PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last week, Chip Kelly announced that Nick Foles is the Eagles starting quarterback for the rest of the season. This morning, he hinted that it might be Foles’ team in the future as well.
“Yeah you hope [Nick Foles is the quarterback of the future], but—and I don’t mean to be coy, I always say this–is that, you can say that whomever it is, is your player of the future and then next week they get hurt,” Kelly told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Show on Monday. ” You know, so, I hope Nick [Foles] is here for a long time. I’m a big supporter of him, I think he does a fantastic job, but we also know that injuries occur in this game and that’s why I always qualify what I say. I love the kid and I think he’s playing outstanding.”
It isn’t the first time Kelly has used the injury qualifier when talking about the future, but it is the first time Kelly has suggested that Foles will have the job beyond this season. There had been speculation that the Eagles could still look for a quarterback in the NFL Draft in May.
If Kelly was thinking that he’d like someone else behind center, Foles has done whatever he can to change that. He’s thrown 19 touchdowns without an interception, and entered the NFL record books on two occasions so far, tying the record for most TD passes in one game, and setting the record for highest QB rating in a calendar month.
“What you see with Nick [Foles] and kind of what you see with our entire team is that, they continue to gain confidence the more they get a chance to play. You can manufacture situations in practice as much as you want, but there’s really no training that can simulate what goes on on the game field, with the crowd, with the emotions, with the outcome. You know, you can throw a pick in practice and then we’re just going to put the ball down and play the next play. In a game, there is a lot of weight to it,” Kelly said. “You’re watching him develop in front of you, making better decisions, all across the board. Sometimes, obviously none of us like sacks, but a lot of times, sometimes, you’d rather him take the sack than the other outcome. You don’t always have to make the great play, you just have to make what’s the best play at the time, and sometimes eating the ball—which he did a couple of times yesterday—was the better decision because if he threw it up he would have put it in harms way. Really, since we’ve been playing, since Nick has been in there—I think that one throw Sunday, that obviously we got a penalty and that saved us, but is the one where he has kind of put it in harms way. Besides that, I think he’s been outstanding.”
The interception that was called back keeps Foles on track to tie or set another NFL record, the number of TD passes to start a season without an interception, set by Peyton Manning with 20. Foles will get his next chance at that record on Sunday against the Lions.
“For everybody here respect is given on day one, but trust is earned over time and the longer you are with people, no matter where you are, you develop a certain amount of trust for them and can he handle this? Each week you just see him make the little, tiny, subtle things, just making really really good decisions,” Kelly said. “So that’s why at the end of the game, when you’re trying to run clock a little bit, the last play we called was a pass play. And why did I call it? Because I knew he was either going to throw a short completion, wasn’t going to throw an incomplete pass, and if he was forced to run because it was a roll out, that he was going to go out of bounds and that’s what he did.”
Kelly said the two most important things he wants from a quarterback are preventing turnovers and wins. So far, Foles has been nearly perfect.