Andy Reid's Only Shot to Keep Job Is Benching Michael Vick, Playing Nick Foles

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 14: Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles signals to his team during the second half against the Detroit Lions in a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 14, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Lions defeated the Eagles 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid is on the hot seat, and the only feasible way he can save his job is benching Michael Vick for rookie Nick Foles. 

The Eagles are 3-5 in a brutal NFC East division that is once against one of the NFL's best. Philadelphia, coming off the "Dream Team" fiasco of 2011, has once again disappointed in a major way despite the roster supposedly being one of the more talented in the NFL.

With an all-around average team, Reid has attempted to make changes. He recently fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, a man who probably shouldn't have been promoted to that degree in the first place, considering he was an offensive line coach before Reid moved him. 

What Reid hasn't done is make a change to the most important position in football. It's become quite apparent that Vick is on his way out as the man under center, and Reid and the front office found his replacement in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft in Foles. 

It's an unfortunate situation for Vick. While he hasn't played well, having set a record pace for turnovers with nine interceptions and seven fumbles in eight games, he's been stuck playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in all of football. 

After losing Jason Peters for the season to an Achilles injury, the Eagles offensive line has simply not been the same. While it ranks in the upper echelon in terms of run blocking, it also ranks in the bottom five in pass blocking according to ProFootballFocus

Vick has been under constant pressure all season and exposed to serious injury risk, but that won't matter when Reid feels his job is truly being threatened. 

A quarterback is the leader of every NFL team and perhaps the most important position in all of sports. He's also routinely used as an acceptable scapegoat for head coaches feeling the temperatures rising on their seats, even if he isn't truly the problem. 

Vick isn't the problem, but he'll be treated as one sooner or later, especially if the Eagles continue to dabble in mediocrity. 

The real issue for the Eagles is Reid's leadership and play-calling. After an 8-8 season and an absence from the postseason in 2011, Reid's job is shaky at best. If his team misses the playoffs again, the front office will use him as the fall guy in the same way Reid will use Vick. 

Foles is the only true way Reid can save his job at this point—and it's quite the long shot. The Arizona product was taken in the third round with the No. 88 overall pick for a reason. While Foles threw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2011 with Arizona, he was still considered a raw prospect that needed grooming.

If Vick cannot survive and be productive behind the current Eagles offensive line, Foles won't fare much better. He's massive at 6'5" and 245 pounds but lacks the elite athleticism that allows Vick to escape pressure. 

In all likelihood, with the Eagles once again reeling under Reid, Foles will have to save his job. It's a lot for any rookie to come in and play in the NFL, but it's not impossible for Foles to perform admirably and possibly salvage the Eagles season and Reid's job. 

At some point, Reid is going to have to go to Foles whether it's justified or not. A 14-year run with the Eagles could come to an end for Reid unless Foles can come in and successfully begin his own era, while extending Reid's.