Learn From History, Mike

Posted: June 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

I was doing some research today and stumbled across a really interesting article from the NY Times back in the summer of 1995. The article takes a look at Randall Cunningham and his adjustment to life with Ray Rhodes and Jon Gruden. Rather than pick out some excerpts, go read the whole thing and then come back here and we’ll talk.

(heads over to Google to do a Megan Fox bikini search while you read)

Forget the names…does any of that sound familiar? Very familiar?

Okay, let’s talk about the piece and what we heard from the various parties.  Randall said all the right things. His attitude was good. On the surface, anyway. The problem is that Randall didn’t change at all. He had a sense of entitlement from back when Norman Braman owned the team and put him on a pedestal.

I can’t say if Randall respected Rhodes or Gruden, but his actions would lead you to believe that he didn’t. Gruden was the same age as Randall. I’m sure having a young guy like Gruden shove the WCO in your face wasn’t easy to deal with, especially for someone with Randall’s history. He spent 1986-1990 hearing Buddy Ryan tell him to just make plays. Now some young punk wanted to tell him what to do on every play and wanted a highly structured offensive system? Good luck with that.

This wasn’t in the article, but the first thing Gruden did was put together a tape of all the sacks from 1994. He felt Randall took way too many. They watched the plays and Gruden pointed out what Randall should have done, in terms of dumping the ball to a RB, throwing it away or running. Sacks were a big time no-no to Gruden. He wanted to make this clear from the start, while also letting Randall know that there was freedom  for him to make plays with his legs. Just don’t take sacks.

Randall started 4 games that year. He went 0-3. In Game 2, he was benched early and Rodney Peete led the team to a win over the Cardinals. Randall had struggled in the opener, only putting 6 points on the board. Then he got benched. The coaches hoped this would get his attention in a big way. He did respond with 3 TDs against the Chargers, but the offense still didn’t click as hoped. They scored 21 points, and one of those possessions started in SD territory. The next week the Eagles jumped out 17-0 over Oakland and then lost 48-17. Randall was handed a huge lead and still couldn’t get the job done.

In 3 plus games, Randall led his offense on 4 TD drives. He threw 4 INTs. He lost a fumble. He was sacked 13 times. Randall wasn’t playing well. The offense wasn’t scoring. And his teammates weren’t responding to him. QBs can get away with erratic play if they are great leaders and just have that vibe that calms the huddle and brings out the best in others. No such luck.

Randall never bought into the new offense. He was set in his ways and figured he could get the coaches to adjust, as had happened in the past. Other coaches gave in to his talent. Rhodes and Gruden were changing the Eagles. You either changed or you were going to be replaced.

Mike Vick is faced with some of the same challenges as Randall. Vick is a playmaker that is now dealing with a new coach that is a bit of a control freak when it comes to his offense. Like Gruden, Chip hates sacks. Like Gruden, Chip wants quick throws. Like Gruden, Chip wants to run the football.

Randall failed in his attempt to play in Gruden’s offense.

Vick is different and could have a different outcome.

Randall was hurt in 1991 and 1993. He got benched for a game in 1992 and a couple in 1994. That was the closest thing he ever got to humble pie. Vick went to Federal prison. He faced national humiliation. He spent a year as the #3 QB for the Eagles. Mike has had as much humble pie as I’ve had pudding (okay, maybe not that much).

Randall never understood that his career was on the line. He thought he was the one in a position of power. After all, he was the star QB…or so he thought.  Vick understands that he’s in a very different situation. He’s competing for his job. Rhodes never made Randall do that during the offseason or preseason. It was only when he played poorly during the year that Peete became a threat.

Kelly did Vick a huge favor by letting him know from the start that he would have to win the job. Vick knows that he must do what Kelly wants or else he won’t be the QB. Kelly has been up front about what he likes and hates from his QBs. There are no secrets. Vick, and the other guys, have the answers to the test. Now it is up to them to use those answers on the field and give Chip what he wants.

Vick understands the situation. He’s talked openly about the QB competition. Mostly, he’s said the right things. The challenge is to put actions behind those words. Don’t just talk about good decision-making and quick passes. Let us see those traits when you’re on the field.

I would love for someone to get a copy of that NYT article to Vick. Let him see what was going on 18 years ago and learn from Randall’s mistakes.

It is up to Vick as to whether history repeats itself.

