Phila-dilemma: Eagles Must Straighten Out QB Situation (By: @BWMahoney213)
Donovan McNabb once won over the city of Philadelphia with his charm, skill, and overall presence of a leader of the Eagles’ offense. His identity and game by game accomplishments fueled the Eagles into the NFL’s elite back in the 2000’s.
Now it’s 2013 and McNabb is nothing but nostalgia. A jersey kept in the closet while the new generation of Eagles players and fans still scratch their heads at who leads the offense for not Andy Reid, but Chip Kelly as head coach.
Reid’s reputation was to groom a quarterback. He helped Brett Favre win a Super Bowl. He drafted McNabb and the two spearheaded the Eagles early 2000’s success. At the turn of the new decade, McNabb was traded away and Reid held on to Michael Vick—fresh out of prison) and Kevin Kolb—the heir apparent drafted by Reid in 2007.
The competition between the two QB’s in 2010 played out like a weekly soap opera of who’s in, who’s out until Vick surged the offense to a playoff berth and Kolb rode the bench to only be traded for value. Inconveniently for Vick, 2011 and 2012 proved to be red flags of his durability and consistency. Thus, the Eagles drafted QB Nick Foles from Arizona, a 3rd round choice that caught the eye of some. Foles was regarded as a lanky, cement-footed, and precise passer with more steak than sizzle.
The ultimate wild card between both Vick and Foles: Chip Kelly’s hiring in 2013.
Kelly came from a highly touted University of Oregon offense that implemented the read-option system—one that benefited an aging Vick’s playing style while possibly limiting the young Foles, who was drafted by Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman as a future franchise quarterback. Not great foresight, there, Mr. Roseman.
Now came the moment Eagles fans like myself worried about the most: Why does it feel like Foles is a square peg in a round hole? Simple—he’s not naturally made for Kelly’s offense. After his 7 TD performance against the Oakland Raiders last week, it’s now apparent Foles has some value.
The Eagles are walking a creaky bridge going into November. Their division is god-awful. Philadelphia is 4-5 while they’re chasing a Dallas Cowboys team that is 5-4 and nearly on the verge of locker room implosion by Dez Bryant if they lose to an easy opponent. The Redskins are fighting with a 3-5 record and the New York Giants are sagging with a 2-6 record to show.
Strike while the iron’s hot? The Eagles may be one or two defensive tools away from a top-tier defense. The Eagles may only need a tall, physical wide receiver that can stretch the field for gold-or-garbage DeSean Jackson. Foles proved a few weeks ago that he could not find his targets and he had a lingering groin injury.
The next seven weeks may demystify the current QB dilemma or it may make it worse. One thing for sure though is that Michael Vick’s time is finally, finally over. It still puzzles me though why Kelly traded up in the 4th round in this year’s draft for QB Matt Barkley. Indications are that Kelly desires the next crop of QB’s in the 2014 Draft. Ideally, Oregon’s own Marcus Mariota would be a match made in heaven and alleviate everyone’s concerns…it’s just Mariota’s value is climbing higher and the Eagles (while improving with Foles) are going lower into the value of first round picks.
Oh, bittersweet victory.