Philadelphia Eagles

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The amount of time wasted by the Philly-area media and fans on an artificial QB controversy has been absolutely mind-boggling….no… earth-shattering… befuddling…confounding… astounding and most of all – LUDICROUS!

From the moment Donovan McNabb was traded (dumped), Kevin Kolb was anointed as the Eagles starting QB – present and future. Mike Vick was too busy celebrating his 30th birthday to notice, but the Eagles organization was trying to trade him all offseason. Unsuccessful, the Eagles changed Vick’s job description from “trade bait” to “backup QB” – though not by choice. There were no takers for Vick, a proven NFL veteran QB and accomplished athlete with a troubled past and a questionable work ethic. However, no one in the media or fan base really seemed to care because Andy Reid & Co. had proclaimed Kolb was The Man (sorry Chase Utley), Vick was the veteran Backup and rookie draftee from Northwestern Mike Kafka would be carrying both their clubs.

After just one half of football, that plan of action has been waylaid, Kevin Kolb (5 of 10, 24 passing yards in his debut as “The Franchise”) and MLB Stewart Bradley both suffered concussions and were knocked out in the season opener. Sometime between Kolb’s concussion and Stewart Bradley’s unfortunate swan dive, Mike Vick became the Eagles starting QB. Vick responded by nearly bringing the Eagles back against Green Bay, finally falling a TD short (27-20 in an ugly loss). Now, granted Vick did not run the offense flawlessly. Vick (16 of 24, 175 passing for 1 TD/0 INT plus 103 rushing yards on 11 attempts) often bolted at the first sign of trouble or made unwarranted acrobatic passing attempts on the run, but he did infuse some life into what previously looked like a moribund offense. There were very few bright spots but rookie Eagles Nate Allen

Nate Allen became the Eagles first rookie to register an interception in his first game since the great Eric Allen did it against Tampa Bay in 1988.

(who became the first Eagles rookie to grab an INT in his debut since Eric Allen) and Brandon Graham played like veterans in their debut. Center Jamaal Jackson said goodbye (torn biceps/triceps surgery) for the year as did LT Jason Peters (sprained right knee but returned later in the game). Fullback Leonard Weaver is out for the season (with a gruesome broken leg & torn ACL) and the way that Stewart Bradley’s concussion was virtually ignored until he collapsed unconscious on the field was embarrassing. Meanwhile, Kolb is still suffering from the effects of concussion and will not be cleared to play in Week 2 (he may be listed as the emergency QB behind Kafka) so for the time being, Michael Vick is the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Injuries are part of every NFL game. Scores of players spend their whole offseason, training camp, OTA and preseason games preparing for the regular season only to get knocked out for the year on the first play. Normally players are not supposed to lose their starting job because of injury and while that may be true on some philosophical plane of ethereal existence, there is nothing esoteric about the NFL. There’s a game next week and no coach or player or owner has the luxury of waiting until all of their players are at 100%. You have to play with who you’ve got and if you don’t like it then you shouldn’t be in the NFL.

Reid's philosophy may have to change for Eagles to win

Andy Reid proclaimed Kolb as the Eagles unquestioned starting QB heading into Training Camp and the team rallied around him. This remains unchanged in the words of Reid, Kolb and most of the outspoken Eagle players. “Kolb is Our QB.” The problem is that Reid is still the coach and he should be tagged with this loss. Reid’s poor clock management and inherently flawed gameplan have become tiresome – and after 11 years they are predictable. The Eagles have virtually no running game and even when they do try to punch it in from short yardage they are called for a penalty or they don’t make it (because they ask Vick to run rather than a halfback or fullback).

Now that Kolb is hurt (at least for this week), we the fans and media have the rare chance to see what Michael Vick’s true stock may be. Nearly 4 years removed from being a perennial All-Pro and an exciting talent, the Michael Jordan of the NFL is as passé as… well… Michael Jordan. All athletes fight the enemy of age, clinging preciously to their youthful athletic ability and attempting to augment that with savvy, skill and experience. However, this is an anomaly. Michael Vick is only 30 years old. He is finally back in NFL shape, has his legs back under him and was not subject to the wear and tear of 2 entire NFL seasons. Vick might as well have the body of a 28-year-old and he used to be one of the most dynamic players the NFL had ever see. Fran Tarkenton-meets-Gayle Sayers-meets-Jerry Rice.

