Gonzalez: The Eagles Should Keep Michael VickBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Thursday, January 31st, 2013
On Wednesday, John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com wrote a column where he presented a case for the Philadelphia Eagles to retain quarterback Michael Vick, and give him one more shot as the team’s starting quarterback.
In the name of sanity, I can’t imagine why the Eagles, Gonzalez, or anyone capable of rational thinking would want to go through another season with Vick under center.
There just isn’t a case to be made for a Vick return. Gonzalez tried his best to lay out a strong argument for the former starter to return, but many of the strongest points he could come up with (some of which will be quoted below) were exceptionally weak.
Either way, keeping Vick would necessitate a contract renegotiation. Vick is owed about $16 million next year. It’s impossible to imagine paying a soon-to-be 33-year-old with an extensive injury history that much money. No sober person would consider it. Even Cat Marnell wouldn’t consider it.
Right away, Gonzalez hurts his argument by bringing up a couple of major reasons why Vick should not return to Philadelphia. As Gonzalez points out, he’s a 33-year old quarterback with an extensive injury history.
Throughout his career, Vick has played an aggressive, reckless style of football that has exposed his small frame to a ton on punishing blows. He’s never been able to stay healthy, and as he becomes older it’s going to become increasingly difficult for him to keep himself on the field.
Gonzalez then threw out the idea that Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win right now.
If the Eagles still have designs on winning sooner rather than later – the way Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman talked after saying goodbye to Andy Reid makes it sound as though they do – then Vick remains their best option. Even if his skills have eroded (and they have), he still has a monster arm and he’s still faster on his worst day than Nick Foles is on his best.
First of all, Gonzalez once again hurts his case by reminding everyone that there has been a sharp decline in Vick’s skill. The veteran has lost a couple of steps, and no longer has the elite speed that helped him become a feared quarterback in this league. It was clear how much Vick’s abilities had declined when defensive ends began to regularly catch up to him.
Second, Gonzalez is delusional if he believes that the Eagles are in a position to “win-now”.
Its as though Gonzalez completely forgot that this team finished 4-12. The Eagles are not a Super Bowl contender. They aren’t even a couple of tweaks and adjustments away from being in the mix for a playoff spot. They’re in a full-blown rebuilding mode, and the plan is to overhaul the roster to prepare for a run in the future. I don’t think the Eagles hired Chip Kelly because they expect him to put the team back in the playoffs next season. They hired him because they believe that he can build something special here, but it may take him a couple of years to gather the talent that he needs to run his offense the way he desires. Also, if the Eagles do change to a 3-4 scheme, that’s another sign that the team is in a transitional phase, and it will take some time to gather the talented required to run that defense. If anyone still believes that this team is close to anything successful, they’re just as bad as the players on this roster from the last two seasons that talked a big game but accomplished nothing on the field.
Gonzalez closed his case by expressing interest to see Vick and Chip Kelly work together.
If they can renegotiate his contract – admittedly, a big if – it would be far more stirring to see Vick lead Kelly’s crew. Why not? Once more unto the breach. The guy who wrote that line was undoubtedly an Eagles fan. Ol’ Will S. from South Philly, I think.
Why would it be “far more stirring” to see Vick continue to lead this team? Vick has shown the Eagles over the last two years what he has to offer, and it isn’t much. What you have with Vick is a guy who can occasionally tease you with a couple of nice throws and gutty performances, but ultimately he’s going to cost his team some games with his alarming turnover rate and his inability to properly read and recognize defenses. He can still be a starter in this league (albeit a mediocre one for a team desperate for an answer and some hollow excitement at the position) but on the downside of his career, he offers absolutely nothing to a rebuilding team.
People like John Gonzalez are still intrigued by Vick’s name and the mirage-run he went on with the Eagles in 2010. I can’t understand what they could possibly see in Vick that would make them want to go through another frustrating season with him, and Gonzalez himself was unable to make a case that was even a little compelling to retain him.
As former Eagles president Joe Banner once said, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Michael Vick has had more than a fair shot in Philadelphia, and it’s over. It’s time to move on, and turn the page.
Denny Basens in the editor of GCobb.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter.
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