Snap Judgments: McNabb and Vick in Philly can't be a long marriage
It won’t be all giggles in Philly the first time Vick subs in for an ineffective McNabb
McNabb lets things get to him when he feels slighted or disrespected
Preseason thoughts on Ravens, Cowboys, Redskins, Raiders and more
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest the newsiest Thursday night of NFL preseason football in memory....
In terms of his desire to join a stable and well-structured organization from which to re-launch his NFL career, Michael Vick couldn't have chosen much better than casting his lot with the Andy Reid-led Eagles. That part of it I get, and it makes all the sense in the world for him to see the league's second-most tenured head coach as a safe and secure bet.
But at some point, once we're past all the theory behind the move, it's going to come down to the reality that Vick wants to eventually re-launch his starting quarterback career, and that's where things are likely to get messy in Philadelphia.
Listening to Reid's post-game news conference last night, he understandably didn't care to -- or wasn't prepared to -- go into the specifics of how Vick will fit into the offensive picture in Philly. "We'll figure out some way to use him'' was the gist of what Reid said, and what quarterback Donovan McNabb later echoed.
Okay, there's time enough for that, and Reid really doesn't know what he has in Vick just yet. But if Vick is now an option at quarterback in Philadelphia -- as opposed to say just an option (or running) quarterback -- then he's going to be a tempting option each and every time McNabb struggles. Maybe that's exactly the point for Reid, but I promise you it won't be all hiccups and giggles in Philly the first time McNabb sits due to ineffectiveness and Vick takes over the offense.
Is everyone forgetting the "end of an era'' headlines and hand-ringing that accompanied Reid yanking a struggling McNabb from that game in Baltimore last November? Having Vick, rather than the untested Kevin Kolb, as the Eagles' insurance policy at quarterback will inspire a constant state of speculation about McNabb's grasp of his starting job, and Vick's readiness to ascend the depth chart. Count on it.
Few NFL head coaches are better equipped temperamentally to plow through distractions and screen out the non-stop chatter of fans and the media than the stoic Reid. He has proven that he'll do what he thinks is best for his football team, when he believes it's time to do it. But McNabb is somewhat of a different story. He can get sensitive at times, and let things get to him when he feels slighted or disrespected.
As much as I'm willing to admit he might prove us wrong, and enjoy doing it, I'm having a hard time seeing how McNabb will be better off for having Vick on the Eagles. And by extension, will the Eagles necessarily be better off if McNabb isn't in his happy place as the face of the franchise? There's at least some potential for the kind of trouble that inspired the belief that when a team says it has two good quarterback options, sometimes it winds up not having one. As we all know, a lack of definition at the game's most crucial position can at times be fatal to a team's chances.
For now, how things work out in the end game is an unknowable in Philadelphia. In the short term, Vick and the Eagles deserve a honeymoon period, and it has already begun. But the prospects of a long-term marriage that has both McNabb and Vick successfully co-existing with the Eagles seems overly optimistic. At quarterback in the NFL, there can only be one No. 1.
It's never too early to push the panic button in Washington, and I promise you somebody's mashing it as we speak in light of that debacle of a Redskins preseason opening 23-0 loss at Baltimore Thursday night. Not only did Washington's defense give up 500 yards of offense to the Ravens, with 399 of them coming in the passing game, the Redskins offense was just as ineffective.
Washington failed to reach the 50 on nine of its 12 possessions, and went 1 of 11 on third downs, with just 196 yards of total offense. That showing is going to do nothing to relieve the pressure on Redskins starting quarterback Jason Campbell, whose two drives produced only punts. If the Eagles hadn't beaten them to the punch, Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato might have been speed-dialing Vick's agent today after watching that stinker.
Not that Joel Segal would have taken the call. He also represents Campbell, so for him, having Vick in Washington would have been like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
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