Throughout the course of the week, we’ll be providing position-by-position previews of the entire Eagles roster. Click here to get to all of them. Today, we cover the quarterbacks.
The roster: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards
Elite quarterbacks are the rarest commodity on Earth. There are thousands of football programs across the country and tens of thousands more kids that dream of being a star quarterback, yet there are only enough of them to fill up maybe a quarter of the 32 NFL teams in a given year.
There is a nice collection in the NFC right now, however. You have Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. A tier down lies Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. RGIII hopes to get in the conversation, and Tony Romo certainly shows flashes.
Where does Vick fit?
Quarterback play in the conference runs unusually deep right now, making it all the more important that Vick find his way towards the top.
The Eagles hope they have their elite quarterback in Vick, and another in the making in Foles. His dizzying rate of progress totally changed the backup QB picture and essentially cost Mike Kafka a job. The coaching staff is very high on the 23-year-old right now.
“I’ve got great confidence in Nick,” said Marty Mornhinweg. “I’ll tell you what: Nick Foles progressed just beautifully at a very fast pace. He’s a bright guy. He’s got natural playing ability. He’s got natural instincts.”
Edwards’ role will be to shepherd the rookie along.
Player in the spotlight: Michael Vick
The difficulty in handicapping this Eagles team is that Vick is not just susceptible to peaks and valleys in his play, but grand dips and spectacular rises. He can be the best player on the field, then the least disciplined. At age 32 and after an offseason of the coaching staff drilling caution into his head, there is optimism that Vick will level out and focus more on the substance and less on the sizzle.
With limited reps this preseason because of injury, there is no way of telling just what Michael Vick will show up. We at least know that he heads into the season feeling fresh.
“I feel good going into this game,” said Vick. “I feel like I’m 100 percent. No nagging injuries. I think I’m fully recovered – two weeks have really helped me get there. Just ready to go out there and give it everything I’ve got.”
You should also know that…
*Most of the bumps in the road for Vick came outside the division. He was very good against the NFC East, completing 63 percent of his balls for eight touchdowns to three interceptions for a QB rating over 100.
* Want some evidence that Vick forced it way too much last year? Ten of his 14 interceptions came in games decided by seven points or less. He had just a 73.3 QB rating in tight games and a 96 rating in games decided by 8-plus points.
* Vick completed just 52.5 percent of his throws in the red zone and had 13 touchdowns to four picks inside the 20.
* A reminder of how good Foles was this preseason: 40-of-63 for 553 yards, a league-high six touchdowns, two interceptions, 110.1 QB rating.
*Foles went to the same high school as Brees — Westlake High School in Austin, Texas — and broke Brees’ records for passing yards (5,658) and passing TDs (56).