Twitter Mailbag: On Foles, Vick And Billy Davis

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @mike_e_kaye: You reported Wednesday that Nick [Foles] and Chip haven’t met in person since he took the job, why is that? Any speculation from org?

Yeah, from what I was told there has been no face-to-face meeting between Kelly and Foles yet, only a “positive” phone conversation. Michael Vick and Kelly have met multiple times, according to someone close to Vick.

There are a couple things to consider: For one, Foles is out west, where Vick owns a home in New Jersey. Much easier to have a sit-down when you live right over the bridge. Second, Kelly’s priority has to be making a decision on Vick. The 32-year-old is due $15.5 million this season. Foles will make $500,000.  In order to chart a proper course, Kelly has to do a thorough evaluation of Vick first. If he wants to keep him, they have to figure out the finances. If they don’t see eye-to-eye on money, then they have to try and move him. It is a bit involved.

Foles’ situation is less complicated. Kelly knows Foles’ game from playing against him on the collegiate level, and has spoken highly of him. Foles is under contract, and would probably play the part of the good soldier regardless of what his coach decides. Kelly will  have to determine how to move forward with Foles, but it is simply not as pressing of an issue at the moment.

Is it at all telling that Kelly, now three weeks in, has yet to sit down with one of the supposed candidates for starting quarterback? You can make the argument, though I am choosing to not read much into it for now.

From WHowald20: why would Chip keep Vick he’s injury turnover prone makes bad decisions in game has limited mobility and is owed big money.

Definitely don’t agree with the limited mobility claim, but I get the overall point.

Here’s why I am keeping the possibility of Vick returning on the table: Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg really pushed the envelope when it came to trying to develop Vick. I believe they saw all that natural ability — much of it left untapped by his previous coaches — and felt like they could harness and massage it to create the ultimate weapon. But they likely stretched it too far. By 2012, Vick looked like a QB who was overloaded with information and less in touch with his instincts. (Not a good combination, seeing as his offensive line was a total wreck.) Also, as you may have noticed, Reid likes to throw the hell out of the ball. No balance often equals trouble for the quarterback (again, especially with no O-line).

Kelly leaned heavily on the run at Oregon, and will probably try to do so here. He is not a big proponent of elaborate schemes and ultra-thick playbooks. Define your identity, do what you do, and do it well. How would Vick look in a run-heavy, play-action offense with a little read-option sprinkled in?

He is owed big money, but might be willing to play for less. The poor decision-making won’t be as easy to take care of. But maybe Kelly sees a formula that he thinks can work.

From @patrickcausey: Huh?! Wait… They hired… Who!? Why did it take so long? Underwhelming staff by Kelly #Eagles

Patrick’s reaction to the hiring of Billy Davis is a pretty common one. Between Davis and Pat Shurmur, there are too many former Browns in prominent positions for some people’s liking. And Davis’ track record as a defensive coordinator doesn’t inspire much confidence. To this point, he hasn’t demonstrated much “shutoutability,” to steal Kelly’s term.

So why did Kelly hire him? We’ll find out for sure soon, but my guess is Davis’ scheme preference and philosophy match what the new head coach is looking for. Davis also brings a wealth of NFL experience, which is key given that Kelly and some of his staff are lacking in that department.

This is what Kelly had to say at his introductory press conference when asked about the defense:

“In terms of what we want to be, we’re going to be an attacking style defense. It’s going to be a group of people who dictates the tempo of the game,” he said. “What that spacing is in terms of is it a 4-3 spacing or 3-4 spacing, I think it’s, again, looking at our roster and understanding who I have the opportunity to bring here. I can’t tell you that we’re going to be this or going to be that, but I know the style of football that we’re going to play and I know the style of players that I want to have out there. We’re going to play fast, we’re going to play hard, and we’re going to finish plays.”

Davis’ defenses have not stood out to date but there are other factors to consider, such as talent level at his previous stops. As has been pointed out, Jim Johnson‘s resume as a DC wasn’t tremendous before coming to Philly. It has to be the right fit, and perhaps this is it for Davis. We’ll see.

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