With very little hard news to report, it’s time for overzealous Eagles fans (myself included) to turn their attention to the regular season. As part of a position-by-position series, Eagles Gab will break down the roster, beginning with the quarterback position. Quarterback may be the most interesting position of them all, not only because of its importance to overall team success, but also because Chip Kelly has thrown fans curveball after curveball. He restructured Michael Vick’s contract, then signed Dennis Dixon, then drafted Matt Barkley. It appears as though Kelly will hold a true open competition in camp.
Who makes the team:
Matt Barkley, Nick Foles, and Michael Vick
The Eagles traded up to draft Barkley, so his spot is safe. They restructured Vick’s contract, so they clearly want him around, and Nick Foles is in the mix for the starting job. Foles is also very young and locked into a team-friendly contract. These three all have very safe odds of making the team. It’s conceivable that Kelly will keep Dennis Dixon as a fourth QB, but NFL teams cannot justify using a precious roster spot on a player who will almost certainly never log a snap. The addition of Matt Barkley likely demoted Dixon to a mere camp body.
Who starts week 1:
Despite the promise that Eagles fans desperately want to see in Nick Foles, Michael Vick is the best quarterback on this roster. The players view Vick as the team’s leader, admire his toughness, and clearly want to play for him more than anybody else. Although Chip Kelly appears open to starting a traditional pocket passer, he loves creating match-up problems, and Vick’s athleticism makes him a more dangerous weapon in a creative, unconventional offense. All signs are pointing to Vick getting one last chance at being the Eagles’ starting quarterback.
How the position stacks up:
Eagles fans have to look at the quarterback position as a weakness on the roster despite the presence of Michael Vick, who has won playoff games and been to Pro Bowls, and a pair of talented prospects in Nick Foles and Matt Barkley. No NFL team that cannot clearly point to a player and declare him a franchise quarterback has any guarantee of short or long-term success.
Chip Kelly could very well implement an offensive system that takes the league by storm and allows one of the team’s quarterbacks to blossom. However, uncertainty at the quarterback position is never good in the NFL, not when you know Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers will throw for 300 yards and 3 TDs every week. And right now, the Eagles’ quarterback picture is defined more by uncertainty than by promise.