What if the Philadelphia Eagles signed Tyrod Taylor instead of Bradford?

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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After a down year in 2014, what if then-Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had signed an interested Tyrod Taylor instead of trading for Sam Bradford?

2015 was a strange year for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Two years prior, the team fired arguably the greatest coach in franchise history, Andy Reid, after a disastrous 4-12 season and replaced him with a wacky, eccentric college football guru attempting to transition his fast pace, high-powered spread offense into the pros.

After lighting up the league with a dynamic read-option attack seldom seen before with then-quarterback Michael Vick, Chip Kelly found arguably his greatest success in the league with eventual Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who threw for an incredible 27-2 touchdown to interception ratio in only 13 games, including a seven-touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders that landed his jersey in the Hall of Fame.

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But this success simply wasn’t sustainable.

After earning a playoff bid in his first season as a head coach, Kelly and his fast-paced Eagles regressed considerably in year two.

Though in hindsight, this regression may have been due to the league figuring out Kelly’s incredibly simple scheme, which barely disguised looks and relied on speed as opposed to diverse play calling to exploit defenses, at the time, much of the blame was placed firmly on Foles’ shoulders.

As one of the least athletic quarterbacks in the entire league, Foles was incredibly ineffective at running Kelly’s signature play, the read-option, and after struggling to regain his place as one of the league’s most decisive ball distributors, quintupling his interception total from the year before, a recently empowered Kelly knew that his first job as de-facto GM had to be finding a better quarterback to run his system.

His very job could depend on it.

After failing to swing a trade to land Kelly’s protegé, Marcus Mariota, in Philadelphia the year prior, a player affectionately dubbed the Peyton Manning of the spread offense, the team’s de facto GM made a trade that left many fans around the league scratching their heads: Nick Foles, a 2015 fourth-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick for off injured St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and a 2015 fifth-round pick.


Now granted, Foles was a terrible fit in Kelly’s scheme, but why on Earth would he want to run the read-option with a quarterback who only played 16 games in two of his then-five seasons in the league. That just seemed crazy (it was).

No, if Kelly scheme was ever going to work in the NFL, he needed a quarterback who made quick, smart decisions and could be a threat to pick up serious yards in a read option situation.

He needed Tyrod Taylor.