Eagles Wake-Up Call: Timeline For QB Competition

By my unofficial count, the Eagles had five periods during Tuesday’s practice where the offense went up against the defense.

During three of them, Michael Vick was the starting quarterback, and Nick Foles ran with the second team. During the other two, roles were reversed, and Foles was the starter.

The QB competition – and yes, it is a competition – is in full swing, but Chip Kelly and his staff are nowhere close to choosing a winner. In fact, they don’t even have a leader in the clubhouse just yet.

“We haven’t had those discussions,” Kelly said. “It’s can we get a ton of reps, get them on tape. That will go through training camp and what not. When you have to make an important decision on who a starter is going to be in some position, why should we jump to conclusions? Why do we need to name a starting quarterback in May? I mean, we’re going to take the full amount of time that we have to make a thorough evaluation of what we do.”

Practice right now is a bit choppy. No one who watched the offense Tuesday would mistake the Eagles for a well-oiled machine. The tempo is new. The scheme is new. The entire process is new.

It’s not unusual to see a lot of pointing and gesturing and confusion before any given play. That’s all part of the learning curve.

But at some point this summer, Kelly expects things to go a little smoother. Players will know where they’re supposed to be lined up. When they see the hand signals on the sideline, they’ll know what play is being called. That will be the best time to evaluate the quarterbacks.

In other words, don’t expect a winner to be crowned any time soon. Maybe some time during the preseason. Maybe in the days leading up to the opener. Maybe we won’t know until the offense takes the field for the first time on that Monday night in Washington.

“When you make big decisions like that, I don’t think you want to make a rash decision,” Kelly said. “You want to give everybody the opportunity to see what they [can] do. Right now, we haven’t done a thing in front of officials. We haven’t done anything except we’ve had three days of voluntary mini-camp before the draft, and today was our seventh OTA.

“So none of us have had any thoughts of, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get a guy named by a certain point in time. It will play itself out. It will play itself out over the course of time when we’ve had an opportunity to make a thorough evaluation. It is a big decision. When you make a big decision, you have to take your time and let it play itself out on the field.”


Here are my full practice observations from yesterday’s session.

T-Mac has an update on the cornerback situation. Cary Williams is running with the twos, but doesn’t seem worried.

Jason Peters and Kenny Phillips were absent from practice.

The latest depth chart outlook post zeroes in on the Eagles’ tight ends.


According to ESPNBoston.com, the Eagles and Seahawks have the largest coaching staffs in the league at 24 members apiece:

Perhaps it’s coincidence, but the three largest staffs in the league are led by former college head coaches (Greg Schiano, Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly). With a roster that approaches (or even exceeds) 100 players at the college level, a larger staff is needed to oversee the team. That trio may have seen the value in a bigger staff and taken that mentality to the NFL level, even though rosters shrink down to 53 players during the regular season (they’re currently at 90 players).

Jimmy Kempski of BloggingTheBeast.com thinks the Eagles might have the best group of running backs in the NFL:

“I’d have to say, if Felix Jones is healthy, this is best group of running backs in the league,” said Caplan. “Adrian Peterson is the best back in the league, but (from) one to three tell me a team that’s deeper than this.”

Caplan poses a good question. Are there any teams more deep and talented at RB than the Eagles? Personally, I’d trade all three of the Eagles’ backs for Adrian Peterson in a heartbeat, but Peterson aside, I think Caplan makes a strong case.


More from OTAs, including a look at where Mychal Kendricks fits.

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  • cliff henny

    know it’s half cool-aid and half i’ve always been a big fan of Kelly, but he hasnt said one word i’ve disagreed with yet. what is the rush to name a qb? he doesnt run typical practices so bet 60% of snaps with de-facto first teamers is probably more than any other established qb is getting with his set of 1st stringers. and his PC are great, the last question was classic. think it was les bowen who stumbles thru every question like the kid who forgot to do his readings and gets called on by a teacher, so kelly just cut him off and machine gunned about 60 secs on what he thought was being asked.

    • Richard Colton

      I’m 90% with you on CK. One decision I don’t understand but am willing to give Kelly the benefit of the doubt on is bringing back Vick, because even in the unlikely event he has a career year at 32, he certainly doesn’t represent the future of a rebuilding franchise. The thing I 100% disagree with is not giving the reason for Jason Peters missing 2 OTAs. What’s the deal? Injury? Family issues? Unhappiness with scheme, contract, drafting LJ? Why the secrecy?

      • cliff henny

        it’s voluntary, so no reason needs to be given or asked. watch PE.com PC, kelly says as much.
        i’m no fan of Vick either, but Kelly said from day one, just cause it’s a rebuild doesnt mean he isnt going to try and win. ignore the name, basically it’s bringing in a cheap vet to push the younger (now 2) unproven guys. out of all the vets, vick was the cheapest in both money and draft picks, was just the logical choice. said it before, everyone knows vick, tells me as much about foles (little less about barkley since rookie) if he cant beat out vick. also, by bringing him back, thought it made qb a ’14 draft decision, which i’m fine with. plenty of holes to fix. go the SF way. get everything in place so when a talented but newer guy steps in he’s got guys that he can rely on. can you imagine bridgewater next year, once everyone else has year under kellly.

        • Richard Colton

          So if Vick is the starter for the entire season, that’s an indictment of Foles. Not sure I agree 100% with that, but I see where you’re coming from.

          Regarding Jason Peters, I get that it’s voluntary. So if he elected to not show up, why not say that? Everyone’s a professional at this level. If there is a reason – why not give it? If JP blew off mini camp because he had better things to do, I’m not OK with that. He was the best player on the team in ’11, then made 8.5 million $$$ to not play last year. I’d like to know if there was a legitimate excuse before I rip a guy. Absent a statement from the team, I’m going to assume the worst.

