Kelly Sizes Up QB Competition Between Vick, Foles

Michael VickChip Kelly has described the preseason as a “final exam” for Michael Vick and Nick Foles.

But the truth is, that’s overstating it. Vick played nine snaps Friday night; Foles played 12. Hardly a large enough sample size to draw any real conclusions.

Just like last year’s tape and this summer’s practice performance, the preseason is another piece of the puzzle. And Kelly was pleased with what he saw from both signal-callers in the first preseason game.

“I think they both played pretty well,” he said. “It gave me confidence in both those guys. And that’s what you’re hoping happens. I think both those guys rose to the occasion. I was excited about how both those guys played.”

Vick went 4-for-5 for 94 yards on two drives. The highlight was a perfectly-placed deep ball that landed in DeSean Jackson’s hands for a 47-yard touchdown.

“I thought it was just a great play by Mike and DeSean,” Kelly said. “Obviously he’s a great weapon for us to use at our disposal. I thought Mike did a great job at reading the coverage and throwing it on time.”

Added Vick: “The route concept we had on gives us options. So DeSean took advantage of his opportunities. And the funny part about it, it’s ironic, we talked about it on the bus, getting that same look. And it happened on the first series, on the first possession.”

During practice, the Eagles have gone mostly with a no-huddle, but early in the game, they slowed things down.

That changed when Foles got his chance though. The second-year QB got off to a rough start, fumbling on his first possession after the Eagles had a breakdown in protection on the left side. But he bounced back with an 11-play, 66-yard drive that resulted in an 8-yard Bryce Brown touchdown run.

According to Kelly, there was no method to his madness with the tempo.

“We’ve always said that’s a tool in our toolbox,” he said. “We’ll huddle sometimes, we’ll go fast at other times. We had some work with the NFL officials a week ago and then we did it with the Patriots. So you want to be able to just make sure you get enough reps with them because we’re not gonna have them in practice this week coming up. So a couple points of times during the game, we’ll see if we can play with some tempo and get used to how they’re spotting the ball. I didn’t see any problems with how it worked.”

Added Foles: ”When you go up-tempo, it’s sort of like a two-minute drill. It is hard on a defense to really mix in a lot of blitzes and get that really tough pass-rush. It was a great job by us to keep it going and the coaches really wanted to push it, so I thought the guys did a great job of it.”

And Vick: “It was just the concepts that were called tonight and we didn’t do a third of what we normally would do. And so we had fun with what we’ve got. We knew it was going to be very vanilla. But we did throw some things in there that kept the defense off-balance.”

As for when a decision is coming, Kelly indicated that he might not name a starter until the entire preseason is over.

For now, the evaluation will continue, with the plan being for Foles to start next Thursday against the Panthers and Vick rotating in with the first team.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.