Name the QB

Posted: June 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »

I wasn’t thrilled when I saw the PFT story that DeSean Jackson had gone on the NFL Network and talked about wanting to know who would be the QB.

“I have been hearing some things about Vick saying that he wants to know,” Jackson said.  “At the same time, the team wants to know too. We need to go into training camp prepared and know who is going to be our starting quarterback.”

Ugh.

Late last night I flipped on the TV in the bedroom. I just wanted some background noise while I brushed my teeth and moved stacks of clean laundry around. There was DeSean, in a bow tie no less, on NFLN. I sat down and watched the interview.

The above comment was said in as passive a way as possible. And it was a couple of minutes into the interview.

Jackson may have used the word “need” but his tone was more along the lines of “we’d like to know who is going to be our QB”.

I don’t blame the players for wanting to know who the QB will be. Players like order. They like stability. A QB battle is tough on them. How do they support both guys? The interaction in the locker room can be awkward. If Jackson is joking around with Vick and they look over and see Jeremy Maclin talking to Nick Foles, does that become us vs them?

No one wants a QB battle.

But this one is needed. Michael Vick can’t be given the job after a crappy 2012 performance. Rookie or not, Nick Foles didn’t exactly look like Dan Marino in his 6 starts. Chip Kelly cannot give the most important job on the team to either player. One of them must win it.

This means that the QB competition will be awkward in the locker room, awkward in media interviews (for coaches and players) and will be subject to much Internet discussion. We’ll argue the merits of each player. We’ll listen to see if Kelly talks more about one player or the other. We’ll over-analyze what players say. And on and on and on. Until there is a winner.

I have no issue with what DeSean said. He wasn’t making any demands on Chip Kelly. Jackson, like all of us, just wants to know who will be the QB.

He wasn’t taking sides. When asked who is winning the battle, Jackson said “I don’t know, it is kind of even.”  That’s a very safe, smart answer.

* * * * *

Does a team need to know who the QB is? We knew Vick was the QB last year. How’d that work out?

The problem isn’t “not knowing”. The problem is that when you usually have a QB battle it is because there is no QB who is so good that he stands out and is a lock to win the job. That means whoever wins the job is going to be a mediocre starter. We saw this from 1995-1998 when Rodney Peete, Ty Detmer, Bobby Hoying and Koy Detmer all fought for the job. Each guy had his moments, but no one was so good that he just locked down the job and kept it.

There is no guarantee we won’t be going through this next summer.

You either have a franchise QB or you don’t. Right now it sure looks a lot more like the Eagles don’t.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama and I recorded a new show. We talked about minicamp, players and sconces. Jimmy has sconces. Rich jerk.

* * * * *

Dan Graziano is the NFC East blogger for ESPN. He had a Twitter chat last night. One fan asked which of the NFC East coaches would be first to retire or get fired.  His answer…Chip Kelly.

Say what?

Tom Coughlin will turn 67 in August.

Jason Garrett works for Jerry Jones, which means he is always a second away from being fired.

Mike Shanahan will turn 61 in August and is entering his 4th year as head of the Skins. He has yet to win a playoff game.

Kelly, meanwhile, is the flavor of the month. The NFL is fascinated by him and his methods. He’s rejuvenated the Eagles franchise and life is pretty good right now. How on Earth could Graziano think he’s the first to go?

Dan’s logic is that the average coach lasts 3.5 years. He thinks Chip will only last 3 years. The biggest reason is the lack of a QB. Dan isn’t impressed by Vick or Foles.

I think Dan is nuts on this issue. I can’t guarantee Kelly will win the big game, but I think he’s going to win enough games to keep his job. The only way he’s fired after 3 years is if he’s Spurrier-esque. I just don’t see that.

Honestly, I think Coughlin and Garrett are gone before Kelly. Shanny is tougher to figure. Landing RG3 was huge for him, but Dan Snyder isn’t patient. Shanny needs that team to do something in the postseason this year or next to stay safe.

