Philadelphia Eagles: What Nick Foles' Emergence Means for Michael Vick

Zachary ArthurCorrespondent IISeptember 5, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles fans, it looks as though your wish could have come true. The Eagles might have a legitimate backup quarterback.

Nick Foles absolutely lit up the preseason. He had a 65.5 percent passing percentage, threw for 553 yards and racked up six touchdown throws on his way to leading Philadelphia to a 4-0 record. Foles embodied everything that you can ask for in a second-string quarterback.

Oh yeah, that's right, what about Michael Vick?

Vick managed to get hurt (surprise surprise) after only 11 yards on four completions in the first two preseason games. He ended up not playing the rest of the preseason so that he would be ready for Week 1 of the regular season against the Cleveland Browns.

Vick's injury was the best thing that could have happened to Foles. He was able to step into guaranteed preseason minutes, which had to feel good with Trent Edwards breathing down his back. Foles was in a three-quarterback race for the backup job, and his increased time on the field played a large role in him winning that battle.

There are a couple of different ways for Vick to look at Foles' emergence—some positive, some negative—and they could end up playing a role in how this season turns out.


Will Foles End Up Putting Pressure on Vick's Position as the Starting Quarterback?

There isn't any kind of debate about who should start for the Eagles right now. The answer is Michael Vick. That doesn't mean that the question won't come up down the line, though.

Imagine it's mid-November and the Eagles are coming off of a loss to the Dallas Cowboys—a game in which Vick struggled to get any kind of consistent passing game going.

The Washington Redskins are next on the schedule and, sure enough, Vick's performance throughout the first three quarters has the Eagles down by 10.

On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Philadelphia calls a play-action pass, and as Vick turns back to face the defense, he's met by Brian Orakpo.

The familiar sight of Vick curled into a ball on the field has Eagles fans thinking about next year's draft when all of the sudden, the Nick Foles show begins.

Foles goes on to lead Philadelphia to a four-point victory, and the city goes nuts. Vick's injury turns out to be nothing more than some bruised ribs, but the next day, every morning newspaper's headline brings up a potential quarterback controversy.

Back to reality.

The scenario above might sound like a bit of a fairytale for Foles, but it wouldn't be crazy to assume that something like this could end up happening.

Philly fans cheer on a short leash, and they're quick to change their minds about a player if they strongly believe that a better option exists.

Don't be surprised if a great performance from Foles ends up putting some kind of pressure on Vick and his job security as the No. 1 quarterback.


Vick Could Also Learn to Embrace Both Foles and His Own Health

This would be ideal for all parties involved.

It could be possible for Foles' success to be what pushes Vick to play smarter and protect himself. 

Vick—along with the rest of the world—knows that he is the Eagles' best quarterback. He can't be the best from the sideline.

A young and hungry backup quarterback could make Vick play smarter so that he doesn't even give Foles the opportunity to see playing time. How nice would it be to see Vick play in all 16 games this year?

Foles would end up significantly benefiting from this as well.

He'll eventually have his time to be a starter, but rushing his development and putting him on the field when he isn't ready will do nothing but hurt him. This scenario allows Foles to be able to learn from Vick on the sideline and in practice as well.


Final Thoughts

The first game of Philadelphia's regular season is only days away (at Cleveland Browns), and we most likely won't be hearing much out of Foles for the next couple of weeks.

If the time does come for Foles to step up, whether it's from an injury or from poor play, then all eyes will be on Vick.

His response to the situation would certainly be worth paying attention to.