Chip Kelly was as animated Wednesday as he's been since taking the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job when talking about the need to find a quarterback of the future.
Moments after naming Nick Foles the starting quarterback against the Oakland Raiders Sunday Kelly was asked about the importance of long term thinking and ultimately finding a future franchise quarterback that would ultimately provide stability at a position that has been anything but this season.
"We're all about winning games," Kelly explained. "Next year doesn't come in at all. It's about beating Oakland that's it. It's a one week season and that's all it is. It isn't about 'hey, what are we going to be like next year?' That's not our mentality. Our mentality is who we're playing now. And I think it's a disservice to the other players on this team and it's a disservice to our fans if I'm thinking about who our quarterback is going to be next year. I’m thinking about beating who we are playing this week. And we’re playing the Oakland Raiders and that’s it. That’s the deal.."
The obvious question then becomes when will the head coach turn his attention towards evaluating who could line up under center next season?
"It will never be that way [about next year]," Kelly said. "We’re trying to win the game we’re playing this week. And if we start playing it long term, I may not be here long term. You know what I’m saying? So let’s go beat Oakland.”
The quarterback position and it's inconsistency has been a key contributor to the downfall of Kelly's high octane offense that showed flashes early on in the season. Since Vick came up lame and pulled his right hamstring October 6th against the Giants the Birds were forced to start Foles and eventually turn to Matt Barkley to finish out back to back divisional losses in consecutive weeks.
"I am getting ready to play the Oakland Raiders and I'm getting ready with Nick Foles and Matt because they're healthy and Mike Vick isn't going to practice today and that's it," Kelly said. "It doesn't help me or anybody to wonder what happens next week when Mike is healthy because what if Mike gets back and Nick and Matt are both hurt? I don't know."
Few teams have found success in this league without having a definitive franchise quarterback at the helm of their offense and that is especially true when looking at the winners of the most recent ten Super Bowls that have seen Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy over the past decade. However, from the Eagles standpoint and Kelly's perspective, he's hoping that Foles can provide enough stability at least this season and perhaps moving forward to keep the Eagles afloat.
It's no secret that Foles struggled against the Cowboys throwing for just 80 yards, but the previous week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the second-year pro posted a 133.3 quarterback rating and is the owner of a 60 percent completion percentage.
With that in mind Kelly at least in some fashion is viewing Sunday as an opportunity for Foles to redeem himself and potentially more.
"I think one of the things that I love about Nick is there's a resiliency to him," Kelly explained. "I've seen Nick come off the bench against the Giants without taking a snap and then we drive down the field and get a field goal and that's kind of a spur. I've seen him throw a great pass to Brent Celek and he drapes a great throw to him over his back shoulder that that could have been a back breaker for them and I have a ton of confidence in him."
The bottom line seems to be that Kelly is unsure whether or not Foles can lead this franchise in the long run, but he certainly isn't concerned about that at this point in time.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.