Michael Vick came out this week and made rumblings that he wasn’t happy on the team. Finally, Philadelphia Eagles fans and Michael Vick can agree on something. Guess what Michael, either are we! Vick also expressed frustrations with the Wildcat offense. Once again, we agree Mike! Vick is also looking towards next year and has desires to be on another team. Michael, why did it take us nine weeks into the NFL season to finally be on the same page?
The Michael Vick experiment here in Philadelphia will go down as one of the most bizarre personnel moves in Philadelphia sports history. Immediately upon signing Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles alienated their fans, the city, advertisers, and even members of their own organization. The threats of protests and bans couldn’t dissuade Andy Reid from acquiring this great weapon. Yet here are we are now nine weeks into the NFL season and we have yet to see any positive contributions on the field from the, “x-factor.”
I wrote, “How will Mike Vick’s inclusion in the game impact the offense’s momentum? Whether it be the line, the quarterback-receiver timing, or the running back, a successful drive needs momentum. Whether Vick is coming into the game for 2 plays to 10 plays, this can’t be good for the continuity of the offense.” Even I didn’t think that Vick’s presence on the field would be as distracting as it has been. To say that it has been a disaster has been an understatement.
Take a look back at the last two Philadelphia Eagles losses. Andy Reid has been criticized and rightfully so, for blowing timeouts in each game. Here is something that has flown completely under the radar about those games. In the Oakland loss, Donovan McNabb called a timeout (which he didn’t have) when Mike Vick came onto the field. Once again, the Eagles blew a timeout against the Dallas Cowboys when Vick came onto the field for a play. The only team being disrupted by Michael Vick on the field is the Philadelphia Eagles. In games in which the Eagles offense struggled, Vick’s presence on the field cost them timeouts which could have been used at the end of the game.
We were all told by the Eagles and the media that Vick would give defensive coordinators nightmares. After a few weeks when it was painfully obvious that Vick was a non-factor, we were told that Andy Reid was waiting to unveil the complex Vick packages against the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. I am still waiting to see those plays. Yes, those offensive wrinkles were unveiled in the Dallas Cowboys game…by the Dallas Cowboys. It is enough already with the excuses as to why this thing isn’t working. The bottom line here is it isn’t working.
There are a few reasons that the Vick experiment has been a failure. For one, I think Andy Reid brought him here because he didn’t have confidence in Kevin Kolb. To the surprise of many, Kolb was spectacular in his starts this season. Two, Andy Reid has done nothing creative at all with Vick. Vick comes into the game at awkward times and is killing the momentum of the offense. On top of that, it has gotten to the point where he isn’t even lining up in a Wildcat. Vick is just lining up behind center and handing off the ball. This is the x-factor? Finally, nobody can argue that Vick has lost his speed. Maybe he can get it back in a full off-season program, but that remains to be seen. I love how people went nuts when he broke a nine-yard run in the Redskins game and called it a “flash.” He is averaging 2.3 yards a freaking carry! So we are taking the ball out of Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Bryan Westbrook, or even Donovan McNabb’s hands for 2.3 yards a carry? It just doesn’t make any sense!
The coup de grace of this experiment is that Vick himself doesn’t believe in the Wildcat. Vick said this week, “I won’t be a Wildcat guy. I can’t,” Vick told NBC. “It’s a different style of play. It’s almost like a hit-or-miss type of thing. My position is quarterback. That’s what I was born to do.” As much as I groan and yell every time I see Vick coming onto the field in one of these Wildcat formations, Vick himself is sensing the same thing. How can you have success on the field when the “x-factor” doesn’t want to be there in the first place?
So now that Michael Vick is making noise about wanting out of here next year, I think it is finally time to close this door. This team has bigger needs for that 53rd roster spot and Vick can’t do what was promised upon signing with the team. I think we can all agree that we will all be better off next season when Michael Vick is playing somewhere else. So why not start now?
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