I do not think Kelly is a long term guy here. I don’t see him staying for 14 years. But 3? I’ll be shocked if he only lasts 3.

_


  • barneygoogle

    On another point–it would be nice for someone to track the progress of Geno Smith, E J Manuel, and Matt Barkley, etc. thru training camp. Could be fun. I hear that Geno is not doing too well so far with the Jets. I’m glad we took Barkley.

    • RIP Worms

      Or to put it another way… I’m glad we’re not the Jets.

    • MediaMike

      Or to put it another way; glad we took a guy who doesn’t leave us stuck implementing garbage running QB systems.

  • GermanEagle

    Though I agree that the starting job shouldn’t be given away without competition, I do strongly believe that Chip Kelly should name his starting QB before the first pre-season game.

    In the end it’s only PRE-season and we all know to not put too much stock into it, especially naming the starter at QB for the regular season. By the time the first pre-season game rolls around, CK should have seen enough of Vick and Foles.

    Personally I like pre-season games only determine backup rolls on the team, e.g. with Trent Edwards last year.

    • TommyLawlor

      I strongly disagree here.

      Chip needs to see the QBs in a PS game before he can judge them. Vick had a solid TC last year, but was awful in the PS games. That should have been a huge hint for us, but we didn’t want to make too much of it.

      I am even willing to give Chip 2 PS games to make the decision.

      Must be done by #3. That game is when the starters play 3 Qtrs. Need the QB and offense to have that game to work on various things.

      • aub32

        I think saying Vick’s play in preseason should have been a huge hint is putting the failure that was 2012 a bit too much on him. Sure he started off awful and rusty in Cleveland, but I thought he had good games against BAL, NYG, and DET. Then he started the Cowboys game off very well before getting hurt. I am not trying to excuse him, but he was far from the worst and most underperforming unit on the team.

      • ohitsdom

        Agreed. Worked well with Seattle last year.

        • shah8

          Seattle had an offense already installed, with a QB they’re perfectly comfortable with if the newbies flame out, for reasons they understand, not enough arm, or not enough height. When Wilson compensated for his height better than Flynn for his arm, and displayed playmaking moxie, it was all to the good. Remember though, two things:

          1) Russell Wilson, while never a *bad* QB, started off very slow and simple for 4-6 games, slower than the other rookies, as he made up for lack of reps. Didn’t have to be good right away due to the running game.

          2) TJack took the brunt of installing Bevell’s new scheme the year before, and he had to play through 6 or so games of brutal OL and WR play, as the team worked out the roles for all the players. If there had been a real QB competition with Clipboard Jesus, we might have seen even worse play overall, regardless of who won.

          Contrast that with what happened in 2011 for many teams, including the Vikings, when many new players were simply not up to speed on what was going on, veterans and rookies.

          QB competitions and new offenses are just not great ideas, and Foles does not present the upside such that it’d ever be a good idea, no matter how little confidence you have in Vick. Vick, at the very least, has had history of good play.

          • aub32

            Very well stated.

          • ohitsdom

            My point is that everyone blasted Pete Carroll for having the competition go on as long as it did, but it proved to be wise. They all said “this isn’t college”, and “you’re losing valuable reps for your eventual starter”, but it proved that it’s more important to find the right starter than give reps to a guy that shouldn’t have gotten the job.

          • aub32

            Yes, but again that was with two unproven commodities and everything else in place. Plus the reps lost in camp were gained through the initial quarter and a half of the season. The winner of the Eagles QB competition won’t have the opportunity to rely so heavily on the defense to keep games close. Those lost reps are sure to be missed the longer the competition continues.

          • ohitsdom

            They system was still new to Wilson and Flynn. And with Kelly’s practice style, I think both QBs will get plenty of reps.

