CHIP KELLY doesn't have to acknowledge the transition in order to make it real for Michael Vick.
The play before reinjuring his hamstring, Oct. 27 against the Giants, Vick was the Eagles' unquestioned starting quarterback. Nick Foles had played horribly in a loss to the Cowboys the week before, ultimately leaving the game with a concussion. Vick was back in the saddle as the offense's veteran leader.
But Vick pulled up lame on the third series against the Giants, and everything changed. Foles got healthy and threw seven touchdown passes the next week against the Raiders, three more in Green Bay. The Eagles won both games. Vick, 33, did not bounce back quickly from the hamstring problem that has now cost him 4 3/4 games, soon to be 5 3/4, as the Eagles face the Redskins Sunday, going into the bye, with Vick still limited in yesterday's practice.
Kelly won't commit to Foles as his starter, probably to avoid embarrassing Vick, especially in the event that Foles gets hurt and Kelly is forced to go back to the veteran. I asked Vick yesterday whether it's tough right now not to think about where his career might be going. He is here on a 1-year deal. The only question for the Eagles seems to be whether Foles is Chip Kelly's QB going forward, or whether he drafts one in the spring.
"Not really. It's a reality for me," Vick said. "I'd be naive not to think about where my career could be going, but the thing is, I know I can still play. I feel good about what I still can do, and that's what's most important."
When the season began, a source close to the situation insisted the Eagles were open to the idea of going forward for at least the next few years with Vick, if he proved a good fit for Kelly's offense, and he stayed healthy. He was a pretty good fit for Kelly's offense, but, obviously, he has not stayed healthy. This weekend's game will be the 18th of 59 since the start of the 2010 season that Vick will miss.
Is Foles the franchise QB the Eagles need?
"I think so," Vick said. "Nick will be a franchise quarterback in the NFL."
Is there any way Vick stays here in 2014?
"I couldn't say," Vick said. "The only thing I can see myself doing is just trying to help our quarterbacks prepare and be the best that they can be. I'm trying to help this organization win every week in the best way I can . . . As long as there's a need for quarterbacks, hopefully, I can always be a candidate. That comes through hard work, preparation and taking care of my body. As of right now, I've just got to finish the last six games strong with this team and see where we go."
Vick said that on the sideline in Oakland, he wanted to see Foles make history, not just tie it:
"I wanted to go for eight. I wanted the coach to put him back in and go for eight. I mean, we all had a chance to witness something that's never been done."