Eagles' Nick Foles confident he can be Chip Kelly's quarterback

"Yeah, I believe I fit here," said quarterback Nick Foles during a break in offseason workouts. AKIRA SUWA / Staff
"Yeah, I believe I fit here," said quarterback Nick Foles during a break in offseason workouts. AKIRA SUWA / Staff
Posted: April 05, 2013

Nick Foles insisted Wednesday that he fits Eagles coach Chip Kelly's offense, a belief that has been challenged by those who say Kelly's system at Oregon was at its best with a mobile quarterback. Foles said he knows the offense the Eagles expect to run, and he can play in that offense.

"I wouldn't be right here right now if I didn't," Foles said. "I think I would be somewhere else. Yeah, I believe I fit here. I want to be here. I love this team, and I love this city."

Foles is usually mild-mannered, but he was adamant when reporters peppered him about his playing style. Foles is a 6-foot-6, 243-pound pocket passer. When the Eagles kept Michael Vick and signed Dennis Dixon, it appeared to offer more evidence that Kelly prefers a quarterback who can run.

Kelly has maintained that he will tailor his offense to his quarterback and promised a quarterback competition even after the team restructured Vick's contract.

Eagles decision makers consistently refuted speculation that Foles was the subject of trade talks, and Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman offered many strong endorsements of Foles the last two months.

Foles said he did not worry about the trade speculation, and Kelly never addressed it with him.

"I was with my family and I was training, and if something happened my agent would call me, and I never got any calls," Foles said. "I was set on coming back here."

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson expects an intense quarterback competition during the next few months. Asked about Foles, Jackson called the 2012 third-round pick a "special player."

Unlike Foles, though, there's no question how Jackson will fit under Kelly. Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowler who has not eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards the last two seasons, appears an ideal player for Kelly. He's fast and versatile and expects Kelly to use him in different ways this season. Jackson said he is fully recovered from his fractured ribs and hopes to return more punts this year.

"I feel the sky's the limit for myself," Jackson said. "I think this year, with Chip coming in with the style of play of his offense, it's really going to help me out a lot more as well. I'm going to be able to get certain looks, get the ball in my hands, do different things we weren't doing the past five years."

Jackson watched Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas excel under Kelly and imagined doing the same things in that offense.

Foles played against Kelly's Oregon team at Arizona. Based on what he saw, he did not waver about finding a place under Kelly.

"Chip hadn't defined an offense; it's just up-tempo," Foles said. "I remember playing against him in college, and I believe whoever the quarterback is, whoever's on your team, you build your offense around that. I felt like I can go in and run everything."

Foles also said there's a difference between a quarterback who can oversee a fast-paced offense and a quarterback who runs fast. The Patriots play a fast-paced offense with Tom Brady, who is a traditional pocket quarterback.

So even when the Eagles kept Vick and owner Jeffrey Lurie accompanied Kelly and Roseman on a scouting trip to see Geno Smith, Foles said he did not worry. He expects a competition, and he's confident the job will go to the quarterback who best gives the Eagles a chance to win - regardless of playing style.

"Mentality always stays the same," Foles said. "I want to be the best quarterback possible. I know I can be a starter on this team and in this league."


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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