Who Will Be the Eagles QB in 2013?
New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said on Thursday during his introductory press conference that he has not decided the future of Michael Vick in Philadelphia.
"I’ll tell you right now, we’re going to look at everything we can do to put the best product on the field and that’s what it’s all about," Kelly explained. "I’ve followed Michael’s career and I understand what a talent he is. But there is nothing that’s on the board right now, there’s nothing that’s off the board right now. Our sole focus and goal is that we’re going to put an offense on the field that’s going to score points. That’s basically what we’re going to do and whoever that is, I don’t know that. I have to get our staff together and make an evaluation of who it is and how we get that personnel out there. There’s nobody ruled in, there’s nobody ruled out at this point in time.”
So while he was some-what non-committal on Vick's future in Philly, he sounded like he was excited to work with Nick Foles.
"I’m a huge fan of his," admitted Kelly. "He’s tough. It’s an attribute that I think a lot of people don’t understand of how hard it is and what toughness means to the quarterback spot. To just be able to stand in the pocket and throw the football [is tough]. We hit him as many times as we could hit him and he just kept getting up and making plays. He completed a 13-yard pass left handed against us once and I remember just standing on the sideline shaking my head [saying], ‘What do we have to do to stop him?’ He’s a competitor, he’s accurate, so I’m excited about that."
Another misconception is that the guy who plays quarterback in Kelly's system must be a "running" quarterback. Kelly stated today that he can really deisgn a system to fit the quarterbacks strengths not take a quarterback and force him into a system that doesn't fit his skill set.
"That’s not the determining factor for me and I’m not married to whether we have to do this" Kelly stated. "I’m an equal opportunity scorer, and we’ll score any way we can. It’s all based on what our personnel is. I’m not married to try to take a quarterback who can’t run and make him run, and a quarterback who can’t throw and make him throw. It’s putting your players in the best position you can to be successful, and how you can score points. That’s what the offensive game of football is all about is scoring points, and how they get the ball across the line isn’t the deal. It’s not about style, it’s about substance and how we score points.”
So who will play quarterback next season for the Eagles?
The most likely answer if you listen to Kelly in the press conference is Foles. However, there is a part of me that thinks Kelly is intrigued by the thought of pairing his system with Vick, but doesn't want to put the Eagles front office in a tough situation by saying publicly he wants Vick over Foles.
There is no question that Vick is a more dynamic player than Foles, but his Achilles heal has been turning the ball over. Foles showed a lot of promise for a rookie, but for as tough as Kelly describes Foles to be he is also isn't the best athlete.
One free agent name to keep an eye on; Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins who at 6'3", 216 he possesses adequate size, arm strength and athleticism.
Moore, 28, is a pretty good athlete who had a pretty solid 2011 - recording a 16:9 TD-to-INT ratio, 7.2 YPA, and 60.5 completion rate across 12 starts in 2011. Moore completed 11-of-19 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Jets this season where he took care of the ball, managing the game effectively and didn't force any turnovers.
Former Eagles QB and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski had this to say about Moore entering this season: "He threw an excellent deep ball with trajectory, hangtime, and accuracy," Jaworski said. "Moore was most effective out of base personnel packages. He was highly efficient out of two-tight end sets, both attacking down the field and at the intermediate levels of the defense."
While I am not suggesting Moore should be the franchise quarterback of the Eagles long-term, he could be the Doug Pederson to a young quarterback for half-a-season or a full season that you draft this season. He would also fill the role of back-up nicely when the young quarterback you draft is ready to take-over the starting role.