Of the many decisions weighing on new Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, perhaps the biggest is choosing who will be the starting quarterback.
If Kelly's system is going to translate successfully in the NFL, he will need a quarterback who can make quick reads and get rid of the ball immediately.
That rules out Michael Vick.
For as great as he has been (with the exception of 2012), Vick is old and more injury prone than he has ever been. On top of that, he takes forever to throw the ball.
But this isn't a case against Vick. It's a case against Nick Foles.
Nick Foles has not been terrible during his time in Philadelphia. However, he also hasn't been very good. When assessing his skills and relating them to those needed for success in Coach Kelly's scheme, one can make few parallels.
For starters, many people have noted a remarkable "poise" in Nick Foles. The word itself and this kind of an argument fall short of legitimizing Foles' potential because poise is an intangible.
But let's assume that we can see and measure poise. It would most likely be best to say that poise is how composed a quarterback looks while standing in the pocket and making reads. We'll also say that poise is a how a quarterback reacts to getting sacked.
Does he panic when the rush is coming? If the answer is no, then he is poised.
Does he get right up after he's been sacked? If the answer is yes, then he is poised.
Should the Eagles draft EJ Manuel if he is available in the 3rd round?
For that matter, all NFL quarterbacks should have poise. If they don't, they have no business taking snaps. The only exception would be a terrible offensive line.
What else about Foles disqualifies him as the ideal candidate for the Kelly system?
Foles doesn't have the strongest arm, and he has no mobility. Chip Kelly's quarterbacks need to get the ball quickly to a receiver or take off and run.
When has Foles ever done these things?
Some have speculated that these remarks mean that Kelly believes in Foles, but that is a leap in logic that makes no sense.
How does that mean that Kelly believes Foles can be the Eagles starting quarterback?
Here's what Kelly said: "I’ll tell you what; I’m glad Nick Foles is graduating...I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes...Nick is a hell of a football player. That kid’s a warrior. He’s as good as anyone in the country."
What his comments meant then was exactly what he said: Foles is a hell of a football player and a warrior.
By the way, Oregon won that game 56-31.
Kelly was probably being nice when he was asked about Foles. He didn't approach any reporters to give those thoughts. What he supposed to say?
"Well, we destroyed them today and Nick Foles tried real hard, God bless him, but it just wasn't enough and I don't know how to say that he did all right."
Even if Kelly thought that way about Foles, where does he say Foles could be an NFL quarterback? I'm sure Kelly thought that Tim Tebow was a great college quarterback just like everyone else, and just like everyone else I'm sure Kelly knew Tebow wouldn't translate to the NFL.
Another leap in logic being made about Kelly and Foles is assuming that these two could be like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Yes, Belichick visited Kelly to see how the Oregon offense worked. Belichick did not copy Kelly or ask for his advice. What Belichick did was try to get insight into how an up-tempo offense like Kelly's might translate into the NFL.
But Nick Foles is not Tom Brady. Foles has never been as good as Brady at any level.
If that's not enough, chew on this: We have no reason to think that Kelly believes in Foles because he has said he will be evaluating everyone. If he felt that Foles was his guy, he would have said it.
Kelly has literally said that he is going to tailor his offense according to who is playing. But that doesn't mean he's going to change how his offense works. What about Foles says he can work in Kelly's offense? What does he have in common with any of Kelly's quarterbacks? Granted, we haven't seen an NFL offense from Kelly yet, but if he isn't going to run an Oregon-style offense, why was he hired?
In conclusion, Foles is not the right fit in a Chip Kelly offense because he's slow, he doesn't get rid of the ball quickly enough, the coach doesn't believe in him and his best attribute (poise) doesn't mean anything.