How the Philadelphia Eagles' QB Situation Will Play Out | Eagles Addict

Michael Vick will be the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles on opening day in 2013.  Sorry to end the suspense or ruin the surprise if you’ve been eagerly awaiting the much anticipated quarterback battle royale in training camp.

How can I make such a bold proclamation when it appears that there really is a full-fledged, honest-to-God open competition?  And, Nick Foles is getting just as many repetitions with the first team as is Vick?

Well, obviously I’m not basing my opinion on performance in mini-camp nor do I think Vick is the best QB on the roster.  Call it a mixture of rationale, logic and gut instinct.

When the Eagles decided to keep Vick and restructured his contract, Kelly made a comment at the time about having to consider the “landscape for other quarterbacks.”  The logical reasoning for that comment was due to the fact there weren’t any other available quarterbacks who were clearly better than Vick.

That included Nick Foles as well as any potential free agent or draft pick.

Now they have Matt Barkley in the fold and Kelly wants to see what he has in Foles. Competition makes everyone better and if players truly think they’re fighting for a starting job, it should bring out the best in them.

With that said, Barkley is ultimately still a rookie fourth round pick and Foles is a second year player who has yet to establish himself.  Foles showed some glimpses of potential last season but certainly not enough to secure a starting job.

In other words, they aren’t exactly killer competition for Vick to overcome.

Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley


Vick is a 12-year veteran and has had success in the NFL so he should be considered the favorite to win the job.  Most coaches know what they’re going to do at the most important position in football upon taking over a team, particularly offensive-minded coaches.

Kelly surely had an opinion of Vick and Foles before even accepting the job.  I believe Kelly when he says this is an open competition, but I also think he is planning on, and expecting, Vick to win the job.

The reasoning is simple: If Kelly can teach Vick to make some basic reads, he is the QB that will be able to run the zone read option offense the most effectively.  We’ve all talked about what kind of offense Kelly will or will not run here, but if he can run the zone read, that will be his first choice.

I think Kelly has done a masterful job at keeping everyone guessing about what kind of offense they’ll be running in 2013.  But, when the curtain is drawn this summer, I think we’ll be seeing mainly a zone read offense with Vick at the helm, and then a “backup offense” with Foles and Barkley at the helm.

If Vick proves he can run Chip’s preferred offense at least “good enough”, he will choose him initially because he’ll want to run the style of offense he is most accustomed to.  I mean, why wouldn’t Kelly at least take a shot to see if Vick can do it?

Kelly will get a free pass this year because of all the transition so he’s playing with house money by giving Vick the initial shot.  He would have Foles as a capable backup and if both guys fail, he can write them off as “not his guys” and would then begin the transition to Barkley and build from there.

Kelly is really in a no-lose situation with Vick.  If Vick fails, it’s because Vick just isn’t good anymore.  If he can’t run the zone read, which would be the best type of offense suited for his skills, his days as a starting NFL QB would be over.

In other words, if he can’t succeed under Kelly, he won’t succeed under anyone anymore.

On the flip side, if Vick succeeds in Kelly’s offense, then Kelly looks like a genius because he was able to get out of Vick what nobody else could, including the great Andy Reid.

With all of that said, do not take me as someone who wants this to happen or thinks Vick is the future of this franchise.  Remember, I’m saying that Vick will be the opening day starter.

This is how I actually see the situation playing out in 2013…

Vick is the season-opening starter.  As with every other year in his career sans one season, Vick will get injured.  When that happens (and yes, it’s when, not if), the next decision will be based on the following…

How many games into the season they are, how Vick has been playing, and what the team’s record is at that point.

If they are long-shots for the playoffs and Vick hasn’t played anything better than mediocre, he will lose the starting job, just like last year.  The question will be whether it’s Foles or Barkley who takes over at that point.

At that point, Kelly could go one of two ways…he either puts Foles in just to make sure he is or isn’t the future (and if anything, increase his trade value), or he goes with “his guy” to get Barkley some experience to build on for a starting role in 2014.

I could even see Kelly trying both guys out at that point as basically an audition for 2014.

However, there could be a few other variables to the situation.  If Vick was playing mediocre but the team was still in playoff contention, I think Foles would definitely be the next guy in to give them the best shot at staying in contention.

And if he does well, he keeps the job.

