“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.”