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

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Josh Huff is back on an NFL active roster.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are calling the wide receiver up from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. The Eagles released Huff just over a month ago following his arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm. 

The 25-year-old Huff was originally a third round pick by the Eagles in 2014. He made 48 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns over three seasons. He excelled on special teams, returning two kicks for touchdowns. One of those kick returns came in his penultimate game with the Eagles, a 21-10 win over the Vikings on Oct. 23. 

Huff replaces Cecil Shorts III for the Buccaneers after Shorts suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday in San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have filled Huff's role in the offense with rookie receivers Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner. 

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

OXON HILL, Md. -- All-Star ace Chris Sale is joining the reloading Boston Red Sox, leaving behind his shredded reputation with the Chicago White Sox.

Boston acquired Sale on Tuesday for a package of four prospects, including high-priced Yoan Moncada.

Sale was a top trade target at the winter meetings and the AL East champion Red Sox were getting him instead of Washington, which also pursued.

A few hours earlier, Boston got prime setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee. After that deal was announced, without tipping his hand, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said: "We're trying to win now, as you can see."

Boston acquired Sale for minor league pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, outfielder Luis Basabe and Moncada, a third baseman (see full story).

Red Sox get setup man Thornburg from Brewers for INF Shaw
OXON HILL, Md. -- The Boston Red Sox have gotten the setup man they wanted, acquiring right-hander Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in a package that included infielder Travis Shaw.

The deal was announced Tuesday and was the first trade at baseball's winter meetings.

Milwaukee also got minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon, minor league right-hander Josh Pennington and a player to be named or $100.

The 28-year-old Thornburg will become Boston's eighth-inning guy, setting up closer Craig Kimbrel for the AL East champions. Thornburg was 8-5 with 13 saves and a 2.15 ERA in 67 games for the Brewers, striking out 90 in 67 innings.

The 26-year-old Shaw hit .242 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs last season. He mostly played third base, and also saw time at first.

The 22-year-old Dubon hit a combined .323 and scored 101 runs between the Single-A and Double-A levels. The 21-year-old Pennington was 5-3 with a 2.86 ERA in Class A (see full story).

Yankees to retire Jeter's No 2 on May 14, last single digit
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's No. 2 is being retired, the last of the New York Yankees' single digits.

The Yankees said Tuesday the number will be retired on May 14 before a Mother's Day game against Houston, and a plaque in his honor will be unveiled in Monument Park during the ceremony.

Jeter's number is the 21st retired by the team. He won five World Series titles and was a 14-time All-Star during a 20-season career that ended in 2014 and he is sixth in career hits with 3,465.

Jeter set Yankees records for hits, games (2,747), at-bats (11,195), doubles (544) and stolen bases (358) (see full story).