With Vick Improving, Big Decision Looms

Eagles quarterback Michael VickThe news on Michael Vick Saturday was very positive. He is now symptom free and has moved into Phase 3 of the Eagles’ concussion program, where he can resume normal lifting with the strength coaches and take part in more intense workouts. Head trainer Rick Burkholder anticipates that Vick will return to non-contact football-related activities as early as Sunday.

While he still needs to pass the IMPACT test and be cleared by both an independent neurologist and team doctors, it is conceivable that Vick will be healthy enough to play in the near future.

The Eagles — and Vick — must decide on how to proceed from there.

Andy Reid has maintained that Vick is the starter when healthy. Meanwhile, the organization is rapidly approaching the crossroads and must choose a direction. The anticipation is that they make a change at head coach. The other major decision is at quarterback. Vick? Nick Foles? Door Number Three?

Foles has played six quarters so far and has struggled, completing 55 percent of his throws with a touchdown and three interceptions for a 58.9 quarterback rating. But growing pains are expected, especially when you are playing for a bad, injury-riddled team. To make any kind of sound evaluation, there needs to be a bigger sample size.

The 6-5 rookie will start Monday night against the Panthers, as Vick has been officially ruled out. Will Foles go back to the bench against Dallas next week? Or against the Bucs after that?

Management and Reid need to get on the same page and figure out what is best long-term, and then put the plan in motion.

There are two ways to look at it from the Vick perspective. On one hand, you may want to get back on the field ASAP to prove both that you are past the head injury and  a better quarterback than what you showed over the first nine games. This way, you can help control the narrative.

On the other hand, the narrative is going pretty well for Vick at the moment. With every errant Foles throw, the stock creeps up an inch. All while he rests out of harm’s way.

Given Vick’s competitive spirit, it is hard to envision him slow-playing this. If he is cleared, he is going to want to play even if his camp is against it (and some of them are).

That puts it back on the Eagles, who will soon be faced with a critical decision. In a hopeless, lifeless season, it is about all the intrigue that remains.

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  • JohnGiam

    Decision? evaluating Foles? wtf are you talking about? You can start Foles 100 games, but until someone around him decides to play, its impossible to evaluate him with the slop sorrounding him! foles need to start the last 6 games, and then the entire next season…then we can make a decision on him. some things you can evaluate regardless of the slop sorrounding him. But he needs to play this year, and then next year to know what he can really be. Even if Foles looks horrible these last 6 games, there are so many holes in this team, that we arent winning the superbowl next year with Foles, Vick or any other quarterback this team can realistically aquire. The qBs in this draft class, i would stay away from at all costs. We will have a high draft pick this year, and we wont have andy to mess it up, and we have a ton of needs in all phases of the game. so this year more then any other year. You take the best player available. You find a game changer, a leader, I dont care what position he plays, thats who you draft…IF I had it my way, I would do the exact opposite of what Andy would do, aND i WOULD JUST TAKE THE liNEBACKER TEO from Notre Dame. That kid is going to be a leader, and a game changing stud for years to come. Reid would never draft a linebacker in the first round, let alone picks 3-9…thats exactly why I do what I gotta do in this years draft to walk away from the first round with TEO. The kid will be a beast and a leader. You draft him, and right away you will solidify your linebacking core for years to come, and it will become a true strength. Keep Dameco in the middle, move Kendricks to WIL which is where he should be playing, and put Teo at the SAM. I try to trade as many veterans as possible for top draft picks, and after I take TEO, I start looking for Olineman, Dtackles, SAFETIES, a cornerback…you Give Foles the next year and a half to see if he is a franchise qb, and during that time you solidy all the spots around him…The following year there is a much better crop of qbs that will be available in the draft and free agency. The only way I consider anyone other then Foles as my QB next year, is if the Ravens game of hardball with Flacco goes south. Then again, they can always Franchise him so, FOLES it is!
    Please get me Jay Gruden! a coach who is running the hottest offense in the NFL right now, who has a First hand look at what a young franchise QB and WR look like, having coached AJ GREEN and Andy Dalton. Jon Gruden is the sexy choice, Jay Gruden is the SMART CHOICE!

