The Eagles came into Monday with five quarterbacks on the roster but theyll start OTAs on Tuesday with four.
The team cut undrafted free agent Jacory Harris from Miami on Monday afternoon.
After Michael Vick, who is entering what could be the most important off-season of his career (see story), the Eagles still have Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards and Nick Foles.
A new rule has pushed the NFL off-season roster from 80 players to 90, which makes it likely the remaining four QBs are here to stay for a while.
It will allow us to carry four through training camp and really what I like about it, I just go back to when I was a player, it creates competition at every position, Eagles quarterback coach Doug Pederson said. It pushes everybody to be better.
But the team will likely have a decision to make at the end of camp. Is there any chance theyll enter the season with four quarterbacks?
I think it goes back to three, Pederson said. It would be rare I think for any team to carry four. I dont get to make those calls, so I dont worry about it.
Kafka is the frontrunner to be the backup. He played in four games last season, completing 11 of 16 passes for 107 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Vince Young was brought in to be the backup last season but aside from his 18-play drive against the Giants struggled.
I see Mike Kafka being possibly a solid No. 2, Pederson said. Obviously, nothings given, everythings earned in this league. But I think with a guy like Kafka, we have all the faith and trust in the world just looking at what hes capable of doing. Hes a smart guy, sharp guy. He just has to get better with our terminology and progressions.
Edwards is the most veteran backup the Eagles have. He is the only one with an NFL start under his belt in fact, he has 33 with a 14-19 record. In his four years in Buffalo, he threw for over 60 percent with 25 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.
He can give you a little veteran leadership Pederson said. Hes had a lot of starts in this league and a lot of success and he can bring that experience and give you a little calmness there at the position.
And, then theres Foles, who signed his four-year rookie deal on Monday morning (see story). He threw for 10,011 yards, 67 touchdowns and 933 completions while at Arizona and was taken by the Eagles in the third round in late April.
Nick Foles can come in there and just learn, Pederson said. Just learn. He just has to study and put himself in a position to succeed.
If anyone knows about being a backup quarterback in the NFL, its Pederson. He played in 100 NFL games but started just 17. For seven of his 10 seasons in the league, he backed up Brett Favre, who holds the NFL record for consecutive games started by a quarterback at 297.
Things are a little different in Philadelphia with Vick, who has started all 16 games of a season just once in his career.
I think with the nature of Michael Vick, you have to consider the backup position, Pederson said.
Kafka, the Eagles fourth-round selection out of Northwestern in 2010, hasnt had a ton of NFL experience, but Pederson says hes confident in him.
Im with Mike Kafka every day, he said. People on the outside arent. They see what they see, they hear what they hear and they make their own opinions. Mike is very capable of taking over. He is very capable of doing what I ask.
Would I ever ask him to be Michael Vick? No. Nobody ever asked me to be Brett Favre. It wasnt going to happen. Not many people are like Mike Vick. I want him to play like Mike Kafka.
Demetress Bell stepping in
The Eagles will start OTAs on Tuesday without one of their best players. Offensive tackle Jason Peters, who is likely out for the season, wont be there, but Demetress Bell will.
The Eagles signed Bell in the off-season to fill in for Peters and these OTAs will be extremely important for him.
I think hes going to be a heckuva player for us coming in, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. Hes like the young players. Hes right in the middle of a learning curve here. Were hoping for him to progress very quickly. Were hoping at this camp that starts tomorrow that well fill him up with all of our offensive schemes and break it back down. And Eugene Chung will do a good job here.
Stuck in the Mudd
Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd wont be in town for the start of OTAs on Tuesday. Instead, Chung, the teams assistant strength and conditioning coach will take the responsibilities. Chung is a former NFL offensive lineman. He started 30 games for the Patriots in the early 90s and has become Mudds understudy and presumed successor in Philly.
E-mail Dave Zangaro at email@example.com