Should Mike Vick Keep His Job?

Posted: October 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 102 Comments »

Michael Vick is one of the most talented players to ever play the position of QB.  He has taken our breath away in his time as a Hokie, Falcon, and Eagle.  He can do amazing things.  He led Va Tech to the National Title game, where they were simply out-manned by Florida State.  He got the Falcons to the NFC title game, where they were out-manned by the 2004 Eagles.  In 2010 he put an odd Eagles team on his back and got them red hot.  That team won the NFC East, but wasn’t able to win a postseason game.

Vick’s resume is fine.  The present and future are very different situations.  Is he the best QB for the 2012 Eagles?  Is he the long term answer?

The Vick magic of 2010 isn’t here.  That guy made plays.  He avoided turnovers, partially by luck.  The Vick of 2011 and 2012 can’t escape turnovers.  Not all are his fault, but too many are and that really hurts the team.  You either stop a good drive or you give the opponent good field position.  Turnovers are also deflating.  Going 3-and-out and then punting isn’t fun, but there is a rhythm to it.  Sudden change situations put a lot of pressure on the defense.  That can be tough to deal with.  You can’t come up with big stops time after time after time.

The case for benching Vick is this…he can’t stop turning the ball over.  The team isn’t scoring points like it should (31st in the league).  What is the point in having a veteran QB if he can’t score points and turns the ball over?   

There is a lot of logic to benching Vick when you frame the argument that way.  Is he making things better or worse?

The argument for keeping Vick as QB is this…he’s dealing with tough circumstances.  The Eagles have had 2 guys play LT and neither is lighting it up.  The Eagles are using a backup C for the rest of the year.  Jeremy Maclin got hurt and was ineffective for several weeks.  The playcalling for the Cardinals game was bad.

Would Nick Foles have fared better than Vick to this point?  Let’s compare Vick to some other rookie QBs.

Vick – 136-231-58.9%, 1632 yds … 8 TDs, 8 INTs, 17 sacks, 77.7 rating … 41-205-1 rushing

RG3 – 113-161-70.2%, 1343 yds … 5 TDs, 2 INTs, 12 sacks, 100.5 rating … 55-379-6 rushing
Wilson – 95-152-62.5%, 1108 yds … 8 TDs, 6 INTs, 12 sacks, 85.6 rating … 32-109 rushing
Tannehill – 118-198-59.6%, 1454 yds … 4 TDs, 6 INTs, 11 sacks, 76.5 rating … 19-8-1 rushing
Luck – 118-221-53.4%, 1488 yds … 7 TDs, 7 INTs, 13 sacks, 72.0 rating … 17-103-1 rushing
Weeden – 129-231-55.8%, 1519 yds … 7 TDs, 10 INTs, 11 sacks, 68.1 rating … 8-36 rushing

RGIII is playing incredibly well right now.  Kudos to him.  Russell Wilson is having a good year, although he’s got the fewest attempts.  That offense is built on power running.  And if there were good officials, he’d have 7 TDs and 7 INTs instead of the 8/6.  That debacle at the end of the SEA/GB game was a nice bonus for his stats.

The only QBs you can really compare Vick to on this list are Weeden and Luck, because of the similar number of passing attempts.  Vick has better numbers than them, although sadly…Vick’s numbers aren’t much better.

This is where you have to get philosophical and analytical.  Vick’s numbers should not be so low that we can have a discussion about how they compare to rookie QBs.  That is a huge problem for him.  The point to be made here is that he’s struggling and that’s why his numbers are down.  The rookies will likely play like rookies the rest of the year.  They lack experience and the only way to get it is time.

Vick can get on a hot streak and play at a very high level.  His numbers can go up, possibly way up.  There are no guarantees, however.  Vick’s numbers could also stay down in the land of mediocrity.

I’d love to think Foles could have jumped in and played like RGIII, but the truth is that he’d more likely be down with Tannehill, Luck, and Weeden.  The other X-factor here is that the rookie starters spent the spring and summer getting all the reps with the 1’s, or at least a majority of the reps.  Those coaching staffs got them ready to play.  Foles was the #3 QB up at Lehigh.  He did get to be the backup in preseason and then the starter for a bit.  Foles did well, but you do have to be careful about projecting that limited success onto regular season reality.

Foles might be able to jump in and play well right off the bat.  He certainly showed all the tools needed to be a good QB this summer.  He had physical skills, but also played smart and showed a good feel for the game, which brings us back to Vick.

The most discouraging thing for me is his mental mistakes.  He was smart against the Ravens, except for maybe a couple of passes.  He was smart against the Giants, for basically the entire game.  Other weeks Vick is making some decisions that are bad.  The Browns game was a disaster for him.  Vick got very lucky that we won that.  He made a ton of mental mistakes in Arizona.  He was erratic in Pittsburgh.  He did not play a smart game on Sunday.

Some of these issues are due to a leaky offensive line, but not all of them.  All 32 QBs get hit.  They all have some bad days.  The good QBs work through the rough days.  Look at Eli Manning from last year’s NFC title game.  The Giants had no running game.  He threw 58 passes.  He took a beating in that game.  Eli got the crap knocked out of him.  He threw 2 TDs and no INTs against a terrific defense.

There is no question that Mike Vick is physically tough.  He will take a pounding.  He will stand in the pocket.  Is he mentally tough?  That’s a different story.  RBs must be able to take a beating.  QBs must be able to take a beating and still stay sharp mentally.  This is where Vick gets erratic.  He misses open receivers.  He holds the ball too long.  He makes poor reads.

Think back to Sunday’s game.  Early on Vick was under heavy pressure.  He was struggling.  The offense was struggling.  The coaches then adjusted and went to a shorter passing attack.  Vick suddenly played better and seemed like a smarter QB.

The coaches play a big part in this.  They don’t do Vick any favors when they run too little and then have him look for big plays.  That offense worked really well in 2010.  It hasn’t done so well since then.  Vick is at his best when handing the ball to Shady a lot and making short throws.  You still mix in deep balls from time to time, but Vick is struggling on deep throws this year and the OL has trouble holding blocks that long.

Foles isn’t a good deep passer.  We saw that at Arizona and in the preseason.  Really, the coaches ought to forget the vertical attack and focus more on intermediate routes (11-20 yards).  Vick is good on them.  Weeden showed the potential to be good on them.  You must have a strong arm and be accurate.  Both guys can do that.  The OL isn’t holding blocks for 4 seconds and that makes a ton of difference.

What would be the advantages to playing Foles?  Are there any?  We can’t say for certain since this is all speculation, but during the preseason Foles did a lot of things that looked like veteran QB play.  He made good reads.  He anticipated plays.  He threw with excellent accuracy.  Foles got the ball out quickly.  Here are his cumulative numbers for the 4 games:

40-63-63.5%, 553 yds … 6 TDs, 2 INTs, 1 sack, 110.1 rating … 2-24 rushing

The most impressive numbers there…only 1 sack and only 2 INTs.  Foles had a terrible OL at Arizona in his Senior season.  He constantly had pressure on him.  He learned the value of getting the ball out quickly when possible.  He also developed the ability to get rid of the ball at the last minute before getting sacked.  Part of that is due to his size (6-5, 240) and strength.  He’s not easy to bring down.

Just because Foles was good in August doesn’t mean he’d be good in October.  The game moves at a much faster pace and gameplans are tailored to each team and each player.  Foles has never had to deal with that at the NFL level.

