INDIANAPOLIS -- A year ago at this time, the perception was that head coach Chip Kelly wanted essentially a running back to play quarterback.
With the drafting of Matt Barkley and the emergence of Nick Foles, that notion was proven to be false.
Now, there is a different perception. And like the one a year ago, it, too, is incorrect. At the end of the season, Kelly was asked if competition was no longer needed after Foles threw 27 touchdown passes, posted the third-highest passer rating in NFL history and led the Eagles to the division title.
Kelly said, "no, there's always competition." That has led some to believe that the Eagles are actively looking for someone to supplant Foles.
"Nobody's saying we're bringing in competition for Nick Foles or we're outwardly looking for competition for Nick Foles," general manager Howie Roseman said on Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We're looking for competition throughout our roster. We've said that when we've had Donovan McNabb.
"The question about the quarterback position is a broader question about the competition level. That's not any slight on Nick Foles. The more talent you have on your roster at every position, the better everyone's going to be. I think that we have tremendous support for Nick. We've been unquestioned about Nick."
Actions speak louder than words. Free agent-to-be Michael Vick wants to go to a place where he can compete for a starting job and there isn't one in Philadelphia.
"When we talk about Mike Vick that there's not an opportunity for a starting spot, I think that's a reflection on Nick Foles," Roseman said.
Foles is only 25 years old and flourished in the first year playing in Kelly's system. Roseman said that the organization takes a lot of pride in watching Foles succeed and how the Pro Bowl Offensive MVP represents the organization.
"Throughout our organization, he has tremendous support from all of us," he said. "You watch him at the Pro Bowl and you see him having fun and winning the MVP. It's prideful. He represents us tremendously. He had a tremendous year. He's a young quarterback who really fits into our culture and chemistry.
Roseman does understand the value of having a strong backup and it was evident last year when Foles came off the bench to guide the Eagles to a 7-1 record in the second half of the season. Other than Foles, the Eagles have Matt Barkley, a fourth-round pick last year, and G.J. Kinne, who spent most of the year on the practice squad, under contract for next season.
"If there's an opportunity in the draft to get a player at an important position, in this case we're talking about quarterback, we've seen how that pays off in terms of even having backup quarterbacks how you can parlay that into other draft picks," Roseman said. "I think that just makes sense. You can't be closed-minded when you go into the offseason to look for value in free agency and the draft. That's how we look at every position. That's how we look at the quarterback position."