      • GEagle

        Completely agree…and I actually don’t think there is a very good chance at all until two preseason games are in the books. Vick and Foles each get to start a game, and then we will get our first real hint when we see who starts game 3.
        ..
        Unless you have 1 of the top 10 QBs in the NFL, I don’t even see how a coach could ever name a QB before seeing them practice a single time with pads. how is that even possible?
        ..
        There isn’t a player on this team that is so well versed and comfortable in this offense that he should be worrying about anything but his damn self right now. Take what reps are given to you, work hard, and keep your mouth shut. makes me Jealous of the patriots who’s players aren’t allowed to say a word

      • GermanEagle

        Fair enough.

        However I would like to kindly remind you of Vick’s pre-season in 2011 and the following MV7 like performance in the regular season.

      • barneygoogle

        I wonder what would happen if none of the 3 QBs actually stood above and won the job? Is it default to Vick? Or does Kelly go with youth? Or trade for Mike Kafka…(: ).

        • D3FB

          Go get sexy rexy grossman. Can you say championship?

      • Ben Hert

        I was ready to completely disagree with you, until I read this statement:

        “Vick had a solid TC last year, but was awful in the PS games. That should have been a huge hint for us, but we didn’t want to make too much of it.”

        Excellent point. We should use every available opportunity we have to settle the QB race this year, and being able to handle a basic version of the offense in a PS game is a very important part of the evaluation process.

      • Solomon

        Agree, decision must come after 2nd preseason game. Any later and it could be a detriment to the early season.

  • JulzPE

    Regarding the QB’s: Tommy how would you rate Foles next to Kolb when he took over as start (albeit for a short period)?

    • TommyLawlor

      I liked Kolb quite a bit. Problem is that he struggled when protection wasn’t good. Kolb’s first instinct is to go backward. Can’t do that in the NFL.

      Honestly, I don’t know how good Foles can be. I don’t see him as a star QB, but could he become above-average starter in the right system? There isn’t one guy that Foles definitely reminds me of.

      This year will give us a big hint as to what Foles ceiling is. I hope it is above average QB and not just adequate starter.

      • bptess

        I see Foles as more like Flacco – just without as big an arm.

        In this offense, with all the running and passes to the TE that Chip likes to do, I see us resembling the Ravens more and more.

        • aub32

          I have said this before, but I really don’t see the comparison between Foles and Flacco. When you say “minus the big arm” that’s what Flacco is. Without that big arm Flacco doesn’t have that SB victory. The Ravens won those games by completing big play after big play. Not to mention, Flacco is an athlete. He can run when he wants. The only comparison is that they’re both big. They have completely different games from what we have seen them do in the pros thus far. I wish fans would stop comparison based on who players resemble physically and focus more on their game.

        • holeplug

          huh? Ravens tried to run an up tempo offense last year and it failed miserably.

          • Ben Hert

            What? I’m pretty sure Jim Caldwell had great success in the playoffs with it. It failed early on with Cam Cameron, but they wouldn’t have beat the Patriots without it.

  • PeterAkkies

    The obvious question is: why don’t you think Kelly is a long-term guy here?

    • TommyLawlor

      Just something about his personality.

      Landry, Noll, Shula, Grant and even Reid all had the kind of personalities that were built for the long haul.

      I can see Chip here for 5 to 8 years, but not 14. I hope I’m wrong, obviously. I love what Kelly has done and would love to see him be our long term guru.

      • HipDaDip

        Isn’t Chip’s best comparison so far Belichick, who has been in NE since 2000? Or would you say that’s more of a strategy comparison, not personality?

      • holeplug

        It all depends on if he finds his QB.

  • bptess

    Regarding Kelly, can’t you see the scenario where he retires on top after winning the SB after the 2014 season?

    • RIP Worms

      After a successful defense of his 2013 crown? I guess I could see that.

  • OregonDucker

    Here is a good rundown of the top three Eagle QB candidates: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1669872-the-full-xs-os-breakdown-of-philadelphia-eagles-qb-battle

    In particular, I agree with Alen’s Foles and Barkley analysis. Specifically, these points:

    “Foles tends to check the ball down too much”. (i.e he goes through his reads too quickly and gives-up on the play.)