What if Foles could play well?  What if he’s the anomaly, a non-1st round rookie that could step in and play at a reasonably high level?  That is possible.  Most rookies are on bad teams.  They have OL issues or lack weapons.  Foles would be playing behind a shaky OL, but would have plenty of weapons to work with.  He looked good in connecting with DeSean, Celek, and the guys back in the summer.  They seemed to have a good chemistry.

Andy Reid has a tough balancing act here.  He’s got to decide who the best QB is for the rest of 2012.  This isn’t about the future.  The Eagles are 3-3, not 0-6.  If Vick can right the ship and get hot, the whole team could follow suit.  Foles could come in and we could have lightning in a bottle or he could fall flat on his face.  Right now the Eagles are 31st in points, but 11th in yards and 11th in time of possession.  If the offense failed to move the ball at all, that would put tremendous pressure on the defense and things could get really ugly.

You also must factor in Vick in regard to the locker room.  He is still a beloved player.  Older guys might have faced him in the ATL days.  They certainly have a ton of respect for what Vick has done and can do.  The younger guys worshiped him when Vick was the star of stars.  They continue to love him.

Benching Vick for Foles would not go over well in the locker room.  For that to happen and the players to buy in, there needs to be a key moment or game.  This isn’t about logic.  This is about trying to replace a very popular veteran player.  Let’s compare this with McNabb back in 2008.  Donovan was not a beloved figure in the locker room at that point.  He was a respected veteran, but things had started to get awkward with him and the organization.

McNabb had consecutive games with less than 50% completions.  He failed to deliver late in the loss vs the Giants.  He then had the poor showing in Cincy and the bewildering comment that he didn’t know NFL games could end in ties.  McNabb played very poorly in the 1st half in Baltimore and the team had a goose egg on the board.  That’s when he got benched.  That is 10 straight quarters of bad QB play.  His rating for that period was in the 5o to 60 range.  There were 4 TDs and 6 INTs.  He lost 2 fumbles.  He ran 5 times for 44 yards.  It was clear to everyone that McNabb needed to be benched.  He sat for the 2nd half of the Ravens game, then started the rest of the year and played much better.

Vick isn’t playing well right now, but he’s not in a funk like that.  Benching him will take a game where he and the offense basically aren’t functional (think ARZ).  Reid must be able to sit in a meeting room with the players and show them the points that we’re leaving out on the field.  He must be able to show them where Vick is hurting the offense.  Players could buy into that.  A game like Sunday isn’t close to good enough.

Some might argue that the way Vick’s contract is structured, there’s no way he’s coming back in 2013 so why not make the change now.  Reid could sell that angle to Lurie to possibly buy another year of patience.  ProFootballTalk pointed out this morning that the Eagles could talk to Vick about restructuring his deal.  As it currently stands, there is virtually no way Vick comes back.  He’s going to be paid like a star in 2013.  He’d have to play like a star to get to keep that deal.  If Vick does get on some crazy hot streak, the Eagles will have a tough decision to make, but one they’d probably be happy to be stuck with.  Vick could restructure his deal, which might change things in regard to his future.

I think as long as the Eagles are in the hunt, Vick will keep the job.  The team lost a pair of games to drop to 3-3.  Those were tough, tough losses, but this isn’t the same as a team that isn’t competitive or is falling apart.

You really have to focus on the question of what gives the Eagles the best chance to win in 2012.  Plenty of fans are yelling “FOLES, you idiot!!! Isn’t it obvious?”  There is a lot of frustration coming through in those comments.  Reid has a feel for the situation that we don’t. He’s around the players every day.  He knows the locker room.

Generally Reid makes good QB decisions.  He wanted McNabb in 1999 and that worked well.  In 2002 Reid stuck with AJ Feeley instead of going after some veteran and the kid went 4-1 as our starter.  Reid stayed patient with McNabb in 2003 and let him play his way out of a slump.  He benched McNabb in 2008 for part of the Ravens game.  Reid then dealt McNabb after 2009, to a division rival no less.  That worked just fine.  And in 2010 Reid gave the starting job to Vick, which proved to be the right move at that time.

I will tell you that this situation is different than McNabb’s in one respect.  McNabb was homegrown.  Reid drafted him, coached him, and developed him.  McNabb was the Eagles franchise.  Vick is an outsider.  He’s made a home here, but Andy won’t have the same kind of deep loyalty to him because the relationship is different.  Also, Vick is 32.  The sloppy play and mental mistakes should be a thing of  the past.

My guess is that Reid sticks with Vick for now, but he will go to Foles if the right situation presents itself.  Turnovers drive Andy crazy.  Not scoring points drives him crazy.  The problem is that a rookie QB isn’t the most likely solution to those problems.  At some point, you do need to shake things up.  I don’t think Andy is at that point yet, but it is within eyesight and that means that Vick needs to start playing better if he wants to keep his job.  Vick controls his own destiny.  Will he fumble it away?

* * * * *

I’ve got a lot of good questions from you guys.  I’ll try to do a Q&A post to answer them later tonight or early tomorrow.


102 Comments on “Should Mike Vick Keep His Job?”

  1. 1 Todd B. said at 1:58 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I don’t know if Foles should start over Vick.

    But I do know that the two things that make Vick such a great weapon is his escapability and his ability to throw the long ball.

    Vick has not been able to throw the long ball so far this year and yesterday’s underthrown pass to Jackson was very alarming.

    And while he has been able to escape he isn’t finding his receivers. There are times when receivers are open and he doesn’t see them or he takes too long to decide to throw to them.

    Foles did not throw the long ball well but he got rid of the ball quickly and he was accurate.

    If the long ball isn’t there no matter who the QB is, maybe is makes sense to get the QB in that can make the faster read?

  2. 2 taymgates said at 2:20 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Foles if I remember correct has one hell of a arm and has the ability to throw the long ball. This isn’t about who has the faster read and who will get the ball out faster, we have seen that Foles has that edge over Vick.. so did Kolb.

    The Point here is that if Vick gets rolling and plays (Vick 10′) well, he by far gives the Eagles a better chance to win that if Foles is playing. Foles had his shaky line in AZ, and played very well for the position he was in, but playing in the NFL with all the crazy blitz schemes teams run, all rookie QB take some time to develop and get used to seeing life in the NFL.

    If the season was 1-5 then playing Foles would obviously be the best move to give him experience and develop your QB for the future, but we are not 1-5 we are 3-3 and 1 game out of the lead for the NFC east.

    It makes sense from Andy’s viewpoint to ride it out with Vick and see how the next 5-6 games play out… After the Atlanta game in two weeks our schedule gets alot easier then it was and a good showing by Vick in these upcoming games could put us in a good spot in the NFC east with 10-11 wins total.

  3. 3 Ark87 said at 4:09 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Foles has a very good arm. It isn’t a matter of arm-strength for him. He consistently under throws the ball. He needs to get that Donovan McNabb mentality on the long ball. Overthrows are incompletions, underthrows are interceptions, let ‘er rip, you almost can’t over-throw Desean Jackson.

    That is one thing about Donovan. He wasn’t accurate, he see the coverage, know if the ball goes high, it’s a pick, so he would overcompensate and throw it in the dirt, and vice versa. Inaccuracy for ball security, was it so bad?

  4. 4 Anders said at 4:48 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Funny thing with McNabb was that he is (or was) the QB with most completions in a row. McNabbs problem was his foot work, when he got sloppy instead of a perfect throw it became a worm killer

  5. 5 mcud said at 7:15 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    “Overthrows are incompletions, underthrows are interceptions” is flawed. In fact, I think the opposite holds true. QBs that miss low (like Donovan) are generally going to have less INTs than those that miss high, if for no other reason than the longer the ball is in the air, the more time a DB has get into position to catch it. I get what you are saying here (I think), but it only applies to out-and-out bombs 50 yards down field, which I’m not sure you really want to have as a staple of your offense.

