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Chip's happy for Mariota

Some observers thought the Eagles would target Oregon QB Marcus Mariota in the 2014 draft, but Mariota, a redshirt sophomore, is staying in school. Chip Kelly said he supports the decision.

Chip Kelly won't be drafting Marcus Mariota next spring, and not just because Nick Foles is playing well at quarterback. Mariota, the redshirt sophomore Oregon QB, is staying in school.

"I'm happy for him," Kelly said Wednesday. "I know he comes from a great family. His dad and mom value education; Marcus is going to stay and get his degree. Marcus is a really special young man, and everybody in the league will have to wait a couple years. But I loved coaching him. He's exactly what you want in a football player, and I know everybody in Eugene's happy. Eugene's a special place. Take it from a guy who had a real tough time leaving there. I think it's a good decision."

Of course, Mariota wasn't able to discuss his decision beforehand with his former coach, that would violate NCAA and NFL rules.

On the Lions this week, Kelly said QB Matthew Stafford should get more praise and has "one of the quickest triggerrs in the league," which makes him hard to blitz. He said it's important to know where Reggie Bush is, since the Lions like to move him around to creat mismatches. Kelly praised Detroit's defense as being well-coached and physical.

Kelly said WR Jeff Maehl (concussion) would be evaluated today by an independent neurologist, an important step toward being cleared to practice and play. The Eagles said DL Clif Geathers was excused from practice today for personal reasons.