Originally written on articles.philly.com  |  Last updated 7/21/13


A few days ago Maclin came out and said Vick was leading in the competition. Of course that was before it was revealed that Maclin himself as well as many others on the roster are in their own position battles. Suffice to say that Maclin had best concern himself with ensuring his own roster spot rather than worrying about the QB competition especially if he’s looking for that big contract. It’s a big year for Maclin, so he should concern himself with that. Moving forward, there were some interesting comments that recently came out from the Eagles quarterbacks’ coach Bill Lazor.


The comments are quite telling of the Eagles current impressions of their quarterbacks especially Vick, Foles, and Barkley. To be clear the Eagles still haven’t made their choice yet on who the guy will be, and ultimately the choice will be made by Chip Kelly, still Lazor reiterated Kelly’s comments about wanting a quarterback who makes good quick decisions with the football and one who is accurate. Let’s look at Lazor’s evaluation of Mike Vick.


[With Vick, Lazor has sensed a "great maturity" and "great perspective" on where he is in his career and the opportunity available in Philadelphia.

"Now he approaches work every single day like someone who wants to be better, wants to maximize what he's doing," Lazor said. "He's really been a lot of fun to be around."

Asked about Vick's decision-making, Lazor noticed the experience that Vick possesses from the times he's been in different systems.

"He's seen defenses. He's seen coverages. He's been blitzed," Lazor said. "He's made good decisions. He's made bad decisions. He's had them work out and not work out. . . . Now he brings all that experience. He's an extremely willing learner."]


From this I gather that Mike Vick is still making a lot of mistakes, but his work ethic is something to be admired.  Mike Vick is going to be in this thing until the end, because he is working his tail off to do so, but there is some frustration with the fact Mike isn’t making a seamless transition here. This isn’t going to be an easy decision, because if there is a chance the light bulb turns completely on for Vick he could possibly and rather quickly distance himself from the competition. The problem is he hasn’t and I think the coaching staff is wondering if he ever will. Now let’s look at the evaluation of Nick Foles.

[The first thing that stood out to Lazor when he watched video of Foles was the "poise" that the second-year quarterback played with as a rookie. On the practice field, Lazor said, that poise is apparent.

"He can evaluate what's happening. He can make decisions, and he can make it look like it's really easy for him," Lazor said. "He has a calmness about how he plays. But I know he's taking all this information in and computing it and making the throw. And I think it's really a testament to mentally how on top of the game he is and the kind of athlete he is."

Lazor went out of his way to praise Foles' athleticism, even though the 6-foot-6, 243-pound Foles is not known for fleet feet. Lazor said that Foles appears athletic when he's moving to make a pass.

"I think he really can play the game," Lazor said. "He knows how to put it together."]


Now to me it seems clear that not only is Foles grasping the system faster than Mike, he is also AT THIS POINT executing the system better than Mike. It seems that Foles is making an impression here and isn’t going away lightly. He’s battling for this job and using HIS intangibles for his benefit. The good thing for him is that he’s still young and if he performs well in live scenarios (preseason and when they start hitting) he could cement himself as the starter fairly quickly. Now let’s look at Barkley.

["You're talking about extremely high football intelligence, great work ethic," Lazor said. "Some of the off-the-field skills, what he had to deal with, as far as the ups and downs. . . . Really, it's a guy that became the face of the franchise out there."]


I gather despite what people want, Barkley isn’t ready to take the keys to the car yet. He’s going to need a season or two to develop, but when he does he could end up being the best of the bunch. It would seem the Eagles could find themselves eventually trading Foles away. That means they would have to play Foles to increase his trade value. This is yet another advantage leading to Foles starting next season.

As Lazor is still trying to play up the QB competition (which I still do believe is real), he unintentionally gave some insight into the Eagles plans stating ["Everyone who's asking wants to know who's the starter, where are we in the starting competition?" Lazor said. "My focus is so far beyond that. You can have a starter and win six games. No one is going to be happy. We need a guy who can take us where we want to go and win a championship here."]


Well you can’t be looking at the beyond and thinking about future championships if the starting quarterback’s on a one year deal. So far none of this is looking well for the future of Mike Vick in Philly. At a glance it seems Mike is here to push Nick Foles for this job, meanwhile the Eagles plan to develop Matt Barkley until they need to decide who will be their guy (Foles or Barkley) and at some point in the future one of them will be traded.





