The title will be the words spoken by head coach Chip Kelly. The question is now when does he say them? Chip, the coaching staff, you and I have seen enough from Vick to declare him as the starting quarterback moving forward.
This offense to work at maximum level requires a quarterback who will provide the defense, mainly the edge defensive end or cornerback positioned at the line of scrimmage; the threat that the quarterback will run with the football. Foles was able to scamper in for a rushing touchdown last night and on a few other occasions this pre-season has been able to rush for a respectable gain when the running lanes became available. Even with Vick one hit away from needing assistance to the side-line; his athleticism opens up the door for Kelly to do that much more with this offense.
Foles has looked good staying calm under pressure, showing the ability to make his reads and carry-out the new offensive looks that Kelly has introduced to the new Eagles offense. He does however have two turnovers so far this pre-season, one in each game, including the interception in the end-zone that halted what would have been a nice scoring drive. Chip Kelly wants a quarterback that minimizes mistakes, especially turnovers, which was a major contributing factor for media and fans to think Foles would get the starting job over Vick.
Vick has looked spot-on during the first two-preseason games; I’m discounting the interception prior to halftime. The clock is ticking for all of us as to when he will go down with an injury. It is only a matter of time before Vick fumbles attempting to gain an extra yard, takes an unnecessary hit or throws a ball into triple coverage for an interception instead of throwing it out of bounds.
What if the Eagles continue to run the ball more, consistently, and do it more than they actually pass? I really believe that with the emphasis to run the football as part of the Eagles identity, there will be fewer opportunities for opposing defensive players to hit Vick. The passing routes called by Kelly have Vick getting the ball out quicker. When Vick is scrambling, one receiver goes long while another cuts their route shorter to allow options for Vick. The offensive packages are hardly recognizable to what we were used to seeing the past few seasons. Vick is not the athlete or play-maker that he once was. The difference this year is that Chip Kelly is looking like he understands this. Our coach understands the actual and not potential talent of his players. Kelly will maximize the positives Vick still has left to offer.
It’s time to name Vick the starter, period! For everyone’s peace of mind, for the players and coaching staff, media and fan base. There are enough question marks left on this roster, focus your time and energy on that. Michael Vick is your starter for the 2013 NFL season. He gives the Eagles the best chance of winning. It may no longer be the “Michael Vick Experience” with the flashy roller-coaster ride commercials; but he has just enough left in the tank for a few “did you just see that” conversations.