If Vick is playing well and the Eagles are in contention, then Foles will just keep the spot warm until Vick returns.

Unfortunately, I think that last scenario is the least likely to happen.  But, you never know.  Vick could take to Kelly’s offense like a fish to water and get into a groove reminiscent of his run in 2010.

Or, and perhaps more likely, Vick will struggle with the “quick reads and repetitive accuracy” aspects of Kelly’s offense and will eventually get injured and miss a few games.  That’s all it would take to open the door for Foles and/or Barkley.

In any case, I think Vick will be the one who starts the season but not the one who ends it.

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11 Responses to How the Philadelphia Eagles’ QB Situation Will Play Out

  1. tval says:

    interesting dave! certainly agree that vick is starter. i do sincerely believe his injury history, outside of unpredictable concussions, will be less of factor wth kellys run heavy scheme. and chip is who he is. i believe he runs same offense regardless of qb. minor tweaks of course, its not like he relies on qb to carry the load on the ground, or drops him back 60 times a game to face pass rush and poss. run/scramble. its def built for mikes attributes. i also thnk rocket arm is most vital qb trait under chip. that is no contest

  2. tval says:

    not sure who u thnk best qb on the roster is. please dont say matty or credibility shot. heard same for palmer sanchez leinart brady quinn jimmy clausen all over hyped qbs from a rivalry that obviously doesnt play d! sanchez aside due to defense. mike won more playoffs games than the rest combined, in one season. palmer was only average one befor knee injury made him the scaredy qb!

    • Hey tval, from what I gather you must be a Vick fan? To be honest, I can’t really say who the best QB on the roster is at this point. It’s really like trying to pick the one that stinks the least! If we were going with a more traditional offense, I would have to go with Foles as the starter. The real reason for that is because I’ve seen what Vick has done the past few years and based on that, I didn’t even want him resigned this offseason.

      I’m just tired of his turnovers and injuries. Plus, I never really saw Vick as a true quarterback, he was more of a guy that only relied on his athletic ability to get him by.

      But, with that said, I do think he will be the first choice for Chip Kelly’s offense. He’ll have to prove he can make quick reads, quick decisions, and be accurate with the ball, but if he can’t thrive in a zone read option offense, he might as well get used to being a backup for the remainder of his career.

      He may be a little more protected by Chip’s scheme so it may lessen his chances for injury, but he will run the ball a decent amount of times in a read option offense. All it takes is one good shot and he could be out. And if he doesn’t correct his fumbling problem, it won’t be long before he just gets benched outright.

      I’m not a “Vick fan”, but I’ll support him if he’s trying to get us the W. But, he’ll be 33 at the start of the season so his future is limited. Barkley could very well be the future here and if Vick gets hurt or plays like crap, it might not be a bad idea to see what Barkley has so we get an idea if we need to be looking at QBs in next year’s draft again.

  3. ridusofreid says:

    I give Foles 30% chance of being the opening day starter. Maybe I’m biased but am starting to get a vibe that Foles is mobile enough and smart enough to run the offense. I do think that the preseason games will mean something regarding the QB position and if Vick struggles, he could be gone. Kelly did not come here to go 5-11 or 6-10. He wants to make a statement that his offense works and if Vick cannot execute it, someone else will. I give Vick a 10% chance of being the started week 16. In fact I give Barkley a slightly higher chance of being the week 16 starter. We shall see.

    • Hey Rid, sounds like we agree. I do think there is a slight chance of Foles starting, but unless Vick is terrible in camp and preseason while Foles does great, Vick will open the season. Doubtful that he finishes though.

      No doubt Chip wants to prove his offense works, and that’s why I think he’ll want to go with the zone read first…he’s comfortable with it and it can work well with the right QB. Vick is the only guy besides Dixon or Kinne who can run it effectively.

      And like I said, Kelly is playing with “house money” this year and if he wins with Vick, he’ll be seen as a genius. If not and Vick just can’t get it done, then just about all blame will be focused on Vick.

