Thursday, July 28, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles Bet Their 2011 Season On Michael Vick Alone; A Mistake?

The Philadelphia Eagles, with the trading of Kevin Kolb today, are setting themselves up for a dangerous gamble in the 2011 NFL season.

They're betting that not only does starter Michael Vick perform at, or near the level he did in 2010, but that he'll be able to stay healthy the whole season.  As of right now, the quarterback depth chart for the Eagles reads as such:

  1. Michael Vick - 2,115 career passing attempts
  2. Mike Kafka - 0 attempted career passes
There are rumors today that Vince Young is looking to sign with the Eagles, and if he does that could help.  However, Young's attitude and poor work ethic failed him in Tennessee.  There's no way to know if Young will turn over a new leaf with Vick as his mentor (who would have thought that three years ago??). 

Let's look at the two main reasons why I think the Eagles are insanely vulnerable at quarterback:
  • Michael Vick won't perform up to his 2010 level
    • In the 12 games he played last  year, Vick threw for 3,018 yards with a 62.6 completion percentage, 21 passing TDs, 6 INTs, 6 fumbles, and a QB rating of 100.2; He also rushed for 676 yards, 9 TDs, and 4 fumbles on 100 attempts;
    • 2010 was his best year as a complete quarterback, with his passing stats finally living up to the talent he was supposed to show in the NFL
    • However, at 31 years old, Vick's fastest days are behind him, and as defensive coordinators begin to identify Vick tendencies, those amazing performances he had when he first started last season will become fewer in number
    • The other thing that bothers me when Vick runs is that he doesn't take good care of the ball; frequently he holds the ball away from his body, and I think that teams will begin to go after Vick even more physically in an attempt to cause a fumble, which leads to my second point:
  • Michael Vick will not stay healthy
    • This is the most important reason why the Eagles needed Kolb;  Vick missed the better part of four games last year due to a rib cartilage injury and Kolb led the Eagles to win two of their next three games without Vick
    • Vick's frequent running and high-profile puts him in the crosshairs of ever-quicker defensive lineman and linebackers; Every time he starts to run he puts himself at risk for a season- or career-ending injury
    • I'm not saying Vick is injury-prone; I'm contending that Vick's playing style leaves him vulnerable to NFL players much larger and stronger than he is 
I think the return and amazing success of Michael Vick following his prison sentence and suspension is a fantastic story, and I wish him the best. I am not in any way hoping that he get injuried; I just think it's an inevitability. 

I understand that Kolb probably would have left at the end of the 2011 season as an unrestricted free agent, but without a quality backup in-house the Eagles are vulnerable.   To me, Vince Young is not the answer.  

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