August 22, 2013
Ever since Chip Kelly was introduced as the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, there has been the burning question about who the starter at quarterback would be. Would it be the veteran Michael Vick, or the younger Nick Foles? We also heard the name of fourth-round pick Matt Barkley, but he really wasn’t in the running for starter. Simply put, it was either going to be Vick or Foles starting for the Eagles. Honestly, I think the job was going to be Vick’s ever since Kelly became the head coach. We all know the offense Kelly likes to run from his days in Oregon, which is all about tempo, tempo, tempo. It also requires a QB who is not only a quick thinker, but is quick and agile on his feet. Simply put, this is an offense custom made for a man with Vick’s abilities. Foles is more of a pocket passer than anything else. I believe Kelly knew this as well, but he just wanted to see what he had in not just the quarterbacks, but on the Eagles’ roster as a whole. So when Vick was officially named the starter for the season opener against the Washington Redskins on Tuesday afternoon, it shouldn’t have come as no surprise to anyone. All it should have done was confirm what many of us already probably knew. In my mind, there’s no question Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win right now. In the National Football League (NFL), the trendy offenses involve dual threat quarterbacks, which is exactly what Vick is. In fact, he’s the definition of the dual threat QB, long before we heard of Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson or San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. For years, we’ve waited to see Vick excel consistently, and this is probably his best (and last) chance to prove his worth in Kelly’s fast-paced system. Of course, with opportunity comes more concern about Vick’s overall health. He has had only one season since he enter the league in 2001 where he has played in all 16 games of a season (2006) and only played in 10 games last season because of a concussion. People wonder if Vick will be durable enough to handle what a QB has to do in Kelly’s offense, which is lots of read options. Vick will get hit, probably more so in this offense. It will be important for him to work smarter, and not harder. We all know how Vick wants to make every play he can, even if it means putting his body in harm’s way. The Eagles’ success will be hard to come by if Vick isn’t on the field. Even if Vick is on the field, he has to cut down on turnovers. He had 10 interceptions and 11 fumbles last season. Ball security has to be paramount if the Eagles want to have a chance in winning the NFC East. That won’t be easy when they have the Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants in the division with them. Bottom line, there are reasons why questions linger about Vick being the right man fro the job. As for Foles, there’s no doubt he will have to remain ready to come off the bench due to the past history of Vick’s health. For now, the right decision has been made. If the Eagles want their best chance to win football games, Vick is the man who needs to be in charge. I think this is something Kelly has know all along. Tuesday was just the official word.
By Charles Taylor