Chip Kelly — former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Fransisco 49ers — appeared on Adam Schefter’s podcast today and discussed a number of things. The most interesting to us, of course, was that potential trade up scenario for Marcus Mariota.
If you’ll remember, rumors were flying on draft day that the Eagles were offering a massive package including multiple first round picks, Fletcher Cox and other defensive players in order to move up to the number two slot. Ruston Webster didn’t budge — and thank goodness he didn’t.
Kelly’s statement before Schefter asked about Mariota was about the need for a quarterback. Kelly said that “when you have a good one, everybody else becomes better. The offensive tackle becomes a little bit better, the receiver becomes a little bit better, the linebacker becomes a little bit better.”
Schefter asked if Kelly could have done anything differently to land Mariota, to which Kelly said emphatically, “no.”
Kelly went on to say that the Titans made it very clear that they weren’t trying to move the pick. “We really didn’t get into a conversation about what we can offer or what we can’t offer because they made it known that they weren’t trying to trade the pick.”
Kelly said that the Eagles “didn’t offer anything” to the Titans. Tennessee simply wasn’t interested.
It’s interesting to go back and hear Chip Kelly’s side of this after this was debated so hotly for months. The Kelly-Mariota connection was obvious, but Ruston Webster and the front office wasn’t budging. It was one of the few moves that Webster got right as a general manager. Credit Ken Whisenhunt here too. He was heavily involved in drafting Mariota.
Who knows if Kelly was totally truthful here, but he’s out of the NFL so he doesn’t have a reason to lie. Kelly now works for ESPN as an analyst, but his phone is going to be ringing off the hook from college teams later on this fall.
Do you believe Chip? I do for the most part. I have no doubt that the Eagles dangled all those defensive pieces in front of the Titans before getting hung up on. Ruston Webster may have been a really bad GM, but he ended up setting the Titans up with a quarterback and left tackle for the next decade and beyond. For that, we should all be thankful.