PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Angelo Cataldi hasn’t spoken to Chip Kelly since the fateful day that the Eagles head coach paid a visit to Wing Bowl. With Kelly’s first training camp underway, the two spoke once again, and once again Kelly was not at a loss for words.
One thing that Kelly made clear, is that he doesn’t look at this as a rebuilding process. He’s not talking about the future. Kelly wants to win now.
“I mean I don’t know how anybody [would want to lose this year],what would my first speech to our team be like? I think we’re going to be really good in 2015? It’s about right now and what can we do and that’s our job, all of us, everybody in this organization is to, what can we do to prepare ourselves for September 9th against the Redskins and then let’s let it be played out on the field,” Kelly told Cataldi on Wednesday. “Nobody’s approach is a long-term one, are we thinking down the road and all those other things. It’s about can we win right now? I think everyday you come in, you’re competing, it’s always been about competition. We got a quarterback competition, we got a competition against 31 other teams in the league. Everyday is about competing.”
The lead story, aside from Kelly himself, has been the battle for the quarterback position. Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Matt Barkley have all said they embrace the competition, but all three have made it clear they expect to win the job.
“Our job is to put the best team on the field on September 9th, so if we don’t look at everybody that we have on our roster to see how they can help us win, then we would be short changing our team, our fans, and everybody involved,” Kelly said. “So I know in the grand scheme of things it would be easy for everybody to put a name on… it’s this guy, it’s that’s guy, but I believe with such a big decision why wouldn’t you take your time? Why would you make a hasty decision and say for the sake of what? What’s the benefit? The benefit is he gets to run more with the one’s, but if people watch us practice and you’ll get an opportunity when you see us, we get a ton of reps. It’s not like your traditional practice where you’re only going to get ten reps with the one’s in seven on seven. We’re rolling through. It’s a huge decision in terms of who it’s going to be, I think it’s got to be played out on the field and in situation. Going through with the spring, again, I don’t think people—we’ve never had pads on yet. We’ve only been in helmets. We’ve never had shoulder pads on. To evaluate somebody from that stand point, no other sport would do that. I don’t understand that. The first day of Spring Training, you’re not going to name who your number one pitcher is?”
Vick’s claim that he’s embracing the competition sounds a little bit different than he sounded after OTAs, when he said he’d rather Kelly name a starter sooner rather than later.
“[Vick is] a hundred percent right. I think if I was in Michael’s situation and someone asked would I rather know sooner or later, I’d rather know sooner than later,” Kelly said. “I think he was honest in his answer, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to change what we’re going to do because that’s what he wants. I think if you ask Nick Foles would you rather name a quarterback sooner or later, he’d said I’d rather be named sooner than later because they all expect to win the job. I understood where Michael was coming from. I talked to him the next day, and he was like, ‘Coach it came out wrong!’ I said, ‘It came out right!’ They asked you a question, would you want the quarterback to be named earlier or later. Anybody would have answered it the same way, I’d rather be named earlier, but they’re all answering thinking that that means they’re going to name me earlier, you know?”
Many have identified Vick’s legs, or Nick Foles’ decision making as reasons that each quarterback could win the job. Matt Barkley has had success everywhere he’s been. To Kelly, the answer to the question “who will start?” is an easy one.
“Who gives us the best chance to win,” Kelly said.
Who that is remains to be seen.