Chip Kelly once was in awe of Nick Foles

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Chip Kelly once was in awe of Nick Foles

What does new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly think of the young quarterback he inherited?

He wont meet the Philly media until Thursday afternoon, but we already have a pretty good idea how much he likes Nick Foles.

On Sept. 24, 2011, it was Kellys job to stop Foles when his Oregon Ducks met the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, and all Foles did was complete 34 of 57 passes for 398 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against the No. 10 team in the country.

Oregon won 56-31, but Foles led Arizona to three straight touchdowns after Oregon took a 35-3 lead, making it a 35-24 game. He was sacked six times, absorbed numerous punishing hits according to game accounts, and at one point, under extreme pressure and flushed out of the pocket, he threw left-handed to running back Keola Antolin for 11 yards and a first down.

Foles, who started the last six games of 2012 for the Eagles, is big and accurate but slow and lumbering and certainly doesnt fit the model of a sleek, fast, mobile Kelly-style quarterback.

But Kelly sure raved about Foles after that game in 2011.

Ill tell you what -- Im glad Nick Foles is graduating, Kelly told reporters covering the game, according to the Tucson Citizen newspaper. I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes. ...

Nick is a hell of a football player. That kids a warrior. Hes as good as anyone in the country.

Against Nick Foles, we knew this game wasnt in hand.

What does that mean for the Eagles moving forward?

Who knows. The Eagles still have Michael Vick under contract, and obviously a healthy, young, speedy Michael Vick would have been a perfect match for Kellys warp-drive offense.

But Vick will be 33 before next year begins, hes missed 11 games because of injuries the last two years, and its clear hes lost a step or two as a runner since he arrived in Philly in 2009.

Vick did actually put up fairly good numbers last season after throwing six interceptions the first two weeks of the season against the Browns and Ravens.

The rest of the season, before his concussion against the Cowboys on Nov. 11, he completed 59 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions and an 83.2 passer rating, and averaged 5.9 yards per run.

The Eagles can release the 2010 Pro Bowler for three days immediately after the Super Bowl without owing him a dime and costing only a 3 million cap hit.

Because this years draft is weak at quarterback and there arent any top free agents likely to hit the market, Kelly might not have a lot of options at quarterback in his first year as an NFL head coach beyond a QB who would have been perfect for him 10 years ago and another who lit up his college team two years ago.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

An Attack on Carson Wentz is an Attack on All of Us

An Attack on Carson Wentz is an Attack on All of Us

Carson Wentz. He’s a phenom. He’s a star. He’s the franchise quarterback we’ve been waiting for for all this time. Wentz has led the Eagles to a 3-0 start, showing poise well beyond his years, and establishing himself, without a doubt, as the best quarterback in Eagles history, or at least the best since Jeff Garcia. Who else would it be? McNabb? Please. How many times was he undefeated at the bye? 

Wentz, especially after crushing the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, is unquestionably the real deal -- and I have only two questions: Should I order my flight to Houston for the Super Bowl now, or wait until the rates come down? And should the parade go up Broad Street towards City Hall, or down, towards the Sports Complex? 

Carson Wentz has already been named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month, which is clearly only a small steppingstone to Rookie of the Year, MVP, having his number retired, and ultimately the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I mean, did you see some of those throws last Sunday? 

But even with all the excitement, some are skeptical. After Week 1, we heard “it’s just one game, and besides -- it’s Cleveland!” After week 2? “the Browns and Bears suck -- wake me up when he beats a good team. After week 3? “He hasn’t even played a division game yet!” Worst of all was CBS’ Bart Scott, who called Wentz "fool’s gold." 

Please. What you have to understand is that people like Scott aren’t just mouthing off on a pregame show or sharing a meaningless NFL opinion. They are launching a vicious attack on Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles organization, every Philadelphia fan, and the city of Philadelphia itself. We should all be horribly insulted, and demanding action. 

It’s bad enough when the national guys bring up snowballs and Santa Claus. But let’s be real: Bad-mouthing Carson Wentz must not be tolerated, ever. I call for a boycott of all CBS-owned properties (other than WIP), until Bart Scott apologizes or is fired. 

Sure, I know a lot of people are more upset about the national anthem stuff. But make no mistake: Questioning Carson Wentz is way worse. 

Other Philly sports takes: 

- Of course, I’d be even happier with the Eagles’ start if the long snapper hadn’t unfairly lost a televised talent show to a little girl. 

- For those of you who asked: Now that Buddy has passed, I’ll be writing in Carson Wentz for president. 

- Assuming Jim Schwartz leaves the Eagles for a head coaching job, who should replace him as defensive coordinator? It’ll be a tough choice between Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan.  

- The only downside to the Eagles’ 3-0 start? Josh Innes isn’t around for it. Poor guy. 

Follow @FakeWIPCaller on Twitter. 

Minnesota vs. Penn State: Poor defenses could lead to shootout

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Minnesota vs. Penn State: Poor defenses could lead to shootout

Penn State (2-2, 0-1) vs. Minnesota (3-0, 0-0)
Beaver Stadium, State College
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Scouting Penn State
The Nittany Lions were flattened by Michigan last week, 49-10. PSU was outgained 515-191, and continues to struggle with the health of its defense, especially as it pertains to its linebacker corps. The expectation is that injured ‘backers Jason Cabinda and Brandon Bell will again sit out this week, and that freshman Cam Brown will make his first collegiate start at an outside ‘backer spot, alongside former reserves Brandon Smith and Manny Bowen. Another freshman, Connor McGovern, is likely to make his first start at right guard, replacing Derek Dowrey along the struggling offensive front. Penn State is last in the Big Ten in rushing offense, total offense, rushing defense and scoring defense, and next-to-last in sacks allowed and turnover margin.

Scouting Minnesota
Rodney Smith rushed 17 times for 99 yards and two touchdowns as the Gophers beat Colorado State 31-24. Shannon Brooks, in his first game back from a foot injury, ran 13 times for 85 yards and a score, as Minnesota piled up 249 yards on the ground in all. Kobe McCrary had just four carries last week, but a week earlier he ran 17 times for 176 yards against Indiana State. The Gophers average 228.3 yards a game on the ground, fifth in the conference. They are also 14-for-14 in red-zone opportunities, with 13 touchdowns, and have converted 55.8 percent of their third-down opportunities, second-best in the Big Ten and fifth-best among FBS teams. The offensive triggerman is Mitch Leidner, who is fourth in the conference in passing yardage (237.3) and seventh in total offense (244.7).

History
Penn State owns an 8-5 lead, but the Gophers won the most recent meeting, 24-10, in 2013.

Storyline to watch
Besides the defensive issues, the Lions have had trouble unleashing running back Saquon Barkley, their most potent offensive weapon. Part of that is the offensive line’s continuing struggles, but Barkley also admitted that he has tried to make every run a big play, rather than putting his head down and taking what the defense gives him.

What’s at stake
While coach James Franklin would not admit it Tuesday, these next two weeks – home games against the Gophers and Maryland – would appear to be critical, should the Lions hope to become bowl-eligible.

Prediction
While the weather forecast is not the best, this has the look of a shootout, as neither defense appears to be dominant. The Lions are looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss, and are playing at home, so give them a 30-24 nod.