Let's not rush to judgment about the futures of Michael Vick or draft pick Matt Barkley, says ex-Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.
Some fans doubt Vick will even be with the team when it opens the season Sept. 9 in Washington against the Redskins.
The reasons are oft-repeated: Vick has trouble making quick decisions, so he gets hit too much and has too many turnovers.
And in new head coach Chip Kelly's uptempo offense, the quarterback has to make very quick decisions.
Veteran ESPN analyst Jaworski is far less skeptical about Vick handling the offense.
"I think it will be an easier offense to execute than your stereotypical NFL-Andy Reid-Marty Mornhinweg type of offense, where there's a lot of 'hots' incorporated, looking left, looking right, where are they coming from?" Jaworski said to 97.5 The Fanatic's Mike Missanelli on Friday afternoon.
Jaworski explained that Kelly's offense is about the "mathematics" of matchups - "How do we get 3 on 2? How do we get 4 on 3? How do we get the man advantage anywhere on the football field?"
"That makes it easier for Michael Vick," said Missanelli, relaying an opinion shared by another former Eagles quarterback, A.J. Feeley. "... He has an easy option because it's something open right in front of his face!"
Jaworski agreed, saying the offense is so uptempo there's no time for extra complications - on either side of the ball.
"It's going to force predictability on the side of the defense," he said. "You almost know what you're going to get. ... So I think the less volume is going to help Michael."
Jaworski recently exchanged texts with Vick, and sensed a different attitude about avoiding hits and turnovers.
"He's totally aware that it's now about self-preservation rather than fighting for that extra yard," Jaworski said, noting that Vick is at the end of his contract and likes playing in Philadelphia.
Expect Vick to start the opener, if mainly because of his mobility, Jaworski said.
"The day Chip Kelly was hired, he was going to be wowed by Michael Vick," Jaworski said. "... Who would you rather have as your movement quarterback besides Michael Vick? Probably no one. He may not be the guy at 33 that he was at 23 but he still has tremendous quick twitch."
To be clear, he wasn't promising success, just saying it was possible.
A big knock on Barkley, the fourth-round draft choice out of USC, is that his arm not a cannon.
"I place a premium on arm strength," Jaworski emphasized, but added a key observation:
Conditioning can make a great difference.
Witness the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rogers had a questionable arm coming out of college and went on to win a Super Bowl.
"Aaron Rodgers is the best example I can give," Jaworski said. "... He worked his butt off, man. This guy lifted the weights, he did all the running. ... Aaron Rodgers got bigger, he got stronger, and now he has one of the strongest arms in the league."
"I think that's the future of Matt Barkley. If he stays diligent, works hard, I believe he can improve the arm strength."