“We’ve evaluated the situation, and Michael Vick is going to start for us against the Washington Redskins,” said Kelly. ”I met with all the quarterbacks this morning. They understand the plan and know where we are going forward.”
Kelly clarified that Vick is “our starter for the season. It’s not a one-game trial basis.”
The plan is for Vick and the rest of the first team to play the entire first half Saturday against the Jaguars, and likely into the third quarter.
“We felt like we had a good amount of tape, a good amount of us seeing them on the field and seeing them in a lot of different situations,” said Kelly. “We wanted to put a guy in place if we could in enough time to prepare for the season.”
In the first two preseason games, Vick went 13-of-15 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Nick Foles was 11-of-14 for 96 yards with a rushing touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble. Both QBs were able to move offense. Vick was just better.
“Going into this we didn’t have any preconceived notions of how this was going to work itself out,” said Kelly. “Over the course of time we let it play itself out. And the one thing we all learned from this group is that I think we’ve got two guys, and maybe even three guys that can play in this league. It was a healthy competition. Mike completed over 80 percent, I think Nick was at 79 percent, I think they both made each other better and I was really happy with how those guys handled the situation because it can, at times, get testy.”
Kelly said that Foles took the news like a pro. Called he and Vick “two class guys” who were pulling for one another.
“You don’t have to look any farther than last night’s game with the Redskins where RGIII is on the sidelines and Kirk Cousins goes down in the second quarter, and all of a sudden they’re down to their third quarterback, that in this league you better have a couple quarterbacks ready to go,” said Kelly. “I mentioned that to Nick again today, and I think he’s going to approach it that he’s the starter because that’s gotta be his mentality going into this.”
As for Matt Barkley, Kelly said that he believes the rookie received a fair evaluation despite not getting any first-team reps.
“I’m excited about Matt. I think he’s got a bright, bright future in this.”
But the present belongs to Vick.
“I think Mike is ahead right now. I think Nick made it very difficult, though,” said Kelly. “It wasn’t where one guy went north and the other guy went south. I think both of them upped their games, but at this point and time Mike’s ahead and we want to move forward. This is a one-quarterback operation. This isn’t going to be, someone’s got to look over their shoulder or we’re going to alternate by series. I think Mike is ahead right now.”
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