QB Update

Posted: January 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 102 Comments »

There has been a lot of discussion recently on the Michael Vick situation.  Vick is due a $3M payment within 3 days of the Super Bowl.  Conventional wisdom said the Eagles had to cut him in that period to avoid paying the money.  Now it turns out the Eagles have a bit more time.  Per Jeff McLane:

The Eagles would owe Vick the money only if no one else picked him up or if someone signed him for less than $3 million, according to an NFL source.

So the Eagles can take more time to make the decision on Vick…if they want.  Personally, I’d still go ahead and cut him.  I just don’t see the upside to keeping Vick around.  Are the Eagles competing for a Super Bowl in 2013?  Doesn’t seem likely.  Play Foles.  Find out if he’s the guy or not.  If he is, you’ve got a good answer.  If he isn’t, you’re in line for a high pick in a good QB draft and you now know Foles is either a backup or someone to deal.

Vick is better suited for a team that is in “win now” mode.  He’s too old to be anyone’s long term answer at QB.  He could be a good fit for some team looking for a 2-year solution.  Or maybe he goes to a team like the Jaguars that is just desperate for offensive playmakers.

I just struggle to see the logic in keeping him as part of the Eagles.  The one hedge I’ll make is that Chip Kelly could like the roster more than we anticipate and feel the team can compete in 2013.  If that’s the case, then you can make the argument for keeping Vick.  I prefer to let him go.

* * * * *

Sam Donellon wrote an excellent piece on Ricky Santos, Chip Kelly’s star QB at New Hampshire.

I was going to pull out a few quotes, but just go read the whole thing.  Lots of good nuggets.  One of the primary points is that Kelly doesn’t need a QB with explosive speed.  He needs someone who thinks fast and plays fast more than someone who runs fast.  I firmly believe that decision-making is the real key to a good Chip Kelly QB, not athleticism.

Santos thinks Nick Foles can run the Kelly offense effectively.  We’ve talked about this over and over, but it bears repeating.  Chip Kelly doesn’t want his QB running a lot.  He mixes that element in to his scheme, but can minimize it if the personnel don’t fit.

In 2010 his top 2 QBs combined for 79 “runs” in 14 games.  In college sacks are included in QB run totals.  That means that 5.5 times a game his QB either ran or was sacked.  To put that in perspective, RG3 had 179 QB runs in his final season at Baylor.  That was in 13 games.  RG3 had 14 QB runs per game.

* * * * *

Speaking of Foles, after watching many of the QB prospects in the draft I decided to go back and re-watch Foles in action.  I’ve got to tell you that I’m leaning more and more to keeping Foles and going with him as the starting QB.  Add Dennis Dixon to the mix.  Draft someone like Matt Scott in the 4th round to come in and compete.  The QB talent at the top of this class is good, but not great.  These are very flawed players.  Don’t overpay for flawed talent.

Here is Dave Spadaro and Adam Caplan going over Foles performance in the second WAS game.  Nick made some really good throws.  The thing that jumped out at me was the sheer volume of throws.  God, Andy and Marty went nuts with the passing game.

Quick aside…we really are lucky that PE.com does stuff like this.  I know I’m biased because I’m part of the site, but the Eagles give us tremendous coverage.  Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner both pushed this and we’re lucky that’s the case.  I’ve looked around at other team sites and there is some pedestrian coverage out there.  This summer the Chargers had a headline on their site that referred to “San Deigo”.  Must have been written by Ron Burgundy.

* * * * *

Couple of DC notes…

Why no talk of Eric Mangini?  Look at the numbers.  There is this perception that Mangini is a really smart coach.  The numbers tell you he’s a bum.

Eric was the DC in New England in 2005.  He then was HC of the Jets and Browns for a total of 5 years.  In those 6 total seasons, he never had a defense rank in the Top 15 in yards allowed.  He did have one Top 10 scoring defense.  He had one defense that finished Top 10 in takeaways.

Mangini is the opposite of Rob Ryan in terms of demeanor and personality, but they are very similar in the sense that the numbers don’t come close to the hype.

A few people wonder if the Eagles are going to hire a college coach.  The thinking is that the team will hold the announcement so that the coach can continue recruiting.  This would be a very bad move in my mind.  Why would you hire someone that is actively selling kids to come to his college, knowing that he’s going to leave.  That would be very unethical in my book.  I would not be happy with this at all.

Some will point to Chip Kelly recruiting just days before coming to Philly, but there is a difference.  He didn’t know for a fact he was coming here at the time.  If a coach is open to leaving and still recruiting, that’s just covering your bases.  He doesn’t know his direct future.  That’s far from ideal, but not unethical to me.  Knowing you are going to leave and actively lying to kids is completely different.

Some have asked about how Ed Donatell could suddenly become a cold candidate, after being the hot guy for a week.  Writers have sources.  They talk to agents, scouts, assistant coaches, and even misc team personnel.  Someone out there is actively telling people the Eagles have cooled on Ed Donatell.

We don’t know who this person is.  Might be someone with the Eagles who is just trying to help writers cover the search.  Maybe it is an agent who has heard through his sources that the team isn’t after Ed anymore.

If you want to go with the conspiracy angle…maybe the Niners are spreading the rumor to keep the distraction factor down on Donatell when in fact he is going to get the job.  If it did leak that he was the top candidate, he’d be bombarded with questions instead of answering just a few.  No one wants that distraction prior to the Super Bowl.


102 Comments on “QB Update”

  1. 1 new coach said at 12:10 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Good point on Donatell. Maybe, SF agreed to release him from his contract contingent on the condition that it would not be leaked before the Super Bowl?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:15 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yeah, could be something like that.