  6. 6 Ark87 said at 8:20 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    ” He needs to get that Donovan McNabb mentality ***on the long ball.*** Overthrows are incompletions, underthrows are interceptions”

    It was awkwardly started, but I intended that statement to be exclusive to throwing the bomb, when your WR has a step in a footrace down the sideline. Now if you have a DB overtop, just don’t throw that ball unless you’re Eli manning, or your receiver is Calvin Johnson.

    Yeah it looks like I’m implying that McNabb had a blanket philosophy on passing the ball high, and really Mcnabb just threw it away from coverage no matter what. When he was on, the O was very good. When he was off, deep passes when over heads, short passes landed at the feet of receivers. Incompletions would rise, but usually not turnovers.

  7. 7 D3Keith said at 8:37 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I definitely appreciate no-turnover Don even more after watching what turnovers do to deflate a team.

    Then again, I like actually having a shot when the game’s on the line and we need a come-from-behind drive.

  8. 8 Ashley Leask said at 9:12 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Agreed on Foles and the deep balls, I said the same thing during the preseason, he’s just a little slow seeing them open up which is to be expected.

    Was looking at Donovan’s stats from his last couple of years here after the game. Funny at the time I was ready for him to move on, but I’d kill for that kind of QB play now.

    Donovan’s INT% in PHI was 2.1, Vick’s has risen from 1.6 in 2010 to 3.3 and so far 3.5 this year. Throw the fumbles on top and it doesn’t look good.

  9. 9 Scott J said at 1:58 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Isn’t Vick also to blame for bad play calling? If Mornhinweg sends in a play to Vick, and Vick see’s it won’t work because of the defensive alignment, isn’t he suppose to change the play?

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 2:02 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Vick has changed the play on a regular basis this year. Did that well vs the Giants. The coaches did a poor job in the 1st/4th Qtrs yesterday. They did get Vick into a good rhythm in the middle of the game. That’s how we got 386 yds, 23 points.

  11. 11 Brett Smith said at 3:31 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    From my untrained eye I would say Vick has done very well at changing the play at the line.

  12. 12 austinfan said at 6:41 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Could have easily been 31 points, Vick threw two TD passes to Celek that were disallowed, one by drop, one by bogus PI.

    Given the beating he took, I don’t know that any QB is going to give you much more, look at Stafford with great protection misfiring for 3 quarters, imagine him behind the Eagle OL?

  13. 13 D3Keith said at 8:35 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    You do have to give Vick a little credit. We could very well be singing his praises, had overtime never happened, if the defense or Celek held, or that OPI call never happens.

  14. 14 Julescat said at 2:04 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    “All 32 QBs get hit”

    make that 31 QBs get hit. The one that faces the highly acclaimed eagles D line doesn’t have to worry about getting hit.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 2:16 PM on October 15th, 2012:


  16. 16 Anders said at 4:49 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    It really bugs me that the whole DL is playing subpar. Had it only been 1 guy, I could live with it, but 9 guys, that means something is very wrong.

  17. 17 The_Reddgie said at 4:46 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Well played. Well played indeed! /slow clap

  18. 18 P_P_K said at 4:55 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Laughing ’til I cry.

  19. 19 Scott J said at 2:14 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    If Reid pulls Vick for Foles, it could send a message to the team that the season is over.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 2:17 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    That’s one of the reasons that circumstances matter so much.

  21. 21 Brett Smith said at 3:30 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Foles will not be better with the current play calling and OL troubles. I think even Big Ben would struggle behind this line throwing the ball 50 times a game.

    This can all be fixed.

    Vick showed what this offense can look like on one play yesterday. The strike to Maclin.

    Playfakes don’t work when no one believes you will run the ball.

    The answer is a double dose of Shady and Brown with some really nice 3 step intermediate routes and the OL to keep Vick clean.

    I can dream…

  22. 22 D3Keith said at 8:34 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Not only that, but we have the defense to support a team that tries to establish the run and the short passing game early. And is that Watkins and Herremans’ strength? We don’t have a road-grading OL, but we have the type of team this year that doesn’t have to force the issue and try to win the game on long bomb and 20-yard combo routes in the first quarter when it can use the run and the short pass early to frustrate/tire out a defense, then strike big late.

  23. 23 Brett Smith said at 10:08 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    One big issue is the O Line sucking.

    Lets give out Grades and Blames
    Demetress Bell – F- < Bills were right he sucks. Blame Roseman
    Evan Mathis – D+ – < Probably this is Reynolds and Bells fault.
    Dallas Reynolds – Incomplete < He should not be starting blame Roseman. also no way a dude named Dallas should even be on this team…
    Danny Watkins – F + < Obviously Kelce was covering up some of his "Football Immaturity" probably really needs a smart veteran on both sides. Blame fate for ending Kelce's season.
    Todd Herremens – D+ – No excuses here. He was our second best lineman last year. He seems to be struggling with the better RDEs. Blame fate for ending Kelce's season and forcing Herremens to babysit Watkins which he is obviously not capable of as he doesn't strike me as that guy.

    How many times is this now we have lost a starting center and had no answer/replacement? Remember Dallas in the playoffs and the COwgirls setting up shop in McNabbs lap all game? Mike McGlynn a center REALLY? He was/is a guard always…
    I guess they thought Kelce was Jeff Saturday and would never miss a game ever.

    I am pretty sure Vick could manage a short to intermediate passing game that was 50-50 run pass and we could win consistently instead of by the seat of our pants.

    I am not sure I am going to make it through the season at this rate… might end up on the IR.

  24. 24 Ashley Leask said at 8:39 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    On the playfakes, that’s something that just burns me to death with some of these play calls, we’ll run a PA fake on 3rd and 10. WTF?

    We have a QB who struggles with the reading / recognition part of the game, and we largely refuse to establish the run, so a PA fake anytime much less obvious passing downs gives us no advantage.

    So we have our QB who struggles to make good reads turn his back on the D for the first second or so of the play, then try to pick up his reads “in flight”, usually with a collapsing pocket or a free rusher on the way.

    It’s an obvious thing but good coaching gives players their best chance to succeed and that’s the opposite of what MM is doing most of the time.

    Inexplicably one drive a game will be next to pefection in both the playcalls and execution. Then back to the 7 step playaction bombs on passing downs.

  25. 25 Mathias ALLAGNAT said at 2:20 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I think Vick is getting too much blaming for the team results. I mean, sunday it was incredible how he got destroyed by the Lions D. And I’m not a football Guru but is it possible that the QB who gets hits and pressure the most in the NFL will turn the ball over? I really think Kelce absence is tough for the offense. When vick got time things were good and it looked like a good offense. So, my point is the offense seems to have a weak OL so we need the D to step up a little. So please, the D-line must step it up, it’s unbelievable, no sack in three games with a formation based on QB pressure. And last but not least, I would like some fans to notice that our D must have the best duo of cb. What a game by nnamdi. Too bad Stafford remembered that we have other DBs during the game (on the long pass to the 2nd Detroit TE, hughes was terrible in coverage, I mean it’s an unacceptable play).

  26. 26 Mathias ALLAGNAT said at 2:21 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    once again sorry for my english

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 2:23 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    No apologies needed.

