Eagles Wake-Up Call: Answering 3 Popular Questions
We have been receiving lots of questions about the goings-on at training camp. Some questions we get more than others. Here is our best attempt to answer three that seem to pop up the most:
WHO IS WINNING THE QUARTERBACK BATTLE?
I would give a slight edge to Michael Vick.
Truth is, no quarterback has truly separated himself. Oftentimes Vick looks good one day, Nick Foles the next.
“When you go through it and you’re going as many times and as many evaluations, there is an up day and a down day, an up day and a down day,” said Chip Kelly. “So who consistently over the time has played at the highest level?”
At least from this vantage point, Vick has been a little more consistent ever since the pads came on (and the windows got tighter) last week. He had arguably his best day on Sunday, even if he did hit those fly-swatter contraptions twice during 7-on-7’s. But Foles has had his moments as well. It’s close.
Vick has a few things going for him if a tiebreaker is needed. For one, he is a running threat. Kelly doesn’t need to run the read-option but, judging by the amount the team practices it on a given day, he sure wouldn’t mind it. Second, Vick is a team leader. That’s obviously a big part of the position. And third, he has a wealth of experience. If Kelly is only concerned with winning and winning now (and all signs suggest that is the case) he has reason enough to go with Vick.
But this competition remains open, and preseason performance is going to weigh heavily into Kelly’s final decision.
HOW DOES IFEANYI MOMAH LOOK?
My God, do Philadelphians love them a tall wide receiver. I have been asked about Momah more than just about anyone on the roster. He is a favorite of the fans at practice as well.
“Man, look at 80! I hope he makes it. That’s what we need.”
Hard not to be impressed with his measurables (6-7, 4.39 40) but they only matter if he uses that size and plays fast. So far, that hasn’t been the case.
“I think with all young players or with all players when they’re thinking too much…I don’t think they’re running as fast. So if their head is moving and they’re a little confused then their feet don’t move as fast,” said Kelly. “When Mo knows exactly what he’s doing, he can cut it loose a little bit.”
Momah hasn’t played competitive ball since 2011, so it’s understandable if he’s feeling his way through all this early on. He hasn’t been able to separate from defenders much and overall hasn’t really flashed. He had his best practice on Friday, as Sheil pointed out, so maybe he is starting to get more comfortable. He’ll need to impress in these preseason games if he wants to solidify a roster spot.
WHO’S GOING TO BE THE NO. 3 RUNNING BACK?
This position is tough to evaluate in a tackle-free environment, but I will say that Chris Polk has stood out. He looks quick and explosive.
Felix Jones has blended into the scenery for me. Matthew Tucker looks like he has decent agility but I’d imagine he’s facing some pretty long odds, especially after failing his pre-camp conditioning test.
Right now I would give it to Polk. But let’s see how each of the backs look in the preseason games.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Kapadia may or may not have been threatened by a large defensive lineman. Details in his practice diary.
How the Atlanta Braves helped Kelly with his special teams.
Dan Reeves says “Mike Vick can handle any situation or any system mentally or physically.”
Sheil takes a look at the state of the wide receiver position.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Sam Farmer has a good piece on Matt Barkley, who definitely isn’t used to the position he is in.
“There is kind of an unspoken depth chart that hasn’t moved yet,” Barkley said after a recent practice. “It’s kind of rough battling that.”
Although it’s not unusual for a rookie to start at the bottom rung, especially a fourth-round draft pick, Barkley isn’t accustomed to anything but the first team. He started all four years at Mater Dei High, then did the same at USC. So this is a new experience, getting accustomed to the NFL, to first-year Eagles Coach Chip Kelly and to waiting in line.
“With Pete [Carroll, then USC’s coach], it wasn’t like it was given to me,” he said. “He throws you in with the 1s. ‘Let’s see what you can do.’ So I was kind of thinking that would be the same here, at least to get a shot just to see what you could do. But that hasn’t been the case yet, so hopefully that will come soon. It’s just different.”
Peter King was at practice Sunday. He seems pretty high on Vick and the Birds.
PHILADELPHIA–Bird bits: Vick sharp in practice, looks like #1 … Lane Johnson quick, worked at RT< … Chip has energized entire place.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 4, 2013
RT @Randyljobst: Would it shock you to see this team win 10 games this year? … Not at all.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 4, 2013
Practice at the Linc today. A 12:30 start time.