Everyone wants to know who the Eagles’ starting quarterback will be. Some people think they’ve already figured it out.
Before training camp began, DeSean Jackson was asked to handicap the open competition and happily obliged. Jackson recently told ESPN that he believes Michael Vick will be under center when the season begins.
“Michael Vick has a lot of confidence in himself,” Jackson said. “He’s going on 12 years in the NFL. I think he’ll get the job, honestly."
Jackson, perhaps sensing that the other guy might ultimately win the gig despite his prognostication, added that Nick Foles “has the height” and “the skills” and “is a great, great talent.”
On Monday, rookies and quarterbacks reported to the NovaCare Complex for training camp. Not surprisingly, Foles was asked about Jackson’s comments.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Foles said. “I love DeSean. I don’t worry about it. There’s nothing to worry about. I’m going to go out there and play. I’m going to play to the best of my ability. And I know DeSean, no matter what, is going to play to the best of his ability no matter who the quarterback is. It’s as simple as that.”
Is there any concern that other players will follow Jackson’s lead and predict which quarterback they believe will win the competition? And if that happens, might it create a locker room divide of sorts?
“There’s no concern,” Foles insisted. “I know the guys very well. Whoever does win the job, whoever the coaches go with, will be a guy who the guys respect, the guys will play for, and there will be no problem. I know the guys personally. We have a great group of guys who are going to go out there and work every single day. They’re going to play the guy who can win the games.”
Before Foles discussed the ongoing saga, Howie Roseman also talked about the quarterback competition. The general manager, like Foles, downplayed the situation and said Vick is fine with it.
“Every conversation I’ve had, and anyone in this building had, with Michael about competition, he’s all for it,” Roseman said. “He wants the best players to play and he’s not shying away from competition in any aspect. He knew that when we signed him. He knew there was going to be competition at every spot, and he said nothing other than he wants to compete.”
That’s not exactly the case. As minicamp concluded in early-June, Vick told CSNPhilly.com Eagles Insider Geoff Mosher that he wanted Chip Kelly to name a starter before training camp. Vick’s comments at the time created national news, but his plea didn’t prompt any action from Kelly.
The dominant storyline remains in place as training camp opens. It will almost certainly remain that way until Kelly finally picks a quarterback. While Vick implored Kelly to name a starter, Foles has adopted a different approach, talking at length about his love for competition and his fellow Eagles quarterbacks.
On Monday, Foles gushed about the benefit of having “a quarterback room that supports each other” and how he has “all the respect in the world for Mike.” Though Foles said he has “all the confidence in the world” in himself, he balked when asked whether he thought he was in the lead to win the job following his performances during OTAs and minicamp.
“No. I feel like we’re still competing and there is no lead,” Foles said. “There’s never a lead. That was the spring. That was an opportunity for the team to get better. And I feel like I had a solid spring. There’s a lot of stuff I had to correct from the spring. I look at it like a work in progress. This camp is another opportunity to get better and improve on the things I didn’t think I did well in the last camp and get even better at the things I thought I did do well. There is no lead. Every day, one guy is going to have a good day and one guy is going to have a mediocre day –- things like that.”