Friday, August 14, 2009

"The Eagle Has Landed"

After months of speculation and seemingly 24 hour coverage on ESPN the wait is over, Michael Vick is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles were a surprise team, but made the move after their backup quarterback, Kevin Kolb, injured his knee on Monday. Kolb should be back to game form in a week or two, but his injury might have shown a lack of depth at the QB spot in Philly. Now the question is, When will Vick be in game form (not to mention his first game)? Vick has a conditional reinstatement from the league, meaning he can work out with the team and even play in the preseason. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he will fully reinstate Vick by Oct. 18th-19th, which means Vick could miss the first 6 weeks of the season. If Commissioner Goodell does keep him suspended for the first 6 games, then Vick will make his NFL return on Monday Night Football, Oct. 26th at the Washington Redskins. Until he steps on the field the questions will continue to swirl about why the Eagles signed Vick and what he can bring to Philadelphia.

In many ways Vick does make a lot of sense for the Eagles, and they make sense for him as well. Vick needed to go to a team with a established leader and quarterback. By all accounts McNabb is in his corner, which should help give him credibility in the locker room. Vick also needed to go to a team that was a contender and a well run franchise. Vick makes sense for the Eagles, because of his previous experience with the West Coast offense (though he wasn't exactly Joe Montana in Atlanta), and his raw athletic ability. Philly puts a premium on speed and agility among its skilled players. The idea of putting Vick in the same backfield with either Brian Westbrook or LeSean McCoy was too attractive to pass up. Vick should allow Eagles to run their own version of the "Wildcat" offense, and provide headaches for defensive coordinators around the league.

So on paper Vick and the Eagles look like the perfect fit for each other, but what happens on the field could be another story entirely. Vick hasn't played since Week 17 of the 2006 season. So there could be a considerable amount of rust on his arm (not to mention his legs). Also, Vick's production never matched the hype and talent surrounding him. His career QB rating is 75.7 (McNabb's by comparison is 85.9), and he's never thrown for more than 3,000 yards or 20 TD's. The other big issue for Vick and the Eagles is the fan response to him. Initially, the Eagles could lose some fan support with his signing, and down the road Vick's presence could open Pandora's box in Philly.

It will create a negative buzz (and press) that will follow this team around for the entire season. Animal Rights groups will unite against the Eagles, creating additional complications. Also, the Eagles gave Vick a 2-year deal (2nd year is optional) for nearly $10 million with incentives ($6.8 without). That is quite a bit of money to pay for a back-up quarterback who might play 10 plays a game. Finally, if McNabb struggles to start the season and Vick has some success in his specialty role, it could create a quarterback controversy when there shouldn't be one. Remember this is the same fan base that has pretty much wanted to replace McNabb from day one. Given that precedence, I think there is a chance that this could end up dividing the Eagles' locker room. While there is a chance the Eagles could catch lightning in a bottle with this signing, there is a much greater chance they just end up getting burned.


  1. Personal life aside...Vick will do more good in a few games for the Eagles then McNabb will do all season.

  2. I completely disagree with Nate T. McNabb's always been a better quarterback than Vick, but mainly, I just wanted to say that Philly works because I'm betting two thirds of their fanbase have done worse things to animals than Michael Vick.

  3. Nate: I'm sorry but the Eagles win BECAUSE of McNabb not in spite of him. I realize they've had some success while he was injured. But Philly doesn't make the playoffs last year if McNabb isn't the starter. I know everyone complains that he can't win the big game, but its a team sport. He isn't the only reason they haven't gotten a Lombardi trophy. Plenty of great QB's haven't won the big one, Marino, Fouts, Tarkenton, ect.

    I think McNabb is a Hall of Famer when his career is done. He has put up some great numbers so far. In comparing McNabb with Vick I'd say they are the polar opposite. McNabb will be great for three games, then kill you in one. Vick will be great for one game but then kill you for three. Vick might make more highlight reels, but McNabb makes the whole team winners.

  4. Well they Eagles have lost more games than won because of McNabb. Also, lets not forget the reason why the Eagles have won most of their games...Westbrook. Without Westbrook the Eagles don't get to 4 NFC Championships.

  5. McNabb's got 194 TDs to 90 int for his career. Vick has 71 TDs to 52 int. McNabb's ratio of TDs to int is over 2 to 1; Vick's is almost 1 TD for every interception.

    Vick's record as a starter is 38-28-1. McNabb's record is 82-45-1.

    McNabb's postseason record is 9-6. Vick's is 2-2; he only quarterbacked his team to the playoffs in two of his NFL seasons.

    McNabb had the Eagles in the playoffs two years before Westbrook even arrived in Philly, ending a three year playoff drought. Just this past year, McNabb threw for 375 yards and 3 TD's. Westbrook had only 71 yards of total offense. To say that Westbrook has mattered more to the Eagles 5 NFC championship game appearances is just absurd.

  6. the 375 and 3 td's was against the cards in the nfc title game

  7. I will say this just to end this topic and move on. First, I have watched every single game McNabb has ever played as an Eagle, his stats are not terrible, but they SHOULD be much better. It is the frustration of not hitting the open WR/RB's when we need a big 1st down, or game winning TD. You have to watch him in every game, not just SportsCenter highlights. He could be better, and he should be better, that is where the frustration comes out, it's all about his Potential, but he is running out of time to be great!

    So,you can google all the stats you want, but google this stat...How many times has McNabb had a chance to Win a game trailing in the 4th quarter, and actually Won the game? He is not a big game QB, if he was the Eagles would have at least 2 SB rings and 4/5 SB appearances by now in his tenure with the Eagles.

    Also about Vick...we would have to completely change our offense to accomodate him, and Reid is not going to do that, which makes that deal confusing, especially since he will be our #3 QB according to Reid the other day. I tell you what, the Eagles wanted the spotlight, and they got it with this signing. Many people not happy in Philly about Vick and his baggage.

  8. Philadelphia doesn't deserve Donovan McNabb.

  9. to Nate T:

    That was a really good post. That was one of the first really good and articulate arguments AGAINST McNabb that I've heard. And you're spot on about Vick and the Eagles.

  10. I decided to go and google more stats.

    The following article makes a great argument for McNabb as a Hall of Famer:

    Also, McNabb has a higher winning percentage than Peyton Manning when trailing in the 4th quarter. Peyton has more comebacks, but there is something to be said for not trailing as many times in the 4th quarter as well.