We’ve talked a lot about the QB competition that started this spring and will carry over to the summer. If Mike Vick wins, life is simple. Nick Foles and Matt Barkley are the backups.
But what if Foles wins? Can Vick be the backup? Do you want Vick to be the backup?
I think a lot of this would be determined by how the situation played out. If Vick was solid at Training Camp and in the preseseason games, but Foles was outstanding, you would probably be comfortable with keeping Vick. If Foles proves to win the job because he is simply the lesser of two evils, that changes things.
Above all else, Vick must show that he can play well in Chip Kelly’s offense. Foles and Barkley are young guys. They get the benefit of the doubt since they are cheap. Vick has already been paid $3.5M. He gets another $3.5M if he makes the team. The only way that happens is if Vick shows he can run the Kelly offense effectively.
Would you want Vick as a backup?
Vick came back from injury last year and sat behind Foles for several games. Vick didn’t complain. He handled the situation like a pro. Vick has not caused any problems behind the scenes during his time with the Eagles. The young punk from Atlanta is now a solid veteran that has had good relationships with Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards and Nick Foles. I don’t know anything about Vick and Vince Young or Mike Kafka. Vick has been supportive as a backup and gracious as the starter.
Paying Vick a total of $7M to be a backup is far from ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world. You have to keep in mind that with Foles as the starter, the Eagles would be saving a lot of money compared to what other teams pay their starters. That would leave enough money in the QB budget to afford Vick.
One other key angle here is Kelly’s attitude toward 2013. If Kelly sees this as a building year, he might be smart to cut Vick and go with younger QBs. If Kelly sees the NFL as wide open and the Eagles as a potential playoff team, it would be wise to keep Vick. You really need two QBs that are capable starters these days. The Eagles could look for another veteran who might be cheaper, but there would be slim pickings.
It is hard to figure whether Vick would accept being a backup in this situation. He knows that his career is winding down. There is no question that he wants to start. However, if he asks to be cut, Vick would be taking a risk in terms of money and playing time. There is no guarantee some other team would want him to start. And would he find anyone willing to pay him $3.5M? If Vick and his agent feel they can find a team and some money, then Vick could press the Eagles to let him go.
Some have raised the possibility of trading him. That seems unlikely to me. If teams know that he’s available, I would think most would simply wait for him to be cut. Never say never, but this just seems like a complex scenario.
I don’t think any of this will play out until mid-August. At that point, Vick, Foles and Barkley will have some idea of where they stand. If Vick senses that he’s losing the competition, he’ll need to decide whether to embrace being a backup or if he would prefer hitting the open market.
I trust Kelly to make the right call on the QB situation.
I also trust Vick to handle the decision well. If he is a backup and stays here, I think he’ll do his best in that role. Vick has been a good teammate for the past four seasons. He didn’t snipe when he backed up McNabb or Kolb. He didn’t complain last year when Foles kept the starting job. It is in Vick’s best interests to do the right thing. He’s scheduled to be a free agent next March. Teams will be more open to signing him if they see a player that gets along with the coaching staff even when things don’t go his way.
* * * * *
Should Barkley win the starting job, Vick is gone. Foles would be the backup.
I have no idea what the Eagles would do with the #3 QB spot. It is possible Dennis Dixon could win the job. I’m just not sure how likely that is.
You can bet the Eagles Personnel Dept will be working hard this summer to study other teams and find some potential roster help.
* * * * *
I stumbled on some Eric Berry stuff the other day. You could say I was a fan of his. Here is something I posted on the EMB in the spring of 2009, heading into Berry’s final college season.
For those of you not aware, the greatest human on the planet happens to be a Junior Safety named Eric Berry. He plays for the Tennessee Vols. He will be eligible for the 2010 draft and it is my moral imperative to make sure he’s drafted by the Eagles.
To ensure this happens, I’ve kidnapped one million people and put them inside an active volcano in rural Delaware. When Berry is selected next April, those people will go free.
I then anonymously started a Berry website…EricBerryIsGod. It was an excuse to goof around with WordPress and learn that format while also having some fun with Eric Berry. All the posts are over the top and borderline insane. Should make for some fun reading, as long as you understand my bizarre sense of humor. Here is a sample of my idiocy.
Great player, even more great of a human being. When Mother Teresa left us a few years back there was a giant void in humanity. Eric has clearly filled that void, on and off the field. I hope UCLA doesn’t count on his kindness. Eric owes them payback for a loss from last year. I wouldn’t trade places with UCLA for all the whiskey in Ireland.
How did I not win the Pulitzer for that “writing”?
* * * * *
Onto a more serious subject. Marion Campbell is a great defensive coach. This was true in the AFL and NFL. He ran top flight defenses on multiple teams. He coached some of the greatest defensive linemen in the history of football and was a big influence on them.
Campbell wasn’t a good head coach, to put it mildly.
Chase over at Football Perspective wrote a great piece on Campbell, but concluded that he had the worst head coaching career in history. I think that is both a compliment and insult. There were other coaches who won fewer games. Campbell got the nod because he kept getting jobs. He was good enough to keep getting hired, but bad enough to keep failing.
Campbell has nothing to be ashamed of. He was a great assistant coach and defensive coordinator. That’s certainly how I prefer to remember him.