Originally written on phillyburbs.com  |  Last updated 5/6/13

Smart money is on Michael Vick being the Eagles starting quarterback for the opener.

My money isn’t that smart. It’s on Nick Foles.

It has nothing to do with Vick and all his question marks: the interceptions, the fumbles, the sacks, the injuries. Although that cannot be discounted.

It has to do with Foles.

There was something different about him when he met the media on Wednesday.

It wasn’t the haircut that left him looking less surfer boy and more, well, mature. It was the way he handled himself, the way he answered question after question, most of them having to do with how he doesn’t fit in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense and the offseason trade talk that swirled around him.

He spoke comfortably, more confidently, almost to the point of sounding somewhat annoyed, unafraid of offending anyone.

There is a point of reference to work with here, having observed and talked with him last year after games and during the week between games. And he was, well, different than he was Wednesday. Thinking back now to November and December, he almost looked a bit shell-shocked compared to Wednesday.

It’s only natural, really. A third-round draft choice, Foles had to have some kind of trepidation about whether or not he actually belonged in the pros. Well, he has proven he does, despite a 1-5 record that could have looked vastly different had he had a healthy offensive line and DeSean Jackson.

Now, he has to prove he is a starter and not a backup. He will get that chance with Kelly.

The two men know each other from having competed against one another in the Pac-12, with Kelly coaching at Oregon and Foles quarterbacking at Arizona.

“I knew Chip in college, I played against him several times and he knows me because he studied me in college, so there was a relationship,” said Foles. “There was a prior relationship. I feel comfortable. . . . It’s just getting to know each other more. We knew each other as competitiors, now I’m getting to know him as my coach.”

It’s my belief that Kelly and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur are devising an offense that will look nothing like the read-option. Maybe it’s something we’ve never even seen before.

Hear me out on this.

When owner Jeffrey Lurie laid out his prerequisites for a head coach after firing Andy Reid, he said he wanted somebody who could think outside the box, somebody who isn’t following NFL trends but at the forefront of them.

With defensive coordinators spending the offseason figuring out ways to stop the read-option, Kelly and Shurmur may very well be spending it concocting something we’ve never seen before, mixed with elements of what we have seen Tom Brady do in New England. Particularly the heavy use of two tight ends in the passing game.

Foles is better equipped to make that style work. While his deep ball needs work — based on some of what was seen last season — he gets rid of the ball quickly, can keep plays alive long enough to find an open receiver, and he throws a nice short to intermediate pass.

That’s not to say that Vick won’t have a role in all of this.

While the offense gets tailored to Foles, there will be some series during a game where Vick comes in at quarterback. He’s not a Wildcat quarterback, but is still viewed as a strong-armed passer, although not always with the required accuracy.

When Vick enters, there may be elements of read-option, because Vick still has a quarterback’s skill set. Whenever teams would go into a Wildcat formation, they would snap the ball to a runner and he would run. That wouldn’t be the case with Vick.

His entrance into games would make defenses have to play both the run and pass honestly. They couldn’t just sell out on the run, although Vick could do that a time or two. Those would be the times it would be wise to hold your breath in hopes that he doesn’t fumble or crack a rib.

Vick’s presence in a game would also give opposing defenses two very different styles of offenses to prepare for.

Foles seemed to indicate he knew what formula was being cooked up in Kelly’s laboratory. He just wasn’t letting on.

“We’re all here to achieve the same goal,” he said. “That’s all I can really say.”

Soon enough, there will be more.

As of right now, though, one week into April, don’t be so fast to bet the smart money on Vick.

