By Kevin McGuire
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly named Nick Foles the starting quarterback for the remainder of the 2013 season, starting with this weekend’s home game against the Arizona Cardinals. Given the way he had been playing as the Eagles headed in to the bye week, the decision to name Foles as the starter for the final stretch of the season was an easy one. Kelly has handled the situation about as well as any first year head coach could have, and his players all seem to be on board with the decision, including Mike Vick.
“It’s not disappointing at all,” Vick said Tuesday after the announcement was made. “Obviously, as a competitor you want to be out there, you want to playand you want to help your teammates out, but you can only control what you can control, so I just have fun being a part of it.”
Vick had been named the starting quarterback at the start of the season out of training camp and the preseason, but injuries allowed Foles to get some playing time as the starter. The Eagles were 4-1 with Foles as the starter and are now tied for first place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys. Given the situation, Vick has little option but to be supportive of the decision as the team makes a push for a playoff spot anddivision title and to be ready to come in if needed.
“It’s all about support, Vick explained. “I’ve been playing in this league for a long time, and it’s great to see guys who I know can play and spend a lot of time with go out there and have success, and I enjoy watching it. I enjoy watching my team go out there and do the things that Coach Kelly asks them to do and see it turn over and correlate into wins. It goes to show that what we’re doing is workingand we’re all on the same page, and it’s exciting to see.”
Vick is saying all of the right things, as would be expected of any veteran. Responding to the decision in a supportive way is welcome news to Kelly as well.
“I think it helps our team overall because both of those guys have great attitudes,” Kelly said of his quarterbacks. ” Those guys understand how this thing is put together, in that the same thing that I told Nick in August is the same thing I told Mike today. He’s a chinstrap away from having to go in again. We need to get him back up. The big thing with Mike is that he’s missed a fair amount of time here, so we’ve got to get him back up to speed.”
The Eagles have already exceeded many of the expectations many had for them this season. Now a division title is sitting right there at the end of the season if the Eagles can keep the good vibes going at home and they can pick up a win on the road against Dallas in the regular season finale. With Foles as the starting quarterback, the Eagles have a real shot at winning the division.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.