Kelly Officially Names Foles the Starter
“Nick will be our starter, and hopefully we get Mike [Vick] back through a full week of practice to be able to be the No. 2 guy this week,” Kelly said.
The Eagles’ head coach talked to both quarterbacks Tuesday morning and informed them of his decision.
“They were both fine,” he said. “They understand the situation and Mike wants to contribute any way he can. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a great teammate, great leader. He’s been great for Nick over the games he’s been out in terms of helping him develop and we’ve got a good situation. I think we’ve got two quarterbacks who can win games in the NFL. And I think you need both of them.”
As always, Kelly hates to look ahead. But when asked if Foles would be the starter the rest of the year, he said: “Yeah, unless you know something I don’t know.
“I’ve always believed you need to have one quarterback,” he later added. “I don’t think our guys are going into games worrying about if they make a mistake. I want our players to always play from a desire to excel, not a fear of failure. So just go out there, and I’ve told Nick every game, I’ve told him before we’ve gone into games, go let it rip and don’t worry about things.”
There was no single game or single moment Kelly could point to in regards to when he made the decision. The bottom line is he’s seen Foles take care of the football, connect on throws downfield and make good decisions. He believes the second-year QB gives the Eagles the best chance to win games down the stretch and get into the playoffs.
“I was waiting until everybody was healthy before we had to make any decisions,” Kelly said. “There were no decisions that had to be made before this because Nick was the only guy we had.
“He’s played a lot more games and you get a lot more body of work to see him play. I think he’s done a great job of protecting the football and not putting us in bad situations. When we have a shot to take it down the field, he’s proven he can do that. He’s got a great command of what we’re doing. He’s a lot more comfortable in what we’re doing. So it’s just an ongoing process for him.”
Foles will take the first-team reps this week in practice, and Vick will practice with the second team.
“I’ve said it a thousand times, I’ll say it again: You’ve gotta think about it on a one-week basis, and that’s it because long-term in the NFL is one week,” Kelly said.
“I’m not convinced it’s more than a one-week thing. As long as we can continue to stay healthy, we will. But when you can predict the future, come talk to me. We can go to the racetrack together.”
Kelly said everyone is expected to be a full participant in practice, except for safety Earl Wolff, who is unlikely to return vs. Arizona.