Per “Vick vs Kolb, Part I”, we know that the skill position players seem to get their share of touches and have similar numbers regardless of who the quarterback is. The main difference, strictly according to the numbers discussed, was Vick’s ability with his legs. Both Kolb and Vick can throw the ball, but it is what 7 can do on the ground that makes him unique and special to the position.
How special? Special enough to lock him up for the next 5 years? Special enough to pay him among the top in NFL QB salaries?
Remember, it is what makes him so special that makes him such a risk. By nature, Vick is an injury waiting to happen. He admits he doesn’t know how to slide and has never really made it a part of his game. He takes a beating. I’ll never fault a guy for going out there and putting it on the line. But when a team is counting on you to be there for an entire season… you can’t go out and get hurt trying to pick up an extra 3 yards in week 5 (hypothetical).
So you need to keep the backup QB in mind when you decide which starting QB is right for the Eagles. Remember when Randall Cunningham went down in week 4 in 1993? They were 4-0 at the time. Do the names Bubby Brister and Ken O’Brien ring a bell?
Aside from injury, think about the team the Eagles have now. Did the offensive line do a good job of protecting either? Did the defense do a good job of keeping opponents out of the endzone? They gave up 23.6ppg (21st). What about special teams? How many times did the Eagles give up great field position on the kickoff? Compare that to the number of times they started out with great field position.
My point is, there are a lot of holes on this team. Can you address those holes if you throw a ton of money at Michael Vick? The draft is great for building, but this team has talent to win NOW if they can address a few key positions: Offensive Line, Defensive Back, Linebacker. Yes, they still need to look at safety and defensive line…but they can’t address it all through FA.
Let’s say the Eagles were to let Vick walk, hand the keys to Kevin Kolb… and then brought in Nnamdi Asomugha, Logan Mankins and Chad Greenway (say what you want, but it’s possible). Would you take that deal? You can then address the safety position in the draft, as well as depth at OL and LB. In terms of a backup QB, there are plenty of veterans available who would provide more punch than Brister and O’Brien.
Personally, and in a realistic world, I think you can get Asomugha while keeping Vick on board. For the record, I’m in favor of that. However, the last time the Eagles really threw money around at studs was 2004 when they brought in Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse. Remember what happened that year?
(Photo Caption:) “Asante, how much do you want to have Asomugha on the other side?”
You have to ask yourself this question: Do you want an explosive QB that masks the inefficiencies of a team or a team that is solid throughout? I want an explosive QB on a solid team. I’m just not convinced that the Eagles organization will put that together. Will they spend the money to keep talent as well as add talent? The players are out there. There is no cap in 2011. The Eagles have proven to be magicians with contracts and making them work. What are the excuses?
I believe in Michael Vick as a QB for this team. I don’t think it is fair to judge Kolb and say he can’t play in this league, because we really don’t know. What we do know is that Vick is the real deal. If you can put the protection around him and build a solid defense, there is no reason this team can’t be Super Bowl contenders in 2011 and for the next 3-4 years.
Will the Eagles build that team? Or continue to simply try to convince everyone to buy into the the high motor, undersized, value pick, coming off an injury, doesn’t play that position, but he’ll learn type of guy.
What they decide at the QB position may begin to tell us all.