    “Despite his accuracy, anticipation and quickness throws, Barkley had uncharacteristic issues with decision-making last season.” ….” tempo could ultimately be a problem for Barkley because the pace is so frantic and he doesn’t deal with pressure well.”

    In watching Barkley in numerous games, I feel he picks-up blitzes well. So, I am not sure about the not dealing with pressure comment. In my opinion, a good counter to Chip’s offense is blitzes – both run blitzes and pass blitzes. But we don’t know what is Eagle’s offense is yet, so this last statement could be judged as premature.

    • shah8

      That dude praised the late, floating TD to Maclin against Dallas. This is bleachereport, man…

  • ACViking

    Re: Infinity QBs x Infinity QBs

    Since 1958, the Eagles have had a 13 head coaches — 12 of them hired between seasons. (Ed Khuyat, who took over after 2 games in 1971 and was fired after 1972, is the lone exception.)

    Of those 12 new HCs, only two inherited an Eagles team coming off a winning season: Nick Skorich in ’61 and Rich Kotite in ’91.

    Of the 10 HCs who took over a losing Eagles team, six of them brought in a new QB either to take the job or challenge for it.

    1958: new HC Buck Shaw — inheriting a 4-8 team — trades for Dutch Van Brocklin from the Rams, wins the NFL title three seasons later, and retires along with the Dutchman.

    1961: new HC Nick Skorich — coming off the Eagles last championship — elevates backup Sonny Jurgensen to starter, and Jurgy leads the Eagles to a 10-4 record, misses playing for the NFL title by half-a-game, and sets an Eagles team record of 32 TDs in a season — which still remains the standard.

    1964: new HC Joe Kuharich — taking over a 2-10-2 team — trades future HOFer Jurgensen to the ‘Skins for Norm Snead. All down hill from there for the Eagles.

    1969: new HC Jerry Williams — following Joe “Must Go” Kuharich after a 2-12 season — brings in QB George Mira, Sr. from the 49ers to challenge incumbent Norm Snead. The Eagles acquired Mira for former 1st Rd Pick OL Randy Beisler, a 1970 3rd Rd pick, and a 1971 2nd Rd pick. Williams *cut* Mira after training camp in 1970.

    1973: new HC Mike McCormack — taking over a 2-11-1 team — acquired QB Roman Gabriel from the Rams for two 1st Rd picks plus 3 players, including All Pro WR Harold Jackson. McCormack then traded another No. 1 pick after the 1974 draft for QB Mike Boryla, whom the Bengals had just drafted in ROUND 4.

    1976: Dick Vermeil takes over from McCormack. Vermeil had no draft picks to speak of because McCormack had already traded picks 1-3 in the ’76 draft, picks 1-4 in the ’77 draft, and picks 1-2 in the ’78 draft. Gabriel had injured his knee at the end of the ’75 season and missed most of ’76. So Vermeil went with QB Mike Boryla . . . who ended being selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate and winning game MVP honors. Nonetheless, after the ’76 season, Vermeil traded All Pro TE Charley Young — who’d played out his option, as it was said back then — to the Rams for Ron Jaworski. And Vermeil unloaded Boryla to the Tampa Bay Bucs, where he lasted less than a full season.

    1983: Eagles D-Coordinator Marion Campbell succeeds a burned-out Dick Vermeil and keeps the Eagles essentially intact. Jaworski remains the starting QB.

    1986: Buddy Ryan arrives. His first move is to trade 2nd and 3rd Rd picks to the 49ers for back-up QB Matt Cavanaugh — whom Buddy expects to beat out Jaworski. Jaws wins. Cavanaugh spent four seasons with the Eagles and threw a total of just 79 passes, completing only 38, for 4 TD and 5 INTs. In 1987 Buddy makes Randall Cunningham his starter and Jaws is out of the NFL.

    1991: Kotite succeeds Ryan after three-straight playoff disappointments. Randall remains the QB.

    1995: Ray Rhodes takes over from Kotite. Randall Cunningham, after starting the first 4 games and winning only 1, is benched because — so it was said — he wasn’t a fit for the new WCO brought east by Rhodes and OC John Gruden. Rodney Peete takes the Eagles to the playoffs.

