I predicted that the Philadelphia Eagles were destined to be a mediocre team this season. "Write it on a wall," I wrote. "It can't happen any other way. Tthe 2010 Philadelphia Eagles are not built to win this year."
I was kinda wrong.
Let's begin at the beginning. Every fan was in shock when the Eagles signed Vick, fresh outta jail. He didn't seem to be an Eagles-type guy.
But he was signed, and once the question of Vick's moral turpitude was put to rest (along with his dog collection), we adopted him as one of our own. Let's not address this here.
It didn't hurt that he played at a level miles above what Kevin Kolb would've pulled off; In fact, other than Randall Cunningham, vintage 1990, this may be the best by a man in Midnight (or Kelly) green.
But, as pleasurable as this season has been, it wasn't as good as 1990, when the Eagles posted a 10-6 record, the same as this year.
Randall Cunningham, 1990.
271-465, 3,466 yards, 58.3% completion,
30 TDs, 13 interceptions,
118 rushes, 942 yards, 8.0 YPC, 5 rushing TDs.
Michael Vick, 2010.
233-372, 3,018 yards, 62.6% completion
21 TDs, 6 interceptions.
100 rushes, 676 yards, 6.8 YPC, 9 rushing TDs.
10 Reasons Why The Philadelphia Eagles Can't Win The Super Bowl With - Or Without - Michael Vick.
10. Eagles Fans Want Vick To Be What Randall Cunningham Almost Was.
Randall Cunningham's style seemed so great, on paper. Hike the ball, go through your reads, and, if nothing is there, take the f--k off and get yards with your legs. I'll never forget the year -1990- when our quarterback led the team in rushing yards.
942, if memory serves.
See, QB-styles like Cunningham -and Vick- work as well in theory as Communism does. However, as we all know, neither of them live up to expectations in the real world.
Either coaches decide to jam a scrambling QB peg into the pocket-passer hole (see Doug Flutie, Archie Manning, Steve Grogan, Donovan McNabb, et al.), or a scrambling QB becomes the running back with the lowest jersey number on his team.
And what of successful scramblers? They all brought something else to the table.
John Elway had a howitzer attached to his right shoulder. Roger Staubach is underrated as a 'touch' QB; Steve Young is fairly-rated as one. And Fran Tarkenton? He did it best.
Michael Vick ain't Fran Tarkenton.
9. Vick Either Becomes Our Quarterback of the Future, or He is Out After 2010.
If he is great, the Eagles gotta sign him, and that means Jeff Lurie's gotta whip out the checkbook.
And in the memo section of a bunch of older checks, he'll see where he wrote "Kevin Kolb, Development Project", for whom Jeff whipped the checkbook out last year.
And here's the truth, friends: Unless Vick is photographed kissing the Lombardi trophy next February, the salary-maximizing move for #7 is to go elsewhere. Doesn't Minnesota have a history of taking our scrambler-sloppy-seconds?
8. Does Anyone Remember What Good Defenses Do To Vick?
Michael Vick had two fantastic games; both against sh-tty defenses. C'mon, did the Lions really test him?
And what happens to Michael Vick when he's up against strong defenses? He becomes inconsistent, and he makes sh-t decisions.
And that is why Vick never was an A-Tier QB before his felony conviction.
Every D-Coord. knows how to defend Michael Vick; stunt blitzes in a 4-3, with DEs staying the f--k home to cut off the screen pass / outside running lane. 3-4s used a QB spy - usually a MLB, and occasionally a Free Safety - who parked his ass between the hashes and made sure #7 either dumped the ball somewhere, or ran out of bounds.
If Vick made better decisions, that strategy would bite defenses right in the ass. But he doesn't. And it will work, especially because...
7. The Eagles Offensive Line Sucks Donkey Balls.
What was the last Eagles Offensive Lineman to make it to the Hall-Of-Fame? If your answer was "none", you're correct.
Left tackle Jason Peters commits 32 false starts a game, and new right guard Max Jean-Gilles looks like he's never even been in the middle of a f--king football game in his life!
Winston Justice? Mike McGlynn? These guys wouldn't have been allowed to watch the Eagles play on TV, let alone play for the Eagles, five years ago.
False start penalties are not concentration penalties, as Andy Reid suggests. They are fear penalties, pure and simple.
I've committed false start penalties, and do you know why? Because I knew that, in zero-point-three seconds after the ball is hiked, a defensive player who is better, stronger and/or faster than me is going to use my flailing carcass as the welcome mat he will wipe his cleats on before removing my quarterback's head.
And holding penalties are just fear penalties committed after the ball is snapped. "You may get past me, defender, but you're carrying my ass along with you."
With a suspect O-line, you don't need to blitz the entire team to get penetration. And if you can pressure the quarterback and still have the bulk of the defense actually covering potential targets downfield, you're gonna win the match.
6. Prior To His Crimes Against Man's Best Friend, Vick Was Already Banged The F--k Up.
We had the luxury of not giving a sh-t when Vick was injured in Atlanta, so we're not as aware of this, but Vick missed most of the 2003 season with a broken leg, and most of 2005 and 2006 with injuries. And he's 30. Which ain't old, but it ain't NFL-young either.
The next five will presuppose that Kevin Kolb regains his starting job.
5. Michael Vick is a Better Athlete Than Kevin Kolb.
4. Nobody on the Offensive Side Of The Field Has Any Faith in Kevin Kolb.
And why should they?
3. There Are Less Offensive Options With Vick On The Sideline.
2. Defenses Will Blitz Kevin Kolb 25 Plays a Game. And Sack Him 15 Times.
And who's gonna stop them? Brent Celek?
1a. Kevin Kolb Has The Arm Of A 13-Year-Old Girl.
And Wide Receivers can't stretch the field if he can't throw down it.
1b: Michael Vick Keeps His Defense off The Field.
And, with Kevin Kolb, each set of downs goes like this:
First Down: Running play, o-line folds, no gain.
Second Down: Pass; Kolb completed a pass to the turf 3 yards behind his intended receiver, no gain.
Third Down: Pass play, Kolb snaps the ball, he is blitzed, he gets happy feet, realizes that he is in the wrong line of work, and heaves the ball in the general direction of SWOOP, the Eagles' mascot.
Fourth Down: Punt.
1c. Invariably, Offensive Production Will Eventually Be Slung Onto The Shoulders Of The Starting Running Back, LeSean McCoy.
1c(i) And LeSean McCoy Ain't Brian Westbrook. Or Wilbert Montgomery, or Keith Byars, or Herschel Walker, or "For Who For What"*, or Duce Staley, or Charlie Garner, or Heath Sherman.
*Every Eagles fan knows who I mean. I refuse to type his name.