NFL journeyman quarterback Mike Kafka probably is not much of an Arizona Wildcats fan.
For the second consecutive year, Kafka, a former Northwestern quarterback, is going against a former UA quarterback to land a spot on an NFL roster.
He lost the battle last year against Nick Foles to back up Michael Vick at Philadelphia and was released last August. Foles is the UA’s career passing yardage (10,011) leader.
This preseason, Kafka is competing against Matt Scott, an undrafted free agent from Arizona, for the No. 3 spot at Jacksonville behind Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne.
Foles and Scott begin their NFL preseason schedules this week with both involved in competitive quarterback battles. Foles reportedly will backup Vick when the Eagles play New England on Friday. ESPN reported tonight that although Vick will start, Foles will also work with the first-team unit against the Patriots.
Scott will likely play most of the second half of Jacksonville’s game against Miami on Friday night along with Kafka, who was claimed off waivers from the Patriots on June 11.
The Florida Times-Union reported Wednesday that Scott and Kafka got longer looks by the Jacksonville coaches in Wednesday’s practice. Scott took 19 snaps, Kafka 18.
“We know they’re going to get opportunities on Friday so we want to get them more reps and get a comfort level,” Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley said. “They didn’t get as many Tuesday so we amped it up with them today.”
Foles’ battle with Vick is making more headlines and gaining additional exposure on ESPN.
Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly told the media Wednesday that the Eagles will go with the quarterback who can move the ball and put the Eagles in position to win.
“They’re both going to get reps, so whoever takes the first rep, let’s not anoint them as anything,” Kelly said after the Eagles’ joint practice with the Patriots on Wednesday, according to the team’s website.
“We do have to have someone start the game, but I wouldn’t say that the guy who starts the game is going to be the starter overall or in general as we get going on Sept. 9 (versus the Washington Redskins on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”),” Kelly said.
Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley appears to be the No. 3 quarterback. He took just 22 total snaps during the live periods on Tuesday and Wednesday combined, according to NJ.com. Barkley has also thrown more interceptions (4) than Vick and Foles combined (3) throughout training camp.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.