Philadelphia Eagles Tab Michael Vick to Start Preseason Opener, Adding Intrigue To QB Battle

By Matt Lombardo
Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports

In one of the most anticipated announcements across that NFL this summer, Chip Kelly named Michael Vick the starting quarterback for Friday night’s Philadelphia Eagles preseason opener against the New England Patriots.

“Michael will start,” Kelly announced shortly after a joint walk-through with the Patriots at the Novacare Complex Thursday afternoon. “It was Mike’s day to start in the rotation, and Foles will start next week.”

Kelly made it clear that Vick’s elevation to preseason starter had nothing to do with evaluation, and is rather based on how practices have been structured. Next week, the coaching staff would schedule practices to ensure it is Foles’ day with the first-team when the Eagles square off with the Carolina Panthers on August 15.

Vick and Foles are expected to split first-team reps in the first quarter and possibly early into the second, with the goal being each quarterback taking between 12 and 20 snaps with the first team.

“It’s tough but you have to go with what you’ve got,” Vick said when asked if there is any added pressure with such limited a window to impress the coaches. “You can’t complain about the amount of plays you’re going to get, you have to go out there and try to be efficient with all of them. It’s not like it’s a four quarter game. You have to go with what you’ve got.”

The plan, according to Kelly, is to have Matt Barkley play in the second and perhaps into the third quarter, with G.J. Kinne and Dennis Dixon finishing the game.

Kelly has said all along that the preseason games are viewed as the ‘final exam’ in this quarterback competition. It certainly will add to intrigue to see which quarterback separates himself in this competition over the next four games.

Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter

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