By Peter Gleason
If you are an Eagles’ fan deeply frustrated with Chip Kelly’s inability to talk the Tennessee Titans into trading the No. 2 pick for a bushelful of Birds’ players, picks and whatever else they could fit into a box so the Eagles could draft Marcus Mariota:
You might have slow-talking, slow-walking, slow-thinking Andy Reid to blame!
According to a MMQB piece Friday by Peter King, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s views on Mariota were strengthened after a conversation with the former Eagles head coach just a few hours before the first round.
Reid, the story said, reminded Whisenhunt of the time he spurned Mike Ditka’s offer of the Saints’ entire 1999 draft for the No. 2 pick. Reid instead took Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Reid and McNabb went to five NFC Championships and a Super Bowl together during their time in Philly, and McNabb holds most of the franchise’s passing records.
The moral of Reid’s story — you need a franchise quarterback more than a slew of draft picks that come only after the best quarterbacks are off the board.
“I was talking to Andy [Thursday],” Whsenhunt told King. “He told me the story about Ditka offering the whole draft for his pick. I understood what Andy was saying. It certainly helped solidify what I was thinking, that’s for sure.”
Kelly, who said he also talked to Tampa Bay about the No. 1 pick, stayed at 20 and went with USC wideout Nelson Agholor. Kelly denied that he engaged in major trade conversations with either Tennessee or Tampa despite reports that he offered multiple picks and some players to each team.
The story of Reid advising Whisenhunt to stick with the second pick probably will resonate with many fans because it has seemed that Kelly has cut or traded many of the players associated with Reid’s rise.
Of course, it also true that the Eagles under Reid failed to win a playoff game since 2012, so why would Kelly be wedded to them?