The Philadelphia Eagles‘ training camp is now under a week away and speculation about the quarterback position is running at an all-time high. However, there was one piece of information that surfaced recently that may have been slightly more than mere speculation.
Eagles Insiders recently posted that there was a report that surfaced out of Eagles camp that Nick Foles actually outplayed Michael Vick during OTAs and minicamp. The exact quote from the reports read as follows, “The issue for Michael Vick, however, is that he is coming off two turnover-filled seasons. Not helping matters is that he was outplayed by Nick Foles in OTAs and minicamp. Foles got the ball out quicker than Vick, was generally more accurate, and is putting receivers in a better position to get yards after the catch.”
Now, that is a boatload of information regarding these two quarterbacks at this juncture. However it does speak volumes about these players’ development since their poor efforts during the 2012 season, and it gives an indication as to which quarterback has allowed his game to approach a new level, and which has not.
A tweet surfaced early Tuesday morning from Pro Football Talk that begged the same question.
Could Foles be ahead of Vick in race to be Eagles’ starter? http://t.co/JNa55U6HFo
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 16, 2013
Aside from his turnover struggles, Vick had a tendency to hold onto the football for far too long in the pocket. This lead to a large amount of sacks and an unhealthy amount of turnovers. The report indicates that Vick is still struggling in this regard, and Foles is making better decisions in the pocket, thus far. Another part of the report that should weigh heavily here is the fact that Foles is getting the ball to his receivers with precision.
Why is this important?
Aside from the obvious (decreased interceptions), this will be extremely important in Chip Kelly’s offensive system. Most likely, the passing game will not be vertical. Instead, it will be more of a West Coast system that relies on short-to-intermediate routes that rely heavily on the Eagles’ athletic receivers gaining yards after the catch. If Foles is able to place the ball effectively enough to allow the receivers to turn upfield, he has an edge on Vick, who struggled with accuracy and consistency at times last season.
There are, of course, still arguments that could be made in favor of Vick at this point.
He has the strongest arm on the team. He is the only dual-threat quarterback on the roster. No other quarterback is remotely close to him in terms of NFL experience.
However, this is a league of, “what have you done for me lately?”
Kelly has said that he will be able to fit his offensive system around any quarterback. This means that the argument that Vick would be a better “fit” in Kelly’s system is debunked.
This competition will truly come down to which quarterback actually shows the most improvement and gives the Eagles the best chance to win as the team goes through training camp and the preseason. It is still way too early to decide a winner; however, based on this early report, Foles seems to be the favorite at this point.
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