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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

Previewing the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles: Backup Quarterbacks

This is the first article in a series in which I will take a look at the expected backup positions on the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles.

As fans, we know who the starters will be for almost every position next year. Michael Vick is the quarterback, LeSean McCoy is the running back, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are the wide receivers. We know all that.

What we don’t know yet as fans is who will be the backups at most positions, so this ten-part series will highlight my predictions for the non-starters on the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles.

I think it’s a pretty safe bet to announce that Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. The chance of him losing his starting spot in training camp is approximately the same chance of Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton throwing a perfect game in his next start.

But if Vick misses a number of games due to injuries next season, the Eagles will need a quality backup quarterback.

They have three quarterbacks currently on the roster: Mike Kafka, Nick Foles, and Trent Edwards.

Kafka was the team’s fourth round draft pick in 2010. He was regarded by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg as the best rookie he has ever coached, but he doesn’t necessarily have the physical tools to succeed in the National Football League.

He had an opportunity to play at the end of the Eagles’ second game last season, against Atlanta, completing 7 of 9 passes for 72 yards and putting the Eagles into position to win the game. But a fourth down dropped pass by Jeremy Maclin cost the Eagles a potential victory.

Next week, Kafka again filled in for an injured Michael Vick in the fourth quarter, completing 4 of 7 passes for 35 yards and two interceptions. The Eagles blew a 16-14 lead to the Giants and lost 29-16.

Those two games are the extent of Kafka’s career in the NFL. Decent production but probably not enough for Reid to feel completely comfortable if Vick goes down. However, Kafka is a virtual lock to make the team, and as of a few months ago, he was officially named the backup quarterback. We’ll see if that holds over heading into 2012.

Third-round draft pick Nick Foles is also an absolute lock to make the team. He has (obviously) never played a snap in the NFL but Reid loves projects and Foles is a big, powerful quarterback who he will work with over the next few seasons, assuming Reid is still around.

I don’t think anybody expects Foles to enter the season as the backup, especially on a team like the Eagles where the backup will probably have to start a few games. Kafka will probably be the backup, with Foles as the team’s third quarterback.

That leaves veteran Trent Edwards as the odd man out, unless the Eagles decide to keep four quarterbacks, which I don’t see as a possibility. Edwards hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since the 2010 season. He’s been around for five seasons and he’s started for Buffalo but he’s never been a productive quarterback and his only chance of making the team would be to beat out Kafka in training camp, which I don’t see happening.

Vick is the starter for next season. That’s a guarantee. Foles has a 100 percent chance of making the team because he was just drafted, although he probably won’t be the backup quarterback. The winner of the Kafka-Edwards battle will probably be the backup quarterback, and I fully expect that job to be won by Mike Kafka, who has two years of experience working with Andy Reid under his belt.