  3. 3 ICDogg said at 12:17 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yeah, I think it’s time to let Vick walk. Let him catch on elsewhere. He’s got no trade value with his contract. He’s got no future with the Eagles, and the Eagles need to emphatically turn the page on the Andy Reid era (I think it’s time to retire the midnight green uniforms as well).

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 1:08 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Sadly, I don’t think the uniforms are going to change. I’d like them to, but just think there is something weird going on there. Lurie is turning down money by not changing. Must have strong reasons.

  5. 5 Alex Karklins said at 1:27 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Didn’t Christina Lurie have a hand in designing the current uniforms?

  6. 6 laeagle said at 12:06 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    if i recall correctly, she hated kelly green, and was instrumental in choosing a new color.

  7. 7 Ark87 said at 1:42 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I’m definitely in the minority that likes the midnight green, also referred to as “Eagle Green” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_green

    I started watching football with the Kelly Green, and we were awful…and looked just like the Jets (they looked like us!) Anyway, I don’t care what the uniforms look like. Winners look good, not their uniforms. Example: Dawkins looked great in the midnight green, Quintin Demps did not. The midnight green looked great in 2004-2005. Looked awful in 2012.

  8. 8 Anders said at 2:34 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I like the midnight greens. I wouldnt mind an update to them, but I dont see the love with the Kelly green uniforms

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 2:40 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    How do you feel about Seattle’s new uni? I hated them at first, then they grew on me. I’m wondering if that’s the general direction that uniforms are going if we did come up with a new look.

  10. 10 Anders said at 2:42 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I love the new Seattle uniforms. Something similar would be nice for me.

  11. 11 xeynon said at 9:42 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I find Seattle’s new uniforms positively repulsive, particularly the variations that have the day-glo green highlights. The silvery gray ones are better, but still don’t stack up against the old Steve Largent-Dave Krieg era ones IMO.

  12. 12 Iskar36 said at 2:05 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Is there a general consensus that the midnight green jerseys are bad? I know lots of fans want the kelly green jerseys back, but personally, I would love to see them for a game or two a season, but I definitely would not want them to be our primary jersey. Am I the only one that feels that way?

  13. 13 Ark87 said at 2:30 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    There is a pretty good consensus in the over 35 demo as I understand it. The nostalgia of the Kelly green is preferable to the midnight green stain of the most recent years.

    I like the midnight green, my best years as an Eagles fan happened in the midnight green. But I fully support the 2 or more games in the Kelly Green. We can have one alternative uni per season right? It’s always the black Jersey’s right? Just make it Kelly Green instead.

  14. 14 Iskar36 said at 2:32 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I definitely would support the Kelly Greens being the alternative jerseys. I just prefer the midnight greens on a regular basis. I don’t see the wide appeal of the Kelly Greens.

  15. 15 Neil said at 5:11 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I will never be happy with midnight green as long as it’s technically blue. Google that, yo.

  16. 16 Anders said at 9:41 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Midnight green is not a shade of blue but cyan which is half green and half blue.

  17. 17 Neil said at 11:27 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Sure, but the blue value is higher than the green value when it comes specifically to midnight green.

  18. 18 xeynon said at 9:40 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I must be the only Eagles fan alive who actually prefers the midnight green unis to the Kelly green ones (yes, I’m old enough to remember them). The Kelly green ones remind me of the underachieving Buddy Ryan and Kotite teams, as well as the Ken O’Brien-era Jets, both bad associations.

  19. 19 Phils Goodman said at 4:41 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    It would be like a shot across the bow to his recently divorced wife. And he is probably proud of re-branding the team and wouldn’t want to undo the “gold standard.”

    But yeah, after 16 years of midnight green, they could sell a lot of jerseys.

  20. 20 ICDogg said at 4:52 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Well, it doesn’t need to be an old, nostalgic look, it could just as well be a new and exciting look, something we haven’t seen before. Kelly’s Ducks teams were known for that, the Eagles could do that too.

    But I think it would be a symbolic way of turning the page to change the look.

  21. 21 Neil said at 5:09 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yeah, I don’t think people want the retro jerseys wholesale. I would just appreciate kelly green tops and grey (or maybe white, get someone talented to do the jerseys) pants with basically the same styling we have now otherwise. Definitely should keep the new wing design on the helmet, rather than just grey with a white border, etc.

  22. 22 Cliff said at 7:43 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Personally, I think most NFL uniforms are terrible.

  23. 23 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:20 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think you have a good read on the QB situation. Foles has shown some positive traits, and in a year without any options that are head and shoulders better (and one in which a lot of the team will be undergoing some kind of philosophical or scheme change), I think he should get the edge going into TC. I keep thinking of Vick fumbling the ball over and over in that Pittsburgh game, almost unforced, and how much Kelly would have hated that kind of carelessness and wasted opportunity.

    Agreed about Matt Scott–think he’d be a good developmental QB to bring in here. He threw a lot of passes at Arizona, he’s really more than just a runner that throws. Could develop into a pretty decent backup, or maybe even run some of the aspects of Kelly’s zone read, eventually.

  24. 24 ICDogg said at 12:24 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I don’t rule out the possibility of a quick trade for Alex Smith.

  25. 25 ACViking said at 1:14 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Smith’s hands are way too small.

    If Kelly signs Smith, then his “hands obsession” isn’t real.

  26. 26 Anders said at 2:36 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    No Vick got small hands at 8.5, Smith hands are 9.4, which is above average.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 1:09 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Scott runs well and has some passing skills. Needs lots of work, but his skill set is good for Kelly and could be a good value pick.

