Head coach Chip Kelly "would love" to name a starting quarterback. But he isn't. Even with two preseason games in the books, Kelly is in no rush to decide who will lead the offense onto FedEx Field on Monday, September 9 when the Eagles play the Washington Redskins in the regular season opener.
"It's not a rush. That's the one thing I've learned from this. I don't think you want to rush anything. You want to take what you have available to you and see how it plays itself out, so that's what we did when I was at Oregon," Kelly said after Saturday's practice. "That doesn't mean that's what we're doing here. Back then, you didn't have any preseason games either at the college level."
Last year at Oregon, Kelly did not name redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota the starting quarterback until eight days before the season opener. Both Nick Foles and Michael Vick have been impressive in the first two preseason games. The first-team offense has scored four touchdowns in three quarters of work. Vick has completed 13-of-15 pass attempts for 199 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a quarterback rating of 113.2. Foles has been no slouch with 11-of-14 successful attempts for 96 yards with a rushing touchdown, an interception and a fumble. Kelly explained that the game film showed both quarterbacks did well in terms of decision-making Thursday night in the team's 14-9 win over Carolina.
"I thought they did a nice job. As I said after the game, I think they have really done a good job of grasping what we're asking them to do," Kelly said. "I'm sure Nick wants that one play back (an interception in the back of the end zone), but those things happen. In both instances, in two weeks in a row, what you learned from Nick is he can bounce back from an adverse situation. Not that you ever want to be in one, but at least you'll know how he'll be. I think from a decision-making standpoint both of those guys have done a nice job."
No matter when a starting quarterback is named, Kelly cautioned that it will not be the end of the battle.
"Once you think you've arrived in this game, you're going to get passed on by," Kelly said. "Just because you become a starter, that doesn't mean all of a sudden you can kick your feet up and say, 'All right, I'm all set. This is a good deal.' It's about getting better every day. There's always something you can learn whether it's as a coach or as a player."
The Eagles worked on game situations that did not present themselves in the first two preseason outings on Saturday and will do so again on Sunday. The players have Monday off, but the coaches will meet to discuss the rotation for Saturday's third preseason game against Jacksonville. The remainder of the week will closely resemble the preparation on game week during the regular season.
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