Friday, September 24, 2010

Whoa, Philly: Michael Vick Deserves to Start... For Now

So the Philadelphia Eagles, according to head coach Andy Reid, are going to start Michael Vick at quarterback this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and for the remaining part of the season.

Stop. Slow down. Contain yourself.  Having learned about this development, there are probably hundreds of people, mostly NFL analysts, former players, or Eagles fans who either just tied a hangman's noose or fell to their knees in appreciation. And those people need to cool their jets.  There was considerable backlash from an ESPN football panel in light of Reid's choice to bench Kevin Kolb in favor of Vick, including sentiment expressed at what many believe a knee-jerk reaction and a miscarriage of judgment in how the Eagles are dealing with Kolb's progression as a quarterback.  NFC West Blogger Mike Sando seemed to be the only one talking sense:
 I'm not sure what all the drama's about. Everyone in the Eagles' locker room can see Michael Vick is the best option right now. Go with him and make no apologies. Andy Reid's obligation is to the team. His first responsibility is to play the best players, not to make sure Kevin Kolb or anyone else gets a fair shake.  
 Sando nails the current objective for Reid and the Eagles, i.e. winning.  If having Vick at the helm is the best option, go with it.  The frustration of losing a starting job on the basis of injury is understandable, but to rationalize the back-and-forth waffling of a quarterback situation in order to stick to one's guns fails to use all the information at hand to make the best decision possible.  Right now, given Vick's statistics and the way he is conducting Philly's offense, it would be illogical to take the ball away from him.  That said, people are acting like this is a watershed decision, and it isn't.  Kolb will be right there on the sideline, ready to answer the call when needed (and that call will come, eventually). Is it unfair to Kolb? After everything he's been promised, sure, it can certainly be seen that way, but there's no human decency clause in an NFL contract.  Coaches change their minds all the time; if Kolb is good enough and Vick fades towards the bye week, we're going to see exactly how "permanent" this decision is.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" - at this moment, Michael Vick seems far from broken.

Photo credit to Ed Yourdon, courtesy Creative Commons

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