Ed Kracz: 215-345-3069; email: ekracz@phillyburbs.com; Twitter: @kracze


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  • Maybe he sticks around and gets to sit behind Vick for a season. Learns the offense, works on his weaknesses and then comes out next season. It all depends on how high Kelly is on him. I had been thinking with all the talks about the Eagles being linked to Geno and EJ that Foles might be dealt on draft day after the Eagles grab one of those guys.
  • sounds alot like Kevin kolb. you know all to well how that turned out. He would be smart just to shut up
  • All I got from this was speculation and thinking foles will start cause he got a hair cut. This guy gets paid to this right? Where's my check I can come up with the same bs
  • 5 QBs and every one that Kelly has brought in (including bringing back Vick with a new deal) has some mobility, every college QB the Eagles have brought in to interview has some mobility...hard to believe that he would be okay with Foles. I hope that Kelly is being honest about his open competition...either way with the way Vick has played early lately I can't see him hanging onto (or grabbing onto) the starter's job for very long.
  • TONIGHT APRIL 8th 2013 at 7 p.m. on the NFL network (I just saw the promo) Chip Kelly discusses why Michael Vick is perfect for his system.

    You're right. Your money isn't so smart.
  • I didn't really think Foles was going to be given much of a change here. Despite all the open competition talk I'm sure Kelly had his favorite to become starter. Looks like it's finally coming out.

    My guess is all Kelly's praise of Foles early on was to try a hype him up for a trade. I still think he'll be dealt come draft day. My guess would be for a 3rd rounder, and I still think Kelly will draft a guy he wants to mold into his QB rather then staying with Foles just because he's here.

    I still think he could be a good QB. I just don't think he fits the system. And more importantly I think the coaches think someone else fits it better.

    Maybe that's why Foles came out with his new haircut, trying to impress would be suitors.
  • EZ QB tandems dont work right. Foles is out. And if they are about to throw support to Vick so is drafting a QB
  • That's why I put this one up. I just knew you would gush all over that nonsense.
  • TONIGHT APRIL 8th 2013 at 7 p.m. on the NFL network (I just saw the promo) Chip Kelly discusses why Michael Vick is perfect for his system.

    EZ likes the direction the Eagles have gone in. He said it himself. Vick looks like the direction we're going in. PUCKER UP SUCKER! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
  • Raider fan are you too stupid not to realize that he would think that? Of course he believes Mike Vick is perfect for whatever system he's going to run. Otherwise he wouldn't have resigned him for the competition. Of course he also believes that about every one of the quarterbacks he will keep, but I know you lack the comprehension skills to understand that part of it.
  • I watched the show EZ. What competition are you talking about? I didn't hear Chip Kelly mention it, or Nick Foles ONCE while he was saying the problem with Vicks play wasn't Vick's fault. He even brought up all the injuries on the O-line. You know the same injuries that YOU don't think lets Vick off the hook for the turnovers. Kelly actually SAID it wasn't Vick's fault.

    How do you feel about your boy now?
  • Did he name him his starting quarterback? No he did not. Why would he mention someone he wasn't asked about? Are you that desperate to see poor play at the Eagles quarterback position? Of course you are, because you are a Raiders fan who hates Chip Kelly about as much as Hollywood the Ravens fan hates Andy Reid.
  • So you DID watch it.

    I know you had to be BOILING when you saw that spot. Did you break your TV? You don't think Vick still has the skills to be good in this league and Chip Kelly does. Your quarrel with Chip makes no sense EZ.

    Seriously though, this is all softening for making him the starter in September. Fans were so eager to have Vick cut last year, that Kelly likely feels that he has to ease you into it. So he's telling you it'll be a competition (just the tip, honey. I promise.); before he says it wasn't Vicks fault (that's not so bad is it?); before he's full on doing something to you that you SWORE you'd never let happen (next year you'll be rooting for Vick).

    Those of us who called for this AREN'T getting f***ed. We're getting our way! With you! In fact, if you can tilt your head a little more to the right, you'll see me in line directly behind Chip Kelly and Michael Vick.

