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Chip Kelly still high on Johnny Manziel despite Oregon snub

Posted Apr 29, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff.

LeSean McCoy, Johnny Manziel and Ryan Mathews

Another day, another Johnny Manziel discussion leading up to the NFL Draft. 

There are two, actually, and both involve NFC East teams.

One is the Philadelphia Eagles, whose coach, Chip Kelly, reflected on his efforts to recruit Manziel to Oregon when he was the Ducks’ coach. Kelly said he viewed Manziel as “tailor made” to quarterback his offense, which he now employs with the Eagles. The coach also said he was upset that Manziel, after committing to Oregon, changed his mind and wound up at Texas A&M.

“He broke my heart,” Kelly told CSNPhilly.com.

But Manziel’s decision apparently hasn’t altered the way Kelly views him as a quarterback.

“I love the kid,” the coach said. “I think he’s a hell of a football player.”

Is he someone the Eagles have interest in drafting?

“We have an interest in anybody that’s draft eligible this year,” Kelly said coyly.

The other NFC East team in the most recent Manziel conversation is the Dallas Cowboys. There were media reports of the Cowboys’ having interest in drafting him.

But when asked about that during an interview on Dallas radio station KRLD, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team has not completed its evaluation of Manziel or any other quarterbacks.

“There’s not anything I can say about it,” Jones said. “We haven’t quite gotten into sorting out the quarterbacks yet, that will come, in terms of finalizing our board.”

RYAN MATHEWS CALLS CHARGERS’ ADDITION OF DONALD BROWN ‘AWESOME’

You might think that Ryan Mathews proved plenty to the San Diego Chargers last year by staying healthy for a full season for the first time in his career and rushing for 1,255 yards.

You would think he proved enough, in fact, for the Chargers to not feel the need to add a running back, but they did in former Indianapolis Colt Donald Brown.

Nevertheless, the team now finds itself with three backs who figure to get their share of touches: Mathews, Brown, and Danny Woodhead.

But Mathews hardly seems upset, saying that having Brown in the backfield is “going to be awesome.” In fact, he thinks it could prove to be even more beneficial to his health.

“I (want to) make it more than 16 games,” Mathews told U-T San Diego. “That was a big goal last year: ‘Alright, let’s get him through 16 games.’ We did that. Now the goal is to keep me healthy, keep running after 16 games.

“The coaches did a good job of getting another guy like Donald to help me out. It’s going to be fun.”

LESEAN MCCOY ON GIANTS: ‘WHAT’VE THEY DONE?’

Count Eagles running back LeSean McCoy among those who is not impressed with what the New York Giants have done to try to improve themselves during the offseason.

“I’m not paying attention to the Giants,” McCoy told the New York Post. “What’ve they done? Signed some guys. Big deal.”

McCoy also predicted that his former Eagles teammate, Michael Vick, will unseat Geno Smith as the Jets’ starting quarterback. “He’s way better than Geno Smith,” McCoy said. “Way better. That’s no contest.”

BRADY QUINN SAYS HE WAS CLOSE TO BEING DRAFTED BY RAVENS

Brady Quinn joined the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd overall pick of the 2007 draft after the team traded with the Cowboys to pick him there.

But during an appearance on NFL Network, Quinn said that he was on the phone with the Ravens, who had designs on choosing the quarterback at No. 23 (which the Kansas City Chiefs owned and apparently would have been willing to trade to Baltimore, which had the 29th pick. The Chiefs wound up staying put and selecting wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, while the Ravens also stayed put and made offensive guard Ben Grubbs their first-round choice).

“So, I was talking to (general manager) Ozzie Newsome, coach (Brian) Billick and coach (Rick) Neuheisel because I hadn’t interviewed with them, hadn’t worked out for them or anything,” Quinn said. “All of a sudden with like a minute left I get a call from a 216 area code, which happened to be Cleveland. It was the Browns calling to tell me they were trading up to the 22nd pick.”

JAY GRUDEN FEELS ‘GREAT’ ABOUT DESAN JACKSON’S CHARACTER

The Washington Redskins clearly felt good enough about DeSean Jackson’s background as a person to sign the receiver after he was released by the Eagles.

And new Redskins coach Jay Gruden reinforced that point to the media covering his team.

“I don’t know about any red flags,” Gruden said. “I know he’s a great football player. We met him, I felt great about his character. Time will tell, but I don’t foresee any challenges in that regard. He’s a good player. He’s been productive. I think we’re excited to have him and anything off the field, we’re not concerned about.

“We’re counting on DeSean as a player and person moving forward that he’s going to be a fit in the locker room and obviously be a great asset off the field.”

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>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.

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