Eagles Continue Down The Wrong Path By Bringing Back VickBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Monday, February 11th, 2013
When Chip Kelly arrived in Philadelphia, he was asked about the quarterback position, and he responded by emphatically stating that his quarterback must be able to hold on to the ball, read a defense, and stay healthy.
And so several weeks later, the head coach announces that Michael Vick will return the Eagles in 2013, with a chance to win the starting job.
After stressing how important it is that the quarterback be a sound decision-maker, Kelly now turns around and gives yet another chance to a guy who has turned the football over 33 times in his last 23 games, a guy who has had well-documented problems dissecting opposing defenses, and a guy who can’t keep his name off of the injury report. Talk about a massive contradiction.
First of all, from an organizational standpoint the Eagles needed to move on from Michael Vick just as badly as they needed to move on from Andy Reid. Vick has been one faces of everything that’s been wrong about this organization, from his poor play on the field to his arrogance off of it.
Vick was the guy who ran around last offseason telling anyone that would listen that the 2012 season would be the beginning of a dynasty, and that a full offseason with the coaching staff would allow him to cut down on his mistakes. He has been the epitome of what this team has been as a whole; lots of hype before the season began, plenty of talk of greatness, and completely underwhelming and unacceptable results.
Vick is one of the major veterans on this roster that failed as a leader over the last couple of seasons, and allowed the club to develop the losing mentality that its currently stuck with. During the regular season, Vick decided to hold one team meeting when things were beginning to go sour, and when his teammates didn’t respond, he basically took on an apathetic attitude and decided not to try it again. His belief was that if his teammates wouldn’t follow him the first time, why would they follow him now?
With an attitude like that, he’s just as guilty as every other player who quit on the season last year. Making no further effort to rally your guys is just as bad as players like Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie giving completely disinterested efforts at the end of the year. And let’s not forget that he waited until the regular season was over before he began to publicly call out his teammates. At that point, I believe that Vick thought he had played his last down as an Eagle and was looking to air his frustrations with the organization that benched him for the second half of the season in favor of Nick Foles.
After two straight seasons of poor play, and with a new coaching staff coming aboard to wipe the slate clean, it was time to turn the page on the Michael Vick experience and the dynasty that never was. But instead, the Eagles appear to be ready to give number seven another go.
This move now dramatically alters how Chip Kelly’s first season with the Eagles should be looked upon. Originally, I don’t think anyone had any delusions that Kelly was going to walk right in during his first season and put the Eagles back in the playoffs. Everyone has been expecting for this season to be for Kelly what 1999 was for Andy Reid; a season in which the team would take their lumps and go through growing pains, but the groundwork would be made for success in the future. If Kelly struggled through a 6-10 season, it wouldn’t have been a big deal because everyone would have understood that this was to be a rebuilding year for the Eagles.
By recommitting to Vick, Kelly has now forfeited his right to have a pass for an underwhelming first season. If you bring back a 33-year old veteran with the profile of a Michael Vick, that to me is a win-now move. Kelly and the Eagles can no longer claim that this is a rebuilding year, because the message Kelly sends with this move is that he expects to plug Vick in right away and run his offense at an elite level. Vick is too old to be a project-type of guy that you can develop into something special two years from now. The 32-year old is type of quarterback you’d only have on your roster if you believe you can win now.
The problem with the idea that this team is built to win now is that this team is not in any way, shape, or form built to win now.
The Vick move also says to me that the this organization is still overrating their own talent, and believes that they’re much better than they really are. The front office must still believe that we’re in 2010, and that this is still the “Dream Team”. They keep on fooling themselves into believing that they’re just a couple of tweaks away from being a contender again. It’s as though the team completely forgot that the last two seasons ever happened; they continue to ignore the fact that this team needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up.
Since the 2012 season ended, the Eagles have once again talked a good game about how exciting the next chapter of Eagles football is going to be. But with the way things are going, I think we’re looking at the next chapter in the Book of Insanity instead.
After the Andy Reid era came to a bitter close, this should have been an offseason in which the team tore itself apart and started an exciting rebuilding process to take the franchise in a new, positive direction. Right now, there’s nothing fresh or exciting about the direction the team is heading in.
In fact, after watching this team hire a coach with questionable upside, a defensive coordinator with no upside, and bring back a quarterback that they should have moved on from, I don’t think there is any direction or true long-term vision within this franchise.
Denny Basens is the editor of GCobb.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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