No Shortage Of Quarterbacks In Philly
By Scott Daniels
Ever heard of G.J Kinne? I didn’t either until I was scanning the current roster of the Philadelphia Eagles. He only caught my attention because he’s listed as a quarterback — one of five guys desperately trying to make an impression on Chip Kelly as if they were mustering up the courage to ask the new head coach to prom.
A few years ago, Michael Vick was viewed as the man who would lead Philly to its first Super Bowl victory. He was still agile, elusive and dynamic after his dogfighting debacle led to a brief hiatus from football. Fresh out of prison, Vick was ready to redeem himself, and Andy Reid gave him a home. When the Eagles took him in, it was only a matter of time until he was starting behind center.
But Vick’s rise to prominence with the Eagles was halted by injuries; he simply took too many hits. Lackluster play and a dismal 2012 season led the Eagles to renegotiate Vick’s deal. This season, in a contract year for him, Vick will look to once again prove his critics wrong. He appears to have to have the edge over his fellow quarterbacks for the starting role, but Kelly isn’t saying a word.
The Dennis Dixon acquisition wasn’t surprising at all. He and Kelly had a great run at Oregon, and Dixon knows how to run his no-huddle, quick offense. That said, his accuracy is suspect and, like Vick, he’s not unbreakable. It was an interesting, yet predictable move by Kelly, but Dixon is nothing more than a serviceable backup in Kelly’s complex offense.
Don’t even get me started on Nick Foles. A so-called “system quarterback” and prototypical pocket passer, Foles is slower than the DMV. Granted, he had very little protection last season playing in front of a makeshift line, but great quarterbacks thrive when faced with adversity — Foles simply played the position. It was not only boring to watch, but he offered very little hope for the future.
Speaking of the future, the Eagles surprised everyone when they selected Matt Barkley in the fourth round of this year’s draft. There’s even speculation that he’s actually competing for the starting role. He’s got a ton of talent and is used to being in the spotlight but, analyze all you want, the verdict is still out on Barkley — especially at the pro level.
Now let’s get back to this Kinne kid. A shifty quarterback out of Tulsa, Kinne spent some time in the UFL before Kelly decided to bring him on board. He was a teammate of promising wideout Damaris Johnson at Tulsa, but does this kid really have a shot of making this roster? Or is Kelly trying to jack up the quarterback competition? Either way, Kinne will need a lot of help to make this team.
In the end, the Eagles have a surplus of quarterbacks at training camp. The clear choice to lead the Eagles in 2013 is Vick, with Barkley right behind him on the depth chart. Kelly might already have his mind made up, but he’s telling no one — not even his players.