          • Warhound

            Who decides if it’s legitimate? The camp is voluntary and the player can volunteer info on why he wasn’t there. If I was Jason I wouldn’t want my coach to comment.

          • Richard Colton

            I’ll decide if it’s legitimate, and I’m prepared to accept just about any reason. The entire team shows up minus the best player on the offensive line, a guy you’re counting on to be a team leader, and nobody is concerned? Tell me why I should assume anything other than “Peters blew of OTAs because he didn’t want to go.” And if that’s the case – then I have every right to question both his commitment to the team and CKs leadership.

            Since I would rather be a CK/JP fan, I don’t want to do that. So let’s have an answer. Please.

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, I mean, new head coach, new OL coach, a lot of new faces. Just show up, or at least say why you’re not showing up.

          • Warhound

            Fair enough….

          • aub32

            I have to disagree on the Peters’ situation. I know he’s getting paid, but this is still him volunteering to come into work. If you decided not to go to work when it was voluntary, would you want literally the entire world you weren’t there so you could take a nap or whatever reason. I respect Kelly for maintainging the trust of his players and understanding these guys are pros and not kids. I would feel much worse if he instead threw Peters under the bus to be ripped by fans and the media alike. As long as it’s not injury related, I couldn’t care less.

          • cliff henny

            ok, well, beat out and playing whole season are different arguements. beat out means in pre-season/TC, after all evaluations are done (play on tape, leadership, grasp of offense, vick’s history, foles being young and having more of an upside, it all goes into it) vick comes out ahead, you play him. now, 16 games, i dont know, lot depends on how vick plays, if he struggles but foles cant crack line-up, says alot to me. my point was, they brought in a vet, could have been a. smith or c palmer, but vick was the cheapest, so that part, ‘business of football’ , dont have an issue with. .
            personally, thought since kelly was hired our future qb is in ’14 draft, nothing to this date has changed my mind.

          • MAC

            Yesterday on the fanatic one of the beat reporters said that Chip said he knew where Peters was and that he was ok with it. Meaning Peters did explain to Kelly he was not going to be there and it was an acceptable reason to Kelly. So it was not out of animosity or any other negative reason. Kelly also said it was not injury related. So Peters had a personal reason that was satisfactory. So no worries in my opinion.

          • Richard Colton

            ok. I can live with that. “personal reasons” is a little sketchy, but its better than “can’t be bothered.”

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    I know it’s early, but I’m not a big fan of this Cary Williams dude, at least from his interview he gave. If he can ball out on the field then fine, but guys leaving the Ravens aren’t always known to have great success.

    • cliff henny

      does seem his ego enters the room a couple minutes before he does. not necessarily a bad thing, though.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        Yep, I’ve got no problem with a dude having some swag, as long as he puts up on the field and isn’t a problem off the field.

    • JofreyRice

      I don’t know his ego is commensurate with his skill. It’s one thing for Richard Sherman to incessantly trash talk, but Cary Williams is a solid corner at best.

      • MAC

        Between our corners and the serious question for our safeties I think defensively it’s going to be a long year. Unless Phillips somehow manages to stay healthy and return to form our secondary looks pretty bad. Safety is such a key piece to the success of any defense in the NFL. I am shocked at the approach of signing Phillips and Chung only. Allen and Coleman are not the answer and the fact Phillips is already struggling with his knee scares me.

        • JofreyRice

          I share your concerns. I think we’re going to have to pray that Kelly can figure out ways to score loads of points like he did at Oregon, because the secondary might still be really, really bad.

        • FMWarner

          I agree, but I’m not sure what should have been done instead. Throw barrels of money at Dashon Goldson? No. Maybe sign George Wilson. But the reality is, this wasn’t a good football team last year, and you can’t fix everything in one year.

  • JamesDDl

    It seems CK’s approach is that – everything is new to everyone involved and it will take months before they have installed everything and spent the necessary amount of time with each player to feel like they have been trained/coached enough to judge how they will do in the system. Makes sense. The observers are all trying to reach conclusions on any little thing that happens, but for now it is all meaningless. He has said it a number of times and he will probably say it many more times – We are not far enough along to judge anything or come to any conclusions.

  • knighn

    Commenter 1: Vick Sucks
    Commenter 2: No! Foles and Barkley both suck!
    Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can talk about other things!

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    Chippahs doin everything right. Hes made a decent amount of low key low risk signings that i like.

    • MAC

      Only thing I have to question so far is the lack depth and talent at safety. Phillips is still dealing with knee issues according to reports yesterday. I get the low risk high reward deal with Phillips, but safety is a huge part of any defense in the NFL. Nate Allen and Coleman are not quality starters. Phillips could be a steal, but with lingering knee issues it leaves us thin at that spot.
      Even if I try to give benefit of the doubt to Allen based on his rookie year, I think we needed to address safety better. I get that the team will not be rebuilt in 1 season, but going in with Allen, Phillips, Coleman, and Chung makes me feel like this secondary is in serious trouble if Phillips knee does not hold up. Chung also seems to be injured often so just in my opinion leaving such an important part of defense up in the air could make for a long year.

  • GEagle

    gotta give props to Kapadia for finally being the first journalist this offseason to ask about one of our biggest potential stars, Mychal Kendricks

    • cliff henny

      couldnt stay away, could you? boycott lasted almost 2 weeks

  • B-West

    Has anybody informed Chip of what the QB competition is doing to our 24/7 message boards? Hes a pretty thoughtful guy, maybe he could spare us the havoc with a decision.