Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Did I Say?

It's very rare that I write a sports post two times in one week... and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never written about the same sports figure twice in one week. But, thanks to the wonder of my friends on Facebook and Blogger who keep me more up to date on happenings than CNN sometimes, I just got this news flash... Andy Reid has named Mike Vick, the Eagles permanant starting quarterback! I didn't stutter... he just did what I and most sports commentators thought he ought to do, but wouldn't do!

"When someone is playing at the level Michael Vick is playing, you have to give him an opportunity," Andy Reid said. "This isn't about Kevin Kolb's play. You're talking about Michael Vick as one the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now." (Really, Andy? Really?)

Kevin Kolb missed the last six quarters because of a concussion and Mike Vick played well in his absence. Kevin Kolb was cleared to practice and was expected to run the first-team offense on Wednesday. "Kevin is fine. It's not an injury-related issue," Reid said. (Of course, it isn't!) "It's not about judging him. He's going to be a championship-caliber quarterback." (Hope springs eternal!)

Mike Vick threw for 175 yards and one touchdown and ran for 103 yards in a 27-20 season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers. He had 284 yards passing and two TDs in a 35-32 win at Detroit on Sunday. He sparked an offense that was fizzling out and made what could have been a rout, a competitive game. Excuse me if I've said all of this before.

Kevin Kolb started two games in his first three seasons before he became the team's No. 1 quarterback after Donovan McNabb was traded to Washington. Kevin Kolb struggled in the first half against the Packers in the season opener.

Though the Eagles have been grooming Kevin Kolb to be the starter since drafting him in the second round in 2007, Michael Vick forced Andy Reid to make a difficult decision by playing better than he did when he was a superstar in Atlanta. (I don't think it was that difficult a decision. It was a no brainer to me and everybody else that knows football!)

"Michael did an exceptional job and my job is to evaluate the players," Coach Reid said. ''It's my obligation to make the proper decision." (Hmmm... or was the owner watching Fox Sports, CNN, TNT, and ESPN?)

Michael Vick's start against the Detroit Lions was his first in nearly four years. A three-time Pro Bowl pick during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Michael Vick missed two seasons while serving an 18-month sentence in federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation. He signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles before last season, then played sparingly behind Donavan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

Michael Vick has completed 63.8% 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,'' Coach Reid said. ''This is what I think is right. He's back and maybe even a little better.'' (Remember, you read that here first!)

The knock on Mike Vick used to be that he was a run-first quarterback who quickly moved through his reads and took off running. He clearly benefited from watching Donavan McNabb operate the offense last year and has excellent teachers in Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Mike Vick proved against the Detroit Lions that he can be an effective pocket passer when he needs to be. Despite getting sacked 6 times and being under constant pressure, he scrambled enough to buy time and find open receivers. That's the thinking on his feet that I was talking about in Monday's post!

Given the Eagles struggles with this young and inexperienced offensive line, Michael Vick's speed and quickness is vital. Now, don't get me wrong... Kevin Kolb has a quick release and can escape pressure, but Michael Vick is perhaps one of the most elusive quarterbacks in league history, next to a certain number 5 who used to run this team on the field!

I give praise where it is deserved and so, this time I say... "WAY TO GO EAGLES!"


Rich Fitzgerald said...

Andy Reid is playing politics. If Mike loses a couple of games, Kevin Kolb comes back into the spotlight. Everybody loves a hero as long as he is taking them where they want to go. The minute he doesn't...look out.

Keith said...

Rich, you're absolutely right..It is about politics...and money of course! They want to win games...and love him or hate him..Michael Vick will put more butts in seats than Kevin Kolb!

Clarence said...

The guy is totally just, and there is no skepticism.
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