* * * * *

Thanks for the good Foles discussion in the previous thread. I hesitated to address this topic, but felt the article was too compelling not to write about.

As with the previous post, let’s keep this from being us vs. them. We’re looking here at Vick and if he can adjust better than Randall did when faced with a similar challenge.

_


  • GEagle

    I find it impossible to talk about Vick or Foles without taking the other into account. I used to love a Vick interview. The anti Donovan In front of the cameras…but somewhere down the line it became Allen Iversonish hollow words, just telling the people what we wanted to hear. His play on the field hasn’t matched a word that has come out of his mouth in years. do I believe He will do better than Randall? Nope…sorry. I would love to be completely wrong about Mike, but I’m not going to sit here and let him make a fool of me for the 15th time…when I think about Vick, I look down at my two bracelets:
    1) What would Parcells do?
    2) What would Bellicek do?
    ..
    The Vick Phenomenon is so strangely Unique. What player who has performed so poorly would get more chances than Mike “9 lives” Vick? What other 33 year old with a decade of starting experience is still talked about in terms “potential”?

    I can’t find much good to say so I will gracefully bow out

    • TommyLawlor

      You make 2 key mistakes. First, the track record. When is the last time Vick was challenged to earn the starting job? He says as a freshman in college. We don’t know what the results will be, but you must understand that Vick hasn’t had this kind of pressure on him in the summer in his NFL career. The reason you can’t assume the same outcome is that he’s not been tested like this. Let’s see how he handles it.

      Second, this competition isn’t just Vick vs Foles. Kelly wants his guys to play against the standard of excellence. Vick’s goal shouldn’t be to out-perform Foles. Vick should focus on being the best possible QB he can. Try to out-do Brady, Manning, etc. That’s the standard we’re shooting for. Kelly won’t allow either QB to keep the job if they play worse than he expects.

      The goal for us is to get good QB play, whether it comes from Vick or Foles.

      • Joe Jones

        In a “Meet the Coaches” segment on eagles.com, Bill Lazor was asked about the QB competition and his answer echoed your post. Lazor said he was less concerned with naming a starter than getting “championship level” QB play.

        Its easy to laugh that off but I loved hearing that cause its really what the goal is. To get a QB to play at a championship level. Of course, there is the possibility that none of the QBs currently on the roster is capable of reaching that level, but I love that our coaches are coaching and aspiring there.

        • TommyLawlor

          Great point. Should have mentioned Lazor’s comments since that is something the coaches are openly pushing.

        • A Roy

          I think the Vince Lombardi quote goes something like: “We will strive for perfection knowing we cannot reach it, but in the process we will acheive excellence.” I agree JJ, you have to aspire to be the best.

          • ACViking

            “. . . chase perfection . . . catch excellence . . .”

            I’ll tell my kids that all the time. Chase perfection, because in the process they’ll catch excellence.

            I used to tell them something Tony Dungy said (in essence): “Shoot for the moon, because you the worst that happens is you jump over a house . . . which is pretty good”

          • A Roy

            Good advice. Mine was always; “Be the best ‘you’ you can be.”

      • atb124

        Re: 1st paragraph

        That’s true, but isn’t that what we hear every year? Mike’s never had [insert x factor] going for him before, so this could be what pushes him over the top.

        When do we stop looking for the magic button to turn the strong arm into production and move on?

        Also, there’s a a lot more pressure in a QB competition than there is when you’re the unquestioned starter. I’m inferring that you think this is part of what may bring out the best in Vick. Is there any concsensus on how he’s handed high pressure situations over the course of his NFL career?

        • GEagle

          Well, he hasn’t exactly blown his competition out of the water in OTAs..He has An huge physical advantage over his competition, so if he is going to be our QB he should blow the doors off the competition at some point..He has the experience and the tools in his favor, so it’s up to him to step up and not let this become a competition.
          ..
          My question is what do we do, if they continue to be somewhat equal and no onr significantly seperates himself? They don’t know who the QB is, but I don’t see how they could possibly not have an idea, or ATleast a rooting interest. When these coaches talk about being confident that one will separate himself to the point that there is no confusion as to who are starting QB, what are they really thinking? Are they thinking that they will be able to Harnes Vicks ability and put it to good efficient use, and he is so much more talented than his competition that they expect him to put it all together and blow it out the water? or are they confident that a young kid is improving so much that by the end of the preseason he will be the undoubted leader?. Could Peter Kings report that Chip is basically enamored with Foles be true?

