PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eagles first-year coach Chip Kelly has named veteran Michael Vick Philadelphia’s starting quarterback.
Vick has been solid in two preseason games, and backup Nick Foles, in his second season with the Eagles, has struggled to grasp Kelly’s multifaceted offense. Vick has thrown for 199 yards this preseason and will take a 113.2 quarterback rating into Friday’s game at Jacksonville (0-2).
‘He’s our starter for the season,” Kelly said. “It’s not a one-game trial basis.”
There wasn’t a lot of suspense with Kelly’s decision, which was announced after practice on Tuesday, and after the coach met with both players. Foles has been sacked six times in two games, and has a quarterback rating of 65.5, after showing flashes as a rookie last season while Vick was injured. Vick played in just 10 games last season, while Foles topped 340 yards twice as a rookie.
The Eagles (1-1) are coming off a 4-12 season, coach Andy’s Reid’s last, and haven’t made the playoffs since they won the NFC East at the end of the 2010 season. Philadelphia opens the regular season at Washington Sept. 9.
“We had a good amount of tape, a good amount of us seeing them on the field,” Kelly said. “And seeing them in a lot of different situations, and wanted to put a guy in place, if we could, in enough time to get us to prepare the season.”
Kelly has only shown flashes of his up-tempo offense in the first two preseason games and defenses already seem tired and confused while the Eagles are moving the ball with ease. The first-team offense led by Vick and Foles has four touchdowns on eight-plus possessions in two games. One drive ended with an end-zone interception and two others ended with fumbles.
Vick had a breakout year under coach Andy Reid in 2010, leading the Eagles to the division title, winning The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award and starting in the Pro Bowl. But he’s battled injuries and inconsistency the last two years.
The 33-year-old Vick sustained a concussion in Week 10 last year and Reid decided to let Foles play the rest of the way because the Eagles were in last place on their way to a 4-12 finish.
Vick returned to start the season finale against the New York Giants because Foles was hurt. He finished the year with 2,362 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and also lost five fumbles.
“I think Mike is ahead right now. I think Nick made it very difficult,” Kelly said. “It wasn’t where one guy went north and the other guy went south. I think both of them upped their games.
“But at this point in time Mike’s ahead.”