Vick Not Ready To Concede the Starting Job

Some took Michael Vick‘s statements to the media following Sunday’s loss as a concession speech.

“Obviously he’s thinking about making a  change at the quarterback position,” said Vick of Andy Reid.  “If that’s the decision the coach wants to make, then I’ll support it.”

Mix those comments with a report that Reid is leaning towards starting Nick Foles in New Orleans, and you can gather that Vick has learned his fate and is resigned to take a seat on the bench. But that conclusion seems premature.

“Mike feels strong today,” said a source close to Vick Monday. “He’s confident in his abilities to play football at a high level and wants to lead this team.”

That does not sound like a quarterback that, at least as of Monday morning, had been told that he is no longer the starter.

Perhaps it is only a matter of time. Reid’s situation has never been more precarious, and as the firing of Juan Castillo illustrates, no seat is secure on a sinking ship. Foles represents the last bullet in the chamber for a coach desperate to give his team a jolt. Three straight losses and a 3-4 mark  in a make-or-break season. Everything is now on the table.

Certainly, it’s debatable if going to Foles is the right move. In the short term, you are asking a rookie to make his debut in the loudest stadium in football behind a faulty offensive line. The Saints’ defense is poor, granted, but that is still quite a  task. Bigger picture, you’re charging a third-round pick with saving the season and a coaching legacy. You’re asking him to fix a team whose ailments go far beyond the QB position.

Consider Vick’s passing numbers in the team’s four losses compared to the three wins:

In  losses this season he is 86-for-148 for 894 yards with five touchdowns, two interceptions and an 81.3 quarterback rating. In contrast, he has four TDs to six interceptions and a lower QB rating in the Eagles’ three wins. (It should be noted that four of his five lost fumbles came in defeat.) It is not Vick’s play alone that is deciding these games.

“Football is the total team game and we have to put it all together as a team collectively,” said Vick, who has three game-winning drives this season. “Offense has to do their part and defense has to do their part. Special teams have to contribute in some way, shape or form. And when you don’t get that and other teams are getting that, then you don’t score as many points, you don’t get as many stops, you don’t create turnovers and you don’t win.”

Vick has shown significant improvement against the blitz over his last several outings. He has thrown only two interceptions in his last five games and has completed 63 percent of his passes dating back to the Sunday night tilt against New York. All that said, it’s been a largely disappointing season for a quarterback who is getting paid like an elite signal-caller.

Would Foles represent an upgrade? And would he be able to survive the wave of hits that comes with playing behind this offensive front?

With the head coach out of options, we might soon find out. But it doesn’t sound like Vick has been officially demoted just yet.

“I just tell my guys to keep fighting. Keep fighting, don’t let it spiral out of control,” said Vick. “But you can only say so much and sometimes I get tired of talking. You get tired of talking and it’s more about letting your actions speak louder than your words. But it has to come from everybody. Not one person can individually win the game. Not three people, not five people. It takes 22 guys and 11 guys on special teams.”

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  • Tyler Phillips

    this would be treating symptoms without knowing the cause… except worse, because we are all aware that the root cause is awful situational playcalling. cut the damn marty cord

    • gmot44

      Yes before we demote vick, let go of Marty…please

  • Cranky Caucasian

    This is a coach that thought the second half against a very good Ravens defense was the right time to debut Kolb, so nothing would surprise me. At this point I want the change just for something interesting.

    • saunhi

      Ray Lewis must have been drooling:) Ditka (Espn) weighed-in reviewing game footage- Vick is getting no time. This team must run 40 times a game, forward not sideways. The group consensus was Vick has been forced to play on pure instinct.

      What the heck does he know about line play?

  • What Would Saracen Do?

    Unless Foles adds 100 pounds and learns to block, I can’t see him doing much better than Vick. Our o-line still has lots of problems blocking other teams’ dlines, and since Foles is less mobile/elusive than Vick, he will be sustaining a lot of hits.

    Man, this season has spiraled quickly out of control.