  28. 28 Kevin_aka_RC said at 2:31 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Vick has earned the opportunity to keep his job after the bye. However, if we lose the next two games (home: Atlanta, road: New Orleans)…we’ll be 3-5 at the half-way, with the most turnover prone QB in the NFL in a division with the reigning Super Bowl Champions. At that point, I make the switch.

    Conversely, if we’re 5-3 we can make a run at the playoffs. Too early, even if I feel we’ll finish 8-8.

  29. 29 drichwine said at 2:32 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Benching Vick would be the act of a desparate man.
    Reid is 5, or maybe 4, losses away from losing his job. He is desprate, or should be.
    He has showed faith in Vick, and been rewarded with mediocre play. You are likely correct that Foles would not be an improvement over Vick, but can Reid roll the dice with Vick at this point? Vick has shown zero indication he can lead the team past mediocrity. Put in Foles and maybe Foles plays well as the team becomes less predictable with the new QB. Maybe he stinks and Vick will be inspired to reclaim him job and lead the team to the playoffs.
    Maybe benching Vick is the end of Reid’s tenure, but the odds are getting longer that will continue with Vick. Going into a bye, now is a good time, maybe THE best time, to head in a different direction.

  30. 30 bdbd20 said at 2:32 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I know Bell is no Jason Peters, but I’m shocked that we haven’t called more screens. I’d love to see Shady, Celek, Harbor, Brown, and Havili all get involved in the screen game.

  31. 31 Brett Smith said at 3:47 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I am not sure Bell would even know how to execute one…

    Sorry no confidence in Bell. The Bills are laughing very heartily over this one.

  32. 32 A_T_G said at 5:36 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Yep. They probably see it as payback for, well, for Peters.

  33. 33 Ashley Leask said at 8:53 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I get the feeling Shady doesn’t have a great feel for the screen game or passing game generally. His hands are fine, but they only ever use him on RB type routes, swings, flat, check through the line etc.

    He has every bit the skillset Westbrook had physically, and should be awesome catching the ball in space, but it’s never seemed a priority to get him involved in the passing as a weapon rather than an outlet. Think of all they ways they used to find to isolate Westy on a LB or S by formation and the routes they had him run.

    Just don’t seem to do that with McCoy.

  34. 34 iskar36 said at 2:32 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Great post Tommy. For the most part, I agree with everything you wrote here. The one thing I think you also needed to add in terms of comparing Vick to rookies is his fumbles as well. He has put the ball on the ground 9 times this season and lost it 5 times. The next highest of any player in the NFL has three fumbles (RGIII, who has 3, is the only other QB with more than 2). So Vick is not only among the league worst in INTs, but is by far the league worst in fumbles. I don’t know that Foles would do much better than Vick in terms of INTs considering he is a rookie (although I don’t know that he necessarily would do much worse either), but you would expect that he would hold on to the ball at least slightly better than Vick has this season.

    My personal view is that I want the Eagles to do what they did with McNabb in 2008. I think if (and let’s be honest at this point… when) Vick has another multiple turnover game, the Eagles need to bench him for the rest of that game and let Foles show what he can do in our offense. You send a message to Vick, and then let him come back the following week and hopefully he responds on the field the same way McNabb did for the rest of the season. Obviously the message the coaches have been send Vick has not worked, so they need to do something that will get him to wake up and realize that it is his job to protect the football.

  35. 35 nopain23 said at 2:48 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Hey t,
    Looking forward to your future column on potential head coaching candidates 9 hint,hint). Poor play calling has doomed the iggles the last two games. This team lacks the mental toughness you see in teams like the Gmen, 9ers and Pats. That falls squarely on the HC sorry to say. Any chance we back the BRINKS truck up to Nick Sabans house?.. I think he could win with the talent we have no??

    Ray Horton and Vic Fangio are interesting candidates as well

  36. 36 RIP Worms said at 3:13 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Nick Saban!?!?!? No, No, No. He could absolutely win with the talent we have……in the SEC. I think hiring college coaches from top 10 programs is more often than not an unmitigated disaster (right Redskins fans?).

    Those schools play (at most) 2 or 3 games a year against teams with similar talent. Much of their success as coaches comes from being excellent recruiters and overwhelming their opponents with superior talent.

    If Andy’s not here next year, I’d much rather see an NFL assistant get hired or a college coach who overachieves with lesser talent.

    I have no problem with Ray Horton and Vic Fangio as candidates.

  37. 37 Brett Smith said at 3:46 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I am good with Ray Horton as a candidate. I have even proposed Todd Bowles.

    I think Vic Fangio might be a bit of a veteran and better suited as a DC than a HC.

  38. 38 ACViking said at 5:49 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    As Harry Kalas would have said to Whitey Ashburn (or was it Whitey to Harry) . . .

    How ’bout that David Shaw at Stanford?

    I think T-Law nailed it with him. The guy is about playing tough, smash-mouth football.

    Call me old fashion.

  39. 39 RC5000 said at 3:05 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    one word: )%^!^#@!!! hell (+^%$!!! no
    Re: Reid could sell that angle to Lurie to possibly buy another year of patience. ProFootballTalk pointed out this morning that the Eagles could talk to Vick about restructuring his deal.

  40. 40 mpyoung215 said at 3:17 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Vick’s contract is secondary to the fact that he turns the ball over way too much. Getting a cheaper turn-over machine isn’t going to make the team any better.

    I think if you bench Vick for Foles, Andy could send a message to the team that regardless of how much you’re getting paid or how many jerseys you sell, the best players should play. I can’t imagine any of the other players are excited to watch Vick cough it up drive after drive.

  41. 41 RC5000 said at 5:00 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Yeah that is a flip side if things continue with this pattern offensively in the first half (most of first half).
    There is a lot to think about after this game but I don’t think it’s the right time to make a QB change. The team is aware of Vick’s problems running the offense early in games but probably still think he is giving them some chance to win. How long can the team withstand turnovers and not getting leads practically ever early in games? There is a cumulative effect and is this a stout defense over the entire year?
    Are they like the Broncos last year with Tebow and a very stingy defense over a number of games?
    Since Reid did not make a change yesterday and Vick started performing after the Linc crowd went nuts over Reid/Vick/offense, it’s not going to happen right now. We’ll see how things go.
    But I really couldn’t care less about Vick’s future, it’s a little more about Nick Foles (he is without question my QB of the future) when I think about when is the right time to go to him and under what circumstance. I don’t even know why we’re worried about restructuring his contract and Andy Reid’s status next year.
    The fact we did comeback and get our biggest lead of the year in the 4th Q means it’s not the right time to make a change. But I don’t know how much longer they can wait for the offense to perform from the start. I think if they can resolve that very soon, then it’s going to be a while. We can’t predict when it’s going to be the right time to switch right now but odds are pretty good it’s not going to be until the second half of the year at least.
    I can’t say the defense is quite elite and yesterday they had some 4th quarter losses personnel wise and a still green Juan Castillo but they’ve gone up against Flacco, Eli, Big Ben, Stafford and receivers like Fitz, Wallace, Antonio Brown, Megatron. It’s really hard for me to put much against the defense like some people want to do. They’ve been behind the eight ball ALL YEAR with maybe the exception of the AZ game.
    Stafford at one point was 6-18 completions.

  42. 42 SportiVore said at 3:13 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    The grass is always greener, and Vick hasn’t been so bad that you can say, “It can’t be any worse.”

    It could be much, much worse. Foles isn’t ready.

  43. 43 Zach Reese said at 3:16 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    The point that good QB play in August is completely different from good QB play in October cannot be overstated. Not only are teams still doing evaluation and players moving at different speeds in the preseason, but defensive schemes are incredibly vanilla.