  4. tval says:

    somewhat dave, i was disgusted at his heinous acts, proud of responsibility hes taken since. i just think ur treating 2010 as a fluke. when mike had his best run game, d and pass/run playcalling. he changed his game but had to revert to old ways behind porous line, but we all know johnny u in his prime couldnt hav stayed upright during these last 2 awful seasons wth makeshift lines consisting of overmatchet rookie centers, journeymen at guard and king dunlap at tackle. as the old qb mantra goes. too much credit and blame…i do foles’ size.flacco-esque, (who is best qb in league last 3 seasons bar-none) i myself was pocket passer so, i stake my qb cred that barkley will be worthless. no doubt. some coaches/qbs can make most out of nothing and sumthn clicks. not rootn against, just predicting. to clarify. im eagle fan first. vick foles dixon or barkley. whoever is best suited now to win. period

    • At this point, how can anyone not view the 2010 Vick as a fluke? Yes, the OL has been pretty bad, but that doesn’t change the fact that he struggles with his reads, holds the ball too long and is a turnover machine.

      I just can’t make excuses for him any more. If he’s the starter come September, I’ll be pulling for him to play well, but right now while I can be unbiased, I just don’t think he’ll ever lead this team to a championship.

      As far as what you say about Barkley, that’s cool and I respect your opinion, but I can’t agree at this point. I need to see him play before starting to form an opinion on him. He certainly sounds like a good QB-type…as in the intangibles such as leadership, intelligence, seriousness about football, and competitiveness. Just need to see what he can do on the field.

  5. tval says:

    im sick of vick throwing 50 times a game. thats solved with chip’s hire. u cant expect a qb to go through his reads when he has d linemen grabbn his feet at snap. im not a sportscenter fan. vick knew the success of eagles was directly on his shoulders, he had 100 million riding on last season. who had more pressure coupled with high school line.. in sports generally, the harder you try tn pick up others slack, the more you falter. name a qb who wldve taken the eagles to playoffs last 2 seasons. waiting…its rhetorical. so if you’re saying we cldve gone 5-11 with aaron rodgers at helm throwing the ball away, yeah i agree! lol! we all said eagles draft needs were 1a. oline 1b. oline..that alone says every expert knew the real problem. vick is just easy target when trying desperately and failing. i could contend, as we saw wth foles (2 min. comeback vs awful tampa, from 0-7 record.) if we had a qb wth less mobility then mike last 2 years. we wldnt have won a single game. goes both ways there! not like we were winning games by vick throwing ball away every time instead of being sacked. year before vick had so many 4th quarter leads blown. who gets that blame? not awful maclin or avant throwin 2 games away wth drops. its the qb. crazy

    • Yes, there’s no argument that the OL was the biggest problem. However, there is a flip side to that…a QB who can make a quick read, decision and get rid of the ball can make a crappy OL look a little better. Last year, Vick held the ball on average for 3 seconds per pass attempt…which was 4th longest in the league. Foles held it for 2.7 seconds on average. Both guys played with the same crappy OL but Foles had a better completion percentage. Furthermore, that was a rookie vs. a 12 year vet. I think Foles handled the situation better overall, but I wouldn’t say that either guy “played well”.

      Vick’s problem is that his instincts as a runner/scrambler make him feel like he can get out of pressure by running around. That can lead to a big play, but more times than not the past 2 years it has led to disaster. Foles, and Barkley when he plays, won’t have that issue because they know they’re limited athletically. Therefore, they know they’ll need to rely on their quick decision and release way more than even thinking of running around.

      In any case tval, I’m sure Vick will get the start this year so we’ll see what he can do in this offense. Hell, I hope he does well because if he does, that means the Eagles do well and that’s all I care about.

  6. tval says:

    qbs cant talk leadership. barkley had 3 years at one of coll fballs biggest powerhouses. and he struggled vs mostly inferior competition. pac10 doesnt play d and he cldnt find passing lanes. bad sign. hes nowhere near leinart imo, who showd flashes, but obviously was similarly overrated as the others i previously mentioned. rodgers i remember as dynamic thrower challenging superior usc team while at cal! barkley beat no team he was underdog to.(leadership) quite the contrary.

  7. tval says:

    im also a tad curious as to who we blame for lesean havn 500 less yards and 13 less tds than 1 short season ago? is he not in his prime years? is that vick too? or playcalling, coaching, etc? do we expect lesean to put up same numbers he did in previous years behind serviceable fronts? if not, why are we unrealistically critical when it comes to qb position? this is why i love chip! i think he knows the root of problem. if it were mike he’d be wearin bengals uniform now! lol!

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