Philadelphia Eagles' Position Battles: The Backup QB
With less than ten days remaining until the training camp of the Philadelphia Eagles kicks off, there is growing interest in the various positional battles. With the only exception of the linebacker position, most of the starting spots will remain with their 2011 owner. In offense, there will hardly be any new faces.
The battle for Michael Vick’s backup, however, is very intriguing. The Eagles will start No. 7 under center, but they have three more quarterbacks that will need to do their best to win the backup job.
Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards and Nick Foles will go head-to-head not only for the No. 2 spot, but also to stay with the team. Philadelphia won’t keep four quarterbacks on its 53-player roster, so this battle will provide an ultimate winner and a player being cut.
Kafka enters his third season in the NFL, and it looks like the time has come for the Northwestern alum to be given more responsibility. He was the third-stringer in 2010 and 2011 behind Kevin Kolb and Vince Young respectively. Now, it looks like the backup job is his to lose.
Kafka has thrown less than 20 passes in regular season games. He is still unproven, but after spending two years learning Andy Reid’s offense, he should be able to climb up one spot on the depth chart.
It seems like the Eagles feel like that too. The signing of Trent Edwards was never more than an insurance addition, and that became clear after the team drafted Nick Foles in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Edwards has a career completion rate of 60.5 percent, a total of 26 touchdowns and 30 interceptions and his quarterback rating is 75.4 percent (via NFL.com) His overall ability has a very low ceiling and he’s not really accurate.
Although I didn’t think the Eagles should have drafted a quarterback this year, I was happy when they picked Nick Foles. The 6’5” quarterback is not a natural born leader, but he has more potential than the 28-year old Edwards.
Foles operated mainly from the shotgun formation in a spread offense while playing for the Arizona Wildcats. His stats were inflated because of that, but they still were impressive (More than 4,300 yards in 12 games, with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.)
Andy Reid wouldn’t have picked Foles if he didn’t see a future for the rookie, and while Kafka will probably get the spot behind Vick on the depth chart, Foles won’t be cut.
That leaves Edwards off the train, and sooner or later he will be cut. Kafka and Foles will be the ones who will stay with the team. Both will have a shot at the backup job, but Kafka is obviously the favorite since he’s more experienced and knows the offense a lot better.
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