  28. 28 scott_mather said at 2:35 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Interestingly, Scott intially beat out Foles in 2009 and was named the starter heading into that season. Foles came in during the 4th quarter in the 3rd game that season and held on to the starting gig from then on. (Foles is a much better game-player than practice-player, as he showed last year during the Senior Bowl.)

    Scott has a lot of potential & is tough as nails and although he really struggled in road games this season, I think he’d be a good #3 developmental guy, as you suggested, Skeptic-Eagle.

  29. 29 aub32 said at 12:27 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I fail to see how this team is so far away from competing, especially on the offensive side. I think we are an OT away from having a very competitive offense, depending on QB play of course. We have a stable of backs. One of them is one of the top three or four backs in the league, and another has the potential to be very good. Our WRs though not ideal are still some of the better groups in the NFL. DJax was consistently getting open last season according to the all 22 game tape, and Cooper was becoming a pretty good role player. Celeck, for all our complaining, is still in the top half of starting TEs. Add all this to the belief that Kelly will actually put players in the best position to succeed, instead of just talking about it and doing things his way, and I can see this offense putting up some good numbers.

    If your trepidation in primarily on the defensive side of the ball, then I can understand your reluctance to go into the 2013 season believing there’s a shot. However, we do seem to have some core pieces in place in our front 7. The secondary is the main problem, but there will be plenty of guys available in both the draft and free agency that could at least perform at an adequate level.

    This team was favored to win the division, and even picked by some to make the SB prior to the 2012 season. The same skill players are on the team, and hopefully the line will be healthy. When it comes to the offense, we may just be a scheme and QB away, and we saw from the Pats the pass two years that an offense can take a team pretty far even with a struggling defense.

  30. 30 ACViking said at 1:12 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Offensive skill positions — save uncertainty at QB — are in good shape.

    But O-line is a huge question mark. And there’s no depth there.

    On the defensive side — in a passing league — the Eagles back 4 may be among the worst. Again, depth is a problem, at both CB and Safety.

    LB . . . Kendricks shows promise. Ryans is solid. No depth.

    D-line: Cox is an All Pro waiting to happen. After that, it’s just projecting.

    I think it’s a stretch to say the Eagles are close to the same class as this season’s final four. Or even final eight.

  31. 31 austinfan said at 1:35 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Depends on Kelly and Menkin – both were projects that need a year of weight training and work on technique, and whether Watkins can be salvaged. Interesting that the potential new OL coach worked with Tennant as well in college.

  32. 32 Anders said at 2:46 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think Menkin has the potential to atleast be a solid backup in Kelly’s system. I think Watkins has the potential to be the 2nd best player on the OL.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 1:13 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I don’t see the Eagles as being in rebuilding mode or anything like that. I do think competing for a SB in 2013 is a long shot. The defense needs help. Changing to a 3-4 will lead to some holes that must get filled. We do need youth for the OL and help at QB. I’m not sure we’ve got the resources to fix everything right away. That is why I think 2014 is more likely the season we’ll be back to being a good team.

    We’ll talk more about this stuff after the coaches are announced and Kelly talks about the defensive scheme and philosophy.

  34. 34 BobSmith77 said at 2:13 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I see them in ‘rebuilding’ mode especially if they go to a 3-4 scheme and bring in a DC coordinator who has minimal experience at the NFL level.

  35. 35 Ark87 said at 2:18 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yep, Lurie and Roseman need to go ahead and admit this publicly, even if internally they have high expectations. They need to go ahead and get that toxicly intense public scrutiny off the organization’s back for a season. Might not the best for revenue, but the team could use the reprieve in this critical year.

  36. 36 Iskar36 said at 2:02 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think defense is a major issue, particularly the entire DB corp. I also think, if we switch to a 3-4, the LBs and NT will be an issue (although we may have some of the pieces).

    On offense, I think to put it simply, what makes this offense “far from competing” is QB. Foles showed promise, but that position is so key that “promise” means it is still a major issue until “promise” proves to be actual success. Until Foles or whoever is our QB plays consistently at a high level, we are not a legitimate contender. Having said that, it is certainly possible that Foles or whoever develops into that QB quickly, maybe even this year, but that is expecting a lot.

    On top of QB, the oline lacks depth and is missing at least one starter. Lastly, while I do think we have lots of good to very good players, outside of McCoy and Peters if he comes back 100% healthy, I think we have a lack of great players. I think that is something our team will need in order to be legitimate contenders. Some of those guys may already be on the team and are still developing, but expecting a guy to become “great” versus “very good” is a big difference.

  37. 37 wof said at 2:39 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think people assume Bryce Brown is going to be the real deal. He has unreal potential but if he doesn’t correct his fumbling problems he’ll bounce around for a few years and be another talented underachiever. If he does correct that he could be a star….

    Also, the Eagles had 3(!!) Pro Bowl or Pro Bowl caliber lineman that were out for the season last year. I could be wrong but how many teams lost their two tackles and their center for the majority of the season and made it to the playoffs? Those three come back and who knows maybe Kelly and staff motivate Watkins and/or he fits with the new system and suddenly the line looks pretty good pretty fast. Use one high and one mid round pick to restock the line…

    The defense needs help more than the offense but I think the D can improve quickly, too. Some of those guys quit on the team and/or were just lost and wandering aimlessly. A new regime and a few rolling heads could change things for the better pretty quickly.

    Andy’s biggest flaw these past few years was he got soft on the players and did not discipline (sit, cut, etc) them anywhere near like he used to. And when he did do it it was too late. He was kindler/gentler and it backfired on him.

