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Vick is QB#1 for Eagles…Reid wants to win NOW…

I agree with the decision…and I told you this season was going to be the most fun we have had in years…

We rarely do breaking news at Eagles Eye…we’re more of a digestive retreat for the intelligent Bird-brains among us… but it just so happens that Andy Reid is giving a press conference in Philly as I type this… He’s explaining his thought process in reversing his earlier decision to start Kevin Kolb in Jacksonville on Sunday, and announcing that Mike Vick will be his starting QB…for now, and for as long as Vick can stay healthy and keep the Eagles offense on the field and winning games…

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio is at the follow-up press conference today. Sal Pal broke the original story last night:

 ”This decision to go with Vick had been in the works for two days,” says Sal Pal…”In the early-morning hours on Monday, Reid, general manager Howie Roseman and the rest of the Eagles coaching staff and front office started going through the game film of Sunday’s win in Detroit and saw the severity of the problems facing the Eagles offensive line.”

“The film study showed that Vick, who was sacked six times, was under constant duress because backup center Mike McGlynn had difficulty recognizing blitzes and then setting the protection. As a whole, the offensive line did not play well, and Reid realized then that Vick, with his mobility, would be a better fit to start rather than Kolb. There also was a concern that the offensive line’s play was so poor that Kolb would be exposed to another concussion…”

Disgruntled Kolb fans, Reid critics and Vick-haters are lighting up the switchboards in Philly as we speak…I’ll have more to say in my next blurb about the lack of critical thinking on the part of so many presumably “knowledgeable” fans of Philly. Basically, they criticize the professionals without any real pro football insight or pedigree to back the bones they toss. I should know— I used to be one of them.

Vick has completed 63.8 percent of his passes and has posted consecutive games with a passer rating above 100 for only the second time in his career. “His accelerated play was brilliant,” Reid said. “This is what I think is right. He’s back and maybe even a little better.”

Unfortunately, ESPN is all over this story and fanning the knucklehead flames in Philly right now. “Going with Michael Vick is a mistake and out of character for a team that usually doesn’t make reactionary moves”, writes John Clayton… “By choosing Michael Vick, the Eagles have painted themselves into a corner with two quarterbacks”, writes Matt Mosley.

And then this remarkable drivel from Jemele Hill:  “Some think Andy Reid’s making Michael Vick the starter is the official culmination of Vick’s comeback, but that would be underemphasizing what Vick has done since losing everything and serving 18 months in federal prison…”

Okay,  I take that one back, Jemele…it is an amazing comeback on many levels for Vick…but the real angle of the story should be Andy Reid’s tactical turnaround…especially if you thought 2010 was going to be “rebuilding year” for the Eagles with only modest ambitions for a playoff run…

It’s hard to say how much Reid was pushed into this decision by the front office, but Sal Pal says team sources clearly indicated to him that Reid wanted to go back to Kolb — he is loyal to a fault — and had to be persuaded to give Vick another look.

What this move cleary signals to me is Reid and his boss Jeff Lurie have decided to have their cake and eat it, too…and what’s wrong with that?  Thanks to the deconstruction and rebuilding of MikeVick as a starting QB in the NFL, the Eagles deserve a shot to reinvent themselves on the fly, so to speak. It’s a luxury having two potential starting QB’s on the roster…one the Eagles bought and paid for.

In Andy’s press conference today, he makes a deliberate reference to his consultation on the decision with “other players”… Clearly, Vick’s teammates have been won over and blown away by his improvement in all aspects of the special game he plays. The vets on the team are backing Vick as their quarterback.  That says a lot to me: his teammates believe in Vick’s brain and his ability to get a W…Unfortunately for Kolb right now, his turn will have to wait yet again… although at least three NFL teams right now (including the Cleveland Browns) are preparing trade offers to present to Reid and GM Howie Roseman in order to get Kolb.

I personally love the idea of a productive Vick eating up yards and time of possession , all the while knowing Kolb is right there on the bench if we need him. Do you remember Lamonica and Blanda? Unitas and Morrall?  It’s worked before, and can work again. Here’s to Andy Reid’s refried decision to run and gun with Vick and unabashedly make a statement that we’re in this to win…I commend Andy Reid for making a bold move and going for it.

As I chimed in late last night on PE.com’s On The Inside forum: “I’m amazed at the amazement! Why are so many fans shocked that Andy would change his mind? JB and Brizer been tellin’ you all along, pro football’s about evolution, dynamic changes…and GAME FILM!  Andy and the coaches like what they see (with the help of game film) about Vick’s ”evolution” — and perhaps more importantly, the emerging dynamics of a young defense that’s actually getting pretty good…but needs Vick to buy them time.”

I now retire from discourse on this beautiful mid-Atlantic day…to meditate…on the glory of this developing tale…of a Band of Gypsy’s…who have a rare opportunity in pro football…to reinvent themselves…on the fly.  Prospice! as GK Brizer would say…

 

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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