A Case For Trent Edwards To Start On SundayBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Tuesday, December 25th, 2012
On Christmas Eve, news broke that Eagles quarterback Nick Foles would miss the final game of the season with a broken hand and that former starter Michael Vick would likely get the call on Sunday against the New York Giants.
It will, in all likelihood, be Vick’s final appearance as a Philadelphia Eagle. With a heavy cap number next season, the former Falcon is unlikely to return to the rebuilding Eagles, with the team set to go into rebuilding mode after a second straight disappointing season.
But should it be Vick who gets the call on Sunday over third-string quarterback Trent Edwards? I don’t think so.
It would be more beneficial to the future of the franchise if Edwards got the start on Sunday instead of Vick. Before the season began, the Eagles signed the former Buffalo Bill to a one-year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through the 2013-14 season with the idea that in case the team decided to part ways with Vick after the season that they would have a capable veteran backup under contract. But although Edwards impressed the team with his play in the preseason, the Eagles don’t know if they can count on him to win in the regular season.
This is a great opportunity for the Eagles to get a look at Edwards in a meaningful situation to see if they can count on him to be the second-string quarterback next season. All that the team has to go off of with Edwards is what he accomplished against third and fourth string players last August. They’ve got a chance to put the 29-year old in a position to play a regular season game, working with LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek against a desperate New York Giants team that needs a win in the worst possible way to keep their playoff hopes alive.
When a football team is eliminated from playoff contention, the remainder of their regular season games become all about giving other players opportunities to perform so that the front office can make the most accurate assessment possible about what they have to work with to turn things around the following year. There’s no benefit to the Eagles playing Michael Vick on Sunday.
Vick’s run in Philadelphia is over. The Eagles are prepared to move on him from him as the team’s starter, and I believe that Vick is ready for his next opportunity elsewhere. He won’t be coming back at a reduced price, and he certainly wouldn’t return to be the team’s backup or even to compete with Nick Foles for the starting job. Vick is a competitor, and he’ll want to move on to a team that will make him the unquestioned starter.
To be fair, there is an argument to be made for Vick to start as well. Andy Reid may want to do his quarterback a favor by giving him a chance to strut his stuff one more time for his next employer. Over the last month and a half, Vick’s body has had plenty of time to heal and recuperate from the pounding he took over the first eight weeks of the season. He’ll be fresh, and the offensive line has made some slight strides since the last time number seven was under center.
Reid also knows that the demotion was a tough pill for a fighter like Vick to swallow. The former Pro-Bowler has made it clear that he wants to be on the field, regardless of what the team’s record is. It hasn’t been easy for him to sit on the sidelines, but he’s handled the situation with class.
When you consider those factors, perhaps Vick has earned the right to start.
You could even consider the fact that this is likely going to be Andy Reid’s last game as the head coach of the Eagles. Reid has had a terrible season as a head coach, but he’s not a quitter. He’ll want to go down fighting, and not make things easy on the division rival Giants. If you’re Andy Reid and you want the best chance to end your 14-year career in Philadelphia with a win, Michael Vick is clearly the best option.
If the Eagles were doing everything they could to prepare for 2013 and field the best possible product, Trent Edwards would get the call. However, in this case they’re not doing whats best for the team.
And while I would much rather see Edwards on Sunday, I can’t blame the organization for going in the direction they’ve chosen. Even though Andy Reid’s success has significantly declined since 2004, he helped bring Philadelphia a lot of great memories and he should have the right to out on his terms and pursue one last victory in Eagle green.
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