Eagles Sign Vick, But Why?
Written by Chris Coleman.

For the past few weeks, several teams names had been bandied about when it came to possible destinations for Michael Vick. A week ago, it seemed like the New England Patriots may be the frontrunners. The team is already successful, has a solid group of core veteran players, an undoubted starting quarterback and a long-standing and respected coach.

The reasoning was sound. The team was wrong.

In a rather shocking move, Vick has landed with the Philadelphia Eagles, making them an extremely interesting team to watch in one of the toughest divisions in football.

The question now is what exactly the Eagles will do with him.

It seems Donovan McNabb can never catch a break. Usually its from the fans or the press. Now it seems like his own team is even questioning him, bringing in the ex-convict to back him up run the Wildcat use as an emergency plan in case McNabb gets injured again?

Its anybodys guess right now, but Coach Andy Reid says that McNabb is his starter and leader and McNabb have said all the right things about bringing in the controversial Vick.

"There won't be a quarterback controversy," Reid said.

Apparently Reid knows something the rest of the football world doesnt. And even if theres not a controversy as to what to do with Vick, some controversy will follow the talented quarterback wherever he goes.

As for what they intend to do with Vick once he gets reinstated to play, we can only guess. One would think they signed Vick to a one-year deal to actually play, pointing to signs that the time to win a ring for the Eagles is now. He likely isnt going to be a long-term solution.

The Eagles have seemed happy with McNabbs progress and state of mind since the departure of Terrell Owens. And while they did raise a few eyebrows in drafting Kevin Kolb in the second round two years ago, they squelched rumblings that he may have been brought in to success McNabb immediately. He is obviously being groomed for the future, a future that has become a little cloudier with his recent MCL strain.

So, if Kolb is to be the back-up and quarterback of the future, then Vick wouldnt be the back-up right? But if he was named the back up, hed arguably become the best back up in the league right away.

If not a back up then, where should we expect Vick? He is not big enough to play running back, and it would take him entirely too long to learn to play receiver, at least well enough to help the Eagles win now.

The Eagles have tried the same formula over the past half dozen years and have yet to walk away with a ring. So maybe they are thinking it is time to push all in to the center of the table and make a systemic change to their west coast offense by implementing the Wildcat offense. Some thought it was just an offensive trend du jour two seasons ago with the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins experimented with it, but since then, more than a third of the teams in the league, including the Eagles (although rarely), have implemented the Wildcat.

With the Wildcat, the Eagles could split McNabb, a potentially solid blocker by quarterback standards, out wide and direct snap the ball to Vick. However, the Eagles have already proven they can run the Wildcat successfully using Michael Westbrook or DeSean Jackson.

Having to prepare for two completely separate Eagles offensive schemes would keep the Redskins, Cowboys and Giants up late at nights, especially when that potential cat is a cheetah like Vick.

But even McNabb has dismissed the idea that Vick is simply being brought in to work in one package.

"The people that look at the 'Wildcat,' it's a cop out," McNabb said. "He's a quarterback. He's not utility guy. He's not a receiver. He's not a running back."

McNabbs words may be prophetic, and he may want to temper his enthusiastic supporting of Vick. If the Eagles and McNabb dont get off to a strong offensive start, by the time Vick hits the field, the temperamental Eagles fans may be calling for Vick to step in at quarterback.

And it wouldnt be the most ludicrous idea. After all, Vick is a professional quarterback who is being brought in to win games any way possible. Including as quarterback.

"I don't think you put yourself through the public backlash that they are going to receive tomorrow and the next few days from the people who are opposed to this type of move just for the 'Wildcat,' " former Eagle and Atlanta Falcon Ike Reese told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The 'Wildcat' is not that prevalent in the NFL to bring him in for that. He hasn't played for two years. Why take the risk?"

Reese poses a good question. Why, indeed? I guess well know the answer by mid-season.



Last updated on August 15, 2009.

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