Now that the Eagles have shipped Donovan McNabb three hours down the road, it’s time for the franchise to exorcise the “other guy.”
No, I’m not referring to Coach Andy Reid although, if it were my call, Big Red would have been gone before Donovan. Reid’s recent contract extension makes it a waste of my time to lobby for his departure.
I’m speaking of Mike Vick – last season’s failed experiment – who’s currently listed on the depth chart as the Eagle’s backup quarterback.
Keeping him around is inane for several reasons. First of all, Vick demonstrated nothing last year to make anyone believe he’s still capable of playing QB in the National Football League. Vick averaged just 15 yards a game in 12 cameo appearances in 2009, mostly running around until someone on defense knocked him over. His arm looked sub par, his legs seemed shot after two years on the sidelines and, as far as running the West Coast offense – well, no one ever confused Vick with Joe Montana. Or even Matt Hasselbeck.
And yet, he’s still here. Reid will tell you today that Mike Vick will serve as Kevin Kolb’s backup in 2010. Of course, Reid insisted until the final moments that Donovan would be his starter next season as well. So let’s all hope the head coach is showing his usual lack of candor.
Vick’s gotta go for several reasons:
1) As I said: He . . . can’t . . . play . . . the . . . position. At least not in this offense. Not in a quick-release, timing offense that demands accuracy and football smarts. Running around the backfield and heaving the ball down-field might have once served Vick in Atlanta, but it is in no way the future of the Philadelphia Eagles.
2) Kevin Kolb needs a mentor. And not just Reid and his anonymous quarterbacks coach, James Urban, who’s got less experience than Kolb – if that’s possible. No, Kolb needs to be able to go to the sidelines after a tough series and lean on a veteran QB who’s been there, who can sympathize and counsel him and know what’s in the kid’s head. A guy like, well, Jeff Garcia.
3) It’s time for the Birds to end the nonsense. Bringing convicted felon Vick in last year was the franchise’s worst PR move since Joe Banner told fans they couldn’t bring their own hoagies to the new stadium. Never mind the nonsense about second chances. Never mind the lies that he’d be a dynamic new weapon. We all know what Vick did and the vast majority of fans were nauseated by his hiring. Whatever moral high ground the franchise used to claim about going for “character guys” is now gone forever.
Truth be told, Banner and Reid always felt they could use Vick like a fixer-upper house, flipping him after one year for a high price – like, say, a second-round draft pick. Of course, they also believed at one point that they’d be able to get something better than a first-rounder for McNabb. And we saw how that pipe dream turned out.
This dream apparently persists. Eagles management paid Vick a $1.5 million bonus in March, apparently still under the delusion that some idiot of an owner (Paging Al Davis . . . ) will step forward to rescue them from their foolishness.
It’s not going to happen. At this point, if any of the other 31 teams offer the Eagles a seventh-rounder for Vick, they wash their hands clean. If someone steps up with a sixth rounder, Banner and Lurie can tango for joy.
McNabb is gone. So is Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins, Kevin Curtis, Jon Runyan, and a dozen other contributors to the Eagles success over the past decade.
How the hell can Mike Vick still be wearing the uniform?