Maybe Andy Reid was right on this one. Last week, I displayed my frustration with Reid for selecting Michael Vick as the Eagles quarterback against Jacksonville. I thought it was unfair to bench a quarterback, whom you anointed as the savior, and had every intention of playing him this year despite some hiccups along the way, after one half of football that wasn’t entirely his fault. There have been many times where coaches juggle quarterbacks because they’re under intense pressure from their respective organizations to win now. That kind of philosophy doesn’t translate into wins. It provides constant headaches, not just for the coaches, but the players especially, because they know neither quarterback has any chance of winning a close ballgame should it come down to that. It provides a huge distraction and takes away from focusing solely on your next opponent.
And that’s not what the Eagles needed right now. They did not need that distraction. This is a talented, young football team who can compete with the better teams in this league. If you’re indecisive about who is your quarterback, all the potential for this season will fall like a stack of dominoes.
So Reid decides to go with the hot hand and stick with Vick. He made it very clear that this is not just an experiment. This is the way it will be all season and I have to commend him for that. And I have to commend Michael Vick. Without question, Vick has grown up, both on and off the field since his incarceration. No one could have expected that Vick would progress this quickly as a quarterback. Yesterday’s win against the Jaguars was a good indication. There was only one time where Vick pulled the ball down and took off running- a 17 yard run that he scampered up the middle for a touchdown.
Behind the scenes, it’s obvious that Vick has committed himself to become a quarterback and not just an athlete playing quarterback. He has proven all the naysayers wrong who questioned if he can learn how to play the position correctly. From where I was sitting yesterday, Vick showcased that he has done just that, and done it ever so quietly.
The truth is by becoming a quarterback Vick has only enhanced his dangerousness. In Atlanta, teams knew that if you can contain him, he will not be able to beat you with his arm because he could not read defenses, and if he feels the slightest pressure, will take off and try to make the play on his own. But now, you have a quarterback who understands coverages, is accurate on his throws, makes the throws under pressure and seems to know exactly where he wants to go with the football. Besides all that sweet stuff, he has found his speed, and those gazelle-like legs look faster, now, than when he was in Atlanta.
Vick said so himself that he has realized it’s a lot easier to score by throwing the football rather then running. He has other athletes around him they can make the big plays and does not have to do so himself. The Eagles are 2-1 and sit in first place in the division. With Michael Vick as your quarterback, the Eagles are that much better. And Andy Reid realizes that. Reid hasn’t made too many good calls in his tenure as Eagles coach, but, this time, he got the right call.