While Michael Vick, by name, salary and general ability alone should be the clear favorite to remain the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Foles has been having a very good summer so far; possibly good enough to usurp the position.
All the theories on Chip Kelly and what he’ll be trying to do with the Eagles offense haven’t been exactly true. Yes, the Eagles are going to look different with the ball, but the system doesn’t necessarily need a quarterback that runs or has an amazing 40. Vick will be the starter if he plays well and runs the offense in a satisfactory manner, and his ability to run with the ball (which is also what gets him injured) won’t have anything to do with it.
On the other hand, Foles, who posted some pretty bad numbers as he started for an injured Vick for almost half of last season, has been enjoying his second NFL offseason, and according to CSNPhilly.com’s Geoff Mosher there’s a very good chances Foles ends up as the #1 QB by the time the season begins.
Matt Barkley getting drafted pretty much proves that it’s not about the legs, but simply about overall skill at the position. The reps have been split 50-50, which means that Vick is far from guaranteed the position, and possibly has a few more obstacles in his way to retain it, because his passing might not be impressing Kelly that much.
The problem for Vick? His turnovers and an inability to release the ball quickly from his hand. Kelly wants a quick offense, that gets more than 80 plays each game. For that, he needs someone who makes quick reads and doesn’t want to hold on to the football too much. Running? That’s a plus, but not when it comes at the expense of passing skills and decision making.
Vick is still probably the favorite to start. You don’t pay a quarterback $7 million a season (with $3.5 million already paid to him) just so he can sit behind someone. But if Barkley and especially Foles have an extremely successful training camp, it’s going to be very hard for Vick to feel confident about being the starter next season.