    1999: Andy Reid comes to Philadelphia and drafts McNabb. New QB Doug Pedersen keeps the seat warm for McNabb. Everyone knows this story.

    2013: Chip Kelly . . . with weak QB draft and weak QB free agent market, he’s letting the incumbents fight it out.

    Kelly hasn’t exactly brought in his own guy . . . the way Buck Shaw did with Van Brocklin. But Kelly’s giving nothing to anyone. Not an especially novel approach, historically speaking.

    • A_T_G

      So the main take away from this is don’t swap QBs with the ‘Skins? No Vick for RG3!

      McCormick trading three firsts, three other picks and three players for a fourth rounder has to be one of my all-time favorite history lessons you have shared. That is just stunning, particularly pre-free agency.

  • Mac

    What’s in a name? That which we call Foles

    by any other name would smell as sweet.

  • Iskar36

    Garrett is the coach I would put as most likely to get fired soonest, but I do have to disagree with you on Dan being nuts on this issue. Like you said, Chip Kelly is the flavor of the month. There is a huge difference between that turning into something that lasts over multiple years and it just being an interesting story in the offseason. None of us know whether his system will work in the NFL. I think we all have very good reasons to think it will, but we haven’t even seen our own players playing in pads, let alone playing in any kind of meaningful game. In three years, the team will have a good assessment of how Kelly adapts to the NFL and how the NFL adapts to Kelly, and honestly, we have absolutely no clue whether or not he will be successful or not.

    To me, I would have left Kelly out of the assessment if I were Dan because I think he is a true wild-card in that question since we don’t know how he will do. Still, I certainly don’t think it is unreasonable to have doubts about Kelly’s success, particularly when you can point to the most important position on the football field as being a major question mark for the Eagles.

    • TommyLawlor

      Iskar,

      I have written plenty of times that Kelly could very well fail. Over and over. I want him to succeed, but I fully acknowledge there are no guarantees.

      That isn’t the issue.

      Graziano is saying that Kelly will be the first to go.

      Yeah, I think that’s nuts.

      Coughlin is old. Garrett plays for a nut-job. Shanny is old and plays for a nut-job.

      I will be SHOCKED if Kelly is the first of the NFCE coaches to leave his job.

      • Iskar36

        “The only way he’s fired after 3 years is if he’s Spurrier-esque. I just don’t see that.”

        That’s the sentence I am really referring to. I think 3 years is a very real possibility, regardless of if he is Spurrier-esque.

        • GEagle

          chip puts too much of his time into the game to ever be spurrier

        • Ark87

          I’m not so disturbed that Graz’s over/under is 3.5 years, but the fact that he combo’d his “under” vote with the prediction that Garret will not only match Chip’s tenure and then some…but this is after already finishing 3rd in the division for 3 seasons in a row. Mind boggling.

          The dude has one hell of a negative opinion of the Eagles and/or Chip Kelly to air out in order to justify that prediction.

          • Iskar36

            I fully agree with this statement. I absolutely think Garrett deserves to be the coach most likely to get fired soonest (hence the first sentence in my original post). But Tommy was also arguing that the 3 years aspect of Graziano’s claim was part of what made him nuts on this issue. To me, while I certainly hope it doesn’t happen and I am very excited about what Kelly is doing with the Eagles, I have absolutely zero issue with someone not buying into Chip Kelly just yet. In addition, I especially appreciate that opinion when Graziano supports his argument with a real, and legitimate concern such as our QB situation, rather than something uninformed and untrue like “the players are not buying in to his system.”

            The reality is, we have a question mark at QB right now, and as Tommy himself said, “when you usually have a QB battle it is because there is no QB who is so good that he stands out and is a lock to win the job” and “You either have a franchise QB or you don’t.” We will have to wait and see if anyone emerges as a franchise QB in the future, or if Kelly can find one at some point in the near future, but if he can’t, the reality is his job will become incredibly more difficult.