    • Septhinox

      No. Apples to Oranges. Why do people assume that Foles will get killed? Would Brady get killed? Or would he get rid of the damn ball? I’m not saying Foles will be Brady, but he almost assuredly won’t hold onto the ball as long as Vick.

      Vick brings a lot of the hits on himself. He makes the oline look a lot worse than needed due to his inability to do basic things like change protection, hit the hot read, and generally not hold onto the ball for 5 seconds.

      • What Would Saracen Do?

        I partly agree with you, because there are times when Vick does hold the ball too long and the way he continually dives headfirst drives me insane.

        But in the Falcons game, the Eagles made a real attempt to address the terrible o-line play by using a lot of 3 step drops, bubble screens, slant routes, and RB screens in order to get the ball out quickly, and Vick STILL got hit a lot.

        According to Sheil the Eagles didn’t run a single route longer than 15 yards on Sunday. If we give Foles the reigns right now, the offense we saw on Sunday is very near the ceiling of what we can expect from the offense. Honestly, I don’t know how much better Brady would do in our offense since we can’t block anyone.

        • Septhinox

          I was with you until you said you didn’t think Brady would do better.

  • saunhi

    This really is simple to assess- when Vick has protection he merrily completes his passes and occasionally runs when necessary. The conservative offense these last few games is Required because of the now THREE O-line injuries. Vicks turnovers trying to force plays or while under duress, were due to a QB trying to somehow compensate for no O-line, etc. Screens, shorts and runs until O-line rehabs.

    • A Big Butt and a Smile

      Exactly. Do any of the rookies this year have a winning record? Wilson in Seatlle I think and they were gifted a game thanx to the replacement refs. You put Foles in when the season is lost and you want o give him some playing time. Even then I wouldn’t behind this oline. But that makes more sense. Eagles are still second in the East and we have 5 divisional games left. Say what you want but VIck has owned the East the last couple of years. And we need those games.

  • JMB

    Why the Vick love? He’s awful. He was awful last year with a healthy Offensive Line.

  • Kimbafuzz

    The ONLY thing that *might* happen with a QB switch, is that Marty will dial up more running plays EARLY as opposed to late. Beyond that, I don’t see a benefit.

  • KeithPetres

    In the last 3 games, since the offense has been dialed down, Vick is averaging 6.1 yds/attempt. Only 1 QB has a lower (season-long) average than that. The reason it’s so low is because:

    In the last 3 games, Vick is completing 62% of his passes. That’s middle of the road in the NFL, but on an offense eschewing the deep pass, that’s pretty bad. Since, and including, the 2010 Vikings game, Vick has a 59.2% completion percentage (counting all games, including playoffs). That stat alone makes it worth benching Vick (59.2% would be the 24th best in the NFL both last year and this year). Vick’s career completion percentage is 59%.

    Since, and including the 2010 Vikings game, Vick has 32 turnovers in those 22 games.

    As nervous as I am about the Eagles starting a rookie, particularly when I haven’t seen any reporters offer analysis on how Foles looks in practice [hint hint :) ], Vick’s upside is getting dominated by his downside, and unfortunately has been for a while.

    Vick’s season in 2010 was phenomenal, and I’ll always love him for that – but, in the immortal words of Dennis Green, “HE IS WHAT WE THOUGHT HE WAS [extremely athletic, strong arm, but too inconsistent, and thus, not a good NFL quarterback]”

    More’s to pity.

  • FMWarner

    Unless there is some issue with leadership or sentiment in the locker room that we’re not privy to, a QB switch is not going to fix anything because Vick is not the problem. He’s played reasonably well several weeks in a row now, and I can’t imagine a rookie isn’t going to be subject to the same number of hits Vick is taking. Sure, maybe Foles will get the ball out a little faster, but will he know where it’s going?

  • Sarang

    Honestly, Vick played well on Sunday…he was the only one on the team IMO that showed some fire

  • JimK

    Time to trade Vick for Sanchez. Won’t help either team but will give us something else to talk about.