Eagles training camp: Open competition for starting QB job underway
The Eagles took a head start on their quarterback competition by holding their first practice on Tuesday. Although the practice session lasted an hour and the Eagles only had 28 players available, since it only included rookies and selected veterans, it could help to determine the team’s starting quarterback with all five of the Eagles’ quarterbacks invited to practice. They will hold a second practice session on Wednesday, before the rest of the veterans report on Thursday and the Eagles are able to hold their first full-squad practice on Friday.
So far, three quarterbacks – Nick Foles, Michael Vick and rookie Matt Barkley – are confident that they can win the starting job following some training camp competition. The three quarterbacks have also been competing throughout minicamps and other offseason workouts.
''There is an open competition. I absolutely feel like I've got to be a part of it. I've got to challenge myself, just like any other guy on the team. Your mindset has to be that you're in the race to start,” said Matt Barkley. “You've got to have that mindset. I'm in a competition regardless of what everyone else is saying. You just have to practice that way.''
Second-year quarterback Nick Foles started six games after Michael Vick was injured last season, helping the Eagles win just one of six with him leading the offense. Foles completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions last season.
''I'm not here to be a backup. I'm here to be the guy,'' said Foles. ''I don't think we play this game to sit on the bench. We play it to play, and I'm here to play.''
Meanwhile Vick, who missed 11 games over the past three seasons, is also looking to bounce back to former high level of play in 2010.
''I'm confident in myself and I'm very confident. That's the only reason why I'm standing here,'' said Vick on Tuesday. ''I believe in me. I know what I can do. I know I've got a lot of years left to play this game.''
Last season, Vick had 2,362 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and also lost five fumbles. This offseason, Vick even restructured his contract to take a significant pay cut in order to return to the Eagles to compete for their starting quarterback job.
''The most important thing, like my coach told me, is that we have to come out here and we have to compete every day. We've got to give it everything we've got,'' said the 33-year-old Vick. ''From now on until my career is over, until I stop playing the game of football, I'm going to compete every day and I love that part about football. I love the competition aspect and I love what I do”
''I love the game that I play,” added Vick. ”That supersedes everything.''