          • TommyLawlor

            Iskar,

            You’re mis-reading my comments. I don’t think Dan is nuts for saying Chip could only last 3 years. That is possible.

            I think Dan is nuts for thinking Chip will be the first to go.

  • GEagle

    Jason Garrett won’t last another season. HC sometimes give up play calling duties..Garrett is straight up having those duties taken away by the owner. Dan Graziano is sounding extremely Jason LaConfora-esque. how can a paid media member make that statement, especially considering Chip is working for an extremely stable owner? So as a fan, my 2 options are:
    1) National Media who is clueless about our affairs
    2) Local media that is a gossipy joke, that stirs up trouble and makes terrible projections

    Where would we be without local sites like this? Yikes

    • A_T_G

      I think the reasoning is pretty clear. Would anyone be talking about it if he said the 67-year old guy would retire first? Saying the hot new name is going to flop gets attention.

      • GEagle

        true that!

  • GEagle

    Tom: In your oppinion, what would be a bigger adjustment for Vick? Going from what he was running in Atlanta to AR/Marty’s offense, or going from Andy to the Chip offense?

    is it just me, or could Chips offense be like the opposite of Andy’s? Lol

    • TommyLawlor

      We think it will be the opposite. Need to see it in action.

      Less pressure in Chip’s offense since the point is for the skill players to make plays, but tough on Vick since he’s so used to being the playmaker.

      • GEagle

        elegant and understated! lol Who says you cant drink PBR and have class?

  • MediaMike

    Dan Graziano is a lazy bum. His “writing” is more often links than analysis, and he NEVER logs in to banter with the people that post on that blog. Tommy is always on here responding to people.

  • ojdiddoit

    This 4-12 football team,which shoulda coulda been 1-15,is still dotted by players like Jackson,who quit on his team,Maclin,Vick and the list goes on,a

    • A_T_G

      I do. Then again, I plan on following the team over the next two years, so I guess I have a vested interest.

      • cliff henny

        started when i was 8, in ’79. have made gf’s mad planning airline flights/travel plans around games. living in LA without an eagles fan within site, not missing a game, not to mention endless casual sundays/family functions being schedules around eagles game…yeah, with you, have some vested interests.

  • A_T_G

    There is some folk wisdom that I think should guide Chip’s timeline:

    Only Foles? Rush in!

    Or is it only Foles rushin’ that’s holding him back?

    Regardless, to the Vick to go spoiled.

    And we all know his Barkley is worse than his bite, at least as a rookie.

    Just so Chip doesn’t get caught with his Dixon in hand.

    • TommyLawlor

      Ur mind is crazee!!!

  • James

    WHY NOT 14?!?! Ill take another 14, cause I have faith Chip brings home a SB!

  • cliff henny

    kelly will at least get 3, most likely 5 years. Lurie is if not anything patient, knowing stabilty does work. plus, his only first hand knowledge is seeing reid and his hand picked qb in mcnabb, and that worked pretty doggone well. not perfect, but best 10 yrs we’ve ever had. to me, this first year is time for kelly to get his feet wet, see what he has one the current roster. reid left some, but 12-20 and 08-11 drafts, he didnt leave it stacked. kelly get to decide on vick, see if foles is the guy, see what works, what doesnt. i’ve been under the assumption since kelly’s hire/vick’s new contract that our future qb is in ’14 draft, unless vick in off the charts steve young great or foles just kills it. dont think it’s fair to start the clock on kelly till he picks his qb. if he picks vick, foles, barkley or 1st rounder next yr, the who, i couldnt care less, but that’s when the clock starts for me.

  • Solomon

    Jordan Raanan put out a good article on Vick being in a QB battle.

    http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2013/06/problems_with_bringing_michael.html

    If VIck isn’t the starter, there’s likely to be some awkwardness no matter what, even if Foles beats him handily, Jackson, McCoy and Maclin are all very good friends with Vick outside of work. I think the best thing to do is cut Vick if he doesn’t win the job. And if he does win the job, then we have bigger issues.

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