Even With Foles, Zone Read Here To Stay

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Funny to think how significantly the dynamics of the quarterback situation have shifted over the course of a year.

This time last offseason Michael Vick was splitting first-team reps with Nick Foles. And given the little that we knew about Chip Kelly‘s offense, you couldn’t help but think Vick had the leg up. Day after day we saw the Eagles practice the zone read, over and over. The QB would cross paths with the running back and, depending on how the defense responded, would either complete the handoff or keep it and head for the edge. This didn’t seem to be a particularly good sign for Foles, who once said: “If I can adapt I want to, but I’m not a zone read quarterback. Some people are gifted with different things, that’s just not one of my skill sets.”

Kelly phrased it this way at the beginning of training camp last season: “To be honest with you, if I called 20 read options with Nick Foles in the game, you should fire me.  We’re talking about practice right now.  I think we’ve got to figure out who our quarterback is before we understand the direction of where our offense is going.”

It took some time to get the QB position settled, but it eventually blossomed in the hands of Foles. And while Foles never kept it 20 times in a game (the most rushes he had in a single outing was nine), the zone read didn’t go away. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Eagles ran the zone read 304 times during the regular season — 135 times more than the next highest team. About 60 percent of those came when Vick was out of the lineup. Read more »

Vick Weighs In On DeSean Jackson

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Michael Vick
provided some interesting comments about the DeSean Jackson situation on Tuesday.

During his appearance on Mike & Mike, Vick was asked why the Eagles might be looking to move on from the 27-year-old receiver.

Chip Kelly is a leader. I think you have to know Chip Kelly to understand what kind of person he is,” said Vick.”DeSean is not a bad person by any stretch, but I think certain organizations want things done a certain way. DeSean is a very productive player and everybody has a lot of respect for him but at the end of the day, Chip Kelly’s decision and what he’s going to do is his decision.” Read more »

Source: Eagles Interested In Mark Sanchez

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The Eagles are interested in quarterback Mark Sanchez, according to a league source, but there is still a hurdle or two to clear.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says the Birds are expected to sign Sanchez, who was recently let go by the Jets. We were told that a signing is not yet imminent, mainly because there is still a medical evaluation process to go through. The 27-year-old missed the entire 2013 campaign after injuring his throwing shoulder in the preseason. He had labrum surgery back in October. The Jets designated Sanchez’s release as a “failed physical.” Read more »

A Potential Vick-DeSean Reunion?

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After signing a one-year deal with the New York Jets Friday evening, Michael Vick was asked about a potential reunion with DeSean Jackson.

“If there’s an opportunity to get DeSean,” Vick said, via the New York Daily News, “I’m pretty sure the New York Jets fans would be in high favor of that. But who knows? It takes a lot to make a trade happen. …It’s not for us as players to try to decide. Hopefully everything works out for DeSean. If he is up in New York, we’ll be happy – just as happy as he will be. But who knows? We can’t say.” Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: QBs, DeSean And Picks

Eagles QB Mike Vick in red practice jersey
For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @MKevinBonner: Are the Eagles planning to sign a vet backup QB or will they roll with Barkley? ?

 Michael Vick is scheduled to visit with the Jets Friday. Seems like a very logical landing spot to me. If he’s off the market, the top five available quarterbacks (per Rotoworld) are Josh Freeman, Shaun Hill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kevin Kolb (who is expected to retire) and Colt McCoy. I don’t see anyone who would be an obvious choice over Barkley, who the Eagles seem to have some confidence in. Read more »

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