bill-swift - August 22, 2012
Michael Vick is an exciting, dynamic and electric football player. As long as he has his hands on the ball you know that a potential game-changing play could be right around the corner. However, as the preseason has shown, you never know how long you are going to have him in the game.
Lucky for the Philadelphia Eagles they happen to have a guy backing Vick up that could very well be the quarterback of the future for the club-- former Arizona QB Nick Foles.
The Eagles took Foles in the third round of the 2012 draft likely thinking that he would be a project player if he made the squad. Michael Vick is obviously the No. 1 Qb and after Vince Young went to Buffalo, it seemed like Mike Kafka was set to be the No. 2. However, an injury to Kafka's non-throwing hand (fracture) opened up an opportunity for Foles to step up.
So far he has done just that and more. Thanks to yet another injury to Vick, Foles played a ton of of snaps with the starting unit during Monday night's contest against the New England Patriots. He did better than just fill in for Vick; he owned the position completing 18 of 28 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Although it is only a preseason contest and he played a lot against back-ups, Foles's play over the first two preseason contests has to be raising some eyebrows. Against the Steelers the week before he completed 6 of 10 passes for 144 yards and two TDs.
With Vick's propensity for getting hurt it pays to have a back-up that can step in and play with the first team. While Vick may be exciting to watch, a team needs to be able to count on its starting quarterback. It's great that he plays hard all the time, but the team would rather he make some better decisions and not take so many risks.
Monday night he could have easily thrown the ball away, but instead he ended up taking a big hit and had to leave the game (x-rays on his ribs were negative). Vick acknowledged that he can't keep playing that way in a discussion with wide receiver DeSean Jackson. However, if he didn't play that way could he be effective?
Foles would have been the No. 2 quarterback even if Kafka had not injured his hand; he was simply playing better. The question that is likely in the back of the minds of some Eagles fans is whether his success is a product of soft play in the preseason or a mark of real talent.
Should he prove to be just as good in the regular season (when Vick misses the inevitable game due to some injury) the Eagles may have to figure out if Vick is worth the uncertainty that he brings.
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