Peter King reports that former Eagles head coach and now Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid influenced Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt not to make a deal with at the Eagles to trade the second pick in the draft.
Reid recounted to Whisenhunt about his decision to refuse an offer from Mike Ditka, who was coaching the New Orleans Saints at the time, and offering his entire draft for the second pick in 1999, so he could move up and get running back Ricky Williams. Of course, Reid had his eyes on Donovan McNabb and knew if he didn’t get a franchise quarterback on the roster, his time with the Eagles was going to be short and very disappointing.
“I was talking to Andy today,’’ Whisenhunt told King on Thursday night. “He told me the story about Ditka offering a whole draft for his [Reid’s] pick. I understood what Andy was saying. It certainly helped solidify what I was thinking—that’s for sure.”
Reid didn’t tell Whisenhunt about that entire draft. There were five quarterback prospects that were all talked about before that draft. It was Tim Couch, who went first to Cleveland, then Donovan McNabb, who Reid selected with the second pick. Cincinnati grabbed Akili Smith with the 3rd pick. Daunte Culpepper was scooped up by Minnesota with the 11th pick and Cade Mcnown was selected by Chicago with the 13th pick.
Couch, Smith and Mcnown was all complete busts and they got a number of coaches fired. McNabb and Culpepper lived up to the hype.
Ian Rappaport of NFL Network says the Eagles had put two first round draft picks along with Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Sam Bradford, Brandon Boykin and Evan Mathis on the trading block in an effort to move up for Marcus Mariota.
Personally, I don’t think Mariota fits into Whisenhunt’s system and it’s going to take a while for the youngster to learn the new system. Whisenhunt has been successful with pocket passers like Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner. He has been very clear about believing Zach Mettenberger , a classic pocket passer was going to be a star quarterback in this league.
I think Mariota is going to struggle in Tennessee because it’s going to take him a while to become a pocket passer and he won’t have a lot of talented targets in Nashville. I could see a reunion of Mariota and Chip Kelly at a later date in his career.