    No one is running exotic blitzes that send DBs off the edge or 2 LBs through A-gaps. Hot reads are easy to make when defenses are not trying to disguise their coverage schemes. It is a situation set-up similarly to 7-on-7 drills, where the QB has the edge.

    Mike Kafka looked like the QBotF just last offseason, when a strong preseason performance had people talking about his grasp of the offense. Kafka even looked good for a few minutes in last season’s Atlanta game, when he was able to navigate the team to the brink of a game-winning touchdown.

    But Kafka’s putrid performance in relief the following week illustrates the single biggest difference between “beginner’s luck” and “sophomore slump” in the NFL: Give defensive coordinators some film of your success, and they’ll be able to game-plan around your failures.

    This point is extraordinarily important when looking at rookie QBs, but can be seen by quick-blooming NFL players as well… None more obviously than our beloved starting QB, Michael Vick. It may have taken a full season for teams to figure out the resurgent QB in 2010 (and we could argue over whether it was this game-planning that did in his 2nd half numbers or simply regression to the mean), but once teams saw a blueprint for how to attack the QB, the offense sputtered down the stretch.

    Sure, Nick Foles could buck this trend. He could come in after the bye and lead us to an upset of the Falcons and an eventual division championship. But in a league of probability, the odds are not in his favor. Chances are that Foles will figure out defenses at a slower pace than defenses will figure out Foles.

  44. 44 TommyLawlor said at 3:33 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Great last line. Might have to steal that from you.

  45. 45 Zach Reese said at 4:38 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Please do. I’d be happy to sell it to you for an Eagles’ win on the 28th.

  46. 46 A_T_G said at 9:01 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    So, if Foles is an example of good QB play in August not neccassarily predictive of good play in October, might Vick be an example of the the inverse: bad play in August might be predictive of bad play in October?

  47. 47 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 8:20 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Oh, man, I really was not ready to see the term QBotF come back.

  48. 48 89tremaine said at 3:26 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Reid almost needs a Vick injury to get Foles on the field without losing the locker room. If Foles is playing well because of an injury, it’s easy to justify keeping him as the starter (see Vick 2010 and Brady 2001).
    Ironically, it was the McNabb injury in 2006 that “forced” the Eagles to go more balanced and they had success with it, only to revert in 2007. I wouldn’t and don’t wish an injury on anyone, but that’s pretty much the only way I see a QB change or a change in strategy.
    Accountability seems to be missing with this team – Vick comments re: turnovers, D-Line’s comments re: generating pressure when none exists. Avant made a great point that guys are playing selfishly – suck it up, do your job and put team success first. By the way, I have no idea why Graham isn’t getting more playing time. I’d start Tapp and Graham against the Falcons as a wake up call to Babin and Cole. Against the Giants and Cardinals, chips and short drops were the key to neutralizing the rush, but that was definitely not the case yesterday.

  49. 49 Ark87 said at 3:39 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    We were talking like this after the browns game. We were worried about Mike Vick staying healthy for 16 games all season long. That was the one main doubt. Hey we don’t have a back-up, and the guy is injured weekly. Sure enough Foles looks promising. We’d love to get a peek at what he can do in the regular season without ruffling any feathers. Works perfectly, Foles gets in, nobody questions it, if he is good, the players see he is better, he will win the locker room. If he’s not, Vick comes back, no harm no foul (minimum drama).

    So of course Mike Vick is freakin Indestructible THIS season. We’re cursed, I’m telling you.

  50. 50 shah8 said at 3:38 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I’d at least like people to think about why Jay Cutler still has a job in Chicago. Who’s out there that you can get? Jason Campbell? Kyle Orton? NFC East, people–we’d get crushed with people who can’t get our wideouts the ball deep.

  51. 51 austinfan said at 4:08 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Fire MM. Bring back Childress.
    Vick would suddenly look like an Allpro.

    Seriously, the MM offense is killing Vick, physically and mentally. Look, the guy has engineered numerous long clutch drives, do it once, meh, do it a half dozen times, it ain’t a coincidence. Why – because MM finally starts calling a balanced, ball control attack, and Vick does what it takes to get 1st downs. Yesterday, when they went to a shorter passing game (and should have just gone no huddle shotgun because the only running play that was working was the spring draw), they moved the ball up and down the field, and we’ve seen this all season so far – MM is an idiot – he refuses to protect his OL and play to his QBs strength. Vick has a very quick release and is accurate on those short passes, many were perfectly thrown, in stride in his receivers’ hands.

    Not saying Vick is a great QB, but with that OL, you take what the defenses give you, if they’re dropping the safeties and blitzing, you throw 10 yard passes all game. DeSean out of the slot is impossible to cover, put Cooper outside with Maclin and you can have any of them run routes at a different level on the field. Instead, MM runs deep outs, trying to get a WR singled up down field, but those plays take 4 seconds to develop – and Vick ain’t getting 4 seconds.

    One good sign is Brown learning to pass block, he has better (more natural) hands and is stronger than Shady, he might just have a role as a third down back.

  52. 52 Anders said at 4:47 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Agree on everything. Sadly Childress is currently OC of the Browns and its hard to fire your OC mid season, but at this rate MM is getting AR fired.

  53. 53 BlindChow said at 7:14 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Have you watched any Browns games? VERY similar to the MM’s playcalling. They had the #3 pick in the draft in running back Richardson and barely gave him the ball in some games. At Alabama he was great as a receiver; with Weeden struggling with turnovers, they still manage to fail to get the ball to their biggest potential playmaker…

  54. 54 Doctor Claw said at 7:31 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    I have watched many Browns games. And I agree, that team is the Eagles Jr. — I just wish the Eagles could swap O-Lines with that team. At least the Browns try to run Trent up the middle. Against the Lions, MM kept running it outside. So much, that Daryl Johnston and “Goose” Siragusa were talking about how they should stop doing it.

  55. 55 Tom33 said at 4:08 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    To me – it all comes down to ball security. If this were just a phenomenon we were seeing this year I’d be tempted to say ride it out, but it’s not. Vick had way too many turnovers last year, and that was with the “good” offensive line. (and as Tommy points out – he had a bunch of dropped picks in 2010). As I posted last week – I’ve seen enough. Two years worth of starts (19) and the Eagles are 10-9 in those games. The team had 0 or 1 turnover in 4 of those starts, and they were 4-0 in those games. 45 TO’s in the other 15. I’d rather have a game manager who hangs onto the ball than a guy who makes plays going both directions. The only other option I see is to change the guy calling the plays (MM) – and trust me, I’d love to see that. I’ve been writing letters to every owner with a head coaching job for the past 3 years touting the genius that is Marty. But alas – I guess we’re the only ones who forgot the Detroit Lions history.

  56. 56 ACViking said at 4:35 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Re: Super Bowl or Bust?


    Exactly 2 rookie QBs in the history of professional football have led their team to the league title.

    In 1945, the then-Cleveland Rams won the NFL title with rookie Bob Waterfield.

    In 1946, the original Cleveland Browns won the AAFC title behind rookie QB Otto Graham (who went on to play in the championship game of the AAFC and then the NFL for each of his 10 professional seasons).

    THAT’S IT.

    Not Tom Brady, who won it in his 2nd year (played 1 game as a rookie). Not Kurt Warner, also in his 2nd year, at age 27, after lots of Arena league and NFL training camp experience (and also 1 game in his *rookie* season with the Rams).

    And not Dan Marino, who lost in the SB in his 2nd season.

