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Vick, Foles Split First Team Reps

On day one of veteran minicamp, Chip Kelly lived up to his word that Michael Vick and Nick Foles would each get a fair shot at winning the starting quarterback job. The pair split first team reps, and Kelly is in no rush to name a starter. Even third string Dennis Dixon received a snap with the first unit.

At his press conference, Kelly cautioned fans and sportswriters against reading into the initial depth chart, but it would be lazy to do otherwise. Despite the fact that Kelly has not tipped his hand either way, I would be shocked if Foles won the job.

Firstly, the locker room is behind Vick. DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Todd Herremans, and probably others have publicly voiced their support for Vick as the starter, and sitting him on the bench is a recipe for a mutiny in the locker room. The players have said the right things about Nick Foles, but it’s not hard to tell that Vick’s extraordinary toughness has won over his teammates’ respect and loyalty.

Secondly, Chip Kelly has always recruited dual threat quarterbacks at Oregon and has already brought one in to compete for the Eagles in Dennis Dixon. Kelly insists that he can adjust his system to either Vick or Foles’ skill set, but I get the sense that he’s much more comfortable with a quarterback who can make plays with his legs.

Thirdly, Vick is a better quarterback than Foles at this point, regardless of scheme or coach. Vick can threaten defenses vertically, while Foles is more of a dink-and-dunk, west coast-style quarterback. Vick has a quicker release and plays the game at a faster pace, even though he can open himself up to bad decisions. He had a bad season in 2012, but has proven himself capable of moving the offense up and down the field, something Foles has yet to show he can do.

Don’t expect a quick decision from Kelly, though. This competition will likely drag into training camp.

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