Despite giving Michael Vick a one-year reconstructed deal worth $10 million, it’s not a certainty that he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. They like what they’re seeing early on from Matt Barkley, but it’s not him Vick has to worry about. Nick Foles is splitting the first team reps at QB, which means there’s a chance he hasn’t started his last game for the team last season.
With Vick going down, Foles was the one who had to step up and fill the role in a very depressing season. He started in six games, losing five of them, not showing anything special, but not proving to be extremely bad and out of place like many backup quarterbacks tend to do. He did complete over 60% of his passes and at least threw more touchdown passes (6) than interceptions (5), although it was clear he was brought in earlier than anyone wanted.
There’s no doubt about one thing – this is Vick’s job to lose. Unless he preforms terribly during training camp, or previous problems of injuries come up again, Vick will be the starter on the first day for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The early assessments told of Kelly using the same offense he did in Oregon, which means a quarterback that can run as well as throw. But Kelly has been saying all along that it’s not about having legs, but simply about being able to make quick decisions. In any case, it’s hard to believe the Eagles will run the exact same offense the Ducks used in college; it simply doesn’t translate all that well into the pros.
So if it’s about decision making, everyone has a shot. The Eagles have added G.J. Kinney and Dennis Dixon (familiar with Oregon’s attack from his college days), but it’s about Vick trying to keep both Foles and Barkley away from him. The Eagles consider Barkley to be a first-second round quarterback who simply slipped down the draft for some reason. A quarterback valued in that way is usually expected to become a starter at some point, just like they did with Kevin Kolb a few years ago.
Foles was mentioned in trade scenarios, but Kelly wants to see what each guy can give him before he starts penciling down his depth chart. Foles might not be able to run as well as Vick, or isn’t one with the pedigree of an accurate passer like Barkley is, but he has seen the league for about half a season, and that certainly gives him some sort of awareness about what he needs to improve on. Chances are he’ll end up on the sidelines, nothing more, but it just shows the Eagles want to give everyone a chance, while they’re not 100% sure about Vick.