    Nick Foles, whom I’m very interested in seeing behind center, is — short of a miracle — just not going to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl title.

    As for the Eagles bringing Vick back in 2013 at a reduced rate, what’s the message that sends to the fans?

    So what if Vick costs less. The very fact that his contract would be cut is a signal that Eagles management don’t believe Vick’s a SB quarterback.

    It also tells us that Nick Foles isn’t ready.

    If Joe Banner’s “insanity” comment ever were more apropos, it would be in 2013 if Vick’s behind center . . .


  57. 57 TommyLawlor said at 4:51 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Depends on how Vick finishes this year. What if they tinker with the offense during the bye and he plays much better, but not great down the stretch? That will be the toughest call.

  58. 58 ACViking said at 4:58 PM on October 15th, 2012:


    If Vick finishes with a flourish, then the question for VICK is whether anyone else would want him.

    If AR’s tinkering produces the flourish, then would it make sense — at least to the Vick folks and the rest of the league — that Vick’s problems were Reid’s problems.

    Bottom line, Vick’s performance — which we all keep waiting to get better — could be academic if the team doesn’t make a deep playoff run.

    At least that’s the conventional wisdom.

    By the way, is Roseman a “Reid Guy” . . . or is he a Lurie guy?

  59. 59 TommyLawlor said at 5:47 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Roseman is evolving. Came in as a Banner guy, but is now either a Reid guy or just on his own.

  60. 60 The_Reddgie said at 4:58 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Tommy, this is what twists my panties more than anything else:

    “Early on Vick was under heavy pressure. He was struggling. The offense was struggling. The coaches then adjusted and went to a shorter passing attack. Vick suddenly played better and seemed like a smarter QB.”

    Why in the world don’t they start a game that way? Why do they disregard the obscene pressure that they faced the week before when game planning for the upcoming game? It is almost like they think that the pressure Vick is facing every week is an aberration. It isn’t. This OL can not provide Vick with a clean pocket on a consistent basis, and yet Minionwheg keeps calling plays as if Vick has all day back there. They knew going into the NYG game that they needed to nullify the pass rush and devised a game plan to do so, and they ended up winning the game. I just don’t understand why they seemed to have thrown away that game plan and keep coming up with ones that rely on excellent pass blocking that just isn’t going to happen.

    Compounding that frustration is we see other team’s game plan to eliminate or reduce our pass rush and it works wonderfully, and yet we can’t take what is being done to us and translate it into a game plan that works for our Offense. Retarded.

  61. 61 holeplug said at 6:26 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Read AustinFans post above. MM just can’t help himself and is obsessed with designing plays with routes 15-20 yds down the field.

  62. 62 D3Keith said at 7:39 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    A lot of validity to this post.

  63. 63 The_Reddgie said at 2:53 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Thanks, I didn’t steal Austin’s post, but he is dead fucking on. Fuck us if MM can’t adapt (before the 3rd quarter that is).

  64. 64 RC5000 said at 9:38 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Definitely wonder about the deep passing game overall with the OL although the biggest problem in our tendencies is scoring early and we didn’t score early against the Giants.
    I think the only thing is we’ve been outscored 26-7 in the first Q for the year We outscored opponents 35-10 in the 3rd Q, I think.
    Giants game and Lions game were similar scoring offensively. And we had the longest lead of the year against Detroit (10 points twice in the 4th).

  65. 65 JFang said at 5:18 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    If Vick is in fact cut at the end of the season, will Foles become our franchise qb or do we go draft or sign someone? And, will that decision will be correlated to whether Reid stays or not?

  66. 66 TommyLawlor said at 5:49 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Depends on the options. They like Foles, but if some elite QB prospect is there, they’ll go get him. Eagles loved Luck, RG3. Had no shot to get them. Not sure there are going to be elite QBs available. Foles may be the best option.

  67. 67 JFang said at 8:17 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Speaking of QB prospects, what are your thoughts on Geno Smith and Matt Barkley (I’m from SoCal)?

  68. 68 eagles2zc said at 6:07 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Tommy, do you see a trade for an Oline man possible? Would say, a replacement at center, solve a lot of the current problems?

  69. 69 BobSmith77 said at 6:10 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    To me is do you think the Eagles would turn the ball over less with Foles operating the offense than Vick. If you think Foles could cut down the numbers of QB turnovers (~1 game) vs. Vick (over a 2/game), the choice to start Foles becomes more compelling.

  70. 70 BobSmith77 said at 6:11 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Not the overall numbers with Vick. It’s the turnovers. When a team is -2 or worse in the turnover ratio, they are going to lose games at a really good clip unless they have a ridiculous defense.

  71. 71 GermanEagle said at 3:14 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Funny enough we have a ridiculous defence. Unfortunately it cannot ridiculously get sacks…

  72. 72 tdilla said at 7:26 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    How much of Vick’s problems do you think can be attributed to his height? Vick is probably the shortest guy on the Eagles O besides Jackson or Shady. His smaller stature probably helped when he was quicker, but now that he can’t outrun linebackers consistently anymore, it looks like more of a liability.

  73. 73 BlindChow said at 7:33 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    For what it’s worth, I thought he looked great running against the Lions. And the Giants, for that matter…

  74. 74 Jay said at 7:44 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Drew Brees… Need I say more? Mike Vick’s problems have to do with his football intelligence.

    Howard Mudd’s system requires the QB to get the ball out quickly.

    Vick needs to work on throwing the football in the trhowing lanes.

    Vick needs to be decisive. If nothings there, throw the ball away or tuck it and run.

  75. 75 tdilla said at 8:22 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Very true…Vick seems to lack not only football intelligence, but intelligence in general.

  76. 76 eagles2zc said at 10:13 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    It’s less of a height issue and more of a pocket awareness issue. Vick doesn’t seem to sense pressure too well. He should just have a maximum of two reads and then take off

  77. 77 BlindChow said at 7:32 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Vick did not lose this game. Even his two interceptions were more like punts.
    If anyone needs to lose their job (or have their responsibilities diminished) it’s the coordinators. MM’s 4th quarter and O/T playcalling was inept. Castillo substantially changing their 4th quarter approach (which appeared to have been working) was outright stupidity.
    Seriously, the Eagles offense with Vick had a 10 point lead with 5 minutes of game time remaining. That’s not someone who deserves to lose his job.

  78. 78 D3Keith said at 7:38 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    This is similar to the discussion we had when switching from McNabb to Kolb? We thought that Kolb, by virtue of having less talent, would play more within the offense and just worry about getting the playmakers the ball, quickly, and not trying to do too much.

    At this point, I have to agree there’s value in that strategy. But why not see if Vick can be that guy — as Tommy suggests — not by trying to change who he is, but by calling a game that gets him into a rhythm? If defenses are playing off Jackson, take the 4-yard hitch. If Vick can’t read a delayed safety blitz, let him throw some three-step drop stuff. Buckle up and run the ball.

    Sometimes the Eagles are too smart for their own good, and as backwards as this sounds, when the coaches have less talent to work with, as they would with Foles, they dial back the game plan. Sometimes it’s best to do a few things really well than to try to take advantage of every way a defense could be outsmarted.

    In hindsight, the unrefined running Vick at least did that well.

    It’s definitely a dilemma. This team, it’s nearly time to accept they are what they are, and it’s coaches who have to change, since the personnel isn’t going to. But it’s also true that many an Eagles season has started poorly, then the bye hits, then they start rolling. I’d definitely give it a few more games before I pulled the plug on it all. There’s a good defense at the foundation of this thing, and an offense that could break out if it ever figures out how to turn yardage into points.

