No, this news isn't surprising in any way, but it's nice to finally have the Philadelphia quarterback battle behind us: On Tuesday, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly named Michael Vick his starter.
The fantasy community should maybe have some legal paperwork drawn up, then present it to Kelly for his signature. Like, today. Let's make sure this decision is as official and irrevocable as possible.
Vick was always the most appealing candidate to direct Kelly's up-tempo, run-heavy system, and he's delivered a nearly flawless preseason: 13-for-15, 199 passing yards, TD, INT. Vick's lone interception wasn't really much of a negative, as it happened on an end-of-half Hail Mary. The touchdown pass he threw to DeSean Jackson in Philly's preseason opener was ... well, it was art. Just look at this thing. All the camp reports on Vick have basically all been glowing, so Kelly's choice was relatively easy. No. 7 flat-out won the job.
Nick Foles hasn't been a preseason disaster — although that end zone pick he threw against Carolina was terrible — but Vick has been brilliant. He's avoided giveaways while demonstrating the short-range accuracy demanded by Kelly's playbook. You'll also recall that Vick handled the Riley Cooper situation about as well as anyone could.
Based on the glimpses we've seen during exhibition play, Philly's offense seems like it's going to be an absolute blast — non-traditional formations, crazy pace, playmakers finding mismatches. The Eagles' O-line should be much better (and healthier) than the 2012 version. And the Philadelphia defense should be just bad enough to force a series of shootouts. This really has the potential to be a perfect fantasy storm.
We always fret about durability with Vick — he played just 10 games last year, 13 in 2011, 12 in 2010 — but we've never questioned his skill level. Even at age 33, he has rare mobility for his position, plus he still has the huge arm. If he can remain healthy for, say, 14 games this season, we could be looking at 3600 passing yards and another 550-650 via the ground. Considering his team context and his individual ability, you have to like his chances to deliver a top-10 (8? 6?) quarterback season. At Vick's current Yahoo! average draft position (115.4), he's a ridiculous steal. If you're the sort of fantasy owner who waits patiently at QB, this is your guy.
Many thanks, Coach Kelly.