On day one of Eagles training camp, before any balls have been tossed or sleds pushed... One thing was made very clear. The competition for the Eagles starting QB job is on.
That message was sent from the top of the organization to the bottom of the roster.
"If we're going to stress competition it's going to be everywhere," said Eagles GM Howie Roseman when speaking about the QB spot. "We try to keep an open mind about everyone on our roster."
"There is an open competition," said rookie Matt Barkley. "I absolutely feel like I've got to be a part of it. I've got to challenge myself, just like any other guy on the team."
"Your mindset has to be that you're in the race to start. You've got to have that mindset. I'm in a competition regardless of what everyone else is saying. You just have to practice that way, of always trying to compete.
However, no one made a stronger statement of intent than 2nd year man Nick Foles.
"I have all the confidence in the world in my ability," Foles told reporters. "But I still respect the players around me and I know what they're capable of doing. But at the end of the day, I'm not here to be a backup. I'm here to be the guy. I don't think we play this game to sit on the bench. We play it to play, and I'm here to play."
Foles is not playing around. Like I said, that's a very strong statement there. There's no other way to interpret "I'm not here to be a backup. I'm here to be the guy." And frankly, I love it. I love that this is his attitude. I love the confidence and I love that he doesn't mind saying it.
Beyond that though, he's right. As a rookie, it's okay to defer to the starting guy, especially when he's pretty well entrenched as the starter as Vick was. However, as a second year man who actually got to start games last year and with last year's starter on the ropes... Foles is coming out swinging early. By all reports, he was the best QB in minicamp and that seems to have emboldened him further as the pads are going on.