The Eagles face the Detroit Lions in Week 2. While the Lions don’t resemble the gladiators from the Roman Coliseum (or even the Green Bay Packers for that reason) they are a professional NFL squad and have had a week to study tape on Vick. Last week against a solid Green Bay defense (who didn’t have the need to gameplan for Vick), the Eagles replacement QB ran rampant, often creating accomplishment amid chaos. Vick bought time with his legs and made throws that Kevin Kolb may never have made. The two quarterbacks could not be less alike but throughout NFL history, scrambling QB have had marginal success at best – usually choosing to convert themselves into pocket passers or play another position. Sound like anyone else we used to know? Scrambling QB with a big arm and no fear about flinging the ball to any receiver in any situation at any time? Came out of Syracuse and now plays down in Washington, DC? 11 years, 5 NFC Championships games, one Super Bowl, no World Championships… What was that guy’s name? It’s on the tip of my tongue…Cunningham? Van Brocklin? No that’s not it…

Boisterous fans on a litany of radio call-in shows will not stop burning up the phone lines. Some scream for Vick, others for Kolb but they are all wasting their time. Michael Vick will start in Week 2 vs. Detroit. Kevin Kolb will be medically assessed regarding his concussion early next week. Then and only then will the team make a decision based on Kolb’s medical status and Vick’s performance. This is going to shake out predicated upon those two outcomes. The REAL controversy will occur in the event that Kolb is cleared to play in Week 3 vs. Jacksonville and Vick lights up the scoreboard like a pinball machine vs. Detroit in Week 2. Then what happens? Not juicy enough for you? Week 4 features the Washington Redskins heading into Lincoln Financial Field so that Donovan McNabb can face his former team and former fans. I’d say McNabb has a better chance against his former teammates than the fans. Keep your helmet on!

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Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me

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  1. Adrian Fedkiw Sep 15 20108:10 pm


    People who think that Vick is our starter or should start are morons. You have to predicate this season to see what you have in Kolb. Does he have what it takes to be our franchise quarterback.

    In all honesty, I’ve always been a McNabb guy, so in some ways I kind of want Kolb to suck.

    I know that comes across badly, but that’s how I feel.

    But still, go BIRDS!!!

    1. Dan Rakusan Sep 15 201010:02 pm


      I can’t predicate your season, because that in itself doesn’t make sense… Predict perhaps, but not predicate…

      As for Vick – run the horse while the horse is running well. Vick was better than Kolb, regardless of who is the annointed starter. BY FAR!

      Will he be able to keep it up? Who knows?!?!? Until the end of this week, we won’t even know if he’s good enough to play in the NFL. We know Kolb CAN’T play because he’s injured.

      Michael Vick is a better athlete, but a better QB? Again, we won’t know for a while.

      Guess I’m a moron, because I liked what I saw from Vick. As a Falcons’ fan, I saw a lot of the old stuff from him. Kolb has never really seemed more than an average QB to me…

      1. Christopher Rowe Sep 15 201010:17 pm


        Guys, thank you for your comments. They are always appreciated and discussion is kind of the point of us all writing. However:

        pred·i·cate   /v. ˈprɛdɪˌkeɪt; adj., n. ˈprɛdɪkɪt/ Show Spelled [v. pred-i-keyt; adj., n. pred-i-kit] Show IPA verb, -cat·ed, -cat·ing, adjective, noun
        –verb (used with object)
        1. to proclaim; declare; affirm; assert.
        2. Logic .
        a. to affirm or assert (something) of the subject of a proposition.
        b. to make (a term) the predicate of such a proposition.
        3. to connote; imply: His retraction predicates a change of attitude.
        4. to found or derive (a statement, action, etc.); base (usually fol. by on ): He predicated his behavior on his faith in humanity.
        –verb (used without object)
        5. to make an affirmation or assertion.
        6. predicated.
        7. Grammar . belonging to the predicate: a predicate noun.
        8. Grammar . (in many languages, as English) a syntactic unit that functions as one of the two main constituents of a simple sentence, the other being the subject, and that consists of a verb, which in English may agree with the subject in number, and of all the words governed by the verb or modifying it, the whole often expressing the action performed by or the state attributed to the subject, as is here in Larry is here.
        9. Logic . that which is affirmed or denied concerning the subject of a proposition.
        Use predicated in a Sentence
        See images of predicated
        Search predicated on the Web


        1400–50; (n.) late ME (< MF predicat ) < ML praedicātum, n. use of neut. of L praedicātus, ptp. of praedicāre to declare publicly, assert, equiv. to prae- pre- + dicā ( re ) to show, indicate, make known + -tus ptp. suffix; (v. and adj.) < L praedicātus; cf. preach

        —Related forms
        pred·i·ca·tion, noun
        pred·i·ca·tion·al, adjective
        pred·i·ca·tive  /ˈprɛdɪˌkeɪtɪv, -kə-; Brit. prɪˈdɪkətɪv/ Show Spelled[pred-i-key-tiv, -kuh-; Brit. pri-dik-uh-tiv] Show IPA, adjective
        pred·i·ca·tive·ly, adverb
        non·pred·i·ca·tive, adjective
        non·pred·i·ca·tive·ly, adverb
        sub·pred·i·cate, noun
        sub·pred·i·ca·tion, noun
        sub·pred·i·ca·tive, adjective
        un·pred·i·cat·ed, adjective
        un·pred·i·ca·tive, adjective
        un·pred·i·ca·tive·ly, adverb

        1. Dan Rakusan Sep 15 201010:32 pm


          Thanks for the syntax lesson and the phonetic backing! LOL… I grew up as the son of a professor of linguistics and understand it quite well.