          I’m not suggesting that this isn’t a real competition because I do believe the best player in September will play..but I don’t see how they can have these type of expectations, that one QB will be so much better than the other after seeing nothing but parity, with out ATleast having some preconceived notion or expectation about who it will be. just because the winner will be awarded based on merit, doesn’t mean that they have no expectations on what will happen..would give anything to know how they truly view it

          • TommyLawlor

            OTAs was the time to get a feel for the new offense.

            As I pointed out the other day, Trent Edwards could barely throw last spring. The coaches messed with his mechanics. He was much, much better in the summer and won a job.

            What you see in May is the rough project. Hope for better in the summer. If it doesn’t pan out, then you know.

          • GEagle

            I totally agree about OTAs being a learning time..but human nature dictates that you can’t help but to still evaluate players regardless of whether it’s time to do so or not. There is always valuable intel you can take away from a leaning period. How fast are you grasping new concepts, how many times do you have to have a mistake pointed out before you get it corrected(generally speaking)..Our starting Qb whoever it will be didn’t have to blow out his competition in OTAs, and that wouldn’t have gotten him anything more then a few extra reps on the first day of camp..but every single day it’s a chance to leave an impression on someone, and it couldn’t have hurt to look supperior to your completion even in OTAs, weight room, classroom. Even if the competition hasn’t yet started, you always have your chance to leave an impression. It’s not an indictment on either QB, but my understanding is whether you care to judge it or not, there has been a lot of parity thus far…
            ..
            I don’t think OTAs was a case of Vick vs. Foles. I think it was a case of Vick vs. Vick, and Foles vs. Foles. how much can you improve from one day to the next, how fast can you learn and execute. how much do you grow…Nothing that could have happened in OTAs would have won either man the job…but I don’t think it’s as simple as nothing matters til camp either. I think the starting QB will be judged from everything that has happened from the day Chp met each QB for the first time as Eagles coach and the earliest a decision will be made is after the 2nd preseason game

        • TommyLawlor

          @ atb…

          You’re half right. We can’t count on the light to go on for Vick.

          But that’s why there is competition. He earns the job or he doesn’t. We’ve got legit competition in Foles and Barkley.

          If we were counting on Vick, you would be dead on the money. Instead, we’re giving him a chance. If he wins the job…it is because he WINS it. There is no guarantee he’ll respond well.

  • Tumtum

    I think getting rid of the ball quickly is something Vick can embrace. I think limiting turnovers is something he will try his best to cut down on, which should be assisted by the first item on the ticket. I think he will even protect the ball better in his grasp. He has done everything the coaches have really stressed to him since he has been here. He has at least tried his hardest.

    I think the real challenge will be to make the proper reads of the defense. Equally as tough for Vick will be the realization that he does not have to be the offense. He needs to be the catalyst in this offense that drives it. No more no less. Can Vick bare to make the hand off on a read option when just the end is waiting for him with a mile of green behind him?? I don’t know.

    • TommyLawlor

      If Zach Britton can hold the Tigers to 1 run, anything can happen. :)

      • Tumtum

        I secretly hoped Hamel would get pushed back one more game. First you don’t want the guy going against that freaking insane line up less than 100%. Second I really really like Britton and want him to stick. Then at least Britton Tillman and Matuz would be contributors out of all those young “great” arms we had. Arrietta who was the surest bet of the bunch it seems is destined to get sold low and really take off somewhere else.

        • TommyLawlor

          I think Jake needs to become a reliever. He doesn’t have the right mindset for starting. Obsessed with strikeouts. I also think coming into a game in the middle of it would help him.

          • Tumtum

            The buzz on him is that he has been pretty pig headed about getting out of this slump. Sort of refusing help, wanting to do it his own way. I just feel like there is some sort of animosity there driving him away. He has great stuff, but his head is not right for sure.

            Congratz T.T second hit of the season and first HR! 13 runs, muy bueno!

          • theycallmerob

            I couldn’t agree more, and it seems Buck is seeing it that way too. With so much youth in the field, I think Duquette might take a look at the SP market come July.

  • RIP Worms

    If I were Vick I would be calling Cunningham for advice this summer, not McNabb.

