Our position-by-position preview continues with a look at the Eagles’ signal-callers.
Just how important is it for Vick to stay upright for the entire year? Consider the last five Super Bowl quarterbacks, and the number of games they were under center during the regular season:
2011: Eli Manning 16
2010: Aaron Rodgers 15
2009: Drew Brees 15 (sat out finale)
2008: Ben Roethlisberger 16
2007: Eli Manning 16
That’s one game lost to injury in five years (Rodgers, concussion). So there you go.
Vick has only played 16 games once in his career, turning the trick back in 2006. He missed three games as the Eagles starter last year and was knocked out of two others. There is a reason the coaches are drilling it into his head to choose health over an extra yard – the season rides on it.
Talk to QB coach Doug Pederson about Kafka, and you’ll walk away feeling better about the state of the backup position. Internally the Eagles see a smart signal-caller with improving command of the offense who is showing more snap in his throws. They saw positive signs in the Atlanta game that he can come into live action cold and perform. They’d probably rather not discuss his 31.0 quarterback rating the next week against the Giants.
Some paint the picture of an open competition for the No. 2 role. I don’t see it. The dice will be rolled with the kid from Northwestern.
The rookie out of Arizona is apparently on schedule if not a little bit ahead, but still has a ways to go. He looks the part – standing at 6-5 with a power arm and decent accuracy — and the coaches seem to be happy with his improving footwork. They’ll only break the glass in an emergency, though.
The former Bill had a rough go of it during OTAs and had a tough time getting reps by the end of it. In his defense, the coaches were making some pretty significant tweaks to his mechanics, which helps explain all the wayward passes. Looks better early on at camp, though he’d have to make a hell of a push to grab a spot.