Chip Kelly vs the QB Competition

Posted: July 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »

Earlier today I saw a clip of the NFL Network where Donovan McNabb and Shaun O’Hara discussed NFC East teams and some storylines to watch. One of the questions in regard to the Eagles is which should be followed closer this summer…Chip Kelly or the QB competition.

Both players agreed the QB competition is most important.

I completely disagree. Chip Kelly is the more important story to follow this summer.

Here’s my thinking. The Eagles hired Chip Kelly to be the leader of the franchise for the next 5 years. The expectations for him are through the roof. That’s due to his great success at Oregon and his reputation as an offensive guru. Kelly is one of the hot commodities in the football world. If he pans out, the Eagles will get back to being one of the best teams in the NFL. If…

Michael Vick was kept around this year, but only because the QB landscape was so unimpressive. Nick Foles was a 3rd round pick last year that went 1-5. Matt Barkley slipped all the way to the 4th round.  It would be great for one of these guys to have a terrific year and emerge/re-emerge as a franchise QB, but the Eagles didn’t spend great resources on them and have realistic expectations.

Think of it this way…if the NFL suddenly told the Eagles they could choose a QB from another team, they might have 20 different guys they would choose over the current players. If the Eagles could swap coaches…there would only be a handful of guys around the league that Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman would take over Kelly.

As things stand right now, Chip Kelly is the future of the Eagles.

We have no idea who of Vick, Foles and Barkley will win the QB battle. Beyond that, we don’t know if the player will perform well this season or if the player is going to be part of the team’s long term plans. It is very possible that the Eagles franchise QB isn’t on the roster right now.  We have to see how these guys perform before we know that. None of them is compelling. That doesn’t mean they can’t become great players, but it isn’t fair to hold them to that standard.

This reminds me of one important note to .bring up about Mike Vick. A lot of the national guys expect him to win the job. That’s fine, but I think too often those guys are looking to the past and not the future. The Vick of the early 2000′s is gone. The Vick of 2010 is gone. We started to see him lose a step in the last couple of years. He is still plenty fast and has a cannon for an arm, but he will go down another notch this year. That’s not a knock on him. It happens to all QBs as they get older. Heck, all players and all people. Getting old sucks.

Back to Kelly for a second…I’m going to be focused on him this summer because I need to know if the franchise is in the right hands. I’m a fan of his, but I’ll gladly acknowledge any shortcomings he has. I’m not talking about calling plays and schematic stuff. I’m focused more on running the team and dealing with the media. Kelly will be cutting players for the first time. He will have to deal with moving players up and down the depth chart, and then the media scrutiny that comes with that.

Just as important as how the players handle the QB competition is going to be how Kelly handles it. Dealing with kids isn’t easy, but NFL egos are a whole other level. Vick was once the #1 overall pick. He’s been a Pro Bowl QB. Foles threw for 10,000 yards at Arizona. Barkley is the first ever 4-year starter at USC and holds many Pac-12 passing records. Sitting two of these guys is harder than sitting Bryan Bennett.

At the end of the summer, I don’t think we’ll have any clue if the right QB for the future of the Eagles is on the roster. I do think we’ll have a good idea if Kelly was the right choice as coach. Because of that, studying him closely makes more sense to me.

The QB angle is something that we’ll do more in retrospect. If one of them plays great this year, we’ll point back to that day in camp when the guy led the team on a great 2-minute drive or something he did in a preseason game. I don’t think we’ll know about the importance of that stuff at the time.

* * * * *

On Friday I will write an article pointing out some Eagles questions and weaknesses. As I discussed in the Freeman/Graziano post, my beef isn’t with them raising questions about the Eagles. I just think they did a poor job of raising those questions. Since outsiders aren’t doing a good job of poking holes in the Eagles, I will.

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  • Kevin Powell

    It would be really hard for me to take any other coach over Kelly right now, even Belichick. In an evolving league, I want a coach who is a proven innovator and who has lots of energy and ambition. I strongly believe that Kelly’s ceiling as a coach is higher than what a proven commodity like Belichick can bring to the table right now.

    • Dominik

      I know it’s only speculation, but I think you’d have to take Jim Harbaugh or Belichick if you are Lurie and someone would present this option to you.

      My point would be risk minimizing, I guess. I, personally, think Kelly will be a good HC in this league. Maybe a great one, the potential is there. You have to think that Lurie is on the same page here, since he pays Kelly a truckload of money.

      But you already KNOW that Belichick and Harbaugh are the best in the business. To put it this way: we’ll all be happy if Kelly is somehow as good and successful as those two. I think he can be, over time, but if you can have that “guaranteed”, you take it. :)

  • TommyLawlor

    In case you guys want to see a short list of some 2003 Eagles draft targets…

    http://eaglesblog.net/2013/07/some-2003-draft-targets/

  • James Boyce

    Getting old does indeed suck. But as my dear old mum would say it’s better than the alterrnative.