          The bottom line is that until Kolb shows something, the season isn’t predicated on his ability. And, with Vick guaranteed the start this weekend, and an option/possibility to show his skill, one should also not be quick to discount him as a starter.

          In my humble opinion, he is more athletic (despite his age) than Kolb, and has seemingly grasped the concept of the offence better than Kolb has. Perhaps it is because Kolb knows the pressure on his shoulders will never lessen. Perhaps it’s because Vick has nothing to lose.

          Again, in my opinion, I think Vick offers 10 times more to a re-tooling Eagles team than a middle-of-the-pack guy like Kolb…

  2. Dan Rakusan Sep 15 201010:44 pm


    BTW – I don’t disagree with your article’s assertion. I simply feel Vick could show his stuff and take over. Andy Reid would be the dumbest man alive (other than Glen Sather) if he took Vick out of the starting position if he has a good showing this weekend…

    1. Christopher Rowe Sep 15 201011:38 pm


      Thanks. Please don’t misunderstand. I like that you are passionate. I applaud you are reading me and I respect that you have an educated and passionate opinion! I also think that we agree on the issue. Who starts this season is about who performs well and proves he can win. Vick could show his stuff and take over or Vick could crash and burn, leaving the job for Kolb. Maybe Kolb responds, maybe not. My assertion was that there was no QB controversy heading into the season but now there seems to be a QB quandary! We can agree on that.

      As for Reid vs. Glen Sather… at this point I might give the nod to Sather. Did you see that game calling and clock management? Yargh!

      1. Adrian Fedkiw Sep 16 20101:26 am


        I know Vick looked great against Green Bay, and yes, he is arguably a better quarterback at this point than Kolb. But, Green Bay did not gameplan him.
        Like I said, you gotta give Kolb a chance and see what he’s got, at least the 1st 6-8 starts.
        If they’re not winning and he’s not progressing, then maybe you think about starting Vick.

  3. James Centifonti Sep 16 20108:03 am


    Here is the deal for me………….watching the game Green Bay didn’t play much of it’s base defense with Kolb in the game. They did what every team does against Reid and that’s played the pass because they knew they were not going to run.

    For Kolb to be successful in my eyes he’ll need the support of a running game to open up passing lanes. He’ll also need the line to help keep him standing and not well wondering what day of the week it is.

    I know Reid has won a ton of games but it’s just beyond mind boggling to me that he fails to come up with a better game plan, adjust well in games, & fails on clock management.

  4. Dave Cassel Sep 16 20108:41 am


    As you say, the Eagles have anointed Kolb as the starter and that’s that. Okay, cool. What I didn’t get was how you expect your new QB to get his rhythm when you pull him out every third play to give your backup some time. If you’re handing the reins to Kolb, then hand them over and let him do his thing. Yes, in this game Vick looked better than Kolb, especially after the facemask divot, but that’s to be expected given their relative experience.

    I say all that even though I like scrambling QBs. There was at least one Kolb sack where I thought, “Donovan would have gotten away from that one”. On a related note… 5 NFC Championship games is “marginal” success? If that’s marginal, there are a lot of really sucky QBs in the league!

  5. Christopher Rowe Sep 16 20109:14 am


    Kolb’s face plant aside, we’re all talking about Andy Reid’s management of personnel and his game calling. If Redi says Kolb is the QB but he pulls him every third down to bring in Vick then we have another Jaworski/Cunningham situation. If Reid can’t or won’t develop a true running game then he is going to have to send Vick over the top on 4th & 1 as he used to do with McNabb. AND if Reid calls a timeout on 2nd down right before the clock is stopped then he is burning timeouts. So perhaps all of this time, it was Reid who was the problem. He and the Eagles have won a lot of games (3 of those NFC championships the Eagles were favored and they just couldn’t hack it in their one Super Bowl which was winnable) but they are the modern day Buffalo Bills (4 Super Bowls in 1990s, no rings) or Minnesota Vikings (3 Super Bowls in 1970s, nothing to show).

    1. James Centifonti Sep 16 201012:07 pm


      That’s why I believe we’ll just be going in circles as a franchise with Reid at the helm………..It’s right in his face what he needs to change and address and the fact he hasn’t or refuses is a joke.

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