COMMENTARY | Mike Vick will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, because he was the best available candidate for the job.
But this does not mean there is not a long-term plan for Chip Kelly and the Eagles.
After two preseason games, the new head coach in Philadelphia named the veteran Vick the starting quarterback for the Eagles in 2013, according to PhiladelphiaEagles.com. This should not come as a big surprise because the signs were there all along. The Eagles could have parted ways with Vick in the offseason but agreed to bring him back. Why? Because Vick is better suited in Kelly's offensive game plan right now than Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Dennis Dixon or D.J. Kinne -- or any other option that may have been available through the draft outside of Geno Smith and in free agency.
Vick's ability to run gave him an edge over Foles in what was really a two-man competition all along, if you, in fact, believe there ever really was a competition. Given the style of offense Kelly brings from coast to coast, Vick always seemed to be the better candidate for the job, because he can do more with the football on the field. Seeing Vick become a more accurate passer in his two preseason outings gave him another argument to be the clear starter for the Eagles.
While Foles had shown some positive signs in the preseason, running the turbo-style offense effectively down the field, Foles took a huge step back when he was picked off in the end zone against the Carolina Panthers on a play that never should have developed the way it did. Vick and Foles have put up similar tats, but Vick has the edge with more-productive drives overall. Vick grasped the new offense with a firm hand and showed more of what is capable with it this upcoming season.
While Vick may be the quarterback for 2013, the future of the franchise could still be a major question as it relates to the quarterback issue. Perhaps Foles or Barkley will get a crack at becoming the franchise quarterback in 2014. Or perhaps the Eagles will be in a position in the NFL draft to select one of the top quarterbacks coming out of the college game.
Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater would be at the top of my list right now, but Ohio State's Braxton Miller is certainly in the conversation if he decides to turn pro in 2014. Whether the Eagles end up with a draft pick to pluck one of these potential franchise quarterbacks or if they have to move up to get them depends on the success of this season. But even if the Eagles make a playoff run against most odds, it would be unwise to have the franchise commit many more years on Vick as a starting quarterback.
I have heard a number of Eagles fans already start looking to 2014, and I cannot figure out the real logic in any of that. Sure, this Eagles team may not be ready to go out and contend for a Super Bowl because there are a lot of areas to improve, but since when do Philadelphia fans write off a season before it ever kicks off? Fans may want to see the team find its next franchise quarterback, but, for now, it will be Vick leading the offense with the hopes of reaching the playoffs.
It's the right call, and it has no real impact on the future plans of the franchise.Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sportswriter and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow McGuire's Eagles commentary on Yahoo! and on Twitter @krmcguire. Interested in college football? Follow @KevinOnCFB.
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