Eagles Camp Countdown: #3 – Quarterbacks
Michael Vick was kind enough to make mention of the Eagles potential of becoming a dynasty the day before the Eagles quarterbacks were set to be revealed in our Camp Countdown. Vick is the biggest single key to the Eagles success this season, and there’s also the potential of a training camp battle at the backup position.
Vick can be a true pleasure to watch in training camp and practices, as it takes a mere flick of his wrist to deliver a laser or a bomb downfield. That said, Vick looked effortlessly impressive in last year’s camp, showing off pinpoint accuracy before struggling during the season.
In 2010, Vick threw interceptions on just 1.6 percent of his passes. Last year, Vick was picked off on 3.3 percent of his attempts – more than twice as often.
Not unlike last year, the Eagles want Vick to improve in the red zone and with regard to the mental aspect of his game against the blitz, which could cut down on the interceptions.
“Obviously quarterbacks are measured on how they do their thing in the red zone, so we spent a lot of effort on that, a lot of effort on the blitz game and the protections and he’s got that,” said head coach Andy Reid during mini camps. “He attacked that, which was fun to watch.”
Vick’s ability to improve his reads against the blitz and avoid turnovers, as well as hits and injuries, are the biggest keys to the Eagles season.
If Vick looks more like he did in 2010, the Eagles are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the NFC. If not, they likely won’t be strong enough to contend for a first round bye as a top-two seed in the NFC, and may find themselves fighting for a playoff spot late in the year.
Behind Vick, Trent Edwards is looking to steal the backup job from Mike Kafka. Edwards, a veteran with five years of NFL experience, has struggled so far in mini camps, but he certainly has an experience edge on Kafka.
As a third stringer last year, Kafka was 11-of-16 for 107 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Edwards completed 55-of-97 passes for 521 yards, two touchdowns and five picks during five games of action in 2010 with the Bills and Jaguars.
The development of rookie quarterback Nick Foles will also be a storyline after the Eagles spent a third round pick on the former Arizona Wildcat. Foles threw 28 touchdowns and 14 picks during his senior year, connecting on more than 69 percent of his passes for 4,334 yards.
Foles has a roster spot locked up, based on his draft status, so the battle to be Vick’s backup is also the battle for the only available roster spot at quarterback.
Kafka beats out Edwards, who struggled mightily in mini camps, and Vick and Foles have the other two roster spots locked up.
Ryan Messick covers the Eagles for 97.3 ESPN FM. Follow him on Twitter.