    Cunningham and McNabb are two interesting case studies in veteran QBs approaching change late in their careers. Cunningham may not have taken well to Gruden’s coaching, but he had a late-career renaissance in Minnesota (having Randy Moss and Cris Carter didn’t hurt). He thrived in that offense as more of a pure passer than a dual running threat. It was a vertical offense that suited his skills better than the WCO, but it was still a change.

    As for McNabb, he stubbornly refused to adapt his game upon parting ways with Reid. He was a class act, but I think his persecution complex got the best of him in the end. I think he took criticism way too personally and that probably hurt his ability to adapt at the end of his career.

    I think Vick has the right mindset to succeed. When it comes right down to it, though, I wonder if he has it in him to throw the ball away at the top of a 5-step drop when he knows deep down he has the ability to make a play out of nothing.

    I’d love to see Vick have a Cunningham-esque late career revival and lead the Super Bowl parade down Broad Street….all the way to the water’s edge, where Mike Tice will be waiting to continue the party off-shore.

    • TommyLawlor

      There was recent discussion about the part boat on Twitter recently. Sounds like some really crazy stuff went on there.

    • MediaMike

      Another part of why Reid moved on from McNabb is that he was shot physically at that point.

  • Wilbert M.

    Randall and Vick are very similar. They are reactive QBs and not anticipatory QBs. A reactive QB is great in the right kind of offense, like Randall with the Vikings. Farve was way more reactive than anticipatory. The guys that could anticipate what was going to happen are the guys we think of as great chess players or surgeons that carved up a defense – like Peyton, Marino, and even guys less talented, like Chad Pennington or Jeff Garcia. I don’t think any NFL coach today wants to go with a reactive QB – you need the guy that can anticipate what the defense is doing. Vick has never been that guy. I wish he could be because he’s got the best arm on the team, but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (no dog joke intended).

    • shah8

      They are not very similar at all, beyond the the straight speed and strong arm.

      Marino was not really a surgeon, man.

      And again, Talent is Talent is Talent.

      Coaches, at the end of the day, want QBs that can see it and throw it. QBs who are physically not talented enough to do that, and who rely on “anticipation” usually get shredded when facing a talented defensive unit. Also, once they get “solved”, like Jake Delhomme, the show’s pretty much over. It’s good to have a thrower be able to anticipate and throw people open, however, NFL open is NFL open, and those windows are tiny anticipation or no. Full tool set is needed to succeed.

      • TommyLawlor

        You vastly overrate arm strength.

        Coaches want players they can trust. If a QB doesn’t run the offense the way a coach wants, it doesn’t matter how gifted that player is. That’s how Randall got benched for Peete.

        As long as a QB has functional arm strength, he’s fine.

        Clearly coach would love QB with great tools. Luck, RG3 were coveted due to those tools. Vick was taken #1 overall because of his ability. QB must perform the right way to keep that job. Tools only get his foot in the door.

        • OregonDucker

          Great post as usual Tommy!

          IMHO, a Chip QB must identify the defense formation, tendencies, and anticipate defense reactions in real time. He must not give up on the play and check down too quickly. He must not rely solely on athleticism to rescue the play. And, god forbid, a Chip QB must not turn the ball over, under any circumstances.

          I really see Chip as a master chess player; he’s using the Queen’s Gambit or Ruy Lopez to test the defense. If the defense does not initiate the prescribed counter then they pay the price. The QB must know the chess opening and not rely on finesse to beat the opponent. He wants a very smart, talented player to play his game. Montana or Mariota would work just fine.

        • shah8

          No, no I don’t.

          Talent is talent is talent. An NFL QB you expect to win with, is an NFL QB that can make all the throws, even in adverse circumstances. Joe Flacco can’t be shut down like Matt Ryan was against the Giants in the playoffs.

          I’m not asking that we only consider Brett Favres of the world. I’m asking that we don’t include the Matt Moores of the world, and pretend that Matt Moore can be a super genius natural talent who can “compensate” for his lack of arm.

      • ICDogg

        Marino didn’t look like he was going through progressions, it’s almost like he saw everything at the same time and could process it all at once.

        • Michael Winter Cho

          … with a Wonderlic of 16. I once read something he said, “Talking about being in a zone, I’ve been in the zone for 15 years” (something like that)

        • A Roy

          Too, with Clayton and Duper, he probably didn’t have to ‘progress’ very far.

  • Weapon Y

    Tommy:

    As always, a great, insightful read. I agree that the 1995 Cunningham and 2013 Vick situations are similar. I disagree with only one thing you wrote: “Vick understands the situation. He’s talked openly about the QB competition. Mostly, he’s said the right things.”

