Chip Kelly once was in awe of Nick Foles

983335.jpg

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

MLB Notes: White Sox scratch Chris Sale after 'clubhouse incident'

usa-chris-sale-white-sox.jpg
USA Today Images

MLB Notes: White Sox scratch Chris Sale after 'clubhouse incident'

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale has been scratched from his start against the Detroit Tigers after he was involved in what the team says was a "non-physical clubhouse incident."

The White Sox declined to describe the incident, but said it's "currently under further investigation by the club" and that Sale was sent home from the park.

The move was announced less than a half hour before Saturday's game. Sale was going to attempt to become the first 15-game winner in the majors.

The White Sox planned to use multiple relievers in his place. The start of the game was delayed by rain.

With the White Sox fading from playoff contention, Sale's name has been mentioned as a possible trade target for contending teams.

The left-hander is 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA.

TWINS: Suzuki leaves game after taking foul ball off mask
BOSTON -- Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki left Saturday night's game against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning after getting hit in the mask with a foul ball.

Suzuki appeared to have a cut on his chin as he walked to the dugout with a team trainer.

Boston's Dustin Pedroia was at the plate and fouled one off the catcher.

Suzuki was replaced by Juan Centeno.

PADRES: Cuban prospect signs deal with $7 million signing bonus
WASHINGTON -- Top Cuban prospect Jorge Ona and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a minor league contract with a $7 million signing bonus.

The 19-year-old outfielder receives $4.9 million within 30 days of the deal's approval by the commissioner's office and $2.1 million on Jan. 15. The deal is pending a physical.

Ona was ranked as the No. 8 international prospect of the 2016 class by MLB.com and the fourth-best available Cuban player earlier this year by Baseball America.

General manager A.J. Preller said during a conference call Friday that the contract is for 2017. He hopes Ona will play in the fall instructional league and then report for spring training and start his pro career next season.

Instant Replay: Pirates 7, Phillies 4

ap-aaron-nola-phillies.jpg
Associated Press

Instant Replay: Pirates 7, Phillies 4

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco and David Freese hit two-run singles during a five-run fifth inning to rally the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-4 victory over the Phillies on Saturday at PNC Park.

Polanco’s hit put the Pirates ahead 4-3 and chased starter Aaron Nola. Freese’s hit off Severino Gonzalez pushed the lead to three runs and Francisco Cervelli capped the inning with a sacrifice fly as Pittsburgh won for the fourth time in six games.

Nola (5-9) allowed six runs in four-plus innings to take the loss. Center fielder Odubel Herrera went 3 for 4 with a triple as the Phillies outhit the Pirates, 12-7.

Catcher Cameron Rupp left the game in the third inning after being struck in the left ear flap of his helmet by a pitch from Pirates rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow (see story). Rupp was found to have no concussion symptoms.

Starting pitching report
The bad Nola returned after pitching six scoreless innings in his previous outing Monday against the Miami Marlins. Prior to shutting down the Marlins, Nola allowed a combined 30 runs in five starts while failing to get past the fourth inning four times.

On Saturday, Nola gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five. He needed 80 pitches to get 12 outs.

Nola’s clunker came after Phillies starters allowed no more than one run or five hits in four of the previous five games. On Friday night in the opener of the three-game series in Pittsburgh, rookie right-hander Zach Elfin pitched a three-hitter for his first career shutout in the Phillies’ 4-0 victory over the Pirates.

At the plate
Herrera is 6 for 9 in the first two games of the series after going 4 for 41 in his previous 11 games. He tripled in the sixth inning and scored the game’s last run on a single by Andres Blanco.

Cesar Hernandez hit a pair of RBI singles and was one of four Phillies with two hits along with Blanco, Tommy Joseph and Carlos Ruiz, the last of whom took over behind the plate for Rupp. Joseph also hit an RBI single.

The Phillies held a 12-8 edge in hits.

Up next
The Phillies finish their three-game series with the Pirates at 1:35 p.m. Sunday then open a three-game series against the Marlins on Monday night at Miami.

The projected starters for the next four days:

Sunday afternoon --- RHP Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.15) vs. RHP Jameson Taillon (2-1, 3.44)

Monday night --- RHP Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 3.84) vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-4, 4.99)

Tuesday night --- RHP Jerad Eickhoff (6-11, 3.98) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (7-8, 4.42)

Wednesday afternoon --- RHP Zach Eflin (3-3, 3.40) vs. LHP Adam Conley (6-5, 3.58)

Former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn signs 2-year deal with Coyotes

Former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn signs 2-year deal with Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have signed former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old defenseman had four goals and 12 assists in 72 games with the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings last season. Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier were traded by the Flyers to the Kings last January in exchange for Jordan Weal and a third-round draft pick in last month's entry draft.

In his career, Schenn has 28 goals and 100 assists in 566 games with the Kings, Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs. In three-plus seasons with the Flyers, Schenn scored 12 goals and added 30 assists.

Schenn was the first-round draft pick - fifth selection overall - by the Maple Leafs in 2008.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka called Schenn "a good, young defenseman" who will be "a solid addition" to the Arizona blue line.

- CSNPhilly.com contributed to this story.