    • JohnGiam

      I will say that the parts of the game, that DONT INVOLVE teamates, fOLES has looked great! The wy he read coach Hasletts suffisticated defense, saw the blitz was coming, changed the play at the line into a wide reciever screen that burned the blitzing defense for a big gain, was a thing of Beauty. anyone think Vick makes that Check at the line? As bad as Foles has looked, playing with these Mutts, already he has shown things that we want in a Franchise QB. He has shown to actually recognize a Blitz and change the play at the line to make a defense pay. That might not be a big deal around the country, but after 3 years with Vick, I damn sure appreciate that in a young QB> He is a Big sturdy Kid who sees over the line, and is really battle tested, being hit a million times in college and the nfl behind a bad line. He can make all the throws that a qb needs to make…I mean that first play, where he hits avant in the head 25 yards down the field, cold off the bench was a gorgeous throw. He isnt fast, but he has shown that he has a feel for the pocket, avoiding pressure, but always keeping his eyes down field looking for a reciever. and he has shown these things, in his 1st nfl start,. with a pathetic sorrounding cast.
      All the Intangables are there…whether he can put it all together consistantly to win, is what remains to be seen, and I just dont see how Foles, or anyone other then Superman would be able to show it, with this slop of a supporting cast this season. so I dont think there is this big decision to make. Vick aint the answer. NO qb’s will be available this summer. so what decision? Foles is your qb, the rest of the year and the entire next season. Lets not right Foles off yet. You wont hear anyone say that he has played well, but he has definitely shown flashes! You can take RG3, Luck, Tanahill,or any other young quarterback, and you sit him on the bench, give him NO first team reps since the preseason, and then Insert him during week 11, with like 4 days of first team reps, and sorround him with crap…and you got veteran pro bowl players who have perfectly thrown balls hit off their hands and get picked off…:oh and btw,. you have him drop back to pass on the road 61 times. I dont care who you are RG3, or Luck…you wont be successful in that scenario! Foles played, well the way you would expect anyone to play with those circumstances!
      Only a fool would say that Nick Foles is DEFINITELY NOT a franchise QB at this point, and unless these incompetant coaches start helping him, and these players dont grow a pair and start playing with pride….these next 6 games will be meaningless in trying to judge whether or not we can move forward with Foles. You have to give him an offseason, and season under a competant coach, with players who are still playing for something before you can make that decision.
      Andy is a Loyal guy, so I know for a fact that he will start Vick again this season to give him a chance to audition for his next job with another team…but andy needs to be loyal to us, and not waste more then a game or two being loyal to Vick. Let Foles play under this slop as much as possible. Baptism by fire. Let him make all the dumb mistakes this year. The game will never be harder for him then it is right now, playing with Bums, who are being led by fools, then you give him next year in a more stable scenario and after the year, when better QBs are available, then you make that decision! We have TOO MANY HOLES to waste on Players that Might not Pan out. We need, sure shot, cant miss players, and I dont care what position they come at!
      Celek and Macklin have to go! Celek for sure! I would be willing to give Macklin 1 more year, but only if you bring in a BIG reciever to play opposite of Desean and move Macklin in the slot. If you arent going to move Macklin in the slot, then just part ways with him now! see if you can get a 3rd rounder for him in the draft!
      Washburn nereds to be ordered to start playing the youngbucks. Graham has played great football in limited snaps all year long. He has brought an effort every time he has been on the Field. Time to start Curry and Graham! Im talking about a 1st and 2nd round pick, who we talk trash about, but we literally NO NOTHING about! 6 games left, Babin DEFINITELY wont be an Eagle next year, and if Howie knows what he is doing, then Trent Cole wont be an Eagle either…so start playing Graham and Curry exstensively, with Cox backing Graham up at end, and Hunt backing up Curry,..I dont want to see anyone other then Graham, cox, curry and Hunt to take another snap at Dend for the rest of the season. start Benching Nkamndi for curtis Marsh, so we can give that Bum a fair chance to prove that he is a bum, cut the cord, and move on!
      Banner, and andy reid terrible drafts have caught up!

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        “I will say that the parts of the game, that DONT INVOLVE teamates, fOLES
        has looked great! The wy he read coach Hasletts suffisticated defense,
        saw the blitz was coming, changed the play at the line into a wide
        reciever screen that burned the blitzing defense for a big gain, was a
        thing of Beauty. anyone think Vick makes that Check at the line?”

        Vick has been doing well against this blitz this year overall. So you’re working a tired narrative. Foles doesn’t look good…and Football requires teammates so the point you’re trying to make is moot. He’s not their guy…he is serviceable backup, but not a Franchise QB.