    I’m betting that your use of the word “mostly” is a reference to the recent incident in which Vick did not say the right things:the media interview on the last day of OTAs. Understandably, he was tired of having to answer questions about the competition. In my opinion, he went beyond understandable frustration and crossed the line with one comment.

    After one of the reporters showed Vick the comments he made and explained that they were made on record (basically offering Vick a chance to retract them and bury the impending controversy), Vick explicitly told the reporter to print his request for Chip Kelly to settle on a starter. This tells me that the 2013 Vick situation might be worse than the 1995 Cunningham situation. At least Cunningham never issued demands to his coaches through the media.

    I believe Kelly is sincere when he says that there is a QB competition. After all, it mirrors what he did in Oregon. My interpretation is that Vick heard Kelly tell him that there would be a competition, but Vick took this for granted and failed to take it seriously. He looked at Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon (and later Matt Barkley), seeing players whose athletic ability was nowhere near his. He simply assumed that he could get by on being more talented.

    OTAs clearly rattled Vick. Based on the reports of sports writers who attended the practices, Foles outperformed him. It’s finally occurring to Vick that he won’t be able to win the job through sheer athleticism and it scares the crap out of him. Hopefully, this will light a fire under him and push him to do better. I’m skeptical that this outcome will occur, considering that he is publicly putting the heat on his head coach rather than keeping his mouth shut and doing what Kelly asks of him.

    A lot can change between now and Week 1, but this is my forecast as of now: Kelly will not choose Michael Vick to be his starter. It could be Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, or Dennis Dixon (Foles is the most likely as of now). Vick has to change his old habits if he wants to be Kelly’s starting quarterback. He must get rid of the ball quicker. He must read defenses better. He must protect the football. To do that, he needs to embrace what Kelly is telling him. As you said, Kelly is giving him all of the answers to the test.

    The problem is that I’ve yet to see him point out a specific aspect of his game that needs to be fixed. I’ve yet to see him channel his inner Andy Reid and say, “I need to do a better job.” I fear that Vick’s already decided that he’s going to try to cheat Kelly’s test with his old habits. If I am right, his fate will be the same as Cunningham’s.

    • Neil

      I made similar comments to this a while ago about those comments Vick made. Tommy talked about some examples of other quarterback rivalries where similar comments either happened or wouldn’t have been surprising, and as far as team chemistry those situations turned out fine. Nothing cancerous or crazy came of those feelings for the most part. It’s normal for players to feel some tension with their teammates or coaches in a competition for their job, regardless of position. Vick has plenty of time to get his mind straight. This could be different, but we can’t say for sure until we see Vick say/do more dumb things.

      • GEagle

        I have a problem with him asking for his release if he doesn’t win the job. I can’t say that as a matter of fact that he will, but come on…we all know the other shoe that will drop if Foles is made the starter. year 1 in building a program, if you only want to be here as a starter, then I don’t want you here at all. I understand human nature about only having a few years left and wanting to play. I totally understand it, but that doesn’t mean I have to be ok with it. I have no confidence in Vick gracefully handling losing the starting spot to Foles. if you name Nick the starter, we have already gotten a hint of the crap storm Vick will probably create…so if there is even a chance for you to become a cancer, I’d prefer to just remove it early.

  • shah8

    Ah, man, I don’t know…I was still a kid when Cunningham was playing, so I didn’t really absorb what was going on. First of all, all the coaches involved did suck. Rich Kotite was one of the worst head coaches in NFL history with more than a couple of seasons, and he did it as a coach of a team that was quite a bit more talented than other poorly coached teams. Cunningham never had any sort of real guidance on QB’ing from Buddy Ryan, and he thinks he’s going to be changing plays? Maybe it was arrogance, but Kotite had future failure, and Cunningham at least one more great year.

    The Jay Gruden thing probably is a nice little warning on how much SNAFUs can really be fixed, and, well, the future there turned out to be that he’s the anti-QB whisperer, and preferred old vets.

    This is so long ago that I’m not sure how it relates to today, except that bad coaches leaves poisonous legacies that blows up the next coach in line. Which doesn’t make me feel good.

    • MediaMike

      I’d agree that Cunningham was significantly under-coached for his whole career prior to Gruden. Buddy was the man, but didn’t care a lick about the O side of the ball. Rich Kotite was a stain upon the fabric of life. His only career highlight was throwing “reporter” Gary Cobb out of the team cafeteria.