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  • nice write, easy...
  • I'm starting to think that despite all the debating and tea leaf reading we've all been doing, we all are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Nobody expects a winner in 2013, which will mean replacing this years starter next year, anyway. That is, unless Vick starts, wins, and makes Kelly look like a genius for the 1-year deal. If Vick doesn't start or has to be benched, you use that time to evaluate whether you need to draft a QB next May (don't even get me STARTED on that one).

    In either case no one expects much and Kelly has built-in scapegoats at QB, OC, and DC, should it all tank in 2013; but he gets to look even more like a GENIUS if it doesn't.
  • If the consensus is that 2013 will likely be a season of struggles (and it should with so many changes) the only salvageable and intelligent thing for Chip Kelly to do would be to either start Foles or Barkley. At worst they find out they STILL need a quarterback and will most likely be in a situation to draft one. At best they find a QB of the future. In either case they find out. In my opinion if Vick starts he ultimately wouldn't be looked upon as a scapegoat. In fact I believe people would immediatly look at Chip Kelly and question him. Most people at this point do not see Vick as the answer regardless of who was hurt or who's fault all of his turnovers Were. If Vick succeeds Kelly looks like a fool, because he had him under contract for multiple years already and forced him into basically a one year deal. If Vick fails Kelly looks like a fool, because he fell for the same trick that so many coaches before him has. For Kelly the choice of Vick is lose/lose in the longrun despite what happens on the field in 2013.
  • "In fact I believe people would immediatly look at Chip Kelly and question him"

    In that statement is 45% of the reason I've been saying Vick starts.

    Vick was primed to walk. The rail was greased and people were already singing 'Na Na Na Na Goodbye'. Even I was ready to let it go and turn the page: http://www.yardbarker.com/forum/3/57/discussion/the_eagles_next_draft/12322471

    But giving Vick that money puts Kelly on the hook for something. Maybe not to some fans, but I'm sure Roseman and Lurie don't want to just give Vick 3.5 - 7 million, that could have gone to cap space or signing a FA or two. As it is, even if Vick only earns his 3.5 million base this year, he still counts 5.3 - 7 million against the cap. That is space the Eagles have to leave vacant in case he earns his bonuses. So signing Vick limited the teams options (and we've already seen the Eagles court a couple FA's who went elsewhere). That money Vick got has to count for something somewhere, otherwise it just looks like the Eagles are a charity. (This is also why I say DJax will not ride pine this year.)

    Whether or not fans or Chip Kelly grasp the financial side of things, there are a HOST of people in this organization who do not lose sight of that bottom line. Lurie borrowed millions to buy a team that used to hemorrhage money, and he turned it into one of the more profitable sports organizations on Earth. You don't do that by accident.

    College wins notwithstanding, now Chip Kelly is going to have to show that he can evaluate talent without wasting the bosses money.
  • Kelly isn't bound to Vick like Andy Reid was. If nothing else Kelly saved the team money on Vick. Although fans will likely question Kelly at the end of the season ( if the team goes nowhere with Vick under center) he most certainly will not be fired after one season unless it's a catastrophe. Lurie (like Reid) thinks of himself as a forward thinker. He isn't going to see his bold and out of the box choice of Kelly banished after one season. At least for one season Chip Kelly has the safest job in the NFL. As far as the bosses pockets, well he can only thank himself for holding onto the Reid regime too long. The team likely won't sell all of their tickets this season and that is thanks to the mediocre performances of the last two seasons. That's not Chip's fault, but on the other hand Howie Roseman had much to do with some of the previous bad choices like the Mike Vick extension, and drafting Watkins. With the Eagles and their unnecessarily complicated upper echelon hierarchy, Roseman could end up being the odd man out if things continue down a negative path especially since there are more than a few guys who could do his job in the organization right now.
  • Lurie tries to operate on a shoestring. Hes seeking money to upgrade the facility after 12 years. Whats his next financial demand? The guy has sucked the life out of the fans. Flip could be right. This may be a team headed for years of mediocrity or worse. As usual they have put the burden on one guys back. Vick! And you are right EZ he has a problem staying healthy. They have flimsy protection that seems to have been somewhat addressed but its still riddled with question marks. I dont see fans having any problem aquiring tickets. Lurie has knocked the wind and momentum out of the fanbase with that ridiculous Reid extension of coaching years. I think that fans are burntout. And I suspect a few losses will turn the Linc into a funeral home.
  • Dude I needed to upgrade my new home after five years. Things breakdown all the time, he's not the only owner to do that, and he's using his own money. It's not Lurie's job to get the players in gear or in line. What owner does that and usurps his coaches authority other than Jones? I will tell you this. If Lurie is involved you would never truly know, because he doesn't want you to know unlike that media hoe Jerry Jones.
  • I think Roseman will definitely be next to go if things don't start trending upwards. You have a guy like Tom Gamble in here that had a hand in building that championship-caliber 49ers team we see today. He would be the guy I would hand the reigns to.

