And the quarterback watch continued.
On Friday, the Eagles held another OTA at the NovaCare Complex. Earlier in the week, Nick Foles and Michael Vick – the two quarterbacks who appear best positioned to compete for the starting job – essentially took the same number of snaps (see story). That was not quite the case this time around.
Foles and Vick both appeared under center with the first and second teams during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills on Friday. An unofficial tally by CSNPhilly.com revealed that Foles took 42 total snaps while Vick had 29. Rookie Matt Barkley registered 22 reps with the third team.
Over the course of the OTA, Foles (again, unofficially) completed 22 of 29 passes. Vick went 9 for 17, while Barkley was 9 for 13.
Part of the reason Foles took more snaps than Vick on Friday was because of the way Chip Kelly structures his practices. The sessions are divided into individual periods (there were 21 on Friday), all of which are timed. As the quarterbacks rotate in and out, the clock ticks down. Sometimes, the clock expires and the team moves on to a different activity – special teams, for example – before the next signal caller can throw a pass. That happened a few times on Friday where Foles was on the field when one period ended and another began.
Additionally, during certain 11-on-11 drills, the quarterbacks were given the opportunity to engineer faux drives and stay on the field by guiding their respective units to hypothetical first downs. Foles did that a few times during certain periods, which ate away at the time remaining on the clock, thereby diminishing the number of snaps taken by the quarterbacks that followed him.
“We’re still playing fast, practicing fast, getting all our reps in, so that’s a good thing,” Vick said after practice. “Getting a lot of reps. Getting a lot of reps. It’s something that we prepare for, and we’ve been doing it the last two months.”
During that time, Kelly and his coaching staff have repeatedly said that Foles, Vick and the other quarterbacks will split reps in order to eventually determine – at a seemingly later date – who will be the starting signal caller when the season begins. Kelly, who has insisted that there is no depth chart at the moment, also said earlier in the week that the system is designed to make a “thorough evaluation” of his players. As a result, the offensive linemen and receivers on the first and second teams have also played regularly with both Foles and Vick.
“You want to see the quarterbacks get reps and get familiar with the offense and get familiar with the personnel that’s out there as well,” wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said on Friday. “It’s good for both of those guys.
“What you do as a receiver, you just want to be in the right spot when you go out there and they call your number, they call your name. You just want to be available for the quarterback when he needs you. You really can’t get caught up on who exactly it is. You just have to go out there and be in the right spot.”
Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters was absent again on Friday. A team spokesperson said Peters was not present because of personal reasons. Peters also missed OTAs on Tuesday and last week. All OTAs are voluntary. … Safety Kenny Phillips missed Friday’s session because he is expecting his first child. Phillips – who hasn’t worked with the first team in any of the OTAs that have been open to the media – also sat out on Tuesday. Reporters were told he spent Tuesday afternoon in the trainer’s room as a precautionary measure. … Cornerback Cary Williams missed Friday’s OTA to attend his daughter’s recital. … Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was on the field but didn’t practice because of ankle soreness. … Running back LeSean McCoy did not practice. He was at the NovaCare Complex to lift weights and attend team meetings, but he left to take care of personal business according to a team spokesperson. McCoy is expected to be at the NovaCare Complex when the Eagles hold mini-camp next Tuesday through Thursday.
And the quarterback watch continued.