INDIANAPOLIS - On these endless frigid days and nights, the remote possibility of Marcus Mariota again chucking footballs for his old college coach Chip Kelly is the only thing that is getting many Eagles fans through the winter. Well, that and Mr. Yuengling.
I'd love to have some good news to report to them on that subject from the NFL Scouting Combine. But alas, a Marcus & Chip Reunion Tour continues to appear to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Please stop emailing me trade suggestions that you somehow think would entice the Tennessee Titans to part with the second pick in the draft so that Kelly can swoop down and gobble up The Son He Never Had.
Trust me, packaging their first- and second-round picks this year and their first-round pick next year along with Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Casey Matthews, Marcus Smith, Cary Williams and Howie Roseman will not get it done.
If you pay attention to mock drafts - and for the love of God, please tell me you don't - you may have noticed that a lot of them have Mariota sliding a bit.
ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both have him going to the Jets with the sixth overall pick. So does the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler.
Former NFL player Bucky Brooks, who now is a sportswriter for NFL Media, has Mariota dropping to the Chiefs at 18. I can only hope that Bucky is receiving around-the-clock care.
People who have suggested Mariota might drop, mention two things: 1) He didn't play in a "pro-style" offense, which makes him not as "NFL-ready" and a bigger "projection" than Florida State's Jameis Winston, who is the front-runner to be taken by the Tampa Bay Bucs with the first pick in the draft; and 2) The Titans already have a possible in-house quarterback option in second-year man Zach Mettenberger.
Yeah, that's the same Zach Mettenberger who was the 178th pick in last year's draft, is slower than the Rocky statue and completed 20 of 39 passes against the Eagles last season.
Titans general manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt both spoke to reporters at the combine yesterday. And while football people often speak with forked tongue 2 1/2 months before the draft, neither gave the impression they are willing to pass on Mariota at No. 2 if the Tampa Bay Bucs select Jameis Winston with the first pick, and take their chances with Mettenberger.
"Square one for everybody is finding that quarterback," Webster said. "It's always difficult to find the guy that will be out there for 16 games and that you can build your team around.
"Until you get that quarterback position settled, you're swimming upstream. It's not that you can't do it, but it's tough. You have to be perfect everywhere else."
Since 1970, quarterbacks have gone 1-2 in the draft just five times, including 2012 when Andrew Luck went to the Indianapolis Colts with the first pick and the Washington Redskins traded up and grabbed Robert Griffin III with the second pick. Get ready for it to happen again.
"We're going to go back through the season and evaluate [Mettenberger] and where he finished up, and compare that to what we see out of these young guys in the draft," Whisenhunt said. "We're in a position this year where we have an opportunity to get that position settled for us. It's an important thing.
"Zach did a lot of good things for us last year. But with the way the year went last year (the Titans finished 2-14) and where we are in the draft and the guys that are coming out, you have to put your time in and figure that out."
Here's the thing. Nothing the Titans are going to see from Mariota here at the combine or later at his Pro Day and individual workouts is going to lessen their current opinion of him.
These shorts-and-sneakers workouts are right up the kid's alley. He is going to run fast. He will prove his arm is plenty strong enough and accurate enough to make every throw he's going to have to make in the NFL.
He's going to knock 'em dead in the 15-minute interviews and the X-and-O sessions and the psychological testing. Background checks will come back squeaky-clean. Whisenhunt not only will want to draft the kid, he'll want to introduce him to his daughter.
Whisenhunt doesn't seem the least bit concerned that Mariota is a product of that wild and crazy Chip Kelly up-tempo offense.
"Whether you're playing a conventional offense or a spread offense [in college], when you make that transition to the NFL, it's a jump," he said.
"There's a lot more that you have to handle as a quarterback in the NFL. Some guys can do and some guys can't."
The mobility that both Mariota and Winston bring to the table is intriguing. Mettenberger has a gun for an arm, but he can't run a lick.
Whisenhunt was the Steelers' offensive coordinator during Ben Roethlisberger's first three seasons in Pittsburgh. He knows the benefit of having a quarterback who can elude a rush and run for an occasional first down.
"Is mobility a nice aspect? When you see guys like Russell Wilson make some of the plays he makes running the football, sure it is," the Titans coach said. "But when you look at a guy like Peyton Manning, who stays in the pocket and kills people all the time, there's different ways to do it.
"You always adjust to fit the skill set of the guys that you have. But really, it comes down to how can they process. As a quarterback, you're facing so many different looks each week.
"You have to deal with all of the sophistication of what you see defensive-wise with them dropping defensive linemen into coverage and rushing multiple guys off the edge. You have to be able to see that, process it, get everybody on the same page and then execute your assignment."
Ultimately, Whisenhunt will conclude Mariota can do that. Ultimately, the Titans will draft him. Until then, though, Eagles fans can dream.
On Twitter: @Pdomo