    As for Chip, it takes about 3 years to truly be able to effectively judge a new coach. Barring an unmitigated catastrophe, you can expect that he wouldn't be under the gun until at least year 2 or 3.
  • It's going to take some time for Kelly to weed out so many of the group that has spent more time talking about winning instead of working hard to win. Like Kelly said before "big people beat up little people." Kelly still has a lot of little people on this roster who have been getting beat up for the past few years by a lot of big people.
  • I think thats a big mistake because people want to see something for the money they spend. At a minimum Vick brings excitement and a media circus. Eagles love publicity more than winning. But , I think the big problem will be the new poorly planned gimmicky 3-4 defense. I dont think they have the personnel. They have significantly downgraded the secondary and DL and expect results. The poor defense will pressure the offense to maintain a high level to compete. It will either make or break the current personnel on offense.
  • Flip whats your screen play about? That sounds like a real project. I couldnt put a page of a story together. How do you do it?
  • It's a Sci-fi saga about the future of the space program.

    There's no trick to it. I just let the story come out when it's there. I don't force it. If I don't feel it I do something else. No sense in churning out 12 pages of crap just to delete it all in a re-write a week later.

    Writing about sports is easy, you just write your perspective on something that has happened or is happening. Most of the time when I write here, it's between pages of something else. If I cared enough I'd get a press pass gather some firsthand information and start a blog, but it takes WAAAAAAYYYYY too long to get your blog to catch on and I simply don't love it enough to sift through BS everyday and pay to have someone host a site that I won't keep up anyway.
  • I think something big could happen with your writing. That wouldnt suprise me at all. Good luck with it.
  • Im waiting to see how it unfolds why get an ulcer..
  • Nobody is getting a ulcer, but this is a SPORTS WEBSITE. We are here to discuss sports. Why else would anyone be on a sports website?
  • Hollywood: Lurie went to the Reid well a little too long. His team has to reinvent it's self. teams switching from 4-3 to 3-4 can take up to two years to transition. I disagree with you on the secondary. The corners played uninspired football the past two seasons, and the safeties were awful. Overall the secondary is better, but that is improving over dreadful. So even if the secondary is just mediocre next season it's an improvement. You can't blame the Eagles for Vick being hurt all the time. Mike played 6 seasons in Atlanta and was hurt every season but one. He's a little man playing a big mans game. He's going to get hurt due to his style of play. That's why it's foolish to count on him.
  • Ok ILL throw this in the mix otay..
    as a University Of Oregon sports fan I saw and heard and read stuff about Chip Kelly and you what? if he read most all the blogs here? he'd laugh at loud, why he could care less what other people think? No we don't like that as bloggers but that's the way it is!
  • I sure hope Kelly isn't focused on what's written on this site. He would be a fool to do so.
  • I doubt he is EZ but lets face it his offense will be scrutinized and he needs to show something unique. You say the secondary is better and I agree the so called talent we had didnt play up to the billing, but I wouldnt call the replacements sure bets. You know where I satnd on Jenkins and Patterson. That will come back to kick us in the teeth. They will be starting in NY. Coughlin is a smart coach. They will contribute.
  • I wont say the new guys are drastically better. Honestly we wont know until they start playing, but for whatever reason the other guys didn't workout together. In hindsight maybe they should have kept Jenkins (Patterson doesn't fit this system) since he actually has experience in a 3-4 system.
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • He has poise but other than that what has he done that makes you think hes n NFL starter.
  • What has Vick shown to make you think he has anything left in the tank?
  • i wont argue with that. but im hoping the oline problems had alot to do with it. if not we are in big trouble
  • The o- line problems do not explain is average play the year prior, nor does it explain how Foles with that same awful line and with so many starters out of the lineup had a better completion percentage than Vick. How did a rookie with that same woeful line show better pocket poise and pressence than Vick?
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • The eagles have way too many QB's on their roster, a recipe for disaster. You know what they say, "Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup". Vick is washed up and has been since he came out of prison. Foles could be an answer in time but not in the type of offense Kelly is gonna want to try. Barkley has no real arm strength or running ability to speak of and is a USC QB, he'll be a bust like so many others before him, (Vince Evans, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Rodney Peete, Matt Leinart, Rob Johnson, Sean Salisbury, John David Booty, Pat Haden, Bill Nelsen, Pete Beathard, Paul McDonald, Todd Marinovich just to name a few). Should be interesting to watch.
  • LOL you really did your research on USC quarterbacks.
  • FYI it has been reported Vick fumbled (in a NON-CONTACT DRILL)running the read option during OTAs.
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • I am going to ASSume that he brought him back to push Nick Foles for a legit competition. Most of the rumors out of OTA's seem as if Vick isn't doing poorly, but he's not doing great either.
  • read article that Foles looks bad in camp
