It’s pretty rare in the NFL for a team to start the same quarterback for all 16 games.
Even the Eagles, who have had a relative level of stability at the position since the Donovan McNabb era began, will have had 11 different starters since 1999 when Mark Sanchez suits up in Week 10.
The team hasn’t had a full 16-game season from a quarterback since 2008 (when the Eagles fell to the Cardinals in the NFC title game).
So Sanchez’ ascension to the starting gig certainly comes as no surprise. It is much more likely for a team to require some help from the quarterback position than not.
“I feel great about Mark,” Chip Kelly said. “We felt great about him all along. One of the things we wanted to do — I always said we needed two quarterbacks and had a chance to get him in here. I thought he’s done a great job in our system. I thought he played outstanding in the preseason and showed no rust or anything when he got in there against Houston yesterday.”
Since McNabb’s trade to the Redskins six years ago, the Birds have had Kevin Kolb, (7 starts), Vince Young (3), Michael Vick (34) and Nick Foles (16) under center.
And it seems not to have hurt the team much. The Birds won a playoff game with Jeff Garcia calling the shots in 2006, and have reach the playoffs under Vick’s and Foles’ leadership.
The Sanchez-led Eagles making a playoff run would not be an unusual phenomenon. The one-time Jets bona fide QB-1took the Jets to two AFC title games, and he’s been ready to go since day one.
“His preparation, I think, is just outstanding in terms of what he does here in terms of preparing,” Kelly said, “and he prepared himself like he’s the starter.”
And it’s that experience that, perhaps, gives him a leg up on Foles as the second half of the season begins against the Panthers on Monday Night football next week.
“Nick last year was just in his second year,” Kelly said. “He learned one system his first year in the NFL, then he had to learn a whole new system in his second year in the NFL. Mark is a little bit further and is more advanced because of his experience with Jets.”