Philadelphia Eagles: Still Not Convinced About Mariota
By Jacob Brooks
Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota throws a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles went head first into this year’s NFL Free Agency period. The first 2 days of free agency were a whirlwind of big time moves, none of which is bigger than the Eagles trading quarterback Nick Foles to the St.Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford. I can admit that when I heard the news I assumed this was part of a plan to move up in the 2015 NFL Draft.
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Shortly after Sam Bradford landed in Philadelphia to speak at a press conference, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly also spoke to the media. It was only a matter of time before someone in the media asked about quarterback Marcus Mariota. Coach Kelly responded as directly as he could, “Let’s dispel that right now. I think that stuff is crazy…”
Coach Kelly went on to say that Mariota was the best quarterback in this draft but the Philadelphia Eagles would not mortgage the future to move up and draft him. Coach Kelly referenced the other major areas of need that should be addressed.
Let’s dispel that right now. I think that stuff is crazy… – Chip Kelly
Take Coach Kelly’s words as you will, but as I was watching the conference, I really felt that he was being sincere. He mentioned that new Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford was not a “chip” to move around, he would be the quarterback. In my opinion if Bradford were being used as “bait,” the Eagles would not have packaged in a 2nd round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
That is a very high pick to trade away with the intentions of then shipping that player off to another team. After the press conference, all most all of the “Mariota to Philly” talk had subsided. Things were calming down and people were starting to evaluate Sam Bradford in preparation for this coming season.
Everything was quite, that was until ESPN reporter Josina Anderson tweeted out this little nugget:
One simple tweet has single-handedly started the resurgence about the Philadelphia Eagles and Marcus Mariota. I was sure that until a couple days prior to the draft that the talk was over. Chip Kelly himself squashed the idea. Now I know coaches say things to cover their tracks and keep things in house, but he legitimately sounded sincere when he talked about Bradford.
Aug 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) warms up before a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Not to mention Chip Kelly saying that Bradford is the guy, Sam Bradford himself has already helped this Philadelphia Eagles team. He was a huge part of being able to land former Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. The two players were college roommates and played 3 seasons together at Oklahoma.
What better way to show newly acquire players than to ship off your college teammate that just helped recruit you to a division rival. That in itself would be a very bold move.
After watching tape on Sam Bradford, it was very apparent that he has all the skills. He made some incredible throws. He was hitting his receivers right in the numbers. He was still surprisingly mobile considering his knee injury and he didn’t look scared to climb the pocket. The only question is durability.
I think sometimes in the NFL you have to take chances. This is Chip Kelly’s biggest risk since becoming a coach in the National Football League. This move could make or break the Philadelphia Eagles season. Call me crazy but I have no faith that quarterback Mark Sanchez can really lead this team if he needed to.
I could be wrong, but I am rolling with Coach Kelly until I am proven wrong. I have said multiple times that I did NOT believe that Marcus Mariota would be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. The only way I see Mariota on this team next season is if he slips to within a couple picks of the Eagles at pick number 20. That being said I am still not convinced that Marcus Mariota will be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles next season.