Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Foles, not Kelly, made Eagles' QB decision
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly postponed making a quarterback decision long enough for the decision to make itself.
Nick Foles has put up historic numbers while leading the Eagles into contention in the NFC East. He has the highest passer rating in the NFL, has tied the NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a game and has won three games in a row to get the Eagles to 6-5.
Since then, Kelly has managed the quarterback position based entirely on the health of the players. Foles missed one start with a concussion. Vick came back, reinjured the hamstring and has been inactive for the three games since.
“I was waiting until everybody was healthy before we made any decisions,” Kelly said Tuesday. “No decision had to be made before this because Nick was the only guy we had.”
Foles made the most of the opportunity. With the exception of one poor game against Dallas, he has played superbly. Foles has thrown 16 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. His November passer rating of 152.8 was the highest for a full month in NFL history.
If Kelly had concerns over the summer that the locker room would prefer Vick, Foles took care of that as well. If his 4-1 record as a starter isn’t enough, the career-best numbers being amassed by DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Riley Cooper probably seal the deal.
“This team just wants to win football games,” Kelly said.
With Vick cleared to practice this week, someone had to take the first-team practice reps and prepare for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. By the time Kelly met with Foles and Vick on Tuesday, Vick had already conceded that Foles had to be the guy.
“In all honesty and all fairness,” Vick said Thursday on WIP 94.1 FM, “how can you take a guy out of the game who’s playing so well? I understand the position this team is in. The one thing I never want to do is be a distraction.”
So it’s no surprise Vick took Kelly’s decision well. The decision had already been made on the field, for everyone to see.