Chip Kelly is just delaying the inevitable by waiting to name Michael Vick as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles come opening day.
Mark it down, book it, it’s a wrap, it’s set in stone — whatever phrase you want to say, just know that when they officially announce the starter, expect to hear Vick’s name.
I stated this back in May and that appears to be the way it’s shaping up.
Vick has performed very well in camp and in the two preseason games so far. Foles has also performed well, but Vick has been just a little better.
By now, it just seems almost obvious Vick will be the starter so why not just get it over with and announce it? I like Foles and feel he is capable of leading the offense this year and there is a good part of me that prefers him over Vick.
The main reason for that is because we’ve seen Vick for 10 years and I don’t completely buy into the notion that just because he’ll be in Kelly’s offense, that he’ll all of a sudden be a different player.
However, there are solid reasons for starting him this year over Foles, or at least logical reasons as to why that will be the case any way…
1. If Vick and Foles were both running the offense efficiently, there has to be a “tie-breaker.” That tie-breaker is Vick’s speed and athleticism. It’s an extra-added dimension that Foles cannot offer.
Foles has good pocket movement and has shown (painfully) that he can pick up some yards running with the ball. However, he’s not a serious threat to run the zone read-option.
2. As a caveat to No. 1, if Vick can run the up-tempo just as well as Foles, why would Chip limit his playbook by not being able to run a zone read-option with a QB who is a legitimate threat to run?
3. They never would have restructured Vick’s deal to keep him here if Kelly didn’t think he had a legitimate chance to be the starter. If you think Chip and the team didn’t have an opinion on whether or not Vick could run Kelly’s offense before the restructuring, you’re kidding yourself.
4. Kelly could risk losing the locker room if he doesn’t name Vick the starter.
At least a few players have hinted that they think Vick will win the job. They were being media-friendly because they didn’t want to create controversy, but it gives insight into what some of the players are thinking.
Hell, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy basically idolize Vick.
This is especially true now given that Vick has performed better than Foles, even though it’s been close. If the players want Vick to win the job, and feel he has by virtue of his play, how do you think they’ll react to Kelly saying otherwise?
They wouldn’t come out and say they’re disappointed, but I’d bet most of them would think “that’s bullshit!” and feel the coach isn’t out for what’s best for the team.
5. Kelly is in a no-lose situation by starting Vick. If he starts him, he does well and the team competes, Kelly will look like a genius. If Vick fails by reverting to the injury-prone, turnover-prone QB we’ve seen the past two years, then we will finally be able to lay the Vick era to rest.
Vick is not the future of this franchise so Kelly is playing with house money by going with him for one year. No matter which way it ends up, Kelly will still have to figure out who his QB of the future will be.
6. If Vick can stay healthy and refrain from those back-breaking turnovers, he gives the Eagles the best chance to win this year.
7. Simply put, by virtually all accounts Vick has played better thus far and is winning the QB competition anyway (albeit by not that large of a margin). So, if Chip is a man of his word about competition and sees things the way everyone else does, he will choose Vick.
As I stated back in May, Vick will open the season as the starter, but the real question is whether or not he’ll finish it.
Chances are he will get injured at some point and miss a few games. The current situation at the time that happens will dictate what happens from that point forward as to whether or not he’d return to the starting lineup.
The other possibility is that Vick starts to commit the biggest QB sins in Chip’s mind: he takes unnecessary sacks and turns the ball over. If that starts to happen too frequently for Chip’s liking, he could pull him out.
Vick’s teammates may love and respect him, but they also want to win. If Vick is killing them with crucial turnovers, particularly in the red zone, then they would quietly concede to wanting Foles in there.
So there you have it…Vick will be the starter, but will he be the guy ends the season under center?