Philadelphia Eagles: Vick’s Possible Return, Misplaced Manziel Mania
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By Kevin McGuire
Just a few weeks ago Philadelphia Eagles Mike Vick had to be taken out of a game against the New York Giants due to a hamstring injury. Now the question is whether or not Vick will be back on the field this weekend when the Eagles host the same Giants team at Lincoln Financial Field. Despite previous reports, Vick is unsure of what will happen.
Asked about the chances he could start this weekend, Vick tweeted:
Vick participated in a full practice last Friday but was held out of the game two days later. When Nick Foles had to be taken out for a head injury the Eagles were forced to send in rookie Matt Barkley for the fourth quarter with the game still within reach. Barkley tossed three interceptions in the quarter as the Cowboys pulled away for a 17-3 lead.
The struggles on Sunday have once again sparked the debate on where the quarterback situation is heading in Philadelphia. Vick is certainly not going to be a part of the long-term equation as he ages and continues to show he cannot play a full season. Foles may be a good quarterback with years ahead of him in the NFL, but he has not proven to be a quarterback a team can build around. Barkley had a poor preseason and fourth quarter but is still just a rookie so nobody really knows for sure.
The most realistic scenario has the future franchise quarterback still plying college football. Casual fans that may not follow college football closely are familiar with the hot names in the conversation. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota would be an interesting name given his connection to Chip Kelly. Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater still has plenty of potential but lacks some of the mobility that would fit well in Kelly’s system.
The one name that pops up often is Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. I am here to tell you to just stop considering that option, because it is not going to be worth it with a high draft pick.
There is no question in my mind Manziel is the top playmaker in college football, despite his lack of size. He pulls plays out of nowhere at times, extending plays with his elusive mobility and throwing up a jump ball for his receivers. He runs all over the field with the football loosely held in his hand away from his body. He tries forcing some plays against all rationale. And he gets away with it. He gets away with plays that can happen in the college game but would lead to disaster in the NFL.
Sure, Manziel may be fun to watch on Saturdays and his confident, or cocky, attitude can be an asset, but right now he is not a player any NFL franchise can center their entire five-year plan around. Not yet, at least.
This has nothing to do with the off-field life style Manziel has lived. This is all about football. Manziel has plenty of positives going for him, but he is certainly going to have some growing pains if he is in the NFL next season. He will put up some numbers, but his loose approach to the game will not allow him to get away with as many whims as he takes now.
Manziel would be better suited if he returned to Texas A&M in 2014 and worked on some of his flaws. If he does that then he will absolutely be one of the top quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Eagles fans should pass on the Manziel mania right now and focus more on Oregon’s Mariota and Louisville’s Bridgewater.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.