  79. 79 Jay said at 7:40 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    The bye week is a time to rest, get healthy, review the previous weeks, and make corrections…
    All I know is that if 2 games after the bye and the team still looks “odd”, we should really blow things up.

    Could the Eagles shake up the OL?
    Move Herremans to LT so that one side of our line is “solid”?
    Insert Vallos at C to see if he can play better than Reynolds?
    Put King/Dennis Kelly at RT?
    At this point, even move Watkins at RT and put Kelley at Guard? Didn’t Kelly play some G in the preseason? I think Dave Spadaro said that he looked more comfortable at G if I remember correctly.


    Honestly, I have no problem with Juan this year. He’s been surprisingly good. Only main problem was obviously yesterday’s game. I didn’t check the game but apparently he changed up coverage’s and started blitzing when Nnamdi on CJ (sprinkled with double cov every now and then) was working pretty good.

    But the truth is that every game this year except for the Giants game, Juan has had to deal with the Offense turning the ball over. For us to have the record we have, I do think a lot of it has to do with Juan and the defense.

    But I do think that Todd Bowles should do the play calling even thought Juan’s done a good job especially under the circumstances he’s had to work with..(turnovers)

    Juan can still be the DC without calling the plays, it’s common throughout the league.

    As for the DL, they are simply underachieving. Oh, and when we blitz, it just NEVER gets home in time. I think age is a big factor but I just think that our DLMen are not playing “mad”…They simply just need to do the cliche thing, and “beat” the man in front of them.
    I think Vinny Curry should get the nod over either Hunt or Tapp.
    Maybe even start Graham and give him more rotational snaps than Babin.


    Offensively, why not install more of the I-Form?
    When Peters and Jason Kelce go down, so does a lot of the plays we like to run…The coaches need to make adjustments.

  80. 80 shah8 said at 7:51 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Alright, One thing really needs to be said:

    You cannot consistently win in the NFL via a Smurf Attack. Even when NE does, it’s because Brady’s good, he’s rarely touched by DL, and has monsters for TE.

    Minnesota got by as far as they could with their Smurf Attack because nobody was really paying attention to what was thought to be a bottom-dweller. SF, for example, got too cute trying to get at the bad secondary and got themselves in a hole. Now, at 4-2, they’re beginning to show signs of offensive creakiness as defenses later in the season are paying more attention and tailoring to Musgrave’s specific blend.

    Chilly is asking Weedon to drive the ball downfield, because the entire org knows and remembers way, way, way too well what a Colt McCoy Smurf Attack was like. In the Modern NFL, it’s not that it’s a QB’s league, but that longer developing passing plays have become a huge necessity for consistent success. You cannot win with QBs with questionable arm strength, or with questionable mobility–not unless you have an awesome run game, or an awesome OL (which invites the first requirement). And even awesome run games need regular deep strikes to keep defenses honest.

    MM will call long plays. He does this because it’s what he has to be able to demand of the offense (at least on a team that expects to contend). We’re seeing a ton of feedback cycling of making the QB throw until his arm falls off when an offense gets dysfunctional. There is a reason for that. I think that OL picks are going to be prioritized for many teams. I also suspect that athletic requirements are going to be heading way up for a top of the first QB, because commanding a defense’s fear is going to be a priority, some how, some way–if that means a raw passer that can blow past everyone on the ground, then so be it.

  81. 81 A_T_G said at 9:08 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I think Reid should start playing a variation of strip poker with Vick. Every series that ends in a Vick turnover, one of Vicks pads stays on the equipment table until they score a touchdown.

    Do that and things will take care of themselves.

  82. 82 SteveH said at 9:37 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I have a feeling this is how the season is going to play out:

    Vick is going to play well enough that benching him doesn’t seem realistic because he “still gives us the best chance to win this year” but not so well that we’re actually a legitimate threat in the postseason. He’ll probably have a couple more terrible games, mixed in with some good ones and maybe a late game comeback or two. We’ll finish 9-7 or so, maybe we sneak into the postseason maybe not, but if we do we will be promptly eliminated.

    Vick’s middle of the road play won’t get us anywhere, but we will miss an opportunity to evaluate Nick Foles and see if he is genuinely a good option moving forward, essentially a wasted season.

    At this point Vick is getting old. His elite mobility is gone, he’s simply a fairly athletic quarterback at this point. Because he isn’t the threat he used to be running the ball, teams aren’t afraid to blitz him anymore, and for whatever reason (OL, Vick, scheme, who knows) things usually don’t end too well when teams send creative pressure his way (teams seem to be sending guys from all different angles, we aren’t handling that well). Because Vick can’t rely on escapability anymore he’s standing in the pocket and playing pretty mediocre QB. His ceiling as a passing QB is pretty good if you give him a clean pocket, but thats true of most NFL QB’s.

    The quest I guess you have to ask yourself is how much longer do you really want to ride the Vick train? His mobility is going to continue to decline, and I doubt he’s going to develop much more as a QB at this age. Since the end of 2010 he’s played about 18 to 20 games where he’s been pretty consistently mediocre (with the normal oscillations between good and bad, or in the case of the Browns game just downright putrid). So we’ve got a sampling of over a full season, how much longer do you want to give him? I think the idea that a full offseason for Andy and Marty to work with Vick somehow being the key to improving his play has been blown out of the water at this point.

    I personally don’t think Vick is going to ever return to that guy he was in 2010, because that guy relied at least in part on making teams pay for trying to come after him. No one is specifically planning to take away Vicks running ability anymore, and thats not going to come back.

    Lastly, I personally think Vick is not a great leader. He’s tough, and well liked, but honestly I don’t consider well liked to be a good criteria for a leader. I can pretty much guarantee you that Patriots players want to punch Tom Brady in the mouth sometimes. What I do see from Vick is stupid shit like talking about how the Eagles could be a dynasty. Thats not confidence, thats delusion. The Eagles are nowhere close to a dynasty caliber franchise right now and they weren’t before the season started either. The rest of the team takes its queue from the guy at the top, and if the guy at the top has his head in the clouds with fantasies about this epic team we’re going to be, thats not good. Recently you’ve heard players more than ever talk about how the Eagles need to shut up with this “talent” nonsense ( for more info on that) and frankly I think Vick helps contribute to that. He’s always been an arrogant and cocky player and a couple years in the pen isn’t going to change that. Disagree with me if you want, thats fine, but I truly believe that someone like Vick doesn’t help create the kind of atmosphere you need to stay on top in the NFL. Players like Brady are driven because they know any game, any season they might not be on top anymore. Players like Peyton are driven because they’re perfectionists. Who the hell knows what drives Eli Manning (a desire to look perpetually confused on television?), but I’d take whatever that is too. Players who are fantasizing about how amazing they are (greatest Eagles D of all time Kurt Coleman? Really?) are not going to be successful regardless of how talented they are. As the old quote goes “Pride goeth before the fall”. This team needs a lot less pride and a lot more hunger. You have to actually be great before you can talk about being great, and even then I wouldn’t dwell on it if you want to be there for long.

  83. 83 Zachary Kaplan said at 10:35 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I think the only reason that Vick is still starting is that Reid’s fate is tied to his success.

    Someone stated that Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win, and I think that is probably true, but they won’t “win”, they’ll win here and there, like they have been.

    Reid is going down with his sinking ship, and because he has no choice but to win, he can’t punish his under performing player, because the alternative is a rookie, who won’t be able to save Reid’s job.

