Andy Reid Must Not Bench Eagles QB Michael Vick vs. Saints

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass on the run as Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons chases during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 28, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

It's very possible that Andy Reid is coaching his final season for the Philadelphia Eagles. Mired in a three-game losing streak, the team has looked far from a playoff contender in recent play.

But the last thing Reid and the Eagles need to do is give up on the season with nine games left to play. And that means it isn't time to give up on Michael Vick just yet, either.

Unfortunately, it's very possible that the Eagles will make the switch, according to Howard Eskin (via Spike Eskin of CBS):

94WIP’s Howard Eskin is reporting that the Eagles are likely to make the switch to Nick Foles for the team’s next game, next Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. Eskin says Andy Reid met with Eagles coaches after Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, because of Vick’s troubles. Eskin says Vick missed two audible calls during the game, and has made these mistakes consistently.

“The thing that concerns them is some of his calls at the line of scrimmage against base defenses are incorrect,” Eskin said. “The key thing I heard was, ‘it’s just not getting better.’”

While Vick was hardly at his finest against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, he stayed turnover free and finished 21-of-35 for 191 yards and just one touchdown. He may not have had the impact you would hope, but he wasn't the reason the Eagles lost to the Falcons.

That dubious distinction belongs to a defense that gave up 30 points.

We know Reid is desperate this season after owner Jeffrey Lurie stated in the offseason that matching last season's disappointing 8-8 record would cost Reid his job. We saw the first act of that desperation when Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo after a Week 6 loss to the Detroit Lions.

The next high-profile target to take the fall will be Vick. And, frankly, with 13 turnovers on the season, Vick's hardly made a strong case against a demotion.

But it's still too early to make the change to rookie Nick Foles. The Eagles are 3-4 on the season and are still very much in the playoff picture in the NFC. With five games left against the NFC East, it's not a stretch to think that this team could still win the division if it turns things around.

Next week, the Eagles get a New Orleans Saints defense that has experimented with a new coverage scheme all season long that I like to call "Cover Nobody." The rest of the schedule isn't particularly brutal after that: the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins twice, the Carolina Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants.

The Eagles have the talent to win seven of nine down the stretch, which is probably what it will take to save the season. But trying to do so with a rookie quarterback seems far too risky and the type of move a coach would make once he's given up on the season, not trying to save it.

Then again, Reid is trying to save his job. At this point, he may be willing to try anything, especially if he's lost faith in Vick's ability to run his offense.

Vick needs to play better, there's no two ways about it. What happened to the Vick we saw in 2010, the one that decisively made the proper reads, protected the ball and killed teams late in games with his clutch play and ability to scramble down the field?

If that Vick comes back, we're not having this discussion. I think the Eagles would be wise to give him one more shot to salvage this season.

But it's Reid's decision, not mine. And as his seat has grown scalding in recent weeks, his patience may have already burnt away.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are clutch like Romo. Sergio Romo, that is.

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