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Kelly: QB Foles long-term starter for Eagles

The SportsXchange

Head coach Chip Kelly named Nick Foles the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles for the rest of the 2013 season.

Foles will start Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals (7-4) in a game that could have playoff implications.

Kelly, speaking Tuesday as the Eagles (6-4) return from their bye week trailing the Dallas Cowboys by one-half game in the NFC East, said veteran Michael Vick is preparing as a professional and wants to do "anything he can" to help the team as a No. 2 quarterback.

Kelly said Vick knew and understood the direction the team is taking with a three-game winning streak entering Week 13.

"He's been a great leader and will be our No. 2 this week," Kelly said.

Vick is ready to return from a hamstring injury but Foles has the hot hand.

"In all honesty, in all fairness, how can you take a guy out of the game who's been playing so well?" Vick said last week. "I've been in this stage before, and I know what it's like. I understand the position that this team is in, and the one thing I never want to do is be a distraction or put our team or our coaches in a position where they feel like they're not doing the right thing or I feel like they're not doing the right thing.

"I trust what's going on, I enjoy being a part of it, I love the game of football in general. So it's important to me to be there in support and be ready if my name and number is called again."

Foles has thrown 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions with an NFL-leading 127.9 passer rating since replacing Vick.

Foles threw for 298 yards in a 24-16 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday and has thrown 199 passes without an interception.

"I thought Nick went out and put on a great performance against the Redskins," Vick said. "He went out and did everything the coaches asked him to do, and that's what you want in a must-win game, and that's what the magnitude of that game was."

Vick, an 11-year veteran who has been to four Pro Bowls and taken his team to the playoffs four times, said he likes being a mentor for Foles.

"He had an opportunity to learn from me this year and last year and just sit behind me and pick my brain, and he also went out and played the game, and now he's just taking that and everything is unfolding for him," Vick said.
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