of the biggest reasons why Andy Reid is now coaching the Chiefs.

The importance of assistant coaches can be lost to a degree when so much focus is on the head man. Chip Kelly is the story, he is the draw. He is also nothing if his staff can’t pull its weight.

We have seen the sharp contrast between the early Reid years in Philly compared to crashing end, and how vital his support system was to his success. There was Brad Childress, Steve Spagnuolo, Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera and Pat Shurmur (who is now Kelly’s offensive coordinator). But most of all there was Johnson.

Reid seemed perfectly comfortable leaving that side of the ball almost totally in Johnson’s hands. No need to meddle — that may only mess things up. That appears to be the way Kelly would like to have things as well.

“Specifically on game day, I don’t believe you can have someone micromanage it. When I was an offensive coordinator, I was fortunate that the two head coaches that I coached for allowed me to work,” said Kelly. “We’ll have discussions during the week about where we’re going with things, but on game day, those guys have to be able to not worry about who is second guessing them and who is over their shoulder. If I do have to second guess them and I do have to look over their shoulder, then I hired the wrong person.”

There is an image from last season that I often think of that might speak to this. Prior to a special teams unit taking the field, I noticed Reid regularly going up to the huddle towards the end of the season to count and make sure there were 11 men present. Maybe I just never noticed it before, but it struck me as symbolic of a coach’s fading trust in the men he chose to surround himself with.

With Johnson he had the field split in half. Sean McDermott, Juan Castillo and Todd Bowles could not offer such luxuries. He was forced to peer into the huddle.

Can Billy Davis provide a similar sense of confidence for Kelly that Reid enjoyed in his early years? Impossible to say for sure. But as Kelly mania gives way to the reality of life in the NFL, we’ll be reminded that the answer needs to be “yes” if Kelly plans on achieving true success.


The Eagles finally have a defensive coordinator. And a pretty noteworthy offensive line coach.

Get to know Davis and his preferred approach.

Sheil puts the entire coaching staff into focus.

In the latest Twitter Mailbag, we look at why Kelly and Nick Foles have yet to have a sit-down.

One national reporter says Kelly likes Foles, but “he’s not as high on Foles as some believe.”


ESPN the Magazine takes a further look at DeSean Jackson and his involvement in the music industry.

One week into the new year, Jackson is in a positive mood at a Burbank studio. After a six-week stretching regimen, he declares his ribs healed. He’s open and loose, draped on a couch, but tenses when asked if his career is out of balance. “Everyone has their opinion,” he says. “I’m acting. I do commercials. I do charity work almost every week. There’s so many things where you could be, Why is he doing this? Why is he doing that? I’m just living my life.”

With that he heads to the control room where the engineer is tweaking a mix, a work in progress in which he touches on a recurring theme: hater management. Jackson’s voice booms through the speakers: “And I ain’t the jealous type / I’m just livin’ my life.”

Donovan McNabb believes that Vick is a fit for Kelly.

“He fits in it very well, if you look at it from afar,” McNabb said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” on Wednesday. “If you look at just the 2010 season, when they were playing very well, the offensive line was healthy, and they were making explosive plays. Explosive plays from 30, 40, 50 yards, and that’s what Chip Kelly has been doing at Oregon.”


The staff will likely be announced soon. We should have a chance to talk to the assistants in the coming days.

Reid Still Haunting Eagles; Andy’s Old Pal Tapped to Lead Birds’ Offense

Andy Reid just won’t go away. Just as the Eagles were breaking free from a good relationship gone stale, new head coach Chip Kelly has hired back a member of Reid’s braintrust to run his offense: former quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur. Shurmer’s spent his last two years coaching the Cleveland Browns, and before that, was O.C. for the Rams. The stats, as Birds 24/7 notes, aren’t overwhelming.

The Browns ranked 30th and 24th, respectively, in scoring offense with Shurmur at the helm. The Rams ranked 32nd and 26th with Shurmur as the offensive coordinator.

The Eagles will also reportedly hire fan favorite Duce Staley to coach running backs, while Ted Williams, who occupies that position now, will coach tight ends. Plus ca change… [Birds 24/7]


How Gruden, Reid Helped the Eagles Land Kelly

Chip Kelly had been speaking for fewer than three minutes when he brought up a familiar, albeit surprising, name: Andy Reid.

“One person that I really want to thank in terms of advice with this whole thing was Andy Reid,” Kelly said, sitting next to Jeffrey Lurie in the Novacare auditorium Thursday afternoon. “And the fact that Andy reached out to me and told me about his experience here just told me what this organization is all about. There’s not a classier guy. When Andy texted me yesterday when I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill, and in typical Andy fashion, he said, ‘Just be yourself and you’ll be fine.’ So I want to just publicly thank Andy, because that really right there spoke to me about what this organization is all about.”

But Reid wasn’t the only person who Kelly talked to during the last couple weeks.

A concern with Kelly is that he has no NFL experience. He’s never been a head coach, coordinator or position coach at the professional level. Has he made enough connections to put together a staff? Does he know enough people?

Kelly alleviated some of that concern when asked who in the league helped him during the information-gathering process.

“Everybody was great,” Kelly said. “I didn’t talk to anybody that was coaching because they’ve got jobs to do. Jon Gruden’s a good friend, and Jon spent time here. Tony Dungy’s son was on my team at Oregon. I’ve always had a chance to talk to Tony. Dick Vermeil and Andy. …And a lot of times, it was questions about the NFL. Other times, with Gru and Dick and Andy, it was questions about Philadelphia.”

The grouped served as an intermediary of sorts. Lurie thought Kelly was definitely a fit after the nine-hour meeting in Arizona. And Kelly liked the Eagles. But during the process, both were speaking to third parties to make sure they were making educated decisions.

“It’s ironic,” Lurie said. “We spoke to a lot of the same people, not knowing the other one’s talking to the same people. I know he’s close with Tony Dungy. I know he’s close with Jon Gruden, and we all are. I talked to Jon a lot and am very close to Tony as well.”

If you’re wondering whether Lurie interviewed Gruden himself for the coaching job…

“No, I don’t think Jon’s coming back to the NFL this year at all,” he said. “But I respect him and his opinion and we talk a lot.”

Gruden stays in the broadcast booth. Reid moves on to Kansas City. Dungy is in studio for NBC. And Vermeil is enjoying retirement.

But all played a role in the Eagles landing Kelly.

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