    I think with what they’ve got at QB they add Dixon, keep Foles and draft someone to develop. Load up on O line and defense and sign one stud free agent with years ahead of them like Byrd from Buffalo or a lineman if there is a potential all pro out there. I don;t expect a SB run next year but would not be shocked at all if they made the playoffs. SB run in year two or three very doable with the right coach and front office these days in the NFL

  38. 38 aub32 said at 9:29 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I agree about the secondary, but as I stated a few key pickups could mean a world of difference.

    In regards to QB, I was referring more toward how keeping Vick isn’t so asinine, because the offense is just a starting OT away (Peters being healthy of course) and there are plenty of options for us to find an OT.

    In regards to lacking great players, look at the final four teams. I wouldn’t call Crabtree great. Prior to this year he could’ve easily been grouped with Maclin. Moss was great but is far from it now. Shady is better than Gore. The Pats don’t have a single great player outside of Brady and Gronk. The latter was out most the season and basically all of the playoffs. Flacco is far from great. He had two of the worst regular season games a QB has had in recent years.

    Might point being that health and scheme play a lot into winning formulas, not just great players

  39. 39 Anders said at 9:36 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Look at the Niners, lots of good to great players but they sucked donkey balls because of terrible coaching. In comes Harbaugh and they should have been in two super bowls in his first two years.

  40. 40 aub32 said at 9:08 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    My point exactly. Perhaps the new coach/ attitude could propel our “talented” roster to play lie one. Also, The new scheme and “do what works” philosophy might make this offense effective enough to contend in Kelly’s first year.

  41. 41 Anders said at 9:33 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    With a weak NFCE, I think we can sneak into the post season. Remember we started 3-1, before it went downhill. Underperforming players I think will see a huge boost is DRC, Allen, Watkins, Maclin, Coleman (If we get Donatell I think Coleman is good enough to start) and maybe Chaney.

  42. 42 aub32 said at 12:41 PM on January 31st, 2013:

    Once again I agree, and would love to see Allen, Maclin, and even Coleman be given another shot to show what their worth. However, after seeing the Packers, Giants, and Ravens run the table, I want the QB with the highest upside and play making ability if he gets hot. That is Vick in my opinion.

  43. 43 PK_NZ said at 7:06 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yes, on paper the talent seemed really good the last two years and i was sure we we’re going to have big years. Talent looks reasonably good on paper even this year, but we’ve seen what that guarantees – nothing. And without depth you’re betting on your luck with injuries.

    There’s going to be a major philosophy and chemistry shift, and I’d rather spend this year to get rid of the bad attitude – even if it means unloading talented players…

  44. 44 xeynon said at 9:45 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Quarterback remains a HUGE question mark for this team, even if they keep Vick. I tend to buy the adage that if you don’t have a quarterback, you’re not a contender, and right now I don’t think this team has a quarterback. I’m convinced Vick isn’t that guy. Foles might be, but he’s going to need to prove it, and even if he does it will probably take him at least another year to improve to the point that he’s capable of leading a deep playoff run. So I’m okay with writing off next season as a rebuilding year, as long as I see significant progress.

  45. 45 aub32 said at 9:13 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    I agree QB is a huge question mark, but I don’t know that Vick can’t succeed in this new system, for at least a year and at best two. I do think he has the talent, and I would like to see if Kelly could coach him to be more deliberate by not complicating things so much like Reid did.

  46. 46 xeynon said at 9:21 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    Vick is not a good decision maker and does not get rid of the ball quickly. Those are two attributes Kelly stresses his quarterback MUST have, even more than speed. Even if he is capable of correcting his shortcomings, he’s 33 and extremely injury prone – I think at this point it’s safe to say he’s not going to make it through a season without missing at least four games, particularly in a system in which the quarterback gets hit a fair amount. Even if everything goes right, I don’t see any way the team contends for anything with him, so keeping him around is IMO a waste of time that could be spent A.)determining whether Foles is the guy and getting him burn if so, or B.)developing whoever is the guy, if it’s not Foles.

  47. 47 aub32 said at 12:37 PM on January 31st, 2013:

    AR’s west coast offense and CK’s spread or read option are completely different. There are fewer reads to make in Kelly’s system. The QB spends most of the time in shotgun. I have seen college QBs with very little football acumen succeed in these type of systems. I find it hard to believe Vick wouldn’t be able to grasp them, and unlike a lot of them Vick can fling the football.

    Vick took a beating before sustaining a concussion. I find it hard to think any QB could’ve taken that much punishment without missing time. He can take a hit. As far as this system subjecting the QB to more hits, I disagree. I saw Kaepernick come back from a 17 point deficit just from being a threat to run the ball. He ran twice, and one was a 21 yard gain. On the contrary, Brady got hit plenty and he is one of the best pocket passers of all time.

    The Vick experiment in the west coast offense failed, and if Kelly were to announce he would run a Pats version of the up tempo offense, then Vick needs to be gone. However, if he is to adopt more read option principals, then I don’t see a better option available.

  48. 48 xeynon said at 12:33 AM on February 1st, 2013:

    Not questioning Vick’s toughness, but the guy has played all 16 games precisely once in his career. He has a very well established track record with regard to injury risk at this point, and it’s not good.

    If Kelly is wedded to the read option, he needs to think about either trading for a young mobile quarterback or drafting and developing one. Vick will be 35 and even more physically degraded by the time this team is ready to compete.

  49. 49 Phils Goodman said at 12:31 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Chip Kelly has a quote about splitting a receiver out wide in practice when he was assisting his cro-magnon HS football coach and no one on the defense going out to cover him. Since he wasn’t going to be allowed to have a passing offense, all that came of it was being down one blocker. The point of the story is that your various schemes aren’t important unless you force the defense to honor them.

