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Eagles’ Reid names QB Foles starter rest of season
Coach Andy Reid said Foles will remain the starter for the rest of the season, even when Michael Vick returns from a concussion. The Eagles (3-9) have lost eight straight games, a strong factor in Reid’s decision.
“No. 1, I just think he’s playing well enough to where I think he can win football games for us,” Reid said Monday. “And No. 2, I think where we sit at this position in the season, I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Reid made the announcement a day after Foles had his best performance in a 38-33 loss at Dallas on Sunday night. Foles, a third-round pick, has started the last three games since Vick was injured on Nov. 11.
Vick has struggled this season, committing 14 turnovers in nine games. He has 2,165 yards passing, 11 TDs and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 79.2.
Vick remains in stage four of five in his recovery and has yet to pass the final test that would allow him to be cleared to practice. The team has a five-phase recovery protocol, which is separate from the NFL-mandated concussion program.
“I haven’t got that far, but most likely, he’ll be the second guy,” Reid said. “We’ll see how that goes. The No. 1 thing I want him to do is get healthy. That’s what I want. This obviously has taken a bit and he’s working his tail off to try to get it right and I just want him to get that right so he can have a nice, long career here.”
Frustrated fans have been calling for Foles to replace Vick since he had an impressive preseason playing against backups and guys who didn’t make NFL rosters. His first 2 1/2 games didn’t suggest he could be the team’s long-term answer, but Foles played well against the Cowboys.
Whoever coaches the team, however, has to start with finding a franchise QB. If Foles stays healthy the rest of the way, he’ll have seven starts under his belt. That’s a decent sample for an evaluation, though not a definite indication of his potential.
The last time the Eagles had such debate over their quarterback of the future was in 1997. Bobby Hoying, a third-round pick like Foles, had a strong start. He threw for 835 yards, six TDs, one interception and had a 60.4 completion percentage and 98.0 passer rating while going 2-0-1 in his first three starts.
It was all downhill from there.
Hoying went 1-9 in his next 10 starts and lasted just two more seasons, throwing just five passes, after leaving Philadelphia following the 1998 season. Donovan McNabb was selected with the No. 2 overall pick by Reid in his first year here in 1999. McNabb was the solution for a decade, leading the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl loss.
Now, though, Vick appears on his way out.
Vick then was rewarded with a $100 million contract in August 2011. Only $35.5 million of that deal is guaranteed money and Vick is due to make $15.5 million in 2013. He certainly won’t get that as a backup.
NOTES: Reid fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn and replaced him with Tommy Brasher, who served in that role with the Eagles in 1985 and from 1999-2005. … RB LeSean McCoy is in stage three of his concussion rehab. McCoy has missed two straight games. … Reid hinted that there could be changes in the secondary. The Eagles have allowed 16 TD passes and have no interceptions in the last six games.
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi
By Tom Fitton
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