New Philadelphia Eagles coach had long insisted that the battle between Michael Vick and Nick Foles for the Eagles starting quarterback job would last through all of preseason. On Tuesday he changed that stance announcing that Michael Vick would start the season as the go to guy under center.
Kelly was expected to name the starting quarterback for the Eagles’ third preseason game against Jacksonville at Tuesday’s press conference, however he surprised everyone by going well beyond just the preseason game.
“It’s not a one-game trial basis,” Kelly said. “I would think it was a thorough evaluation. … We felt like we had a good amount of tape, us seeing them on the field and us seeing them in a lot of different situations. We wanted to put a guy in place — if we could — in enough time to prepare us for the season.”
“I think we all learned from this group that we’ve got two guys, maybe even three guys who can play in this league,” Kelly said. “It was a healthy competition. I think they both made each other better. Mike is ahead, but Nick made it very tough on him.”
Vick has earned the job by being the better quarterback so far. He completed 13 of 15 attempts for 199 yards and a touchdown. Vick also had an interception on a desperation hail mary style play at the end of the first half. Meanwhile, Nick Foles went 11-for-14 for 96 yards but threw an interception and lost a fumble. Matt Barkley, the rookie out of USC, has been said to be part of the competition, but has always been in the third quarterback role.
Vick was the Eagles starter last season, however he only started 10 games due to being kept out of the lineup following a concussion. Foles started the other 6 games with Vick on the shelf. The calls to bring in Foles were heard early in the year though, as the Eagles struggled out of the gate, an Vick struggled turning the ball over, and having one of the worst seasons of his career.
In addition to his experience, Vick had another big advantage going into this competition. With Chip Kelly bringing in a number of elements from the successful, high-octane offence he ran in the NCAA with the Oregon Ducks, Vick’s speed, mobility, and ability to run with the football fit into that system like a glove, while Foles and Barkley are seen as more drop back passers.
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Main Photo Credit: Ed Yeardon, sportsmedia101.com, CC