Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eagles QB Controversy Is Worth Putting to Rest: Michael Vick Is Right For Job

A lot of us raised our eyebrows at the recent news coming out of Philly, at a time when desperate times calls for desperate measures, at a time when the Philadelphia Eagles are battered in an ugly quarterback controversy and at a time when head coach Andy Reid finally made up his damn mind and wisely named Michael Vick as the Eagles starting quarterback.

It was a clear understanding Tuesday when the ever changeable Reid finally ended his obnoxious flip-flopping and stopped playing musical chairs with Kevin Kolb and Vick, a nudging debate that had Philly fanatics wondering, and yet Reid essentially favored Vick to be his primary passer, eventually the dysfunctional population in Philly were ready to embark on madness.

If the Eagles miss the playoffs and have a hapless run this season, in all likelihood, Reid’s job status could be in jeopardy.

Much to the chagrin of the Eagles, who obviously regrets ever giving up on the classy veteran Donovan McNabb to begin a modern era and promise the starting job to Kolb, the team misses the former quarterback ever since dealing him to the Washington Redskins in the spring.

Regarding the campaign of a peeving controversy, Reid is doing everything he can to salvage his shaky job, and has been on the hot seat for the last few years.

Seemingly, he made the right choice, a decision he won’t regret, a decision that clearly benefits the Eagles this season. Maybe not next season or five seasons down the road. But right now.

If the Eagles wish to be in playoff contention, then turning the job over to Vick is a brilliant move.

And if Vick starts to decline, Reid can always replace him with Kolb. It’s about making sure any coach does the right thing to accommodate with the team’s needs.

The disarray is just awful ever since a concussed Kolb suffered a significant blow to the head late in the second quarter of the season-opener.

If a player suffers a concussion these days, normally the team monitors the player carefully and refuses to rush any player back onto the field, as a significant hit to the head is dangerous and could cause serious damage.

But in this case, Reid is not benching Kolb for precautionary actions and, in the meantime, has opted to start Vick over Kolb.

Because it’s a sports town that adores excitement and a magnetic superstar to awe their senses, the most infamous felon in sports is now depended upon to be the hero in a chaotic community.

In a flux, Vick is the right choice if the Eagles are trying to win and seek our attention in a successive run.

“When someone is playing at the level Michael Vick is playing, you have to give him an opportunity.” Reid told reporters Tuesday. “This isn’t about Kevin Kolb’s play. You’re talking about Michael Vick as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now.”

He’s right.

The hottest quarterback for the Eagles is Vick, and maybe he is the difference in a sudden resurrection for a team that badly felt it was the moment to refurbish and move on without McNabb, mainly to satisfy an ungrateful city that no longer appreciated the ability or diligence of a Pro Bowl quarterback.

But now, this is another opportunity for Vick, now a changed man who showed remorse a long time ago when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated the fallen star, to repair his dismantled image and prove he is still valuable and have speed and agility to lead a disintegrated organization.

Believe it or not, Vick is experienced and has turned out gracious and remorseful, greatly maturing as a modest man.

It’s quite impossible to forget a gruesome crime, but it’s common to forgive a man of his misdeeds when he has paid his debts to society and served 19 months in prison and the final two in home confinement on dogfighting conviction, a hideous crime that revealed Vick’s senseless behavior.

The sad thing is, he was mentally disturbed enough to bankroll a dogfighting ring and brutally killed dogs as an amusing activity, and pathetically ended his brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons.

Instead of coming forth, he lied to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, a classy chairman who urges strong character.

But much trust was lost and the Falcons dismissed the beloved superstar in one community that adored Vick and supported him amid the dogfighting scandal.

The anonymity of this horrible crisis allowed teams to ignore the availability of Vick, but Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie was a lone businessman willing to take a risk as McNabb lobbied for the convenience of Vick.

It’s clear that the Eagles are in a rebuilding stage and, however, if the team falters and misses the playoffs, then it’s logical to assume Reid will be canned. Logic tells us.

It is sort of hard to believe Reid. Believe this: It’s very baffling to understand his instinctive plan when he insisted all along Kolb would start as soon as he returned from a concussion, and then one day later announced that he’d bench Kolb in favor of Vick.

Now, suddenly, his choice of words seems logical. To be real, Vick had two dazzling performances and gives the Eagles hope, maybe not in the future but as of now.

To be real, he is playing at the highest level of his phenomenal career, despite limited action the last two seasons he missed because of the dogfighting scandal.

“There’s not a thing that changed with Kevin Kolb,” Reid said Wednesday. “This was all about Michael Vick and the way he has played the game. It’s that simple. He has played as outstanding as any quarterback in the league to this point.”

“He exceeded even my expectation. Kevin Kolb has a bright, bright future. My feelings about Kevin haven’t changed one bit. But Michael has surprised all of us with his play.”

He is, theoretically, an early surprise and waited in the wings of Kolb and McNabb, similar to Kolb who calmly waited in the wings of McNabb and finally had his turn until he sustained a concussion.

My suggestion is that Reid doesn’t trust in Kolb and lost confidence in his second-round draft pick in 2007.

And with all the complications surrounding concussions, maybe his intentions are to conserve Kolb as much as possible and then he’ll be back as the starter.

By naming Vick the starter, though, Reid made a risky transition and replaced his young quarterback with a veteran. The stunning development to bench Kolb is bad news in a way. He could become unhappy and demand a trade elsewhere.

From a winning standpoint, Vick is more experienced and prepared to handle the task. If suddenly this exchange backfires, Reid will likely be fired and Kolb will very much be traded to another team, where he is gladly welcomed and named the starter.

The entire city had became attached and begun to worship Kolb. But as we know the critics in Philly could be vindictive and critical, just as some were towards Kolb and were begging for Reid to sit him and bring in Vick.

The wish was granted. Now, can he lead the Eagles?

However, this town didn’t believe in Vick, this town believed in Kolb. But we all know Reid’s philosophy by now. In understanding, he is experimenting with his quarterbacks. He realizes that Vick is the hottest. And if he fails, he can always bring in Kolb, realizing he has plenty of time to develop as a stud.

For the time being, Vick is better than any other star. This week alone, he is the league’s fourth-ranked quarterback with a rating of 105.5, higher than Drew Brees, greater than Tom Brady and more impressive than Matt Schaub, surpassing his career best of 81.2.

In the meantime, Kolb’s confidence is under turmoil and Reid is targeted mightily by critics, but he has handled the pressure, criticism and controversies. So this is the way he protects the future, by sitting down and abandoning Kolb the first time he struggled and suffered an injury, the first time he seemed under duress, and the first time he seemed like a JV quarterback not a franchise quarterback.

Make no mistake, Reid has beckoned the right guy to run the Eagles offense.

The fact is, the Eagles are better with Vick as starter.

Trust me.