Philadelphia Eagles' training camp is still almost seven weeks away and quarterback Michael Vick is already anxious to know his status for the upcoming season.
New coach Chip Kelly completed the offseason minicamps and organized team activities (OTAs) on Thursday without naming a starting quarterback. Vick told CSNPhilly.com after the final practice that he would like to know if he's the starter by the time the veterans report back to the NovaCare Complex for training camp on July 25.
"Hopefully, Chip makes a decision before training camp so we can go out there as quarterbacks and just focus on this season and not have to answer questions about competition every day," Vick told the website.
Kelly has maintained that it's much too early to develop depth charts for any position. Jobs will be won or lost during training camp and the preseason games.
During the offseason practices, players were shuffled on and off the field almost nonstop in an effort to give them as many reps as possible under the new offensive and defensive systems created by Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis, respectively.
Vick and quarterback Nick Foles split most of the reps with the tentative first-team offense. Rookie Matt Barkley got a few plays, as did Dennis Dixon. Besides learning the plays, the quarterbacks also had to deal with assistant coaches blocking their throwing lanes with giant fly-swatters designed to replicate pass rushers.
"I saw kind of what I thought I'd see (from Vick and Foles)," Kelly said after practice Thursday. "They're both coachable and they both want to win. They're both here as many hours as they can possibly be here. They both really work at the game and want to get better.
"It doesn't matter how long Mike's or Nick's been in the league or what systems they're from. They're both really wrapping around what (quarterbacks coach) Billy (Lazor) and (offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur) are teaching them. So I think it's fun."
Vick, who turns 33 later this month, is entering his 11th NFL season and fourth with the Eagles. Because of his original salary - he was scheduled to make $15.5 million this season - and inconsistent performances over the last two seasons, the Eagles were widely expected to release him during the offseason.
Instead, the Eagles restructured his deal into a one-year contract. If Vick reaches certain incentives, he could make as much as $10 million. Foles is scheduled to make $500,000 in base salary.
Vick was perceived to be the better fit for Kelly's read-option offense because of his versatility and running ability, but Kelly has continually praised both Foles and Barkley, despite their lack of mobility.
The coach said he'll get a better gauge on the quarterbacks once the preseason games begin.
"The quarterbacks don't get hit (in practice)," Kelly said. "It's a totally different game. You can stand there in the pocket, and the guys are whizzing by you and tapping you on the hip. It's a different deal when you line up against the Patriots (the Eagles' first preseason opponent on Aug. 9). They are not going to tap you on the hip when they come by you. Preseason games give us a chance to evaluate these guys."
Vick expressed his frustration with the situation Thursday, pointing out that it's difficult to learn and master a new offensive system without continuity.
The more reps he takes with running back LeSean McCoy, tight ends James Casey (who sat out minicamp while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery) and Brent Celek, and wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the more comfortable he'll be running the offense.
"It's tough," Vick said earlier this week. "Everything is so new, so it's hard to be in competition with somebody else when you're competing against yourself to try to execute the offense every day. I think we've all done a great job of just staying focused and just trying to be the best that we can be when we're out there trying to move the offense."
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