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Eagles' coaching staff can't let players influence decisions


It’s about six weeks until Eagles training camp starts, and we’re already hearing some grumblings about new coach Chip Kelly’s refusal to name a starting quarterback before camp begins.


It all began Monday, when former Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver started tweeting insinuations that some of the Eagles’ might be unhappy with Kelly’s decision. Oddly enough, this came a week after Eagles quarterback Michael Vick expressed concerns that mirrored Weaver’s tweets. One can understand Vick’s frustration at having to compete with Nick Foles for a starting job, learning a new offense aphoto: Oregonlive.comt this stage in his career, and hearing the same questions fielded by reporters each day in the weeks that follow when training camp begins.


On the flip side, Kelly is making a drastic transition from the college ranks to the NFL. He has a whole new team that he can’t accurately judge until the pads are strapped on. Some players might not like that (that means you, DeSean Jackson), but Kelly would be doing himself, the Eagles organization, the fans, and his team a monumental disservice by not weighing out his options until he sees more when camp gets underway.


It’s a great idea on paper to have two quarterbacks compete for the starting job. Vick and Foles are like night and day no matter what system they are playing in- or so it seems. For all his talent in addition to the respect he commands and receives in the Eagles locker room, Vick at times has been more of a sideshow than a bargain. Yes, his offensive line was decimated last year, but take away his 2010 season and he’s been an injury prone quarterback who has trouble reading defenses and fumbles with regularity. Moreover, as dazzling as he was to watch in his prime, Vick has only only taken one of his teams to a championship game- the Atlanta Falcons in 2004: the ONLY NFC Championship Game that the Eagles have won in five trips during the Andy Reid era.

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On paper, Foles doesn’t seem to be the kind of quarterback that could fit in a system of Kelly’s. However, Kelly worked with many quarterbacks at Oregon- some of them were 5-11 runners, some were 6-6 with the limited mobility of Foles. None were blue chip prospects, but Kelly made it work. In all honesty, nobody knows for sure if Kelly’s up-tempo offense will be successful in the NFL. But for now, this is his squad and he’s doing it his way. Obviously, nothing has worked with this Eagles team for quite some time. Once Kelly gets a feel for what he wants, he’ll name the starting quarterback. It’s that simple.


Let’s not kid ourselves: the NFL is first and foremost a business. If the new boss lets his players walk all over him from the word go, Kelly will have zero respect. Only underachievers make excuses. It’s not like the Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl victory here. If anyone on the roster thinks they have a better way of trying to turn things around or the team needs more “unity,” winning more than four games would be a great start.  


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Thumbnail: Oregonlive.com

Article photo: Getty Images