Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Vick's starting chances
By Tim Kavanagh
When it was reported on Monday that the Philadelphia Eagles had reached an agreement with Michael Vick that would bring him back to the roster for 2013, there were two immediate reactions: one, this means he'll have a shot to be the team's starter in Year One of the Chip Kelly Experience, and two, the supply of starting-caliber QBs on the market this offseason has been reduced by one, thereby increasing demand for players like Alex Smith, Matt Flynn and Matt Moore. But what are the chances that Vick actually wins the job?
In a post on the ESPN NFC East blog, that blog's primary contributor Dan Graziano makes the argument against over-reaction to this development. If Kelly falls into the same trap that his predecessor did regarding Vick -- believing him to be better than he is, perhaps, at this stage of his career -- it could have a disastrous effect on the club in the short-term, and land them back in the Top 5 of the draft again in 2014. While Vick may be a fine stop-gap solution, he can't simply be handed the job, and the early indications are that this is not the case.
We know that Nick Foles -- the man who took over as Eagles starter in 2012 -- will be back this season, and there have been reports that Kelly is going to try and sign Dennis Dixon, who ran his offense at Oregon but hasn't taken flight as an NFL player. There may well be another option yet to be determined, either from the draft or from the ranks of free agency. So while Vick certainly has the better career resume, there's no guarantee that he'll be the man running Kelly's offense this fall. And Graziano believes that's a good thing:
Dan GrazianoKelly can't be taken in by Vick
"Vick will turn 33 in June. He's not changing. When you sign up for Vick, you sign up for all of the bad along with the good. Kelly's mission, should he decide Vick is his starter in 2013, will be to design his offense in such a way as to maximize the good while minimizing the impact of the inevitable bad. Kelly may well be a talented enough coach to do that. We are months away from any NFL-level evidence on that one way or the other. But if Vick is the Eagles' starter, Kelly had better commit to managing his flaws, because he can't expect to be able to erase them, and he certainly can't expect them to go away on their own. So if you heard this Vick news today and your first thought was, 'Great! He'll be the perfect guy to run Kelly's offense at the NFL level,' you're overreacting. This doesn't mean Vick is automatically the starter, and it shouldn't. What Vick is for the Eagles, on a market with no good quarterback solutions, is one potential answer. And if he ends up being the 2013 answer, then he's a flawed one who will have to be managed very carefully if the Eagles expect to have more success with him than they've had so far. As long as Kelly knows that, he should be fine. But if he turns out to be the latest coach to get fooled by what he thinks Vick can do for him, then we know what his first major problem as Eagles coach is going to be."