Tough decision for Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly doesn’t speak in hypotheticals — a point he made sure to hammer home several times in his postgame press conference.
Last week, the new Eagles coach endured the early stages of a quarterback controversy after Mike Vick pulled a hamstring and Nick Foles ran the offense effectively in his absence. Following a four-touchdown (three passing, one rushing) performance from Foles in a 31-20 win Sunday afternoon over Tampa Bay, it’s a full-blown epidemic.
Translation: Kelly better get used to hypotheticals.
“I don’t give any hypotheticals and I don’t make predictions,” said Kelly, when asked who would start next week if Vick was healthy enough to go.
Foles has played well enough to earn the starting job. He’s thrown for 493 yards and accounted for six touchdowns in about six quarters of work. Most importantly, Foles hasn’t turned the ball over — not a single forced throw or lost fumble. He’s looked poised, confident and eager to lead. Still, Kelly insists he needs to evaluate the tape before jumping to any conclusions. Vick won the gig in training camp and players aren’t supposed to lose their jobs due to injury. Sorry, Kevin Kolb.
“We’ll evaluate everything, go back watch the film see what we did good, see what we did bad, see where we are and see where Mike [Vick] is,” Kelly said.
In other words, Kelly wants to weigh all his options. And he should. This single decision will most likely determine this season’s fate, and probably the 2014 season as well.
Kelly does have one wild card up his sleeve. Vick, despite suiting up and being active as the third quarterback Sunday, isn’t out of the woods yet medically. On Saturday, Vick told CSNPhilly.com that it could be awhile before he’s 100 percent.
“Right now, still working to get back to it — get to 100 percent, you know,” Vick told Derrick Gunn. “So it’s going to be a long road.”
If that’s the case, Kelly could play the waiting game. Ride the hot hand of Foles until Vick declares himself 100 percent. By doing that, the process could play itself out. Either Foles continues to impress and the Eagles win another game, or he fails miserably and Vick escapes this controversy with his job.
Whatever route Kelly chooses to travel, it’s going to be an interesting six days in South Philadelphia. Right now, the only thing Kelly really knows is that he has two quarterbacks that can start in the NFL.
“I’m excited about Nick, and I think he can be a starter in this league,” Kelly said earlier in the week. “I said that when we made the decision that it felt like you need to have two quarterbacks and I feel like we do have two quarterbacks.”
That’s a good thing. The hard part is figuring out which one gives you the best shot to win now.
Follow Mike Greger on Twitter: @mike_greger