Former Oregon Ducks quarterback and 2015 NFL Draft prospect Marcus Mariota was recently honored by the Polynesian Football Hall Of Fame as their inaugural player of the year. Vai Sikahema, former Eagles player and fellow Polynesian, presented Mariota with the award. (Hat tip to r/Eagles.)
Naturally, Sikahema couldn't resist asking Mariota about his future in the NFL and his thoughts on the possibility of reuniting with former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Mariota has already given his thoughts on reuniting with Kelly before, but this time it was caught on camera. Watch the video above. Transcript below:
Sikahema: ...all over the world, but especially at NBC 10 in Philadelphia. Marcus, I want to show you something. I brought you something that I carried all the way from Philadelphia to this event. The local talk radio station there have printed these shirts. These are being passed out at Pat’s and Geno’s cheesesteaks. Every outlet in Philadelphia has these, and here’s the thing. At the front, Marcus, is a comment from Sal Paolantonio. You know who he is? He lives in Philadelphia. Sal Paolantonio, the ESPN reporter, and here’s his comment: DO THE DEAL. Sell the farm! Bring Marcus Mariota to Chip Kelly!
This is a friendly event, I’m not going to put you on the spot. However… I know any team can take you. Philadelphia has the 20th pick in the draft. And Chip Kelly has made no bones about it, he wants this guy. Just tell us what it would mean to you to be reunited — if it happens — with Chip Kelly. And even though I’m covering news now I may go back and cover sports if you came to Philadelphia. So what would it mean to you? Just honestly, what would it mean to you to come to Philadelphia? And if they drafted you, say, they moved up in the draft, how would that feel for you?
Mariota: Thanks for putting me on the spot. No, it would be a blessing. I mean, Chip Kelly really gave me the opportunity to play at the University of Oregon and it would be a lot of fun to play for him this year.
Sikahema: That [t-shirt] is yours. You may be seated.
The Eagles are potentially in a market for a new quarterback after Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez combined to lead the NFL in turnovers in 2014. One report has indicated that the Eagles are "going to try" to move up in the draft to secure Mariota. One NFL scout is on the record for saying Kelly will mortgage Philadelphia's future to get his former quarterback.
Mariota handled Sikahema's question well. No one doubts that Mariota would like to reunite with Kelly. The problem, of course, is that it's not really up to either of them. Mariota could be long gone before the Eagles have a chance to get him.