Breaking Down the Philadelphia Eagles' Biggest Training Camp Battle

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Breaking Down the Philadelphia Eagles' Biggest Training Camp Battle
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is known for producing hot-topic position battles, and the Eagles' situation at quarterback doesn't fall short of the stereotype.

Clearly the most pivotal decision new head coach Chip Kelly will make this offseason, the quarterback position is unstable, to say the least, in Philadelphia.

Conventional wisdom states that Kelly really has two guys to choose from: Michael Vick and Nick Foles.

Vick has 12 years of NFL experience, has impressive arm strength and still possesses dazzling speed.

This Sports Science feature is from two years ago, but Vick still has this kind of ability.

In other words, he still has that ability to make viewers marvel at how he keeps plays alive. 

Vick, however, has always seemed a step late in reads—waiting for wideouts to get out into the open instead of anticipating and hitting them in stride as they break loose.

Foles, on the contrary, has a keen eye in examining the field, protects the ball better than Vick and has shown better precise decision-making in comparison to his competitor.

But the concern with Foles is that sometimes he's too timid as a passer.

Whether it's not standing tall and confident in the pocket or checking down to a back in the flat when he should have launched it downfield, Foles showed his lack of confidence.

The former Arizona Wildcat has a ton of potential seeing that he's only 24 years old, but he's not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination.

And not only are these two duking it out for the starting job but, reportedly, also for a spot on the roster.

CSNPhilly.com's Geoff Mosher told PFT Live that the loser between Foles and Vick would be out of a job in Philly.

Mosher said the team appears set on moving forward with Matt Barkley as the team's backup and Dennis Dixon as the third-stringer.

As if this quarterback situation couldn't get any more intriguing.

So is Barkley locked in a backup role? Not necessarily.

Leading up to training camp, the vast majority of those watching seem to have a preference: Vick over Foles or the other way around.

But it might not be the two-man race that everyone thought it would.

After being drafted in the fourth round, and considering the two guys ahead of him, Barkley wasn't expected to make much noise. It was sort of assumed from the get-go that he'd wait along the sidelines (at first, at least) until he was developed.

Well, there's nothing too conventional about how Kelly runs his practices, schemes or team, so why would the quarterback competition be any different?

Barkley said himself that he considers the situation an open competition and legitimately believes he could be the opening-day starter for Philly, according to a report by CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank.

It's not crazy to think that Barkley can make it happen.

As Frank points out, the new coach handpicked Barkley, and the same can't be said about Foles or Vick.

Who knows how far that goes in regards to who Kelly likes the most for the role.

But in terms of physical attributes, Barkley is right there.

His arm strength was a question approaching April's draft, but his shoulder appears fine as Barkley stole the spotlight early in Eagles' training camp according to NJ.com's Jordan Raanan.

Raanan pointed out that Barkley was on-point with his accuracy and showed nice touch in practice as well.

In the end, the Eagles won't have a perfect quarterback operating Kelly's offense smoothly for 2013.

Philly fans will see one of the following as their Week 1 starter: a recent turnover-magnet, a frequently hesitant project or a newbie to the NFL.

It's still up for debate which option is best for the Eagles moving forward, and only future evaluation at training camp will provide some clarity to the situation.

But what's understood in this time of blurriness is that it's an open competition, and entertainment shouldn't be at a premium for those paying close attention.

Training camp is known for producing hot-topic position battles and the Eagles' situation at quarterback doesn't fall short of the stereotype.

Clearly the most pivotal decision new head coach Chip Kelly will make this offseason, the quarterback position is unstable to say the least in Philadelphia.

Conventional wisdom states that Kelly really has two guys to choose from: Michael Vick and Nick Foles.

Vick has 12 years of NFL experience, has impressive arm strength and still possesses speed that could be attractive to Kelly.

Vick, however, has always seemed a step late in reads—waiting for wideouts to get out into the open instead of anticipating and hitting them in stride as they break loose.

Foles, on the contrary, has a keen eye in examining the field, protects the ball better than Vick and has shown better precise decision-making in comparison with his competitor.

But the concern with Foles is that sometimes he's too timid as a passer.

Whether it's not standing tall and confident in the pocket or checking down to a back in the flat when he should have launched it downfield, Foles showed these tendencies last year.

The former Arizona Wildcat has a ton of potential seeing that he's only 24 years old, but he's not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination.

And not only are these two duking it out for the starting job, but, reportedly, also for a spot on the roster.

CSNPhilly.com's Geoff Mosher told PFT Live that the loser between Foles and Vick would be out of job in Philly.

Mosher said the team appears set on moving forward with Matt Barkley as the team's backup and Dennis Dixon as the third-stringer.

As if this quarterback situation couldn't get any more intriguing.

So then is Barkley locked in a backup role? Not necessarily.

Leading up to training camp, the vast majority of those watching seems to have a preference: either Vick over Foles or the other way around.

But, it might not be the two-man race that everyone thought it would.

After being drafted in the fourth round and considering the two guys ahead of him, Barkley wasn't expected to make much noise. It was sort of assumed from the get-go that he'd wait along the sidelines (at first, at least) until he was developed.

Well, there's nothing too conventional about how Kelly runs his practices, schemes or team so why would the quarterback competition be any different?

Barkley said himself that he considers the situation an open competition and legitimately believes he could be the opening-day starter for Philly, according to a report by CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank.

It's not crazy to think that Barkley can make it happen.

As Frank points out, the new coach handpicked Barkley and the same can't be said about Foles or Vick.

How far that goes in regards to who Kelly likes the most for the role? Who knows?

But in terms of physical attributes, Barkley is right there.

His arm strength was a question approaching April's draft, but his shoulder appears fine as Barkley stole the spotlight early in Eagles' training camp according to NJ.com's Jordan Raanan.

Raanan pointed out that Barkley was on-point with his accuracy and showed nice touch in practice as well.

In the end, the Eagles won't have a perfect quarterback operating Kelly's offense smoothly for 2013.

Philly fans will see one of the following as their week one starter: a recent turnover-magnet, a frequently hesitant project or a newbie to the NFL.

It's still up for debate which option is best for the Eagles moving forward, and only future evaluation at training camp will provide some clarity to the situation.

But what's understood in this time of blurriness is that it's an open competition and entertainment shouldn't be at a premium for those paying close attention.

 

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