    End of the day – most any coach, who’s job isn’t on the hot seat is pulling Vick and his 2.16 TO’s per game, Reid just happens to be on the “hot seat” and can’t make a chance that makes sense.

  84. 84 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 12:01 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Bingo! I’m amazed that others (including Tommy) haven’t gotten this yet: Reid is out of chances.
    The general consensus seems to be that the Eagles need to at least make the NFC title game for him to keep his job. No way he makes that happen if he puts in Foles at this point.
    In fact, if Vick were to go down for an extended period, my money would be on Edwards, not Foles, starting games.
    And if Reid/Vick don’t get it done, both will be gone (along with Juan, Wash and Mudd) in a general housecleaning.

  85. 85 Ark87 said at 9:50 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    There is no such thing as consensus as far as Reid’s job goes. It’s one man, Jeffrey Lurie. If he says you’re gone even if you win the superbowl, that’s the way its going to be. If he is just talking tough, and can be convinced to give Andy another chance, that’s the way it will be. Either way, the Eagles fans ain’t going anywhere. No matter what we will complain. No matter what we will be full tilt into every Eagles game.

  86. 86 Jerry said at 11:09 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    As bad as Vick has played, he gave them a chance to win, pretty much each week. The defense fell off these past two weeks, in the 4th quarter. I’m not sure if that’s scheme or personnel. The coaching has been fairly poor these last two weeks in crunch time. They seemed to had fixed that in the first weeks of this season but have reverted back/gotten greedy. Coaches need to stay disciplined and patient when the pressure is on. But truthfully, this staff is cooked, their welcome worn out years back. The league has figured them out, and they refuse to change. Very sad. I’m tired of watching the same script, but will continue bc I love the team and the game.

  87. 87 mhrinda said at 11:32 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I love the Eagles. I hurt like everyone does especially after a very winnable game AT HOME. Our history isnt perfect. We havent won a Superbowl. We are not a quality football organization like the premier teams in the league like the Giants (I hate it). So we accept second best. We try to put a postive spin on our failures: on what is “good but just not good enough”. We make excuses and some very good excuses and reasons for why we fail and how things are going to get better …. That being said Vick is not good enough. He shouldnt be playing. McNabb had no weapons but could score points. Vicks timing is so bad. The offense is so out of whack when he runs it. Foles may fall flat on his face but I will guarantee one thing the offense will move better, You will see an upgrade on timing (better pace and flow of the offense) even as a rookie with a poor offensive line. Yes there are probably other problems. DC Castillo might not be good enough. He shouldnt have been given the defense “on the job training” A veteran should be running this defense. Nobody probably works harder than Castillo and the defense carries that ethic but that doesnt mean they play with skill and finesse. ( I want turnovers and I want sacks and forced fumbles “Gamechangers” ) Back to Vick, seriously watch GB watch NE watch PITT watch any team with a above average great QB and then think of Vick …. yes a lot of wishful thinking of what could be but not what he really is. Time to move on and its ok.

  88. 88 BobSmith77 said at 11:37 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    I will say this for all of the complaints about Reid I would take him 10 times out of 10 over Norv Turner. Astounded me that Turner has held on to the Chargers job and been a head coach in the NFL now for nearly 15 years. You would be hard pressed to find an NFL coach who has underachieved as much as he did.

  89. 89 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 11:39 PM on October 15th, 2012:

    Stealing someone else’s comment on another blog:
    The problem here is that you have a Coach Killer at QB matched with a QB Killer as Coach.

  90. 90 Doctor Claw said at 7:35 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    At least someone acknowledged Andy’s role as QB Killer, though I don’t believe Vick is a “coach killer”. He doesn’t seem to be insubordinate. Mora/Knapp just sucked.

    As for Andy, I saw what he did to McNabb in the 2005 season. It’s happening again with Vick. As said above. The balanced offense never remains. Once points are on the board, it’s back to slow developing routes and no smart runs, and silly play action that no one believes. I don’t even like the way they do play fakes compared to other teams (Giants, the Lions even)

  91. 91 Christian Therealw said at 5:18 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    I´m the Judas now and say it: “Peyton”
    Foles was nice in the PreSeason. But it´s only PreSeason!
    And it´s not like Vicks fault, that the D# gave up 10 points late in the fourth.
    And I would love to understand what the Eagles changed at half time. The changes were really good for the third quater. And it happened before. The Eagles O# was sluggish in first halfes before or say it that way: Half-time adjustments kept us from being 0-6.
    Back to Vick. Cutting Vick after 2012 presents us with a major problem: Who is your starter in 2013? Foles maybe (really big maybe), FA QB (don´t think so), trade? (who would give up a starting caliber QB). Draft? That would cost us a fortune. The reality is: Vick will be here in 2013 and we will continue to evaluate our options.
    As for now: Vick, no better plan right now. Make the best of it and stick with it.

  92. 92 mhrinda said at 7:54 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    With the weapons Vick has this should be a high powered offense. Vick shouldnt be “just good enough”. We cant just stay with Vick because we dont know who will replace him. Its time to move forward.

  93. 93 Anders said at 9:32 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Eagles have fired Castillo as DC and put Bowles in as DC according to Eaglesinsider

  94. 94 ACViking said at 9:47 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    I’ve read Reid’s statement. Missing was any hint that making Juan the DC was a terrible decision to start with — and that started with Reid.

  95. 95 Anders said at 10:01 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    I read it and wonder when he is going to fire MM

  96. 96 bentheimmigrant said at 10:32 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Yeah. You can’t say “average isn’t good enough” when the other guy is about to fail the class.

  97. 97 Mac said at 9:50 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Wow… I for one wouldn’t have hung the disappointment of the season on the Defense this year. The only “bad” game was in AZ by the defense.

  98. 98 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:49 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Castillo is dunzo….wow! Never thought I would of heard that. Andy is stubborn to a fault… which is why I thout Juan would be not gone in season.

  99. 99 ACViking said at 10:00 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    Re: Castillo’s firing

    The defense — despite the missing sacks — has played MUCH better than the offense. Yes, the last two weeks ended badly. But generally the “D” was pretty good. At least by the numbers.

    And I don’t see how Reid could blame Juan for the lack of sacks. Reid hired Washburn in January 2011 — before hiring a D.C. Washburn has *his* guys rushing the passer. And Detroit’s D-line nicely showed how the W-9 can definitely stop the run (answer: play a terrible O-line).

    Does Juan’s firing vindicate Nnamdi’s post-game critique? I guess so.

    Does it confirm that Reid committed a monumental BLUNDER 2 years ago when he hired Juan? Absolutely.

    Does Reid’s statement — at least the bit posted so far — reflect poorly on Reid for not taking responsibility for what was tantamount to making Nate Allen the starting QB . . . I think the answer is “yes.”

    I say that subject to seeing his entire statement.

    As for Reid’s dissatisfaction with “Average,” Marty should pack his bags then. And Vick too.

  100. 100 bentheimmigrant said at 10:34 AM on October 16th, 2012:

    I can’t see a single argument for firing Juan that doesn’t apply tenfold to MM.

  101. 101 teltschikfakeout88 said at 1:29 PM on October 16th, 2012:

    To be fair, Schwarz was the DC in Tennessee and worked with Wash….If anyone knows how to take care of the W9 alignment it would be him….ohhh yeah that OL had two weeks to prep just like the Steelers did….two weeks to game plan has to give 5 guys a chance to beat 4….since we forgot to to use the blitze creatively …..or wait do we not have the personnel that can execute a blitz effectively….the bye week is upon us which has me relieved as my Sundays will now be stress/worry free.

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