For starters, Foles is Eagles backup
The biggest moment in Chip Kelly's first training camp arrived Tuesday morning, when Nick Foles was named the backup quarterback.
That, of course, was not how the Eagles' rookie coach delivered the news of the day.
"First off, we've evaluated the situation, and Michael Vick is going to start for us against the Washington Redskins," Kelly said in a matter-of-fact manner underneath one of the several million tents that have been erected at the NovaCare Complex.
The man known for his hurry-up offense took his good old time reaching the most important decision any football coach can make. All signs had pointed toward Vick over Foles as the starter since the beginning of training camp, and now, for what it's worth, it's official.
It was the friendliest of competitions, with the right man winning the job. Vick, a veteran in his 11th season, was better on the field and embraced the role of leader off it when the Riley Cooper controversy dominated the early days of training camp.
"The one thing we all learned from this group is we've got two guys and maybe even three guys that can play in this league," Kelly said. "So it was a healthy competition. Mike completed over 80 percent [of his passes]. I think Nick was at 79 percent. I think they both made each other better."
If that's what happened, then that's great because Vick and Foles needed to get better. Those gaudy preseason completion percentages on a combined 29 passes cannot erase the work that went into the official record books a year ago. Vick was 3-7 and had two more turnovers (15) than touchdowns (13). Foles was 1-5 and had eight turnovers and seven touchdowns.
Maybe Kelly's pedal-to-the-medal offense will be the Hogwarts Express to instant success for Vick, who at one time seemed to be the prototype QB for a read-option scheme. If history repeats - as it so often does - then Foles' role for the 2013 Eagles is still going to be enormous, a fact not lost on Kelly.
"You don't have to look any farther than [Monday] night's game with the Redskins, where [Robert Griffin III] is on the sideline and Kirk Cousins goes down in the second quarter," Kelly said. "In this league, you better have a couple of quarterbacks ready to go."
After gracefully accepting his fate, Foles faced reporters and rhetorically asked what it's going to take for him to one day become the Eagles' starting quarterback.
"Keep working and keep working harder," he said in answer to his own question. "That's all I know."
That's the answer Kelly and the coaching staff probably wanted to hear, but it was incomplete.
What's it going to take for Foles to be the starter?
Vick, because of injuries, hasn't played a full season since 2006, when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. Maybe this will be lucky '13 for the quarterback who has remained with the Eagles way longer than anyone could have envisioned when he arrived from an 18-month prison stint in 2009.
If that's the case, this season could be a lot better than anticipated for the Eagles, a franchise that has had its starting quarterback play all 16 games only six times in the last 25 years. In each of those six seasons, the Eagles went to the playoffs.
It would be foolish, however, to prepare for this season thinking that way. Kelly's decision Tuesday almost immediately triggered a debate about whether Foles should be traded. That's not going to happen, nor should it.
It's possible - probable even - that the quarterback who gets the Eagles to the place Kelly hopes to take them is still not on the roster and won't be until he comes along in the draft. But Foles' trade value isn't so great after 14 pass attempts in two preseason games that it's going to bring a high draft pick in return.
At this point, Foles' greatest value is as a member of the Eagles, and this is where he wants to remain even if he didn't get the news he was hoping for before Tuesday's practice.
"In my mind-set, I'm going to be here," Foles said. "I want to be here. I want to be a Philadelphia Eagle and be a part of this team. I've been with these guys, and I feel like we have a really good thing going. I love this team, and I love the coaches, so I want to be in Philadelphia."
It's a city filled with a colorful history that says Foles will get a chance to be the starter before the season is over.
Contact Bob Brookover at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @brookob.