Nick Foles is building block for 2014 Eagles, Kelly says


Nick Foles became the first Philadelphia Eagles quarterback since Tommy Thompson in 1948 and 1949 to lead the NFL in passer rating. His 27:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio is the best in NFL history.

A month after quipping that Foles would be the starting quarterback for the next 10 centuries, coach Chip Kelly confirmed Monday that he will build the 2014 roster with the breakout star as his starting quarterback.

To be clear, though, Foles isn't yet the unquestioned face of the franchise on the level of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees.

Kelly promised there will be competition at quarterback in training camp even if "Nick is the guy."

"Nick knows he can't throw 12 interceptions in a row," Kelly said, via "But Nick won't do that."

Foles' job isn't in jeopardy, but all parties involved understand that fame -- and the up-and-coming franchise quarterback stamp -- are fleeting in the NFL. Just ask Josh Freeman.

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What's most interesting about the Eagles situation is Kelly's insistence that NFL teams need two starting-caliber quarterbacks to make it through the season.

"It's a very, very difficult position to play. Everybody is hitting you, and they're protected by rules but they also still take some unbelievable shots," Kelly recently explained, via the team's official website. "I think, if you're going to last as a team, you'd better have two."

Who can argue with that philosophy? Kelly's Eagles are a prime example of a team keeping its head above water despite a multi-game absence from the starting quarterback.

The Chicago Bears are an even better example. Caleb Hanie lost five of six games as a fill-in starter in 2011. Josh McCown proved to be a major upgrade as Jay Cutler's caddy, producing one of the best five-game stretches of the 2013 season.

With Michael Vick's contract voiding in March and Matt Barkley still in the developmental stage, Kelly needs to ensure a McCown-caliber second fiddle to his own version of Cutler.

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