The 2013 season for the Philadelphia Eagles has begun, with free agency and the draft in the books. Now comes the time where Chip Kelly must find out who will be running his offense this year. The Vick-Foles debate has gone on ever since the latter had a fantastic preseason in 2012, and is now more fierce because of the addition of rookie QB Matt Barkley. Here, we will look at each of these players, and make the case for each of them to start.
Vick is the apparent incumbent starter for the Eagles in 2013, with him being a prototypical Chip Kelly quarterback, and his signing of a 1-year contract during the offseason. One of the biggest things going for him is that this season is basically a throwaway year; no one expects the team to go much further than their 2012 4-12 record. Plus, Vick can run the read-option better than anyone else on this roster, and has perhaps the best arm. The job is his to lose.
The things going against Vick is his lack of football smarts; too often, he is unable to read blitzes, and holds onto the ball far too long, yet his raw physical ability kind of makes up for this. Still, it is hard to overlook the mental mistakes he makes, and his knack for getting injured (even if the pressure against him isn't all his fault). He must continue to improve in order to stay as the Eagles' quarterback.
Foles seems to be on the outside looking in among Kelly's QBs, but that may not be the case. Chip has on several occasions sung his praises, and has already said that he would build his offense around his best quarterback. Despite common belief, Foles can run a type of read-option (he ran one at Arizona), and despite being slow is not afraid to move around on the field. He is very accurate, gets the ball out quickly, can move around in the pocket, and has good football smarts. In the 2012 campaign, with no offensive line and the majority of his offensive weapons injured, Foles did very well. There were games there that were lost totally by the defense.
The knocks against Foles are his inexperience, lack of accuracy on the deep ball, a sometimes questionable deep throw, and his slowness. He needs to grow and sharpen up his game, but he gets my personal vote for the starting quarterback in 2013.
In my ideal world, Barkley would not even be in discussion to be the starter in 2013 (unless, of course, he absolutely lights it up in camp/preseason), but for the sake of discussion, we will look at the good and bad aspects of his game. Barkley has great accuracy, and can get the ball out quickly. He thinks well on his feet, and has the mental edge over the rest of the quarterback. The negative aspects of his game stem from his deep ball; he does not have great velocity on deep throws, as the ball seems to hang in the air, and his arm strength may be suspect. Other than those two things, Barkley is a great prospect, and could grow into an amazing quarterback, but for now, keep him on the bench.
My starter for 2013: Foles
I know that this article and its rankings may be controversial, but it is all opinion. I may seem too harsh on Vick, but I have all the respect in the world for him. If he or Barkley win out in camp, then good on them, but right now I'm going with Foles. Like my dad always says, I don't care who is behind center for the Eagles, as long as they win.