Open QB Competition: Ready, set, go!

What does open competition mean to you?

If you’re an Eagles fan, you’re probably hoping it means a better Eagles team.  You want the best quarterback to be the starter.  The question then becomes… who will it be?

As it stands, we have Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne on the roster, all ‘competing’ for the starting job, or a roster spot, with varying degrees of expectations. Although this is just simply speculation, if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to believe the 3 quarterbacks Chip goes with this season will be Vick, Foles, and Barkley, and not necessarily in that order.

As of TODAY, Nick Foles and Michael Vick are splitting 1st team reps.  It’s literally 50/50.  It can go any way.  Matt Barkley is getting the heaviest reps with the 3rd string.  Again, as of May 20th, 2013, Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne are getting minimal reps running team offenses.

There are compelling reasons for any and all of the three quarterbacks (yes, that includes Barkley) when it comes to trying to gauge where this team will be come September. Some will tell you Vick is the best suited for the Chip Kelly offense.  That your QB needs to be a running threat for it to work.   But not so fast.  Chip Kelly has said numerous times that he is NOT simply bringing the Oregon offense to Philadelphia.  There are certain inhibitors, including roster size, that won’t make it possible.The Eagles are practicing at a fast pace, for a fast paced offense, but that does not mean they are going to run the Oregon offense.

Also note that the Eagles drafted Matt Barkley, who isn’t exactly a running threat.  The Eagles would not draft a player they don’t feel will fit their system or philosophy.  Lastly, remember that Chip Kelly hired Pat Shurmur as the offensive coordinator.  From what we know, Pat Shurmur is a man of the west coast offense, and doesn’t (and hasn’t) employed an option offense in the NFL.  While there is good reason to believe Mike Vick is the best fit for this offense, there are plenty of reasons why that isn’t necessarily the case.  

We have to remember Chip Kelly is bringing a player-oriented mentality to the Eagles.  In the past, it was Andy’s way or the highway.  And certainly, that doesn’t mean Chip Kelly is letting his players freelance.  But he isn’t going to force a traditional style offense to a quarterback who cannot run a traditional drop-back style offense, he isn’t going to force the defensive line to play a restrictive wide-9, and so forth.  

If Vick is the quarterback, they will play to his strengths.
If Foles is the quarterback, they will play to his strengths.
If Barkley is the quarterback, they will play to his strengths.

And that’s how it should be.  If a coach’s job is to first and foremost place his players in position to succeed, then a player-oriented approach makes sense.  This off-season will be an exciting one, and I’m sure all Eagles fans from around the globe will be holding onto their seats as we kick off the Chip Kelly era of Eagles football.

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