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Jeffrey Lurie: Eagles' priority is finding franchise QB

Michael Vick's inability to stay healthy has Nick Foles back at the controls for the Philadelphia Eagles. The second-year pro will start at quarterback Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, as Chip Kelly's 3-5 squad struggles to keep afloat in the NFC East.

Kelly bristled this week at questions about the team's future under center, saying it would be a "disservice" to the locker room and the fans to spend time thinking about next year. But longtime Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie already is there, openly talking about the need for a franchise passer.

"We need someone to step up, whether it's an existing young quarterback or somebody we go out and acquire," Lurie told Geoff Mosher of CSN Philadelphia this week. "We know -- this is no secret -- quarterback is the (ultimate) position and the most important difference-maker."

Lurie spoke highly of Foles and called his looming start against Oakland "a great opportunity to showcase what he's done. He's had some outstanding games and he's had one poor game."

Said Lurie: "Time will tell. I think it's really wide open for those that are on the team and it's wide open for what our strategy might be if we don't have it. But it's a No. 1 priority. We've got to solidify that position in a really good way."

The subtext is clear: Vick's run with the Eagles is ending. NFL Media's Judy Battista wrote Thursday that Kelly's feelings about the 33-year-old signal-caller are "almost irrelevant already."

When healthy, Vick has served as a capable engineer of Philly's unique offense, but -- outside of Matt Barkley -- Kelly inherited his quarterback room. Barring Foles setting the Earth ablaze, the Eagles are a surefire bet to handpick new competition in May's passer-rich draft.

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