    Big parts of Chip Kelly’s offense that we’re used to seeing are based on the opposing team honoring the threat of the QB wrap. Chip has always said that the preference on a zone read is to hand the ball off. But even if Chip had a season where the QB ran only 5 times a game, there were hundreds of zone read plays that were influenced by the threat of the QB’s legs.

    With Foles at QB, that element would go away.

  50. 50 Alistair Middlemiss said at 1:03 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Thing is with read option if the unblocked LB/DE does commit to the RB the QB does not need to do much to make 5 yards and slide – there is simply no one there to tackle him. Also you can throw quick slants and screens out of the Zone Read which again means you should keep the Free LB/DE honest.

    Infact sometimes it can be worth while to not have a threat at RB in the Zone read. People will start leaving a LB or Safety to ‘spy’ on Kaepernick/RG3, which will take away the read option or force them to take hits. No DC will ever force an extra player to take away the 5 yard Foles run.

  51. 51 Phils Goodman said at 4:26 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Foles is slow enough that I would not discount a DE or LB coming over an extra gap and chasing him down for minimal gain.

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 1:18 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    You are absolutely right that the threat of a QB running was key to what Kelly did at Oregon. Can Foles run effectively enough 2 to 3 times a game to keep that going? Maybe. Foles is slow and not a good runner, but if all you need his him to be a threat to run for 4 or 5 yards, that might be okay. Clearly he’ll never break loose for 25 yards on a QB keeper.

    The other point to consider here is that Kelly can tailor the offense to fit a non-running QB. As he has pointed out, if you gave him Tom Brady do you think he’d use the read option. Heck no. He’d throw passes and hand the ball off.

    If Foles is a good enough pocket passer, the offense can work. What we don’t know right now is if Foles is in fact a good enough pocket passer. That’s the real mystery.

  53. 53 austinfan said at 1:33 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Foles can still roll out, if the DE ignores him, he’s got all day to find an open receiver, if the DE “rushes” him, he can toss to the RB, or the RB can go through the spot vacated by the DE for a shovel pass.

    A passing QB becomes a threat simply by having the ball in his hand – you have to go after him because you’re not going to give him a free ride to find an open receiver.

    One advantage of the roll out, even if Foles doesn’t pull it down is once outside the hash mark he can throw it away if there’s nothing there. And Chip hates sacks.

    So the offense may not look that different with Foles, instead of a run threat from your QB you have the threat of a good passer being left alone without pressure in his face. Most DCs would rather give up a five yard run than give a real QB a chance to throw downfield.

    I think the real problem is the obsession with the read option, but only four QBs actually run it in the NFL (Tebow doesn’t qualify as a QB), and all four run in the 4.5 range and have strong arms and are pretty decent pocket QBs. The fact that no one is running it with 4.6 or 4.7 type athletes tells you that NFL OCs respect the speed of NFL defensive players.

    However, the read option is not the heart of Chip’s offense, the presnap reads, zone blocking, the inside run option, all of these are independent of a QB who can run the ball.

  54. 54 scott_mather said at 2:41 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about – teams will watch the Tampa game from this season and tremble with fear at the sight of Foles blazing into the endzone…

  55. 55 Ark87 said at 2:46 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    If by blazing you are referring to the sun’s role in a sundial haha. I bet that tampa D does watch that tape in fear. That’s a career ender right there.

  56. 56 A_T_G said at 3:47 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    It is a career ender, especially since it takes so long to watch that the players will be late to their next meeting.

  57. 57 xeynon said at 10:58 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Foles deserves some credit for giving himself a running lane on that play (see my post above). He wrongfooted all the defenders in his way with a pump fake which is the main reason he beat them to the pylon.

  58. 58 A_T_G said at 1:49 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    Absolutely. I was just poking fun at him. If you can beat a bunch of guys who are faster than you to a spot closer to them, you are doing something right. And I can honestly say, it wasn’t cringing in anticipation of a fumble, like I had been with Vick.

  59. 59 Phils Goodman said at 4:21 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I am not saying that Foles and Kelly cannot co-exist, but for that to happen, I think “the Chip Kelly offense” as we have come to know it would have to disappear. Santos has 4.8 speed which is still above average for an NFL QB. Foles ran a 5.1 40 at the combine.

  60. 60 xeynon said at 10:56 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Foles is slow and not a good runner

    No question he’s slow, but I’m not sure I agree with the “not a good runner” part. For a guy who has the straight-line speed of a sloth with an ACL tear, he’s pretty good at A.)knowing when to run and when not to, and B.)using the threat of the pass to keep defenders from closing on him while he’s still behind the LOS. For the QB on the run those are both really useful and underrated skills. Remember that rushing TD he scored against Tampa? Everybody commented on how slow it was, but the reason he was able to run in untouched from the ten yard line against a defense full of guys faster than him was because he’d fooled most of them into running the wrong direction and giving him space with a beautiful ball fake to the back side. He had a 10+ yard run on the last drive in the same game when he recognized man coverage, saw a gaping lane, and took advantage of it, and he timed his slide at the end of it perfectly. Those are all running skills that many much faster quarterbacks (Vick among them) don’t possess.

  61. 61 Anders said at 2:40 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    The funny thing is that people connects the pistol offense (I know that Kelly does not run the pistol, but the analogy is the same) with as a read option offense, but it was just a running formation created to help the RB, Also Brandon Weeden ran the pistol offense from time to time in college.