  • I've read no such article, because there hasn't been one. Think for a moment. The fact that Vick and Foles are in a competition at all say more about the diminishing skills of Vick than the assumed lack of skill of Foles.
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • It was in a local NJ paper. not sure which one. Look, at this point I dont care what materializes at QB. Its good to see Chung chiming in. We need someone with balls. Maybe that was Bills gift to Chip for his offensive help. Who knows?
  • I mean if you're going to put out there a lot of Foles has been struggling chatter you should at least provide a link for it. With that being the case I still believe this is still a competition so it doesn't matter who is leading right now.
  • NJ star ledger. Sounded like Foles.
  • Post the link.
  • Jackson getting a demotion should be a wake up call to him and the rest of these guys. Bring your A game all the time or sit for a guy who will. Desean got the money. He needs to man up and start earning it. now.
  • I think it's clear with Vick's recent meltdown that he is folding under the pressure of competition.
  • Bunch of hype and a waste of time. Vick will start. Not even an interesting sub-plot. Kelly needs to have some balls and get this thing going. Just another fall guy set-up so kelly can say I had my doubts. This organization has turned into the laughing stock of football. They are convinced that controversy garners interest. I think its hilariousYou are right about the divas on this team. Its a weak bunch and vicks balls are getting chopped off before the season starts. The Eagles are close to a train wreck. They still play the same silly games that got them nowhere. The roster is weak and even the veterans cant or wont step up and act like men. The only one that sounds serious about winning is Vick.
  • I don't care how Vick sounds when his performance is terrible. Honestly Vick seems scared of a little competition. He just needs to man up and win the job. Stop crying to the media.
  • They know what they have in Vick. They know his skill set. either you want him or not. This is just the same control mechanism they used with Reid. Devalue the QB , make the coach look all imortant and then let him rule with impunity. Different coach same old Lurie program. This is the old formula. Give us something fresh.
  • Something fresh would be a new quarterback. I don't get your point at all. You're telling me Kelly is nothing more than Reid, but Reid never once had a QB competition. Reid rarely had any position competitions while Kelly has competition at all the positions. This is just another poor attempt by you to bash Lurie and protect Vick. The truth is Vick's skill set doesn't matter. He either can or can't run the offense. If he can that's great! Play him. If he can't move on to the next guy. That's what competition is about. If Vick can't deal with a little competition now, then what's he going to do when he's on the field getting hit left and right. Will he just quit? Will he cry and blame the media? No matter how you try to spin this Vick crying to the media about having to compete for the job is just like Ike Reese said. It's a sign of weakness.
  • This is the same Ill do things my way approach that got the over confident Eagle management where they are today. They never gave mcnabb a moments peace. Reid always acting like he had to defend Mcnabbs play. Yanking Mcnabb vs the ravens and then taking the credit. They are preparing fans for the kelly "rule". the demagoguery is coming. We are already seeing kelly make some bizarre moves. In most places he would be laughed at for making Avant a CB. Please thats wishful thinking. Thats like making GTD normal. Wont happen. Is that creativity or something or just plain stupidity. So after his subtle control move with the players he starts beating up on the veterans. Is this a set up for a salary purge? I mean build leadership. talk about how your gonna build a winner. set a goal. What is kelly trying to accomplish. Nobody can tell because hes applying past failures to his program and its aready been proven toxic. This franchise cant shed the mess that Reid and Lurie created. Its now part of the culture and thats what I was afraid of years ago. And its here to stay.
  • Troy Brown playing CB I'm sure was laughable to some. The Patriots laughed all the way to the Super Bowl. A WR playing corner is something Reid in his single minded thinking would never do. Your words make no sense.
  • Are you really going to compare a fleet footed Troy Brown to Avant? Your right they were contending for a superbowl. This team is trying to find an identity. So the first thing you do is take your oldest skilled position offensive player and make him a CB? To me that sounds like Kelly exerting control. Why is he taking a standup guy like Avant and using him as a tool. Whats the basis for this CB move. Before the season started fans thought(Im not one of them) that Avant might take a leadership role. Well hes on a lead. Its called a dogleash and hes being led around by Kelly right in front of our eyes. He is insinuating with this move that he can do anything he likes and there isnt a goddamn thing you can do about it except pay your high ticket price and sit there ant take it. This is the old regimes style. Just looks a bit difeerent but it has the sam effect. Ive never seen anything quite as weird as this in Balto. Its just crap and has nothing to do with winning. They need to stop acting like lil b*tches and just focus on winning.
  • Troy Brown was hardly fleet of foot. LOL please just stop.
  • So you mean to tell me Avant has more speed and quickness than Troy Brown?
  • No I'm not telling you that, but I will Tell you Troy Brown isn't that much faster than Avant. In the big picture Avant isn't guaranteed a spot on the roster, so whatever he can do to make himself more valuable he should try. He either can or can't do it. This is Avants scouting report.

