Again, Andy needs QB to start new tenure

ASSOCIATED PRESS The Kansas City Chiefs and new coach Andy Reid will be looking for a quarterback in the draft.
ASSOCIATED PRESS The Kansas City Chiefs and new coach Andy Reid will be looking for a quarterback in the draft.
Posted: February 22, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - The Eagles and the 1999 draft came up a few times when new Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid met with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.

In 1999, Reid had just been hired by the Birds, who were selecting second overall. He weeded through what was thought to be an especially strong quarterback group and came up with Donovan McNabb, who turned out to be by far the best option from that class.

Now, 14 years later, Reid's Chiefs are choosing first overall in April, but there are no quarterbacks in this draft being acclaimed as franchise-savers.

"You don't want to force yourself into a position or anything. You want to take the right guy that fits in the best for what you do," Reid said in his first-ever appearance under the bright lights of the Combine podium. "So you go through, most of the questions asked have been asked about the quarterback position, but it's important that we go through and evaluate everybody. You don't go for need, you go for who the best player is, or who you perceive the best player to be is, and you put them in there and that's what you go with."

Reid acknowledged the Chiefs would be open to trading out of the top spot in a draft that seems to have depth but not a lot of difference-makers. He was asked if he had that option with the Eagles in '99.

"Coach Ditka, yeah, that was a pretty big offer," Reid said. Then-New Orleans coach Mike Ditka traded his entire draft, plus his first- and third-rounders in 2000, to the Redskins for the chance to draft running back Ricky Williams fifth overall. "We looked at all of those; we looked at all the offers. We felt that that pick was an important pick, and we had an opportunity to pick up Donovan there, and it worked out pretty good for us.

"But we did, we looked at all the different options and kind of weighed them out."

Inevitably, Reid was asked about a report that he would like to trade for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Even more inevitable than the question was the answer - the NFL has strict tampering rules, and coaches and general managers have gotten into trouble for speculating about whether they might be willing to trade for such-and-such a player.

Reid might not be a savant when it comes to handling timeouts, but he knows the tampering rules.

"He's not available. You just had Howie [Roseman] up here, so I think you know that. I'm glad you asked the question. I miss that," Reid said. "Listen, Nick is the property of the Philadelphia Eagles, and I think they like him."

The questioner observed that Reid drafted Foles.

"Sure. I drafted him along with Howie, and Howie is still there and I know Howie still likes him," Reid said.

The time is Chip's

Howie Roseman was asked what he has told new coach Chip Kelly about the Combine process, since Kelly has never been here.

"It's important to manage your time," Roseman said. "The [player] interviews take up a lot of your time, the workouts take up a lot of your time, you have meetings during the course of this with players on your team's agents, representatives of other teams - it's a marathon, not a sprint. We're here 'til Tuesday. All that stuff, just going through it."

Praise for DeMeco

Chip Kelly gave a strong endorsement to middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Some observers have questioned whether Ryans, who came to the Eagles in a trade with Houston last year partly because he is thought to fit a 4-3 better than a 3-4, will flourish if Kelly transitions to a 3-4.

Asked what he has seen on 2012 film of Ryans, Kelly said: "Physical player, obviously, the leader of the defense in terms of getting guys lined up. He really plays the game the way you want it to be played. From listening to the people in the building, there's a quality about him that you want to be around him. Again, he's another guy I spoke with briefly on the phone. He's still not in the Philly area. When he gets in, I can't wait to sit down and talk to him and get to know him a lot better."

On Twitter: @LesBowen

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