Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said on Monday that the decision to restructure Michael Vick's contract helps provide the "ideal situation" for the team moving forward this season. However, Kelly stressed that both Vick and Nick Foles will work with the first-team offense during the team's pre-draft mini-camp in April saying it's an "open competition" and that the job "will be won on the practice field."
Kelly has watched the practice film of Vick since being hired as the team's head coach in January. Kelly said that he's been impressed with the velocity on Vick's passes, his quick release, toughness and overall skillset.
"He's a competitor," Kelly said. "I don't think Michael is afraid of anything. He wants competition. I've seen Nick up close and personal and I think Nick wants it too."
Kelly also said that Foles, who enters his second year after taking over as starter midway through his rookie season, also has a skillset that "excites" him. Kelly has not only seen the coaching tape of Foles' rookie season, but he's also seen Foles perform at the University of Arizona while he was a coach at Oregon.
Even though Vick and Foles have different skillsets, Kelly does not believe that he will have to install two different offenses to maximize the team's offensive potential.
"I don't think it's two different systems," Kelly said. "I think, again, people try to look at what we've done in the past and where I've been and paint it in one brush because everybody wants to have a sound byte and say, 'Your offense is this.'"
Vick will be 33 at the start of the 2013 NFL season and has been in the league since 2001, but Kelly noted that Vick is actually younger than the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo and is just a few months older than the New York Giants' Eli Manning. Kelly looks at this year as a "change of scenery, not a change of address" for Vick. The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback is coming off of a 2012 season in which he started 10 games and completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,362 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 332 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. When Kelly studied the tape, he projected what Vick could do in his offense not so much what he did in the past.
"It's our job as coaches to put him in a situation where he can get the ball out quick," Kelly said. "We do have some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball who are going to flourish when they get the ball in their hands. That's on us as coaches. A lot of times that's not on the quarterback."
If this offseason was not exciting enough for the Philadelphia Eagles, the battle for the quarterback job will be just one of many storylines to keep track of.
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