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Quarterback Controversy In Philly? Think Again

by Scott Daniels
Jul 19, 2013 2:25 PM EDT



As we inch closer to the formal beginning of Eagles training camp, the biggest story outside of Chip Kelly’s inaugural season in the NFL is the alleged quarterback controversy brewing in Philly. Who will Kelly start to run his mysterious offense? Is Michael Vick the obvious choice, or has Nick Foles become the coach’s favorite son? Will coach Kelly shock the world and go with Dennis Dixon, his former quarterback at Oregon?

OK, maybe I went a little too far with the last possibility, but it’s clear that the Eagles are ensuring a bevy of options at the quarterback position heading into this season. The drafting of Matt Barkley in the fourth round certainly put veterans like Vick on notice that he is expendable. But let’s be realistic here, the so-called quarterback controversy involves two players: Vick and Foles.

Here’s who should start and why.

For some strange reason, Foles has become somewhat of a favorite amongst fans and media members. He had a great college career, but only started for the Eagles last season after Vick went down with a concussion. As for his performance in the midst of an overall lackluster season for the Eagles, Foles played like a rookie. In the seven games he started, he logged six touchdowns, five picks and was sacked twenty times. As for completion percentage last season, he boasted a 60.8 percentage, just over two percent better than Vick’s — nothing overpowering here.

As for Vick, he also put up mediocre numbers as a starter last year. In nine games, Vick threw for twelve touchdowns, ten picks and was sacked 28 times. He was lambasted for holding onto the ball too long, and his attempts at heroic playmaking were often marred by disaster.

But here’s why Vick should be the starting quarterback this season: Forget about the new $10 million contract he received, Vick has familiarity with WRs Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Foles has started seven games for the Eagles, and Maclin and Jackson did not play in all of them. As for mobility, Vick at age 65 will have quicker feet than Foles. There’s no denying that Vick has aged and is certainly more fragile, but he’s still elusive.

As for accuracy, Foles might have the edge (barely), but Vick gives the Eagles a better chance to win now. I fully expect the quarterback position to be a much less important role in Kelly’s offense as opposed to Andy Reid’s offense, but the Eagles are not in rebuilding mode. Vick is the guy that gives this team the best chance to make the playoffs, and barring injury, he’s still extremely capable.

I like the fact that Kelly has come into Philly and shaken things up by giving every quarterback on the roster an opportunity to compete for the starting job. But Foles is not the answer … at least not yet.