bill-swift - September 29, 2012
If winning is supposed to cure-all then why is there so much grumbling coming from the 2-1 Philadelphia Eagles? The answer is simple—because everyone knows the team is lucky they aren't 1-2 or even 0-3.
Football is a team support so to put the Eagles troubles completely on to any one person would not be fair. However, there are some guys whose mistakes can make a big difference in the outcome of the game—like the quarterback. Three games into the '12 season mistakes are the one thing Michael Vick has done consistently.
For any offense to be successful there is one thing that it absolutely cannot do—turn the ball over. So far during the '12 season that is the one thing that Vick has done well. He started off the season with a bang throwing four interceptions in the season opener against Cleveland followed up by a pair of them along with a lost fumble against Baltimore.
Vick finally managed to go a game without an interception in Week Three, but the tough Arizona Cardinals defense forced a pair of fumbles.
During the 2010 season when he won the starting job, he had just nine turnovers the entire season. he is already half way to last season's turnover total (14 interceptions, four lost fumbles).
His play has definitely caused many to wonder if going forward with Vick as the starter is the right move; maybe the game has passed him by. After all, a 32-year old player is typically on the downside of his career. While he did miss one season due to his incarceration and another on Philly's bench, with the way he plays his body takes an extraordinary amount of abuse.
Injuries have been something that has plagued him throughout his career. After suffering a rib contusion that kept him out of the remainder of the preseason he commented on how he can't keep playing like he is.
Since then he has struggled, and it's not because he has tried to change-up how he plays. He's actually on pace for 112 carries this season, up from 76 last season and 100 the year before. However, his average per carry is way down (3.9 compared to 7.8 last season and 6.8 the previous).
Part of the reason he won the starter's job over Kevin Kolb during the '10 season was his new-found accuracy. The biggest knock against him when he was with the Falcons was the team couldn't count on him to pass if they needed him to. His highest completion percentage was 56.4 ('04 season).
During the '10 season he set a new career mark by completing 62.6 of his passes. So far this season he's had a lot of trouble hitting his receivers (55.2 percent).
Head coach Andy Reid has claimed that Vick is the man after inadvertently creating a small controversy when he said the team would evaluate things going forward.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg hasn't thrown Vick under the bus, but has stated that he wishes Vick would be more elusive:
"Maybe he needs to move. About half of the time the quarterback needs to move. It might be subtle or a slide. It might be up and out, in a full scramble, front door or back door — all these type of movements."
Wait--Michael Vick needs to move more? Have pigs begun to fly?
Reid also gave a public endorsement of his last franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb, before he ended up letting him go. Hitching his wagon to Vick too tight could end his career in the City of Brotherly Love. The owner, Jeffrey Lurie has already made it clear that another ho-hum season (like last year) could mean the end of Reid.