    • TommyLawlor

      So true.

    • Neil

      This is just too much negativity for me.

      Your body might be crapping out, but your mind should be making up for it and then some.

      Heck you can also be like that 77 year old guy I saw on ESPN last night minus the 1000 situps thing which is just stupid. Just gotta make good diet choices and love physical activity.

  • MediaMike

    I think part of why Vick is still here was missed in the article; the popularity factor of Vick on the team. Part of the reason why Vick is still here is because an early, and appropriate I might add, cut of Vick could risk the good will of the locker room. Vick needs to be allowed to fully lose the job through continued hitting of target dummy defenders in practice and garbage play on the field in pre-season. Cutting him before that point could have let to some ill-will in the locker room.

    • eagleyankfan

      I disagree 100%. MV failed last year. He was brutal. If players(cough DJ) can’t handle the notion of a failing QB, well, those players don’t belong on this team. If it’s best for the team, players should understand.

    • GEagle

      There were plenty of veterans that were disgusted with Vick last year, wanting him to be benched…there was also plenty of veterans that were going Gaga over Nick Foles…
      ..
      I don’t agree that we needed to bring back Vick to not lose the locker room…but since we brought him back, I do agree that it’s important for the team to see Vick lose this battle before we name Foles or whoever the starter

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Excellent perspective. My own view is Vick starts in 2013 unless Foles is way better than I realize. The drafting of Barkley/coming QB class makes me think NF isn’t seen as a long term answer, but I could be wrong.
    at any rate, I see Vick starting and if healthy having a much better year than most expect. Over the off-season all the talking heads will discuss what a great fit Vick is and how the Eagles should give him more money, etc. But IMHO Vick won’t have a great year due to Vick but to Kelly, who could develop MB or draft someone to replace Vick, who could be traded. My basic point is yours, whomever is the QB should be good because I think Kelly could make a decent QB out of Jimmy K.

    • GEagle

      I really hate that point of view. Foles isn’t the answer because they drafted a guy in the 4th round? I don’t buy that….If thy would have drafted EJ or Geno in the 1st two rounds, I would probably agree with you…but we are talking about a 4th round pick

      • Daniel Norman Richwine

        I did mention the coming class of 2014 looks good for QBs. I am no pro.scout, but I didn’t see much from Foles which makes me think he’s the answer. I think Vick is the short term answer and either MB or a player to be named later will be the long term answer.

        • Iskar36

          The 2014 class exists no matter what we do. Foles could have proven to be the best QB of all time last year and that coming class would still exist, so it doesn’t really have any baring on whether or not they view Foles as the long term answer.

          Right now, I would bet they have no idea whether or not Foles is the long term answer. They just want to find out if he can be the starter for now and will proceed from there throughout the season.

        • GEagle

          You didnt see much from Foles to think he was the answer? Do you think he was placed in an environment where he even had a possibility of showing that he was the answer?..It’s literally impossible to judge what Foles is at this point. Nothing to do but wait and see when it comes to jolly Ol Saint Nick!

  • eagleyankfan

    Love your take T-Law. We don’t know who the QB in 2014 and beyond will be. We know it won’t be Vick. Chip’s job is to build in 2013, not win. Winning would be icing. When AR was hired, nobody said AR HAS to win now. AR won immediately and it was exciting for such early success for a new HC.
    To gauge Chip, he has to have his own imprint on the team. You can’t do that in year one. The turnover this year is huge and fully expected next year too.
    This year – there are questions at every position. Makes this year all the more exciting.
    T-Law — is there enough space on here to poke holes? You might be writing for a long time. A lot of questions about this team.

  • GEagle

    Very much looking forward to seeing someone who I know isn’t some Eagles hater with an agenda, honestly asses our weaknesses..Of course that’s not easy to do with such a young team. Young players that put in work, improve significantly from one year to the next..For example, we can tremble with fear over our safety position, but Nate and Chung are still young enough that they could significantly improve. So while Chung and Nates play last year is perceived as a weakness for us, for all we know those two can figure it out this year, and be much better then we thought. that’s Just an example, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for our safeties to prove that they are great lol…

    tough to project such a young team, especially playing in a system we haven’t seen them play yet.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    geez, Tommy. you’re just disagreeing with everybody these days! :P
    just joking with you. keep up the great work as always!

    • TommyLawlor

      I disagree!!!

      • Dominik

        And I disagree with your disagreement! I guess we’ll have a problem if you disagree with my disagreement of your disagreement.

        • TommyLawlor

          LOUD NOISES!!!