  62. 62 wof said at 12:45 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I would be shocked if Vick sticks. has he really ever showed a good ability to read a defense and make quick adjustments? Plus, he is so injury prone. Just don’t see it.

  63. 63 Mac said at 1:03 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Vick = Done

    I was excited about the Vick redemption story… now I’m just tired of the turnovers. It’s time to turn over a new leaf. Bring on the Nick Foles era.

  64. 64 Matthew Verhoog said at 7:31 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Yeah, it’s a bit sad to see it end, it’s a dog eat dog world in the NFL.

  65. 65 Raul Estrada said at 1:19 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    He was questioned about the Eagles’ DC job and he kinda embraced it with a quote saying that he’s ready to go back to a DC feeling that he’s a better coach now.

  66. 66 Raul Estrada said at 1:25 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Here’s that little nugget Jeff McLane talks about in the Monachino article. The Donatell part stole the article IMO http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/Eagles_DC_candidate_Ted_Monachino_talks_about_the_job_and_defense.html

  67. 67 BobSmith77 said at 2:10 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Cut Vick. There zero reason to keep him around because at this point he’s an injury-prone, turnover machine who simply doesn’t have the same level of athletic ability to compensate for his deficiencies.

  68. 68 BobSmith77 said at 2:15 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Cutting Vick too would probably be the best thing for him if he wants to really win a starting job somewhere next year.

    It probably wouldn’t be the best financial outcome though especially if he doesn’t get that $3M guaranteed payment.

  69. 69 T_S_O_P said at 2:28 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    So Tommy, do you have any Rensselaer Tech games on tape?

  70. 70 TommyLawlor said at 2:36 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Does RPI even have a football team?

  71. 71 T_S_O_P said at 3:12 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    With a big 6’5″ 250lb QB that runs 4.65 40

  72. 72 Phils Goodman said at 4:47 PM on January 30th, 2013:


  73. 73 D3FB said at 5:36 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Watch it buddy…

  74. 74 Patrick said at 3:19 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Im sorry, but I’m not even remotely exited by any of the names mentioned as defensive coordinator. To be honest, i think the guy that i wanted the most was Grantham of the mentioned, as a guy i could get a little behind. I guess i’ll take the Ravens assistant, but i will be skeptical. I mean, every single fan have known for more than 2 years now that we need a experienced DC, and now the my favorite guy is a guy who have never been a DC before. Oy vey.

  75. 75 ICDogg said at 4:53 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    On the other hand, if they could talk Lovie Smith into not taking the year off, and installing a Bears-type D here…

  76. 76 shah8 said at 3:52 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    The nick foles video was educational, though I thought the commentary asinine at times. One thing that really showed up was just how much Foles benefited from what was a terrible pass rush much of that game. I don’t think he had a bad game, but playcalls and QB decisionmaking wasn’t all that different from Kolb’s Washington game, except Foles tried and hit a couple of deeper plays, and extended other plays. Much better game sense/calm than Kolb, even though he’s not as talented.

    It didn’t change my mind much. Foles is still processes the game pretty slow, needs perfect mechanics to get decent throws out, and is dead meat in the face of successful pass rushes, albeit, there was, oh, two missed assignments? again?, in two of those sacks. Still, reading the Donellon article wasn’t very convincing. You don’t have to be very fast, and yes, taking advantage of man coverage is a good idea (but most good QBs run on man coverage if the hot read isn’t where he needed to be). However, I pretty much said from the start that Foles decision-making isn’t really fast enough–he throws a lot of late balls for instance, and he isn’t always fast enough to recognize situations, nor does he go throw reads quickly. This is on top of a mobility that would rank among the worst in the NFL at QB.

    I don’t think Kelly will be very interested in starting Foles any longer than he has to, because I suspect that Foles will run an ineffective offense against any serious defense, and he will get his pass catching RBs killed against teams with real pass worthy LBs and true safeties. After the first few games, Foles will almost certainly has to prove he can consistently hit on long balls, because the short areas will start getting flooded.

    As far as Vick is concerned? You know my opinion. I don’t think the contract is particularly crazy, and there isn’t a whole lot of millions cut before you’re underpaying him, relative to his peers. As a result, I think whether Vick stays or goes is about balancing between unpopularity and effectiveness. I don’t think what he has to offer as a passer is easy to replace, and I don’t think management fails to realize that–not least because of how quickly he should be able to find another job at good pay. Most teams are going to look at that awful OL as well as scheme, and think that 2010 and 2011 Vick should be just fine.

  77. 77 TommyLawlor said at 5:02 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    “I don’t think the contract is particularly crazy”…

    He’s due $15.5M this year. Zero chance he gets that. I think giving him $10M would be nuts. Vick would have to re-negotiate. Don’t know if he and his agent will be into that. If they’re smart, they’ll talk to any and every team looking for the best possible deal and won’t hold out for the level of money they ideally want.


  78. 78 shah8 said at 6:47 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    We’ve had this discussion before. QBs of Vick’s caliber, whatever you might think of it, don’t go for anything like 8 mil a year. So as to say that 10 million is nuts is probably unrealistic. In the context of what it costs to have a decent QB around, unless the Eagles draft a QB that’s immediately highly effective, Vick’s contract is very reasonable. Sure, you could try to get Alex Smith here for 10 million, but Alex Smith could not remotely get a bidding war going before signing that contract. I wonder why that is… Tarvaris Jackson is even cheaper!

