Chip Kelly met the media for just the 2nd time as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles todaty. The initial reason for the press conference was to talk about his new staff, but as Kelly said it was "good timing" as the team also announced this morning that Michael Vick had restructured his contract to stay for 2013 on a one year deal.
Kelly addressed the Vick news immediately saying there would be an open competition between he and Nick Foles and stressed that in the NFL, "you need 2 [QBs]."
However, Kelly also slipped a practical note in when he discussed his evaluation of Vick.
"I looked at how he can throw, beat people w/ his feet ... And then you look at the landscape at QB, who else is available?"
The latter point probably had a lot to do with the fact that Vick is back on a year deal. There aren't many viable options on the free agent market and it's a lean year for QBs in the draft.
Kelly said that when they evaluated the tape on Vick, he & Pat Shurmur looked primarily at his skill set. He didn't worry about the line call, read pattern or anything else. They looked at his skill set and saw that he still has a fast release, a big arm and can make plays with his feet.
It's clear that Kelly feels that Vick can still be successful if he's able to conform to Chip's way of doing things. For those fans that blamed some of Vick's struggles on Andy Reid trying to stuff a square peg into a round hole, this will make you very happy. For those that don't believe in Vick at all, the fact is that you still have to make quick reads and protect the ball Chip Kelly's system and those are big question marks with Vick.
The general reaction to the news that Vick would be back was that he must fit Kelly's system better, but that begs an important question. How is it an open competition if you have Foles trying to run a read option offense? And if you run different plays for Foles, how do you evaluate one against the other? Chip says it would be wrong to assume that the offense will have to be 2 different systems for 2 different QBs.
"I don't think it's 2 different systems. Everyone wants to look at my past and paint you with a single brush. We're an equal opportunity scoring operation. I don't care if we run the ball in or throw it in. Our offense isn't just one thing. You have to be built for anything in this league."
Yes, he said "an equal opportunity scoring machine."
Kelly said he hopes to have both QBs at the start of year if both stay healthy, but when asked whether he would rule out a trade, he wouldn't.