Before Chip Kelly‘s frenetic practices take off, the quarterbacks are given a general idea of what team they will be running with and how often. But they won’t know for sure until quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor calls out their name over the music during the live sessions.
On Monday, it was Foles who had his number called the most to run with the ones.
By Sheil’s count, there were five “team” periods at practice, as OTAs continued at the NovaCare Complex. Foles manned the first team for three of them, and Michael Vick the other two. Last week when the media was able to watch, Vick appeared to get a little more of the workload.
Kelly promised a quarterback competition, and so far this has the looks of one.
“Everybody gets reps and there’s no particular order. We just go out there and rep. I don’t think any of us really think first, second, third, whatever, and when it’s time to go up we’ve got to go execute the play,” said Foles. “Your mind set is that you’re in a game and you’re playing the situation.”
Foles looked pretty sharp and in command overall. He threw an accurate deep ball, including a pretty pass to Jason Avant down the right seam. (Granted, Avant was being covered by Brandon Graham on the play.) His day wasn’t perfect. There was one noticeable breakdown pre-snap when Foles was the QB, as Avant and DeSean Jackson had trouble receiving the call and were still confused when the play went off. (That’s not necessarily Foles’ fault, but he was in charge at the time.) Foles also had a ball deflected and nearly intercepted by Bradley Fletcher on an out pass intended for Jackson. But for the most part, he was fluid and on-point behind center.
“I feel really comfortable. Every day I get more and more comfortable,” said Foles. “The more you’re in a system, the more you rep plays, you just get more and more comfortable because visually you’re seeing it, you’re going through it, you’re studying it, and I think the big thing is everybody else is getting more comfortable and working together, so you’re able to feel like if they give us this coverage on this route, I know the receiver’s going to do that, because a lot of times we’re throwing the ball before they’re breaking, so we have to know what their landmark is. So I think that’s the big thing. We’re progressing as a team in every situation.”
Matt Barkley was typically the next man in behind Foles and Vick, followed by Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne. Splitting time with all these quarterbacks and sharing the first-team load is a new experience for Vick, but he seems to be taking it in stride thus far.
“You don’t get an opportunity to get all the reps you would if it was less quarterbacks,” said Vick. “But hey, you got to get as many mental reps as you can. That’s what I try to do; I try to sit back and watch the other guys read the defense, think about the concepts and the plays, and try to be the best I can be when I step out there, because everybody’s getting different plays.”
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