      • T_S_O_P

        He also hired Bud Carson unless that was the GM

  • T_S_O_P

    I wonder if there is an article from the season before RC’s spectacular season in Minny? Maybe that is the conundrum, as similar as the story sounds, there is a chance that Vick turns in a ‘Vintage Randall’ season as they are 2 of the most extrordinary athletes to ever play the position. I feel very comfortable because I think that is what it will take from Mike and I feel very comfortable with the options should he fail.

    Again, wishing there was an article on it, because I don’t think #12 was the original plan in ’98. Mike’s best season here was when he wasn’t the plan either. No doubt, Vick has the ability to pull a Vikings Randall, but just like Cunningham, the question is how you nurture that other than waiting for the stars to align.

    • TommyLawlor

      Just posted this elsewhere, but Randall 1998 is totally different.

      http://eaglesblog.net/2013/06/1998-randall/

      • T_S_O_P

        Maybe, however as I pointed out, there are other similarities too. Randall wasn’t able to repeat his success in ’99 and lost his job to George. How could that be? Why hasn’t Vick be able to repeat ’10? Both are capable of unbelievable and special moments to the point that if highlight reel clips won Super Bowls, we’d have a fistful. However, most always, what went on, on the field, to create those clips are not a result of coaching or play design but natural talent, which would be great if the rest of the time they were flawlessly running the game.

  • TommyLawlor

    Do not compare 1998 Randall to 2013 Vick. Wildly different circumstances.

    http://eaglesblog.net/2013/06/1998-randall/

  • MediaMike

    95 was an interesting year around here. And considering the year ended with Cunningham being unready to QB the team vs. Dallas in the divisional playoffs, I hope we don’t have a similar mental meltdown out of Vick.

  • MediaMike

    Also, Vick vs. Cunningham key stats:
    Cunningham:

    135 starts, 82-52-1, 81.5 rating, 207 TDs, 239 INTs / fumbles

    Vick:
    102 starts 56-44-1, 80.6 rating, 123 TDs, 169 INTs/fumbles

    • GEagle

      Past two seasons Vick has averaged 39 rushing yards per game, and exactly 1 rushing TD per season to go along with 7 fumbles per year(In fairness I don’t know how many came when he left the pocket as a rusher).

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  • Adam

    This parallel is truly fascinating. It immediately brings me back to being a kid and complaining about having to learn about history in school. Why was it important to learn about stuff that happened hundreds of years ago? And you always got the classic George Santayana response “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

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  • Jernst

    My opinion, and this is purely opinion, is that the most likely outcome is that Vick will never regain his 2010 form. Most likely that was a 10 game outlier and what we’ve seen the last two years is simply the regression to his natural mean. Said a different way by many on this board; “Vick is who he is and we know what we have with him. Poor decisions, turnovers, holds the ball too long, ect.”

    However, I still think the right decision is to begin the year with Vick as the starter. I feel this way, because, even though the most likely outcome is a continuation of the poor play we’ve seen over the last 2 years, it’s far from guaranteed that Vick won’t come alive in this new offense and regain an MVP level of QB play.

    The bottom line is that there is no clear cut franchise QB on the team, they all have questions, and this year is about finding out what you have. Vick, like Randall in 1995 is by far the most talented and experienced QB on the roster. Hell, Vick might be the most physically talented QB to ever take the field for any team, in any league, ever. IF, and it’s a big if, Vick plays up to his potential he could be unstoppable. You’d be stupid to not at the very least give him 4 games to show us what he’s got before we move on.

    I think it was the right decision in 95 to start with Randall, even knowing now how it turned out, and I think the right decision this time around would also be to start out with Vick, even knowing that the outcome might be similar.

    If Vick takes to the new system and comes alive and plays lights out, you have a legitimate shot a title or at least the playoffs for the next 3-5 years. If he flames out, it most likely will be obvious rather quickly and we can make a certain and permanent move on from him as our QB without looking back, much like we did with Randall back then. The search for the new face of the franchise then begins. Foles is up next.

    This is all assuming, of course, that no one wins the QB battle hands down. If the competition is basically eve, I think you have to give the most physically gifted QB of all time a chance to show what he can do in the games, before you decide to move on. I don’t see much to lose in a rebuilding year.

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