The Eagles Road Back To Respectibility Starts Here!
Super Bowl Teams Have Elite Quarterbacks
The Eagles will not be a great team again until they address their quarterback issue. In the NFL today, you need and elite quarterback in order to have any chance at a Super Bowl Appearance. There is example after example of how the NFL has become a passing league and how a quarterback must be better at throwing with the football rather than running with it. There are several examples of teams completely turning it around in less than two years with the addition of a quarterback. The Redskins are a perfect example of a team that were stuck in mediocrity, then decided to make a push for a journeyman quarterback who didn’t have much left in the tank. It failed and forced them to go out and draft an elite quarterback. They made the playoffs the very same year. The Colts were awful once Peyton went down, and the next season they went to the playoffs with an elite young rookie in the AFC where all of the best teams are supposed to be. The Seahawks were a team on a rise talent wise, but stuck in neutral with a quarterback like Travaras Jackson and Matt Flynn running the show. Russell Wilson got in there and turned that franchise into a perennial Super Bowl team. Since Mike Vick left the Falcons and they drafted Matt Ryan they have been a consistent 10 win and playoff team. The truth is no matter how you slice it getting a Franchise Elite Quarterback is more important to the Eagles return to respectability than who’s going to play on the other side of Fletcher Cox or if Desean Jackson is a starter next season.
What Are The Options?
Right now the options are two journeyman quarterbacks in Vick and Dixon, and two middle round young draft picks in Foles and Barkley, followed up by an undrafted long shot in Kinne. At first glance NONE of these options are all that desirable. We know the journeymen do not have what it takes in order to make this football team a winner again. The two young draft picks are green, have questionable arm strength, and simply do not have the pedigree. Even though Barkley went to USC, it only places him down a list of quarterbacks from that school who came into the league and failed. So what should the Eagles do? Well if they were smart they would look at this situation and first accept the fact the two journeymen get you nowhere. Then from those two players find out which one can become a helpful teacher to the two young guys. In this case that would be Dixon. He knows the most about the offense, the coach, and he has been a part of two Super Bowl winning franchises. He would make an excellent backup, because he lacks the starting ego. He should be the number two quarterback.
Now looking at the two prospects I think the true quarterback competition should be between these two players to see which one has what it takes to possibly become one of the best in the league. Foles is a second year player with some NFL experience, which makes him today ahead of Barkley, but Barkley is a guy who isn’t lacking in confidence in his own abilities. I think one of these two should start the season under center. I think they should each be given about an 8 game leash. If after 8 games they prove that they aren’t developing then switch to the other guy, and if in those final 8 the other guy proves he can’t get it done then it’s time to draft one of the guys from the 2014 draft class. There is no longer time to groom quarterbacks in the NFL for longer than a season. With so many teams in high school and college now passing many of these guys come ready to start in the NFL. The time to see if either Foles or Barkley can be the guy is NOW.
What About The Other Two Guys?
Mike Vick is going to have to be a “cap casualty”, but in reality what he should be is made an example of by his new head coach. Vick is the perfect character to play the role of the guy Chip Kelly will use as an example of “my way or the highway” similar to what Andy Reid did to Hegamin early in his career. Knowingly or unknowingly Mike has already created the groundwork to be Kelly’s example with his recent comments. The bottom line is unless Vick is starting he creates dissention within the football team. If he’s cut all of those guys on the roster in his corner will also realize that (1) Chip Kelly is in charge, (2) will not tolerate dissention, (3) won’t have a problem getting rid of anyone who isn’t willing to get with the program. On a roster that has quit on its previous coach multiple times in multiple seasons, it’s imperative for Chip Kelly to lay down the law early and often.
One of three things will happen to Kinne. He will be simply cut, because he wasn’t good enough to make the team. This could happen early in this process. If he can’t keep up with the guys with the higher pedigree then he’s likely gone. Those are reps that can be given to someone else. He could end up on the practice squad. If Kelly sees something in the kid that may want him to keep him around for a while then he could just place him on the practice squad. Teams generally do not take quarterbacks off other teams practice squads so Kelly could hide him for a season or two. Finally if Kinne is so great during the preseason that Kelly will have to acknowledge not wanting to get rid of him, then Kinne could find himself on one of those IR season ending hamstring stints.
When it comes down to it none of us truly knows what this season will bring, but judging from the past Vick is clearly not the answer and some of his bad habits are rubbing off on the rest of the team like poor concentration, reckless actions on and off the field, poor attitude, and poor ball protection skills. Under Vick we KNOW the Eagles are NOT A SUPER BOWL CONTENDER. Under Foles or Barkley we know NOTHING. That means there’s a chance (admittedly a remote chance) that one of these two players could end up an elite quarterback. At best one of these two go beyond expectations and become the elite guy the Eagles need to become a legit contender again. At worst they both fail miserably; however in their misery the Eagles will find themselves in a place to be able to DRAFT the elite quarterback of the future.
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