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Eagles QB competition could last a while


June 13. 2013 12:20AM
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PHILADELPHIA — While Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson are eager to know who will be the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, it’s clear Chip Kelly isn’t picking a guy before training camp.


Kelly’s logic makes sense to others.


“I haven’t been evaluating our quarterbacks because I’m focused on the offensive line but I really don’t see the point of Chip Kelly naming a starting QB before camp,” veteran Evan Mathis told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “This is an entirely new coaching staff with an entirely new offense, which isn’t even fully installed yet. It’s not rocket science; whoever the coaches feel will help the team the most will win the job after proving himself in training camp and preseason.”


Vick and Nick Foles competed along with rookie Matt Barkley throughout the team’s spring practices. Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne also took reps.


“To make any decisions on who someone is from wearing shorts and T-shirts, doesn’t make sense to us,” Kelly said last week.


That’s why a starter won’t be named by the time training camp opens July 22. Of course, Vick and Jackson prefer to know now.


“Hopefully, Chip makes a decision before training camp and we won’t have to answer that question,” Vick told the media last week, “so we can go out there as quarterbacks and just focus on this season and not answer questions about competition every day.”


Jackson, the two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, echoed those thoughts when asked about the quarterback competition in an interview with the NFL Network on Tuesday.


“So far, I don’t know, it has been kind of even. Vick and Foles have been switching off (with) first team (and) second team,” Jackson said. “So it’s the same thing with them. I have been hearing some things about Vick saying that he wants to know. At the same time, the team wants to know, too. We need to go into training camp prepared and know who is going to be our starting quarterback.


“Whether it’s Foles or Vick, I think they would both do a great job and we will be ready for the season.”


All that matters is Kelly’s opinion. He wants to see the players compete in pads at camp and in games in August.


Now, it’s just too close to call.


“They’re both coachable. They both want to win. They’re both here as many hours as they possibly can be here. They both really work at the game and want to get better,” Kelly said. “Doesn’t matter how long Mike’s been in the league or Nick or what systems he’s come 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, a four-time Pro Bowl pick, has battled injuries and inconsistency the last two years after having his best all-around season as a pro in 2010. Foles, a third-round pick last year, was 1-5 as a starter last year on a team that finished 4-12. Foles completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions, but couldn’t save former coach Andy Reid’s job.


Jaguars TE Brackett has groin surgery


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Brett Brackett will be sidelined until training camp following groin surgery.


Coach Gus Bradley says Brackett had surgery Tuesday after getting a second opinion on his injured groin. Bradley adds that Brackett should be ready for camp, which starts July 26.


Brackett is the team’s second player to undergo groin surgery in the last two weeks, joining defensive end Jason Babin.


A second-year player from Penn State, Brackett is competing for a roster spot in Jacksonville. The Jaguars claimed Brackett off waivers from Philadelphia early last season, but he injured his knee during his first practice and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve.


Goodell defends Redskins nickname


NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname is a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”


Goodell was responding to a letter from 10 members of Congress who want the name changed because it is offensive to many Native Americans.


He cited the nickname’s origins and polls that support its popularity. Goodell wrote that he understands the feelings surrounding it are complex and could change, but he also point out fan pride in the team’s heritage.


The name is the subject of a legal challenge from a group seeking to have the team lose its trademark protection.


Belichick not judging Tebow after 1 practice


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t ready to give his impressions of Tim Tebow after one practice.


Belichick says he’s not getting into a “minute-by-minute” evaluation of his new backup quarterback. Tebow practiced for the first time with the Patriots on Tuesday after signing with the team. The Patriots are holding their three-day minicamp that runs through Thursday.


Belichick said Wednesday he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to evaluate players on a couple of plays, especially at this time of year. The Patriots plan to start their training camp in late July. He says he’ll wait until he and his staff have more information before evaluating players.


He also says any time a player is on the field for the first day it’s a learning experience.




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