Vick Back With Eagles, But Will He Start?By Daniel J.
After a immensely disappointing 2012, the city of Philadelphia and Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick weren’t on the best of terms, but apparently the organization is still confident he has at least one more good year in him, or maybe they are just hoping.
According to ESPN.com, the Eagles re-signed Vick on Monday to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million with incentives. The new deal replaces the six-year deal he signed in 2011 for $100 million, so obviously the team isn’t as high on him as they once were.
With Vick returning, he’s at least a major contender for his old starting job in Philly, but with a new coach in Chip Kelly coming in and with a new offensive system in place, will the 32-year old Vick be labeled as obsolete? The quarterback decision is obviously up to Kelly and so far, he likes what he sees in the veteran QB.
“I looked at the films, and studied the tape. When you look at Michael, it’s his toughness. That cannot be overrated at all,” Kelly said. “We looked at his skill set. He still has that skill set. He can still throw the football. He’s got an unbelievable release, and it’s our job as coaches to make sure he can get the ball out quickly.”
On paper, Vick certainly gels with what Kelly’s offense and philosophy. In theory, Vick’s speed and agility would work well in a system built on speed and agility – the spread offense. However, Vick’s performance on the field has steadily declined since his comeback season in 2010. After going 8-3 in 11 starts in 2010, he’s gone just 10-13 as a starter since. As one of the older starters in the league, his physical ability is not only declining, but his body is deteriorating as well. He’s been injury prone his entire career and as he gets older, it only becomes more of an issue.
So what’s Kelly’s other option? Fortunately, he has one with plenty of upside in Nick Foles. Of course, Kelly also knows all about the skills that Foles possesses, as he faced off against Foles several times when he coached the Oregon Ducks against the Foles-led Arizona Wildcats. Foles also showed some bright points at the end of last season when he was filling in for Vick.
But with the new contract and with Kelly’s recent quasi-endorsement, it seems like Vick will get a chance to start in 2013. However, Foles could definitely contend for the job in training camp. Kelly is no stranger to defying expectations. Last season he started unknown freshman Marcus Mariota over favorite Brandon Bennett at Oregon and I think it’s safe to say that decision worked out pretty well.
The good news for Eagles fans is that there are options. If Vick does get injured or doesn’t perform, Foles could step in and do a decent job. Although there wasn’t a whole lot of production from the quarterback position in Philly last year, for a team that is coming off a 4-12 season, there are many other concerns that must be addressed as well. And we’ll have to wait and see if Kelly is the man for the job.