Throughout the summer we’re going to track every table scrap of information on the notable, fantasy-relevant position battles. Sometimes there will be urgent breaking news which shakes the very foundation of the man-made structure you currently find yourself in. Other times, the meaning will be marginal.
Today is the second one.
Maybe. Probably. I dunno.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has repeatedly said that he’ll have a competition at the quarterback position throughout OTAs and training camp, even though business sense says that Michael Vick is the clubhouse leader at this point due to his $3.5 million signing bonus. But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, this happened yesterday…
Nick Foles had the slight edge in quarterback repetitions with the first team. According to my math, Foles took 21 snaps and Michael Vick had 15. Vick had the edge last Monday. Vick took 21 snaps to Foles’ 16 with the second team. Matt Barkley’s snaps with the third team increase dramatically over last Monday. He had 21 to Dennis Dixon’s 5 and G.J. Kinne’s 2. I’ll have more on the quarterback competition later today and in tomorrow’s Inquirer.
Kelly really wasn’t screwing around when he said those things about having a real competition. Your initial reaction may be to shrug Foles’ increased first-team snaps off as little more than that: competition. But that may not be entirely true.
If Barkley doesn’t start to see first-team snaps soon, we can make the pretty safe assumption that he’s not part of any competition, and it’s realistically down to Foles and Vick. Then the next step is to gauge who runs the read-option more effectively, at which point you’ll make another seemingly obvious assumption: Vick, because he’s fast and mobile and stuff.
That may ultimately be true. But as Phil Sheridan notes, during this offseason of oddness in Philly, an edge at any point for Foles can’t just be tossed aside:
The perception that Vick would have an edge because of his experience and mobility has wilted a bit in the face of reality. Nick Foles took slightly more reps with the first-team offense. It is too early to make pronouncements about that, but it isn’t a great sign for Vick. He will be 33 next month. If the 24-year-old Foles has the edge already, that probably tells us more about Kelly’s thinking than Kelly is willing to say out loud.
Although it may be a mild one, anyone other than Vick winning would still be a surprise since his style fits so well with the system Kelly is implementing, while Barkley likely needs to be developed, and Foles is a little too statuesque.
Oh and hey, quickly about that Vick thing that gave us all a good chuckle over the weekend. You know, the thing about his inability to hold a football properly despite calling quarterback his job title for 10 years. It’s definitely absurd that Vick needed Kelly to show him the proper way to hold a ball while on the run, and he deserves all your laughs and ridicule. But every coach he’s worked with in the NFL — including position coaches, and offensive coordinators — deserves equal, and maybe even greater scorn.
Vick is now on his fifth professional football head coach, and somehow only Kelly has noticed or attempted to change a significant flaw involving a fundamental skill. That’s an astounding level of incompetence from the people tasked with teaching Vick football stuff over a lot of years.