Entering the 2013 NFL regular season, few teams received as much hype as the revamped Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Chip Kelly was praised as an offensive mastermind who would revolutionize the NFL, but there's been one insurmountable hurdle in the Eagles' road to elite: inconsistent quarterback play.
Nick Foles' recent injury offers the opportunity for Philadelphia to commit to a full-time starter and thus solve that issue.
Entering Week 7, Foles had been playing exceptional football. In his previous two appearances, the former Arizona star had 493 yards, five touchdowns and no interception on a completion percentage of 67.9.
During Week 7, however, Foles was 11-of-29 for 80 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions before going down with a head injury.
Now, Philadelphia needs to answer a question: Who is it committed to?
The Eagles have a trio of quarterbacks who have all been labeled as potential starters with Foles, Matt Barkley and Michael Vick. All three have seen the field in 2013, and the common theme has been flashes of brilliance being mixed with moments of pure confusion.
It's time Kelly commits to one player.
There's no question that the Eagles lack consistency at quarterback, and it's unlikely that Barkley, Foles or Vick will provide it. With that being said, there's one form of inconsistency that can be prevented by committing to one of those players: the inconsistency that comes with an ever-changing quarterback situation.
Kelly's offensive system is one of a complex nature. Not only does that require a high number of reps for the quarterback to develop a true understanding, but it puts the offensive linemen and skill players in a position of uncertainty.
When the player taking every snap changes so often, it becomes difficult for any other player to develop a rhythm.
What Foles' injury does is provide Philadelphia with the opportunity to evaluate all three of their players from an in-game perspective. From there, it can be determined which player is the best fit for the unit.
It's then, and only then, that the Eagles will move toward efficiency.
LeSean McCoy has been playing dominant football, but players such as DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Jason Avant have struggled with the constant changes at quarterback. With a full-time star, Philadelphia would be able to move forward with a true offensive identity.
From there, the Eagles could determine if the future of the position is already on the roster.
2014 NFL Draft
One of the biggest selling points for the 2014 NFL draft is the presence of dual-threat quarterbacks with NFL-caliber passing ability. With the position becoming more and more athletic with every passing season, the time is now for teams to draft the ideal fit.
Don't be shocked to see the Eagles emerge as one of the teams that goes all in on a first round field general.
The options are countless, with Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Brett Hundley of UCLA, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Marcus Mariota of Oregon all expected to go in the first round. All four have been regarded as potential franchise players.
More importantly, all four would be perfect fits in the Eagles' offense under Kelly.
What this all adds up to is Philadelphia needing to commit to a quarterback in 2013. By doing so, said player would be able to show the Eagles that he either can or cannot lead the team into the future.
From there, Philadelphia will answer the most critical question of all: Should it draft a quarterback in 2014?
Bridgewater is the star pocket passer, while Hundley, Manziel and Mariota are all read-option maestros. Perhaps most significantly, Mariota was Kelly's quarterback at the University of Oregon.
If Philadelphia is going to draft one of those players, the only rational approach from here on out is using Foles' injury as an opportunity to name a quarterback for the remainder of the season.