Michael Vick and how to handle QBs


Ken Whisenhunt's handling of quarterbacks has influenced my thinking even though the decision to start Derek Anderson could make him vulnerable to easy (if unfair) criticism.

The Whisenhunt philosophy, in short, is that players aren't entitled to starting jobs just because they were high draft choices or earning large sums of money. There can be exceptions. A rebuilding team might have valid reasons for playing a highly drafted rookie quarterback even if the No. 2 option is slightly better right now.

The situation with Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb in Philadelphia has sparked debate on the general subject. ESPN.com has culled various staffers for opinions on which player should start. My take:

I'm not sure what all the drama's about. Everyone in the Eagles' locker room can see Michael Vick is the best option right now. Go with him and make no apologies. Andy Reid's obligation is to the team. His first responsibility is to play the best players, not to make sure Kevin Kolb or anyone else gets a fair shake. This is not about sticking with Kolb just because that was the plan when the team decided to part with Donovan McNabb. The Eagles made that move because they thought Kolb was better than McNabb and they knew McNabb wasn't viable as a backup for a variety of reasons. They're going with Vick over Kolb now because they think he's their best option. If Kolb is the best option next week or next month or next season, play him then. But let's not go overboard reacting to a logical football decision.

If you disagree with the Vick decision from a football standpoint, that makes more sense to me in principle. But if you think Kolb should start just because the team targeted him during the offseason, you might think Matt Leinart and Jason Campbell should be starting at University of Phoenix Stadium in Week 3. And that line of thinking seems less logical, at least to me.