INDIANAPOLIS -- Head coach Chip Kelly has said it "a thousand times," but he might need to say it another thousand times before it sinks in. Kelly reiterated that just because he utilized a quarterback who ran the read-option at Oregon, it does not mean that he needs to have a quarterback with that skill set in Philadelphia.
"When I was at the University of New Hampshire, we threw it every down because that kid (Ricky Santos) was really good. ... We catered to his strengths. I threw the ball there more than I did at Oregon. At Oregon, when I got there, I was fortunate that Dennis Dixon was sitting on my roster."
Of course, the quarterback who doesn't have the prototypical skill set to run the read-option is Nick Foles. As a rookie, Foles set the franchise rookie record for passing yards after he took over as the starter midway through the season. Kelly knows of Foles from his days at Oregon when Foles was the quarterback at Arizona. On Thursday, Kelly praised Foles' toughness, his accuracy and his decision-making.
"We hit the heck out of him and he just kept coming," Kelly said.
There has been speculation that the Eagles would be open to trading Foles. Kelly has seen the film from Foles' rookie season, but has not had the opportunity to get him on the practice field yet.
"I want to coach Nick and I want the chance to spend time with him and see him," Kelly said.
The Eagles added a fourth quarterback to the roster when they signed Dixon to a two-year deal. Dixon flourished under Kelly and was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2007. Dixon spent last season as a member of the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.
"We just wanted to get another quarterback on the roster," Kelly said. "I'm familiar with Dennis. Before you get a chance to see anybody else, I know Dennis' skill set and I know him first hand. I know what his makeup is. I felt real comfortable. He's got a chance to come in and compete."
Kelly has watched the tape. Now, he wants to see his quarterbacks in person. And then, let the best man win.
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