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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Eagles' Faithful: Time to Jettison Vick?

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Kevin Noonan
Kevin Noonan
Kevin Noonan has covered and commented on the Delaware sports scene for more than 30 years, everything from amateur recreation leagues and high schools to local colleges and the Philadelphia professional teams. He’s been voted Delaware Sportswriter of the Year multiple times and currently covers the Philadelphia Eagles for CBSSports.com and teaches creative writing courses at Wilmington University.

You have to wonder if doubt is starting to creep into the minds of the coaches and players, or whether it was already there. The Eagles would never admit it, of course, but they see the same things we see and some of them have to have some concerns about their future with Michael Vick as their quarterback.

It’s a legitimate question to ask now and it seems as if everybody is asking it: Is Vick is losing the Eagles’ confidence? Are they still willing to follow his lead? Can they actually win a Super Bowl with him at quarterback?

Radio talk show hosts and newspaper columnists and bloggers and tweeters all over the Delaware Valley are having a feeding frenzy over way Vick has played so far this season. Even though his team is 2-1 after Sunday’s 27-6 loss to Arizona and has a share of first place in NFC East and even though Vick orchestrated late drives to win those two games, the 2012 season has not been kind to him so far.

And it’s not just the turnovers – nine in just three games, more than twice as many as the entire Cardinals team (four) – that Vick commits, although they are maddening. It’s also the indecision and the poor judgment and the mental mistakes that Vick keeps making, mistakes that keep derailing the Eagles’ offense.

That includes the constant pounding he is taking. Some of those hits are because of poor blocking, some are because coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg insist on calling so many pass plays (in the first half of Sunday’s loss in Arizona they called 20 pass plays and just five run plays). But a lot of those hits are because Vick insists on holding onto the ball while he looks for receivers that for some reason he has trouble finding.

No matter the reason, Vick is getting pounded every game and there’s no way his body can stand up to that. Vick got rocked again on Sunday even the quarterback on the other team felt Vick’s pain.

“He gets banged up out there,’’ said the Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb. “I couldn’t help but grimace for him a couple of times. But that’s his style – he knows that, we know that.”

You also have to wonder about this – has Andy Reid realized that he made a horrible mistake by for hitching his star to Vick’s careening wagon? It’s ironic, of course, that Reid just got his butt kicked by Kolb, because in 2010 Reid had to decide between Vick and Kolb and took Vick, a decision that nobody at the time disputed because Vick had a Pro Bowl season.

But the magic faded last year and this year has been more of the same, as Vick has apparently reverted to that undisciplined, turnover-prone QB who played in Atlanta for all of those years.

The Eagles coaches and players like Vick and they respect his ability and the way he turned his life around after serving almost two years in a federal prison for crimes related to his dog-fighting operation. They also saw the 2010 Vick and probably keep hoping that some of that magic will return and Vick will look like the disciplined, high-percentage pocket passer they saw that season, when Vick came off the bench to lead the Eagles to the NFC East title.

But despite all the highlights and heroics that Vick has provided Eagles fans in the last two years, the definitive play of that 2010 season and, for that matter, his entire career with the Eagles was that playoff game against Green Bay, when Vick’s boneheaded pass in the final seconds was intercepted in the end zone.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Vick hasn’t been the same since that game. Or maybe it’s the opposite and he just reverted back to the run and gun Vick from his days in Atlanta. Either way, the Eagles coaches and players see it and they can’t like it.

Contact Kevin Noonan at knoonan32@aol.com.