Chip Talks Foles, Quarterbacks
Jeffrey Lurie said that quarterback always needs to be the top priority, and that the general approach when it comes to the position is to “try to win big and focus on that position at all times.”
So, will the focus be on upgrading that position this offseason?
Chip Kelly wasn’t ready to say anything definitive one way or the other.
“We haven’t made any evaluations of anything at any position,” he said.
“We have a long evaluation process. Time is on everybody’s side here. We don’t have to make any decisions today. You don’t have to make any decisions really until you get close to free agency in terms of how we want to start to shape the roster for 2015. I think we have a real good process in terms of how that works. There is no reason to be hasty in any decisions from that standpoint. You take a look at anything and everything you can. Our goal is to win this thing, and to do that you have to look at everything, no matter what it is. You don’t know what presents itself.”
What you haven’t heard, from the owner or the head coach, is a commitment to Nick Foles. The 25-year-old is 14-4 under Kelly and put forth an extraordinary statistical performance in his first year with the head coach before taking a step backwards this season. Foles is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make a base salary of $660,000.
“I think Nick just needs to continue to work,” said Kelly. “The one thing I do not fault Nick is a work ethic. He’s been outstanding in that. I watched how he attacked his rehabilitation in terms of his shoulder injury and what he did every day. He’s been outstanding from that standpoint. And I think he’s continuing to grow as a quarterback. I think that’s part of the maturation process in this league. Very rarely do you come in early and just light it up. You almost need to kind of do something and make that mistake and learn from that mistake and I think that’s one thing I admire about Nick is he processes things well and when he does make a mistake, very rarely does he make that same mistake twice. I think he just needs to continue on the trajectory that he’s headed on right now.”
Kelly accentuated some of the positives from the quarterback play of Foles and Mark Sanchez this season during his wrap-up session with reporters, but acknowledged the turnovers were a big issue. They combined for 21 interceptions and 27 turnovers in all.
As Kelly enters his third season, is he feeling the sense of urgency to identify a quarterback he can hitch his wagon to?
“I don’t look at it that way,” he said. “We’re trying to identify every single position that we can hitch our wagon to. I think sometimes everybody puts a lot of stock in just one position but I think everything is factored into it. Who are the outside linebackers we’re going to hitch our wagon to? Who’s the defensive lineman? Who’s the free safety? Who’s the corner? We’re going to evaluate every single position, we’re going to evaluate everything we do scheme-wise and personnel-wise to see how we can improve this football team.”