Nick Foles and Matt Barkley reported to Eagles training camp Monday eager to face the Chip Kelly quarterback challenge, they said.
Michael Vick? Well, general manager Howie Roseman told us how eager Vick was to compete. Then, as the afternoon stretched on, the Eagles announced Vick wouldn't be available to reporters until after practice Tuesday, because of a tight Monday schedule, they said.
So there's that.
I asked Foles if he felt he came out of the spring with the lead in the competition, as some observers have asserted.
"No," he siid. "There is no lead. I feel like we're still competing and there is no 'lead,' there's never a lead ... I feel like I had a solid spring. There was a lot of stuff I needed to correct throughout the spring; I looked it as a work in progress. This camp is another opportunity to get better, to improve on the things I didn't think I did well in the last camp and to get even better at the things I thought I did do well.
"There is no 'lead.' Every day, one guy's going to have a good day, the other guy's going to have a mediocre day."
Foles did not get carried away on a wave of humility, however. (Or on a wave of humidity, as seemed likely at midafternoon in South Philly.)
"I have all the confidence in the world in my ability ... I still respect the players around me, and I know what they're capable of doing. But at the end of the day, I'm not here to be a backup. I'm here to be the guy," said Foles, who started six games last season as a third-round rookie from Arizona. "I don't think we play this game to sit on the bench. We play it to play, and I'm here to play."
Barkley got married a few weeks ago to a woman he said he has known since they were children, Brittany Langdon. He is often viewed as a kind of adjunct to the Vick-Foles competition, but Barkley said he isn't viewing himself that way.
"I don't think it matters how I see it, just the fact that you're in it," said Barkley, the fourth-round rookie from USC. "The coaches have said that it's kinda there. My mindset is that I'm in it and I've got to do everything to prove to the coaches that (the job) is mine."
Earlier, Roseman was asked if he still sees Vick on the roster this season, should the 33-year-old incumbent not win the starting job.
"When we signed Michael (to a new one-year deal in February), it was with every intention that he was going to be on this team," Roseman said. "He's a very talented guy, and he's really eager to show what he's capable of, and we're eager to see it.
"Every conversation I've had, and everyone in this building has had with Michael about competition, he's all for it," Roseman said. "He wants the best players to play. He's not shying away from competition in any aspect. He knew that when we signed him; he knew there was going to be competition in every spot, and he's said nothing other than that he wants to compete.
When the Eagles finished their spring work in June, Vick said he wished Kelly would name a starting quarterback before training camp. Kelly dismissed that idea, saying he need to see his QBs "live" before making a decision.