Backup quarterback is becoming an increasingly important position in the NFL, and the Philadelphia Eagles have an immensely talented team set to compete for a Super Bowl title in 2012. What the team lacks though is a solid backup quarterback for when Michael Vick inevitably suffers some sort of an injury.
Vick has missed time due to injuries in both of his seasons as the Eagles’ starter, and he has started all 16 games in a season just once since the Atlanta Falcons drafted him first overall in 2001. Vick is going to be 32 years old by the time training camp rolls around, and he’s a mobile quarterback who plays a reckless style of football that leaves him heavily prone to injuries.
Vick suffered a ridiculous amount of injuries in 2011, as he was concussed, dealt with a hand contusion, dislocated his index finger and then broke several ribs later in the year. It’s highly unlikely he will remain injury-free in ’12, but the Eagles don’t have a capable backup quarterback that can step in.
Nick Foles was drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft, but he remains a project for now. I don’t think Andy Reid would feel the slightest bit comfortable about Foles stepping in to play if/when Vick gets hurt.
Mike Kafka has spent the last two seasons holding the clipboard as the third-stringer, and while he has a firm grasp on the West Coast offense, he lacks the physical skills to excel in this league. And former Buffalo Bills castoff Trent Edwards is exactly that—a castoff who has no business still being in the NFL.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said the Eagles could likely trade a sixth-round pick for McCoy, and should do so. McCoy really didn’t post very good numbers last year in Cleveland—57.2 completion percentage, 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 74.6 passer rating.
He has posted passer ratings of 74.5 and 74.6 in his two NFL seasons, winning six of 21 starts. McCoy struggles to hold onto the football, as he fumbled 11 times last year, and he’s still a developmental project himself.
But McCoy is more experienced in starting at the NFL level, and I think he would fit well with the talented players the Eagles have in LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek; plus a stable offensive line with Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis, and up-and-coming players Danny Watkins and Jason Kelce.
Outside of All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas, McCoy didn’t have anyone to work with in Cleveland. He was throwing the ball to guys like Greg Little (14 dropped passes), Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood, a washed-up Ben Watson and Evan Moore.
His running back, Peyton Hillis, ran for 587 yards on 3.6 yards per carry, and the backup, Montario Hardesty, totaled 266 ground yards and no touchdowns on 3.0 yards per carry.
The Eagles are in trouble if they think they can go into 2012 with Foles or Kafka as their backup, and a sixth-round pick is nothing to give up for a good project in McCoy.