    Sooo, you want to try for Flacco? Or trade for any other proven QB? Or just bite the danged bullet. Funny how there’s so much more certainty in stated rumors that Matt Flynn and Alex Smith are leaving, and consistent talk about their being “deliberate decision making” for Vick. And what with Dennis Dixon rumors seems to be close to dead happening, that has to be bad news for Foles. Remember, Harbaugh took forever to get *his* great college QB on his roster, Josh Johnson, who subsequently didn’t hang on and went to Cleveland. Thus, my read on the situation is that Kelly will either draft/trade for someone or keep Vick, and Foles is considered career poison like Orton, AJ Feeley, or Beck.

  79. 79 shah8 said at 7:02 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Just to jog a perspective here… Think about this:

    Foles’ TD percentage was 2.3. That’s really low–it’s an artifact of him chucking the ball 265 times in almost seven games, but just six TDs in the air, and only one game with multiple TDs (with quite a few chances for TDs) against a very bad pass defense. This with the 6 A/Y, and the video full of passes to RBs in the Washington game I just saw…

    You know Kelly will do something different, scheme-wise, but there are some real criticisms to be made with Foles’ results.

  80. 80 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 9:25 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    And while we are keeping thing in perspective, Vick’s td % was 3.4. That’s really low for a guy supposedly worth 10 mill in your estimation. Let us also keep in mind that of your regular starters, only Tannehil, Sanchez and Stafford had lower percentages than Vick. That’s right, your whipping boy ponder was better. Let us also keep in mind that Foles had a better comp %, rating and took fewer snaps per dropback than Vick. So what exactly is “a QB of Vick’s caliber” again… Oh, and Vick’s YPA was a whopping .3 yds better than Foles.

  81. 81 aub32 said at 10:52 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    3 yds is a lot. That’s often the difference between punting and a first down. Also, you fail to address the complete change in play calling during Foles’ stint at QB. MM even said he changed up the offense, so that’s not some made up excuse. Had AR and MM switched up the gameplan earlier in the season, who knows what would have happened. I am not saying we would be playing in the SB this week, but I think Vick doesn’t get hurt and we beat the Panthers, Cowboys and Skins.

    I would not advocate Vick coming back if Reid were the coach. However, if Kelly stays true to his word and plays to his player’s strengths, I would much rather go with Vick. Vick performed really well in the hurry up offense, and is a threat to run which will occasionally freeze the DE allowing the combo of McCoy and Brown to get to the second level untouched.

  82. 82 xeynon said at 11:13 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    .3 yards, not 3 yards. As in, less than a foot. The fact that Vick got to play most of his games with the team’s best home run threat in the passing game in the lineup and Foles didn’t more than accounts for such a small discrepancy.

    I really didn’t see Vick perform well at any point this season. He had a sub 80 passer rating, sub 60% completion rating, threw a lot of interceptions, took a lot of sacks, and fumbled a lot. The offense never put up more than 24 points with him as the starter, and the all 22 tape revealed that part of the reason for that was that he missed a lot of wide open receivers downfield. Yes, the playcalling changed somewhat when Foles took over, but for the most part was no less pass happy (Foles dropped back more than 30 times in almost all his starts, and more than 50 times in the second Washington game). And Foles played without the team’s three best skill players (Jackson, Celek, and McCoy) for most of his time as the starter. Vick may have speed, but he’s turnover and sack prone and not a good decision maker, and CK has repeatedly stated that he needs a quarterback who makes good decisions and doesn’t turn the ball over as much or more than he needs a quarterback who’s fleet of foot.

  83. 83 aub32 said at 1:44 AM on January 31st, 2013:

    Sorry I misread the .3 yards. However, the fact that Jackson was out of the lineup was likely a benefit to Foles, as I don’t believe he has developed the arm talent to get the ball out to DJax on a deep pattern.

    As far as Vick never looking good, he was excellent in the Lions game, but other players dropped TD passes or got called for offensive PI.

    You are also down playing the significance in the offensive scheme change. It’s not bout the volume of passes Foles threw, but the type of passes. In the Saints game, Vick got killed lining up in empty sets vs zero blitzes, while Foles always had a back to dump the ball off to and threw 5 to 10 screen passes a game.

  84. 84 xeynon said at 10:49 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Agree with ceteris_paribus on this one. You obviously understand football and quarterbacking pretty well, and your critiques of Foles are well taken (although I think there is still a possibility for him to grow out of some of his flaws with more NFL game experience). But I can’t understand how you can look at Foles and see a guy who doesn’t make quick enough decisions and takes too many sacks to be a legit NFL starter, then look at Vick who makes even slower decisions and takes even more sacks (and turns the ball over at a very high rate to boot) and see a star-caliber QB.

  85. 85 aub32 said at 10:57 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I think Foles gets way too much credit as a quick decision maker. I think a lot of what fans perceive to be “quick decision making” was actually him being a rookie and choosing his target coming out of the huddle. There are numerous examples I could site when this occurred. However, if you watch his last game or two, you will see he was late delivering the ball on several occasions, including what could have been the game winning throw to Maclin. I know the excuse will be that he was injured, but he threw the pass late regardless.

  86. 86 xeynon said at 11:06 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Wasn’t taking issue with his criticism of Foles – I do agree that his ability to make quick decisions has been somewhat oversold, though as I said I think that very well might improve with time/reps (Foles appears to be both pretty sharp and a gym rat so I think there’s reason to believe he could have untapped potential wrt to the mental side of the game). Was taking issue with his enthusiasm for Vick, two of whose biggest flaws as a quarterback are that he takes a long time to decide where to throw the ball and frequently makes bad decisions once he does decide.

  87. 87 PhillyBirds said at 4:23 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Come on Tommy … you want Matt Scott after we just moved on from one QB with similar problems?!?!?!


