Eagle Eye: Foles named long-term starter
In 40 regular-season starts with the Eagles, Michael Vick has a 20-20 record. (USA Today Images)
Michael Vick made it easy for Chip Kelly.
“When we sat down, he didn’t even have to say much,” Vick said.
Kelly sat down separately Tuesday morning with Vick and Nick Foles and told both that the Eagles will be moving forward with Foles as the starting quarterback (see story).
Much like Vick got the job by playing at a very high level after replacing an injured Kevin Kolb early in 2010, Foles got the job by playing at a very high level after replacing Vick the past couple months.
“You can’t be naïve,” Vick said. “You’ve got to understand the situation. You’ve got to just know the most important thing for you to do is try to be there to support your team.
“I didn’t want to make this a hard decision for Coach, I didn’t want to make it a hard decision for anybody, for myself. You can’t be frustrated by it. I just wanted it to be a smooth transition, and it was.
“Me and Coach are always on the same page. ... We’re always thinking pretty much the same, and it makes it easier for all of us.”
Vick wasn’t bad this year before getting hurt. He completed 55 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and three interceptions and an 86.5 passer rating along with 308 rushing yards on just 34 carries.
But the Eagles were 2-4 under Vick, and they’re 4-1 under Foles, who has thrown 16 touchdowns and no interceptions since Vick pulled his hamstring on Oct. 6 against the Giants.
“I was out there, I was playing good, Nick went out there and played great, and that’s pretty much the way it’s been,” Vick said.
“It’s easy to sit back and root for the guys and watch them when you’re doing good. If we weren’t winning games, it’d be tough and I’d be extremely upset within myself and probably not upset with him, but your emotions change when you’re not winning football games, so it’s easy for us to just feel good about what we’re doing and keep pushing in the right direction.”
Foles will make his sixth start of the season Sunday when the Eagles face the Cards at the Linc.
His 128.0 passer rating leads the NFL and is the highest in NFL history going into Week 13 by a quarterback who’s thrown at least 150 passes.
“It’s not disappointing at all,” Vick said. “I'm still part of an organization who took great care of me, gave me all the opportunities and possibilities that I could ever imagine. It’s just great to be a part of it.
“Obviously, as a competitor, you want to be out there, you want to play, you want to help your teammates out. But you can only control what you can control, so I just have fun being a part of it.”
Vick and Foles have grown very close over the last two years, and Vick is genuine when he talks about how much fun he has watching Foles go out and play at a high level.
The two work together constantly -- in the film room, in the meeting room, during practice, during games -- and both have said all along that their relationship has made them better players.
“Mike’s been tremendous throughout this whole thing,” Foles said. “And Mike’s done so many things in this league. He’s such a great quarterback and still is.
“The best thing about Mike is he’s a great team player. He’s been nothing but helpful to me throughout this whole thing, whether it’s [with] me on the sidelines, maybe telling me what he sees out there.
“If there’s a time where composure is an issue we’ll just sit there and talk. And that’s what’s special about Mike. He’s just a good person, and how he’s approached this and just to see him being a team player throughout the whole thing, it’s been great for me to look up to an older guy and see how he’s handled this whole situation.”
Vick was never considered a leader in Atlanta, but he’s changed dramatically since he signed with the Eagles in 2009.
He’s shown tremendous personal growth since serving 19 months in prison, and when he talks about doing everything he can to support Foles, you believe him.
“I’ve been playing in this league for a long time, and it’s great to see guys who I know can play, who I’ve spent a lot of time with, go out there and have success,” Vick said.
“I enjoy watching it. I enjoy watching my team go out there and do the things Coach Kelly asks them to do and correlate it to wins. It goes to show that what we’re doing is working and we’re all on the same page. It’s exciting to see.”