In his first national-stage appearance as the coach of the Eagles, Chip Kelly offered a warm endorsement of quarterback Nick Foles, but was something closer to tepid when asked about cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
Kelly’s glib, rapid-fire style (which included a Wedding Crashers reference) revealed no more than the more experienced coaches did. But he did say nothing faster than the old guard, a more efficient delivery of the stuff all these guys were dishing out.
Asked specifically if Foles could run the offense Kelly had at Oregon, the coach replied: “Yep.”
But as it pertains to last year’s second-round pick, Kelly defended the possibility of making him work, even though he might be more of a round peg going into a square hole. They brought back Michael Vick, as well as one of Kelly’s old Oregon guys Dennis Dixon, and Foles’ skills are not the same as those two.
“I want to coach Nick,” Kelly said. “I want to get a chance to spend time with him. I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of his, the way he plays the game, his toughness, his ability to throw the ball, very accurate. I want a chance to hopefully get him out on the practice field.”
When the conversation turned to the $15.5 million cornerback, Kelly’s terseness became more pronounced, after he declared he was more interested in what he saw on tape rather than the salary numbers.
“I think Nnamdi has a skillset, that can play football,” he said.
As testimonials go, it wasn’t quite like he was talking about Chazz Reinhold.