One of the biggest challenges facing new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is stabalizing a quarterback position that is clearly in a state of flux. Will Kelly fall in love with Michael Vick’s physical attributes and work to rework a contract that is due to owe him $15 million in 2013? Will Kelly tailor his offense to fit the skill set of Nick Foles, who he coached against while at the University of Oregon? Or will he go outside the organization to find the next quarterback of the team?
Perhaps predictably, Kelly didn’t tip his hand on the team’s quarterback predicament. At one point he even joked with beat reporter Bob Grotz.
“Yeah, you know, I’m going to look at everybody. If you can throw the ball and run, I’ll take you out there,” he quipped.
Still, Kelly did offer some preliminary thoughts on the current quarterback situation, including a dismissal of the notion that he would need a mobile quarterback to run his offense.
“There’s perception and there’s reality. That’s not the case. One of the best qualities of the quarterback is durability,” he said. “Understanding what personnel is and how do we maximize that.”
He also went on to praise Foles competitive makeup.
“I’m a huge fan of his, he’s tough. We hit him as many times as many times as we could and he just kept getting back up. He’s a competitor, he’s accurate.”
Kelly cited a play that he was particularly impressed with when Foles was at Arizona in which Foles completed a 15-yard pass with his lefthand.
As for Vick, Kelly was less direct in assessing the quarterback’s future with the team.
“I understand what a talent he is, there’s nothing on the board right now, there’s nothing that’s off the board.”
What Kelly decides to do at quarterback will be one of the most closely followed narratives over the coming months, but he’ll have to act quick on Vick’s status in Philadelphia. The Eagles will have to either restructure or let Vick go by Feb. 6 in order to avoid paying Vick a guaranteed $15 million.