By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I like Nick Foles and Mike Vick. There I said it.
Nick Foles and Michael Vick should both play quarterback for the Eagles this season, and quite possibly could continue to alternate starts as the season progresses. But it shouldn’t stop there; both should play quarterback in the same game.
Yes, you read that right. Both quarterbacks healthy, and both quarterbacks taking snaps under center, in the same game.
You have heard all the reasons why people say it can’t work: It disrupts rhythm, it has never worked in the NFL, and on and on.
You say it has never worked before…I say so what? You say it will disrupt rhythm…I say what if Chip Kelly can figure out a way where it doesn’t disrupt anything? Why not now? Why not this coach? Why not these QB’s? Why not this team?
On Monday, I went on the Mike and Ike Show on 94WIP to propose the idea of a dual quarterback system for the Eagles going forward, something I was prepared to be, and essentially was, laughed at for. 83% of fans, as well as Michael Barkann and Ike Reese themselves, quickly shot down my unpopular proposition, and the tweets I received echoed their sentiment.
Before you virtually laugh in my face via the comment section, hear me out.
If there is any coach to figure out some type of dual quarterback system in the NFL, it’s Chip Kelly, right? A new-school offensive-minded coach, who has implemented controversial innovative offensive strategies in six NFL games. A coach who isn’t afraid to go against the grain at any cost to win a football game.
And if there is ever a quarterback situation that would cause that coach to flirt with the idea, it’s this one, right? Completely opposite quarterbacks—one who is tall, precise, smart, immobile, and comfortable throwing intermediate passes compared to the other, who is short, sporadic at times, loves to create with his legs, and can throw the ball down field and really stretch the defense.
Sure, the quarterbacks might not like it, but Vick may not have a choice if Foles can replicate his performance against Tampa Bay this week against Dallas. If Foles struggles this week and Kelly decides to go back to Vick as the starter, I’m sure Foles will welcome the thought of playing any number of snaps, even if it’s only a few. Hey, it’s better than nothing and as Herman Edwards once said, “You play to win the game!…Hello?!”
I’m not saying Michael Vick and Nick Foles should split snaps 50/50 in a game. Rather, I’m simply saying if Nick Foles is the starting quarterback and Mike Vick is the active backup, or vice versa, then why does the backup have to remain on the bench for the entire game? Why can’t the backup play in certain situations if he’s needed, even if it’s only for maybe a handful of snaps (wildcat package-like)? Why are people so quick to dismiss that alternative?
If Foles is the starter and there are five third and longs throughout the game, Vick at the helm could become an asset because of his legs. Or, maybe Vick is the starter and there are three plays where Foles’ height and decision making on third downs in the red zone make him the better asset at the quarterback position.
I don’t know the recipe, that’s Chip Kelly’s job.
I trust Chip to figure out the particulars—when, where, and how the backup QB should come in. Whomever the starter may be (I personally think the starter should be the hot QB at the time, but that’s for another day), why is the active backup forced to play zero snaps if he can help the team in certain situations. Again, I’m not advocating for a dual QB system, in which the two QB’s split the snaps evenly, but eliminating the backup from the game completely is a disadvantage if he can benefit your team on specific plays.
On Monday, Angelo Cataldi asked Chip Kelly about the possibility of some type of dual QB system, and sarcastically, Kelly replied,
“You mean like one at running back and one at quarterback? I’ve never done that in the past, but if I do do it, I’m going to blame it on you.”
Ok, fine. Maybe it is a ludicrous theory. Maybe it will never work in the NFL. But you have to think that Chip is at least thinking about the possibility of incorporating both QB’s (when healthy) into his game plan somehow, and I say why not? There’s a first time for everything, and I say why not this team, this coach, these quarterbacks? Why not now?
Andrew Porter is the Audio Roadshow Coordinator for SportsRadio WIP, editor and writer for The School Philly, and a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly. You can follow him on Twitter @And_Porter.