    The best part will be when you start to cheer for it.
  • I watched it and he said nothing I was shocked to hear. You seem to be reading way too much into what you heard. People tend to do that when they are hoping to prove they are right. You know like your 12 steps to building a mediocre team.
  • It's all coachspeak UNLESS it's something flip wants to believe. I just got done watching this myself and Kelly did not say anything I wouldn't expect him to say after keeping Vick in Philly. He also didn't say "Vick is my starter". Kelly has to be smart enough to realize that if he forces a struggling Vick behind center (if Vick is struggling and what have we seen the last 2 and half years to think he won't be?) that it won't just be the fans he will have to answer to. Taking a chance on Vick is one thing...trying to make that chance work is a whole different one all together.
  • That is the point I have repeatedly made and the question I have continued to as to the flipster. Does he honestly believe Kelly would risk his career on playing Mike Vick week one if he struggles like he has the past two preseason games? I mean does anyone think Chip Kelly is as smart as everyone in football claims that he is?
  • Chip wasnt coming to Philly without Vick on his roster. I you have Kevin Kolbitis but you and GTD are the only NFL fans that think Foles should start. Your guy Kolbs brains are so scrambled hes running around Buffalo telling everyone hes gonna win a suprbowl. Now thats comedy. The only thing funnier would be Foles running around saying hes gonna bring a Lombardi to Philly. That would would be the joke of all jokes.
  • I don't think Foles should start. I never wrote that once. In fact I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM IF VICK STARTS UNDER THE CONDITION THAT HE EARNED IT. That's what I believe Chip Kelly is doing here. May the best man win. The only people who will be upset if Vick doesn't is you the Ravens fan and Hollywoodflipper the Raiders fan.
  • Why bother even discussing football with someone who claims Kelly wouldn't have come to Philadelphia if Vick wasn't on the roster? If hollywood truly believes this he is a bigger fool than I thought and if he doesn't than he's just an ass looking for attention and an argument.
  • Naw dawg. You never DID write that. What you DID DO was cold plagiarize some other dude's work and copy and pasted that s*** like you was actually making a point by doing that.

    In fact Tough Tony, it's THIS very post. I guess you ain't steal it, you just "sampled" it right?
  • HollywoodRaider these are specific comments made by be regarding the Eagles quarterback situation. I could bring our more, but I don't think your comprehension levels could handle much else. In fact even though you will read this now, you will still accuse me of being angry if Kelly chooses Vick. Even before all of this I told everyone I was happy with the resigning of Vick. I still am, because I'm convinced if he wins the job he would have EARNED it! By the way if anyone is too stupid to recognize I didn't write this SHAME ON YOU. I can't help you stupidity in the matter consider I left both a link and a name credit to the author. I won't apologize for your apparent lack of comprehension abilities.

    "The only truth that can be gathered is Chip Kelly hasn't ruled out any of his quarterbacks so far, and that he's willing to add a few more in order to find his guy. Considering his current options at the position that may be the best news of all."

    Written in an article I wrote 26 days ago.

    "The point is none of these guys on paper seem all that promising and because of that everyone of them are going to work their tails off to win the job. Maybe through the muddled assumed confusion the Eagles may actually find a quarterback."

    Written March 1st

    Hollywood that's not relevant to the situation here. All I'm telling you and the others is I don't have a personal preference to who plays and who doesn't. It's about winning and not appeasing players pockets."

    Written March 2nd DIRECTLY TO HOLLYWOOD!

  • If kelly use vick correctly,not taking big hits,with big wide recievers,and zone running game,this team will be GOOD!!!you need weapons tight ends and at qb---they definitly need to draft a qb for long haul--that fits kelly offense,looks like ej manual out of florida state--big and can run---with out dept on offensive line---to protect,the qb position is irrevalent-who's back there playing.
  • Giants 12-4
    Redskins 10-6
    Cowboys 8-8
    Eagles 6-10
  • Sounds about right. (At least at the mo.)
  • Giants 10-6
    Redskins 10-6
    Cowboys 7-9
    Eagles 5-11

    The Eagles defense looks weak at the moment. If they add Star I may change my opinion upward.
  • Redskins 9-7
    Giant 8-8
    Cowboys 5-11
    Eagles 19-0
  • The drafting of Matt Barkley cemented the truth. This job is Nick's to lose. He's the one who was doing the eleven in eleven drills, while Vick was doing the seven on seven drills as if Mike couldn't handle a full practice at the time. I wouldn't be shocked to see Mike Vick cut unless he does something he has only done once his entire career. Become a complete quarterback capable of reading defenses and making sound decisions.

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