Has Nick Foles Taken An Early Lead On The QB Competition?
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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