Monday, May 20, 2024

Eagles should pass on Kolb and make Vick their starter…

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Sports, Weekly Columns

( There are people who believe that dogs will be grilled as harshly as humans will by St. Peter when this life is over and gaining admittance into heaven rather than hell is the ultimate test.

And these are some of the same people whom Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid should completely ignore by announcing that Michael Vick, the most famous dog fight proprietor in the history of the world, will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend.

Whenever the Eagles lose a game, as they did Sunday after Reid’s anointed starting quarterback Kevin Kolb’s horrifically inept debut as the team’s new No. 1 quarterback , Reid always says at some point during his post-game press conference that he “did not put my guys in the right position to win the game.”

Before Kolb left Philadelphia’s 27-20 loss to Green Bay with a first-half concussion that might ensure that he doesn’t start this weekend at Detroit – he has to pass a series of tests implemented by the NFL because of the head injury – Kolb, groomed for three years to be Donovan McNabb’s replacement, was horrible.

He completed just 5 of 10 passes for a grand total of 24 yards and was sacked twice before Green Bay linebacker Clay Mathews chased him down from behind and drove him headfirst into the grass at Lincoln Financial Field. Reid says if Kolb is healthy, he will start.

Enter Vick.

Down by 17 points, Vick almost orchestrated a comeback against a team many are picking to represent the National Football Conference in the Super Bowl. He clearly has his legs back under him now, as evidenced by his 103 yards rushing. And he looked much better in the passing game as well, completing 16 of 24 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown.

If Reid is honest about wanting to put his team in the best position to win, whether Kolb is cleared to play or not he should be carrying the clipboard on Sunday. He was unimpressive in the preseason and that carried over into Game 1 of the regular season.

Kolb has no track record of success in the NFL that lends itself to stamping him as the quarterback in Philly for the next decade. More importantly to this argument is that despite the pronouncements from the front office that he’s the guy, he has a two-year, $12 million contract, a short-term deal that belies long term commitment from a team and basically says you have to prove you deserve this.

He is not a high pick ala the Jets’ Mark Sanchez, who was given almost $30 million in guaranteed money before he ever threw an NFL pass.

As shaky as Kolb was last Sunday, does anyone in their right mind think he will be better this week now that the team has lost its Pro Bowl fullback and starting center to season-ending injuries?

Vick is a better option because of what is known.

In 2003, Vick did the unthinkable when he led the Atlanta Falcons into Green Bay and defeated Brett Favre and the Packers 27-7 in the playoffs, handing Green Bay its first ever home playoff loss at legendary Lambeau Field. He is a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback completely knowledgeable about what it takes to win in this league.

I spoke to a veteran NFL reporter yesterday who covered Vick in Atlanta and he said Vick is the most competitive football player he has ever seen.

If you haven’t gotten over the dog fighting, that’s your problem, not Vick’s. He has paid his debt to society – in full – spending 19 months at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. Two years after signing a 10-year $130 million contract Vick, who received more than $20 million up front, saw the remainder of that deal voided.

Vick haters, many of whom gather daily in the chat rooms on the sports pages of Philadelphia’s two financially strapped newspapers to hurl unchecked racist invectives Vick’s way, wanted to crucify him this summer when one of the hoodlums that his probation mandated he could not come in contact with was shot at his July 4th party. But police in Virginia, where the shooting took place, said Vick had no connection to the shooting, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall agreed that Vick had done nothing wrong.

Vick said this following Sunday’s game.

As a competitor, that’s the way I feel,” Vick said. “If I was out there for four quarters maybe we’d have a chance to win, I’d have to fight back. Not to take anything away from the offense in the first half and what Kevin did. I was just saying, ‘Myself, I believe in myself.’ If I’d had been out there who knows what would have happened?”

Most likely, good things.

Written By John Mitchell

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