Eagles QB battle going to be crazy

At this point in the offseason, I’m having trouble identifying a guy as the guaranteed starting quarterback for the Eagles come the regular season. While this is common among many teams, there’s a problem with the reason why there’s a QB controversy. While some teams have to deal with two or three really good players fighting for that one starting position, I don’t see one specific guy that would be a good option to start when the regular season begins.

I’ll analyze each of the five quarterbacks on the current roster and determine their chance of becoming the starter. But either way, it doesn’t look like there’s too much hope for the Eagles’ season.

Michael Vick

Every Eagles fan knows that Vick had one of his worst seasons ever last year, and he only played in 10 of the 16 games. I personally attribute many of the team’s 12 losses to his bad play and old legs, but it took too long for the Eagles’ coaching staff to figure that out. He had 15 turnovers in those 10 games while only scoring 11 touchdowns (only 1 rushing), which was obviously his worst season for the Eagles over the past three years. But what many people don’t realize is that these passing statistics are no worse than many of his seasons in his prime when he was with Atlanta. Multiple seasons, he had a high amount of turnovers, including a ton of fumbles. His five fumbles this year was frowned upon greatly, but fans of Vick shouldn’t be new to this. He had 5 or more fumbles in four of his six seasons with Atlanta, including a career high 7 in 2004. He’s always had problems with giving up the ball, and I doubt that will ever change, especially at this point in his career.

But enough defending him because he shouldn’t be able to use those excuses if he wants to win the starting job. It’s no secret that head coach Chip Kelly likes to have a running quarterback, and Vick’s style would fit in very nicely. But running the ball consistently and effectively is what Vick currently lacks. He had the least amount of rushing yards this past year among the three seasons that he started for the Eagles, and it’s not likely to get any better. I doubt he would successfully be able to keep up with Kelly’s offense to the point where they actually win games because it’s obvious that he’s on the decline in his career. While I have doubts about the talent that he has left, I have trouble seeing anyone but him starting when the regular season hits.

Nick Foles

I’ve always been a fan of Nick Foles, ever since they drafted him. His size and ability to just sit in the pocket and throw are attributes that the Eagles really needed in a quarterback. Reid always liked a quarterback that could run, but he was not this type of guy. He’s extremely slow and will never get a run play called for him. But there were many moments where he shined in his rookie season. His touchdown to turnover ratio was not good, but he really didn’t have any help, and the Eagles were basically already looking towards next season to start rebuilding. And the fact that he doesn’t fit Kelly’s system at all is an even bigger indication that he won’t be the starter when the season starts. In fact, I’d be surprised if he was the second string. He’s certainly got talent and potential, but his future is not in Philadelphia. I’m predicting that he’ll either be the third string quarterback or be traded to another team.

Dennis Dixon

In theory, Dixon is the best guy for the job because he fits Kelly’s style of offense and has been coached by him before when they were both at Oregon. He’s a small, running quarterback that also has the ability to pass. Except here lies the problem: he’s been on the practice squad only for the past two years, and he has only played in four games in his NFL career. Four. And he’s only scored two touchdowns. These statistics scream career-long backup much more than starting quarterback in my opinion. I’d like to see how he does in the preseason, but I doubt he’ll make enough of an impact to actually become the starter. Either way though, he’ll be a valuable backup and should make the roster, most likely as the third string guy assuming Foles is out as an Eagle.

Matt Barkley

I’m still desperately trying to figure out why the Eagles drafted him. Sure, he’s a steal at a fourth round pick considering he was projected to possibly go in the first round, but still, at the end of the day, he doesn’t really fit the system. He’s too big to be a solid running quarterback that can elude defenders on a daily basis. Sure, he’s got some potential, but USC quarterbacks have not faired well in the NFL. Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty, Mark Sanchez, etc. have not amounted to much in their success as quarterbacks, and Barkley is the exact same style as them. Maybe Kelly has something up his sleeve, and I’m going to have to take that on faith because he’s not giving any hints as to what his quarterback plans are for the regular season. It may very well be that he doesn’t know, which is perfectly fine considering it’s only June. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Barkley will be the second string quarterback at the beginning of the season. There must be some reason as to why they drafted him…

G.J. Kinne

My first reaction when I heard this guy’s name was “who the heck is this guy?” and no one has seemed the answer the question. He was an undrafted free agent out of Tulsa last year, but never got any time in an NFL game. Last year he played in the UFL and AFL, but that certainly isn’t the same caliber as the NFL, and I question whether he’ll be ready for the big jump that’s associated with coming to the NFL. My guess is that the answer is no. With four other quarterbacks on the roster, I highly doubt Kinne makes the roster after the final cuts.

So after analyzing all of the quarterbacks, it seems like three of the five guys will make it, and Vick will be the starter. This basically means that nothing was accomplished in the quarterback position considering he completely failed as a starter last year and is not likely to drastically improve for this coming season. Oh well, this is supposed to be a rebuilding year anyway. If the Eagles do better than 5-11 I’ll be surprised.

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