Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Some have questioned whether the Eagles QB competition is legitimate. Is the job truly up for grabs?
One of the biggest holes on this Eagles roster, at least in terms of proven talent, is the QB position. This much is obvious. Many Eagles fans already have an opinion on who should be the starting QB in 2013.
Some say it should be Michael Vick.
"He can run Chip Kelly's scheme. Chip can find a way to make him into a better player by asking him to throw less (unlike Andy Reid did) and taking pressure off him by running the ball more with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown.The Eagles didn't bring him back to just sit him on the bench. Foles isn't proven."
Others will argue it should in fact be Nick Foles.
"He showed promise late last year. He's young and has potential. He can stand in the pocket and make good reads. The Eagles have to find out what they have in him before deciding to move on from him. Playing Vick would just be a waste of time because he's just a turnover machine and a bad QB."
(A very, very small minority might even argue Dennis Dixon or Trent Edwards or someone else should be the QB. The chances of that actually happening are obviously very small as of right now, but without an official starter in place, it's a non-zero chance.)
Unlike these fans, however, Chip Kelly doesn't seem to have made a decision yet. He's indicated as much in his comments:
Chip said plenty of reps to spread in practice among all of his QBs. Best man wins.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) February 21, 2013
and from yesterday at the Scouting Combine:
I wanna coach Nick (Foles). I wanna spend time with him and see him. I've said it before, I was a big fan of the way he plays the game, his toughness, his ability to throw the ball very accurate.
He's also mentioned multiple times that Vick and Foles will be splitting first team reps.
Now, it can be argued that Chip is simply not telling the whole truth here. Maybe he secretly does have his mind made up but he's not tipping his hand. That's certainly possible, but there's nothing to actually prove that sentiment.
This is why the idea Vick will automatically be the starter from day one and that the competition is just a farce is unsubstantiated. The only evidence that supports that theory is the thought that Kelly really wants a running QB and wants nothing to do with a non-mobile QB like Foles.
Some will say that the Eagles wouldn't have restructured Vick unless they thought he was going to be the starter this year. I don't agree. Bringing Vick back on a 1 year deal where it's possible he can be cut before the season starts sure isn't a vote of confidence. It's very possible he could be the starter, but it's just not guaranteed.
And let's not forget there's still plenty of time for moves to be made in the upcoming free agency period, whether it be a signing or a trade. Maybe the Eagles draft a rookie QB and he gets thrown into the mix too.
Everything Chip is saying indicates there will be an open competition in the off-season and that's something to get excited about. If the job was just being handed to one QB, that would be concerning. No QB on this roster deserves an uncontested chance at the job. QB candidates will be fighting for a starting job and playing their hardest to earn the opportunity. May the best man win, indeed.
Time will tell if Chip sticks to these words. If he does, I'm on board with his approach.