Thursday, October 18, 2012
Report: Eagles will stick with Vick
By Dan Graziano
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday that he would spend the bye week evaluating every aspect of the team in an effort to find improvements. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Reid will not be making a change at starting quarterback before the Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons, and he will leave the offensive play-calling duties in the hands of his offensive coordinator:
Michael Vick will remain the starting quarterback when the 3-3 Eagles face the 6-0 Falcons and Marty Mornhinweg will still call the offensive plays, according to team sources.
Reid has yet to conclude all of his evaluations during the bye week, but the additional moves that he is expected to make won't be as significant as replacing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo with defensive-backs coach Todd Bowles.
Castillo was fired Tuesday morning in a move that puzzled many who noticed that the Eagles' defense ranked 12th in the league while the offense has scored more points than only one other team in the league. But while Reid had a qualified replacement in Bowles already on the staff, there are no easy solutions on offense. As we discussed here Thursday afternoon, switching to rookie Nick Foles at quarterback isn't a solution without its flaws. And Vick has led four fourth-quarter comeback drives this year, so there's some evidence that, if he can ever cut down on the turnovers, he can win games for the Eagles.
Furthermore, the Eagles' offensive line has been a wreck all year thanks to injuries to left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce, so it's likely that Reid will look first for changes and improvements he can make there. Poor offensive-line play limits any quarterback, and while Vick has done a good job staying healthy in spite of the hits he's taking and the responsibility for the turnovers ultimately falls on him, it might be wise to try and shake up the cast around Vick and improve his chances of success than it would be to turn the season over to Foles.
I still think that, if Vick turns the ball over a couple of times in the first half and the Eagles trail the Falcons, there's a better chance than ever that Reid could bench Vick during or after that game. These are desperate times for Reid, as the Castillo firing showed. But for now, he seems to wisely understand that Vick gives him the best chance to win.