PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you listen to sports talk radio and read Twitter timelines in Philadelphia, Chip Kelly has no clue what he’s doing.
However, a couple of national football minds—-FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd and SI.com’s Peter King—continue to believe in Kelly. In fact, Cowherd says the benching of Nick Foles in St. Louis reinforces Kelly’s brilliance.
“Nick Foles is a virtual MVP under Chip Kelly,” Cowherd said Tuesday on The Herd. “Jason Garret can’t win a game with a backup quarterback. Jeff Fisher gets Nick Foles and ‘I’m gonna bench him.’
“Can we just acknowledged that Chip Kelly, with a series of B-C quarterbacks, wins a lot of games in this league? Nobody in this league can win with a backup. Foles now is a disaster. He was an MVP level candidate with Chip Kelly. Maybe it’s just because I lived in Oregon for so long. Can we acknowledge that Chip Kelly knows what he’s doing?”
King, the 2010 National Sportswriter of the Year, agrees.
“I definitely think [Kelly] knows what he’s doing,” King told Cowherd on Tuesday.
King discussed the Foles for Sam Bradford controversial trade Kelly executed this past offseason, his first with personnel control. King expects Kelly to have another new QB next season.
“I was behind the trade,” King said. “I thought it was a little much because they [the Eagles] also gave up a second-round pick in addition to Foles. But anyway, now both guys look like they may be failures and because Bradford’s contract expires at the end of this year, I fully expect Chip Kelly will probably go in another direction in 2016 as well. Unless, Bradford will do a very reasonable deal and who knows, maybe he will.”
After two straight 10-win seasons, Kelly and this 4-5 Eagles are struggling, coming off a devastating 20-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Bradford was replaced in the second half of Sunday’s game by Mark Sanchez after suffering a left-shoulder injury and a concussion.
On a 2nd-and-goal from the Miami nine-yard line, Sanchez threw a terrible game-sealing red-zone interception.
“The other thing this says to me is, that you have to have a certain degree of competency to be a quarterback for anybody,” King said. “And Chip Kelly can make you better, but if you’re going to make a throw like the kind of throw that Mark Sanchez threw into double coverage in the end zone—when all you have to do is sit on the ball and kneel on the ball for crying out loud—because all you need is a field-goal to win the game. And Sanchez threw that game away. Those are the things where you say you’ve got to have a certain level of quarterback. You’ve got to be at least top-20. Right now in my opinion, the last two years, Chip Kelly has not had a top-20 quarterback on his roster.”