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Nick Foles leads the NFL with a 128.0 passer rating. (AP)
The worst-kept secret is finally out.
Nick Foles is the Eagles’ starting quarterback. Not just for this week’s practice or Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, but also for the long term.
In his first press conference after the bye week, Eagles coach Chip Kelly admitted Tuesday what everyone had known for weeks, that Foles would lead the Eagles’ offense going forward and Michael Vick would continue as the backup.
Kelly said he met with both quarterbacks before announcing his decision at the press conference.
“I did. Nick will be our starter,” Kelly said. “Hopefully, we get Mike back for a full week of practice and he’ll be able to be the No. 2 guy this week.”
Vick has been sidelined since re-injuring his hamstring Oct. 27 against the Giants at the Linc. Foles has started all three games since and won all three. He’s 4-1 as a starter this year, with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. His 128.0 passer rating is the NFL’s highest.
To be sure, Kelly was asked if Foles was the starter for the rest of the season, not just for Sunday’s game against the Cards or until Vick is deemed 100 percent recovered.
“Yeah,” Kelly responded. “Unless you know something I don’t know.”
Kelly said both quarterbacks understood the decision. He praised Vick for handling the demotion with class. Vick is 2-4 in his six starts this year, with five TD passes and three interceptions. He’s completed 55 percent of his passes and has an 86.5 passer rating, which ranks 20th among all NFL quarterbacks with at least 70 attempts.
“They were both fine,” Kelly said. “Mike wants to contribute any way he can. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a great teammate, great leader. He’s been great for Nick in the games he’s been out, in terms of helping him develop. We’ve got a good situation. We’ve got two quarterbacks who can win games in the NFL, and I think you need both of them.”
The decision hardly came as a surprise. During the bye week, Vick had said during his paid appearance on 94.1 WIP that Kelly would be nuts to remove the red-hot Foles from the starting lineup (see story).
But Kelly stood firm that his decision only came after both quarterbacks were healthy enough to be compared against each other.
“There were no decisions that would be made before this,” he said, “because Nick was the only guy we had.”