The Michael Vick Project in Philadelphia has ended - The Michael Vick Experience looks like it may be up and running again (for a limited time only). Andy Reid is faced with his second biggest decision as head coach, while the Donovan McNabb trade will be questioned for the forseeable future, failure to nip this brewing quarterback controversy in the bud could cost Reid more than a few games.
This scenario was a predictable as Andy Reid having no time outs at a critical point in a close game.
Michael Vick was eventually going to regain his confidence (along with his legs) and make this season a living hell for Reid, Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb.
Let’s just say McNabb escaped unharmed.
If Kevin Kolb had given Andy Reid anything to hang his hat on Sunday prior to his concussion other than the Eagles $12 million committment, we wouldn’t be here 30 minutes into the NFL season. Instead my head is spinning along with Kolb’s and Reid has popped the top on the Tums a month early. Meanwhile, Vick is preparing to start in his first NFL game in almost three years against a favorable opponent in the Detroit Lions. Rest assured, if Vick passes for 225 yards rushes for 75 yards and throws two touchdowns; the outcry in Philadelphia will be a reminiscent of Reid’s early days when Doug Pederson was warming the seat for a kid named McNabb.
And while I grew tired of the McNabb soap opera here and was willing to go through a rough stretch, but with Sunday’s developments in the NFC East it would make sense for the Eagles to try to get an early jump on things. Vick gives them the best chance of that. I know Kolb is the starter once he’s ready to resume play and would it be fair to sit him down one half into the season? Probably not. But at the same time, isn’t this game and sports in general about going with the players that give you the best possible opportunity to win?
I didn’t feel like Kolb was one of those players Sunday, there was no McNabb shadow looming, the job and team was Kolb’s – the fact that he played arguably worse than that Sunday in Baltimore in 2008 is discouraging. Keep in mind that the door was open then for Kolb to supplant McNabb that season after a poor performance the previous week in Cincinnati. Kolb’s been here before, performances against New Orleans and Kansas City last season had those divided on Kolb in agreement on one thing; that he deserved an opportunity to succeed or fail.
After one half football on Sunday, the verdict may already be in.
More telling than Vick’s performance was the body language and energy of the team after Vick entered the game, if not for the usual coaching miscues down the stretch the Eagles could’ve won this game – then what?
Reid knows what he has in Vick and I don’t believe he wants to watch him fester on the sideline, at the same time I believe that Vick’s potential big-play ability gets in the way of Reid’s ability to put Vick in more favorable situations. Lining Vick up in a shotgun formation in a critical 4th and 1 isn’t the way to go given the Birds struggles in short yardage situations.
The loss of Leonard Weaver takes away a rushing and receiving weapon as well as a blocker in the backfield a great need for Kolb as he isn’t as mobile as Vick. It would also keep tight end Brent Celek handcuffed to an already shaky offensive line as an additional blocker. Vicks ability to buy time enables Celek to get into space. If Kolb remains the starter the Eagles are going to be in a max protection formation sixty percent of the time just to keep him upright.
The fact that Kolb has not passed the post-concussion exams leads me to believe that he is at least two, possibly three weeks away from returning, the NFLPA is going to make sure that the Eagles medical staff takes all precautions before he returns (Very questionable decisions by Reid and the trainers Sunday concerning Kolb and Stewart Bradley). A semi-favorable schedule (Lions, Jaguars, Redskins and 49′ers) helps Vick in that he can get the reps in practice and in-game opportunity to make this a hairy situation. What I’ve heard this week more than anything is that Vick did well because the Packers did not have time to prepare for him, my answer to that is: The Packers would be foolish not to be prepared for Vick for 6 plays or an entire half and lastly, what about teams in the past that have had weeks to prepare for Vick and still struggled to contain him.
At any rate, that elephant that everyone tried to ignore is still in the room – he just stood up and he’s starting to move around.