Andy Reid and the Eagles shocked a city last night. Hell, they shocked the entire sports world. Michael Vick is the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles – this Sunday and for the foreseeable future.
Remember all that talk about Kevin Kolb being the Eagles’ guy? Remember how Andy & Howie & Joe & Jeff (shirt idea! Contact Birdland, I want half the profit) repeatedly told us how excited they were to give Kolb a chance? Remember how they shipped the other franchise quarterback out of town just to make way for Kevin? Remember when I said they needed to stand by their decision?
Forget all that. None of that matters today. Today, Vick is their guy. Today, Vick is the messiah.
“I’m obviously here to announce that Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles,” Reid said at his press conference yesterday. “I think his play has even exceeded expectations over the last two weeks. This has nothing to do with Kevin Kolb’s injury. … This is more about Michael Vick and his accelerated play. He’s sitting there as possibly the hottest quarterback in the National Football League at this time and deserves an opportunity to play.”
Accelerated play? Vick played a half against a Packers team that had one NFL-caliber cornerback on the field and zero chance to game plan for him, and one game against a team one season removed from the worst year of any franchise in NFL history.
Did Vick excel in those six quarters? Of course. He was great. Were those six quarters against questionable competition enough to give up on your self-anointed QB of the future? Apparently so.
If you look at the last two games in a vacuum, going with Vick makes sense. He did more with his opportunity than Kolb did with his (even if Kolb’s opportunity was nonexistent).
But Reid has been telling us all along he isn’t looking at this in a vacuum. He’s been telling us over and over again that Kolb – if given the chance – has the potential to be one of the great QBs in the league.
So why the change? What about the future? What about Kevin Kolb?
“Kevin Kolb has done a phenomenal job for us here and the future of Kevin Kolb is not slighted by this one bit,” Reid said. “He has an opportunity, obviously, to be, what I would consider, a franchise quarterback and deserving of so. … [This move] allows Kevin to continue as a young quarterback in the National Football League, his maturation process, and, again, to become a franchise quarterback in the future.”
I’m just shocked he got through that without a spit take.
Allows Kevin to continue his maturation process? Seriously? That’s what you’re going with?
Well hey, I guess if telling a kid he’s your guy for three years and then benching him after 10 throws doesn’t put hair on his chest, nothing will. Next they’re going to trade him and claim “it’s best for Kevin Kolb because he deserves a chance to start in this league.” Umm, wasn’t that chance supposed to be in Philly?
To anyone paying attention over the past eight months, this is insane. On Sunday, Kolb was Andy’s guy. Not just for this year, but for the next decade. Today, after outplaying Shaun Hill in Detroit, Vick is the savior? Really?
Sorry, Andy. None of this passes the smell test. If you really believed Kolb was on pace to be the next Aaron Rodgers, there is no way you make this move. You don’t mortgage your entire future for one year of a QB with a history of accuracy issues – especially if you are playing that season with a team that has no realistic shot at winning a Super Bowl.
That’s why when Reid says this has nothing to do with Kolb, you can’t believe him. Since he was handed the starting job, Kolb has been lackluster at best. At no point – in the preseason or in the first half against Green Bay – has he done anything on the field that warranted the organization’s faith in him.
The Eagles insisted they weren’t worried about him. They insisted Kolb was the guy. They were lying.
The Eagles are concerned Kolb will never “get it.” They’re concerned Kolb is more of a Roy Rogers than an Aaron Rodgers. They have to be for this to make any sense.
Oh, they won’t tell you that. But half-truths and 180-degree turns is what the Philly brass does best.
For two months in the offseason, McNabb was the Eagles’ starting QB for 2010. For the next six months, Kolb was the starting QB for 2010 and beyond. Today, Vick is the guy.
I used to complain that Andy made an effort to say nothing at his press conferences. But maybe saying nothing was better than repeatedly misleading all of us.
Fickleness. Irrationality. Double talk.
You expect all of the above from a fan base.
You don’t expect it from a head coach and an organization. Not one that thinks of itself as the gold standard for the entire league (sorry Jeff, I couldn’t help myself).
At some point, an organization that goes back on its word – to its players and its fans – is going to have a credibility problem. At some point, we’ll all stop believing them.
Donovan got to that point years ago. Kolb is facing that reality today. Vick? He’s on cloud nine right now. But for how long?
“Michael Vick is playing out of his mind right now,” Reid boasted. “And that’s a beautiful thing. What a lucky franchise and a lucky head coach I am to have two quarterbacks that I feel that way about. I mean it’s unbelievable.”
Unbelievable. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/leerussakoff.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.