    It basically places him in the same league 40 time wise with guys like Edleman, and Brown.
  • With all of this recent focus on the color of the skin of the Eagles quarterback meaning so much to certain barkers, I wonder if they will still even root for the Eagles if they Kelly chooses the guy who actually looked better during OTAs?


    Don't you get it fools? Kelly is trying to give Vick a chance to actually win this thing. If Kelly chose today 7 is the odd man out.
  • Who cares if Vick has a chance to win the thing? I just wanted Kelly to PICK a QB! But that shouldn't happen now, because unless he lied (again), he won't pick until at least preseason game 2.
  • You mean like the Raiders choosing a quarterback? LOL How is that working for them? If you weren't so disgustingly ignorant and completely biased people just might listen to you.
  • How is it working for the Raiders? Let's see:

    There are no headlines of players coming out telling Coach to DO his job.

    Flynn has reminded former QB Rich Gannon of himself http://www.silverandblackpride.com/2013/6/26/4465610/matt-flynn-reminds-rich-gannon-of-himself-calls-ron-jaworskis-opinion-ridiculous

    Coach has given the team a focal point to rally around.

    So I'd have to say that so far, by anyone's estimation it's working out damned well.

  • Tell me again how well it worked in 2014 and the Raiders are 3-13.
  • I told y'all in May Foles was leading this competition. Now it's all over YB today like it's new!
  • I saw the article in my local paper also. I read that one media member wrote what many reporters had already noticed...Vick is not picking up Kelly's offense and Foles is well ahead of him. As of now we can only take this as opinions...soon we will get to see how they look for ourselves.
  • I can't wait to see how it all unfolds. I want to see how all the players react to Kelly's system. I want to see how they react to getting hit. I will telly you that the tape wont lie. If Vick is getting outplayed we will all be able to see it. Of course if that were the case somebody on here will make excuses for him like it's the fault of all of Vick's coaches that he never amounted to be anything other than what he is as a player. Imagine from peewees, to high school JV, varsity, College, and over ten professional years NOBODY taught Mike Vick how to be a better player. It's almost laughable to consider until you realize there are people out there who believe that as truth.

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