Just over 48 hours away from the Philadelphia Eagles kicking off the most intriguing preseason in over a decade, and the mystery surrounding the starting quarterback battle still has no resolution.
Since the spring, Nick Foles and Michael Vick have nearly evenly split first-team snaps in practice at the Novacare Complex and that continued to be the case on Wednesday. Despite indications that head coach Chip Kelly would name a starting quarterback for Friday’s game following Wednesday’s joint practice with the New England Patriots (who the team opens up the preseason against on Friday), the coach offered little resolution.
Foles took slightly more first-team snaps on Tuesday and Vick took the majority of the reps on Wednesday. Kelly insisted Wednesday that whoever starts the game means next to nothing in the overall scheme of the position battle.
“They’re both going to get reps so whoever takes the first rep, let’s not anoint them as anything,” Kelly said after Wednesday’s joint practice. “Someone’s got to be the first guy. We’ll have a plan as we go through and we’ll sit down as a staff — how many number of reps are those guys going to get and go from there. We do have to have someone start the game, but I wouldn’t say that the guy who starts the game is going to be the starter overall or in general as we get going on Sept. 9 (against the Redskins). How do we divvy up Mike’s and Nick’s snaps? We’ll try to make that as even as possible. That’s kind of our thought process as we go through this.”
Vick, who enters 2013 as the seasoned 33-year-old veteran hasn’t been given any indication of who will start on Friday night.
“Not as of right now,” Vick said after practice Wednesday. “We’ve just got to keep pressing. Keep doing things that got us up to this point right now.”
Meanwhile, Foles, entering his second NFL season, sees the offense as a work in progress.
“We’re just going to keep working,” Foles said. “We’re out here at training camp and we’re getting better every day. I think we’re headed in the right direction and guys are doing a great job.”
Despite not making his decision on who starts on Friday night, Kelly laid out one clear prerequisite for either of the quarterbacks coming down the homestretch of one of the most intriguing position battles in the NFL.
“We’ll be looking for who moves this team down the field the easiest,” Kelly explained. “Which quarterback gives us the best chance to win? That’s ultimately the decision maker at quarterback, but it comes down to who moves the team down the field the easiest and the most.”
Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.