    In all honesty, you are spot on here. Dixon is a good guy to bring in, but I really think Foles deserves a look to see if he can make it work.

  88. 88 TommyLawlor said at 4:57 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Ha. Hadn’t seen that. Somebody call Chunky Soup!!!

  89. 89 dislikedisqus said at 4:48 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Strongly agree with everything in this post. If CK is so smart, why does he need more time to decide on Vick?

  90. 90 goeagles55 said at 5:22 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Tommy, could the cool down have been leaked by the eagles to make it less transparent that they hired a guy while he was coaching towards a super bowl? I’m sure the league wouldn’t look too happily upon an obvious back door agreement during a super bowl run.

  91. 91 TommyLawlor said at 6:17 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Another legit possibility.

  92. 92 Cvd52 said at 6:12 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    if the eagles dont think they compete for a SB in two years than sonmething is wrong. i understand if next year they dont think they can but the following year they should be able to. 3 years is an eternity in the NFL. the only excuse for not being able to compete for a SB in 2 years is if we didnt find a QB yet.
    I would be fine with Vick for the next two years while we look for a better guy. If we keep him that mean Kelly sees something.

  93. 93 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 8:42 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Depends on how you define “compete”. Make the playoffs and hope to get hot, eh, sure why not. Be a favorite in most anyone’s eyes from start to finish, not likely unless they hit 2 drafts and free-agency periods completely out of the park.

    Shannahan entering his 4rd year, Carroll his 4th, it just so happened that Harbaugh did it in his 1st. That isn’t, nor should it be, considered the standard to which a complete regime change be held.

  94. 94 47_Ronin said at 9:52 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    You’re on the money. One of the biggest errors a team and GM can make is over valuing the talent on the roster, and I think the Eagles have been partially guilty of this. The Eagles defense has been in decline for several seasons. Factor in a looking more likely than not transition to a 3-4 front and other roster changes (Howie even hinted at a higher than average roster churn for the Eagles in an interview for a weeks ago), the Eagles probably project to finish at the bottom of the NFCE the next few years until the QB situation is decided.

  95. 95 Cvd52 said at 2:12 PM on January 31st, 2013:

    yeah i wouldnt expect us to be the favorites to win it but the favorites rarley win the SB. in two years if we have a QB we should be able to compete for a SB, in my eyes thats making the playoffs and having a chance. Shannahan amd Carroll finally got decent qbs last year. to me that was the big differnce for those two. so like i said if we dont find a qb i can understand if we cant compete for a SB.

  96. 96 CTAZPA said at 6:52 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    Conventional Wisdom:
    Reid & Roseman had a great 2012 draft except the third round which they totally wasted on Arizona’s Nick Foles.

    Wait, Foles is the future.
    No, no, he can’t run Chip Kelly’s offense.
    Time for … Arizona’s Matt Scott.
    Who sat on Arizona’s bench for two years behind – Nick Foles.

    I predict that we’ll build like the 49ers. We’ll strengthen our OL this year (read Luke Joeckel). We’ll keep Foles like the 49ers kept Smith, knowing that he’s a stepping stone, and draft a guy to Kaepernick us over the edge.

    I like Tommy’s assessment of Dennis Dixon. His pick-up would fit into this scenario too.

  97. 97 Songbird Rescue Cat said at 9:08 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    It’s a long shot, but Howie could always leave Vick on the roster to shop him for a late draft pick. Obviously, Vick could effectively crap on the trade if it’s somewhere he doesn’t want to move by refusing to renegotiate his contract. However, he might turn out to be more amenable than Asante Samuel was last year.

    What’s the risk? That with 1/4 of the league looking for a new QB nobody wants to sign Vick to $3M? That risk is as low as it gets.

    Why would a team give up even a 5th-7th round pick for Vick? Well, it shores up the QB position if you’re bringing him in to start, meaning you don’t have to even consider drafting one.

    Just my guess, but don’t be surprised if Vick isn’t cut prior to the draft. Afterward, well, that’s another story.

  98. 98 Songbird Rescue Cat said at 9:11 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    And another thought. How do we know 3 GMs haven’t already called Howie and said they’d send a 5th round for him?

  99. 99 47_Ronin said at 9:34 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    No team will trade for Vick b/c there’s is zero probability that the Eagles would pay his salary in 2013

  100. 100 The_Reddgie said at 9:15 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    I was at that UD game where Santos debuted. Couldn’t believe the 3rd stringer beat us. It hurt.

  101. 101 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 9:35 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    On the defensive front, Ryan is getting killed left and right, but that defense was actually pretty damn good before they lost both starting ILBs, who happen to bet to of the 3 or 4 best players on the entire unit, two safeties that were already sub-par, and NT. I’m not a huge Ryan fan, but my money is on him still being the Dallas d coordinator had that rash of injuries not crippled them.

  102. 102 Doctor Claw said at 10:18 PM on January 30th, 2013:

    As the Eagles no longer have the pressure of needing to be a playoff team, and a new coach is in, I think it’s OK if they let Vick go.

    Granted, I say this with the feeling that Foles is very likely not the guy to hang long-term hopes on. Unless he can somehow magically overcome his arm or the WRs learn how to slow down to catch the ball, I don’t have high hopes for a(nother) sure-to-be passing offense with that little problem. He isn’t scared like Kevin Kolb, but only the Giants are lucky enough to ride a underwhelming QB talent to the promised land.

    The Eagles probably should sit out the draft for QB as well. They should probably pick up a backup option, whether it’s Dennis Dixon or they decide to keep Trent Edwards around… whatever. There’s no pressure to be good right away.