      • JM

        Are you his agent or something? You must have been watching a different game to me. Foles stunk against Washington.

        • Johngiam

          Foles or anyone else will stink sorry dead by garbage. Get real, u wanna judge a. Kid on a game n a half after not playing for months? A rookie in his first star reading the defense, changing the play at the line. To burn the blitzing d with a big screen isn’t I,pressive? You do realize he been sitting on a bench and hasn’t see any sort of game since August right? Do you really think given the exact circumstances that Luck, or RG3 would look any better? Those players have coaches that are actually putting them in positions to succeed. They aren’t asked to drop back 60 times on the road behind one of the biggest Oline debacles in the history of the nfl

  • JohnGlam

    And another thing…

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    Vick needs to sit and let Foles continue to look poorly behind this line so he can say “See told you it wasn’t me.” However, playing Foles behind this line does the kid a disservice. So, there are no good choices moving forward. However, from Vick’s perspective and a solely selfish viewpoint he should chill, recoop and watch his stock rise and the rookie continues to flail.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    On a sidenote…No LeSean McCoy on Monday? This is (likely) gonna be a very painful game for Foles.

  • UncleCarm

    I wonder if Seattle would part with Matt Flynn. He’s another guy with a small sample size, but who else might be available?

    • BlindChow

      Alex Smith?

  • Bob A

    I haven’t been one of those people that says Andy needs to be fired now rather than at the end of the season, because I don’t think anything significant would be gained by doing that. Those that want that to happen feel that a ‘negative feeling’ would be purged from the fan base but I actually think that as long as someone like Marty or Todd is head coach, you won’t be able to get past the negativity. However, while the 2012 season is a wash no matter what they do, the 2013 and 2014 seasons are at stake. We HAVE to learn about Foles. Therefore, if Reid insists on bringing Vick back next week, Lurie must immediately fire him and give the interim coach an absolute mandate to play Foles. It’ll be hard enough to find a coach that wants to be in this situation with Howie and Jeff, they can’t have an uncertain QB problem too. Lurie; find out his plans first thing Tuesday,and if he says Vick is back , hand him his pink slip.

  • Wilbert M.

    Foles should start the rest of the way. It’s a shame he will have no support from the coaching staff as far as a game plan to protect him or emphasize the running game, but they’ll be gone soon. Lurie needs to demand that players like Marsh, Hughes, Cooper, Sims, Polk, Curry, etc., all play substantial minutes. Lurie shouldn’t care if this team wins another game this year – from here on it should be about talent and character evaluation.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    its a shame the eagles are already giving up on winning this season.. Cutler and Alex Smith are both cleared to play Sunday and they both got their concussions the same day Vick did

    • Bob A

      Which of the following choices is most unlike the other two?
      A)7-2-1
      B)7-3
      C)3-7
      If you said C , you just answered your own question.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      You do realize concussions come in varieties right? No two concussions are the same, so just ’cause someone sustained theirs on the same day doesn’t mean they were of the same intensity.

      • BrickSquadMonopoly

        You know what? You’re soooooo right. The hit Cutler took was waaaaaaaaaaay worse

  • ttommy

    nick foles bad mechanics. less mobile than wheel chair ridden person. mike is a top 10 qb easy. get him in the hurry like oregon and ball out on people. they need to run alot of plays and keep it moving. mm is alot to blame tha dude is awful. bring in chip and lets keep vick till manziel comes out.speed kills ball out mv7 fa life. n them big runs against the saints vick changed the play so he aint dumb

    • limodriver2750

      I want summa he’s smokin’. You haven’t looked beyond WIP rhetoric or the end of your nose. Gotta think more realistically.

    • The Guru

      Top 10 QB? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • Jv

    VICK BETTEE PLLAY!! Hes The only good qb i have on fantasee foot ball with out him ima lose My games man!

  • xlGmanlx

    Regardless we need a new coaching staff with some new ideas to come in here and put their stamp on it. None of the coaches appear to be worthy of keeping around, even in reduced capacities

  • FMWarner

    As long as the Eagles were in contention for a playoff spot, I was strongly in favor of keeping Vick as the starter, because I thought he gave the team the best chance to win, and because I don’t think you can think about the future until the present is decided. But now that the team isn’t going anywhere, I can’t muster an argument to start Vick. He’s not going to be around next year, and even if he is, you know all there is to know. But you have to give the new coach some tape on Foles so he can decide if he needs to bring in a new guy.