The Eagle Has Landed: Why Philadelphia's Signing of Michael Vick Is Smart

David RosenblumCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 14: Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks at a press conference at the NovaCare Complex on August 14, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Vick signed a one-year contract, with a second year option, with the Eagles.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Is someone playing a joke on us or is Michael Vick really a Philadelphia Eagle?


Now that I have had time to get over my initial reaction upon hearing the news that Michael Vick signed a two-year contract with my Philadelphia Eagles, I feel that I can finally analyze the pros and cons of the situation. 

On one side, I am still shocked that the Eagles, of all the 32 teams in the NFL, went out and signed a person with the public relations problems that Michael Vick brings.  When Vick got reinstated, I think everybody was waiting for someone like Al Davis to sign him to a ludicrous contract, but NOBODY, and I mean nobody, saw this coming. 

Every single person that I talked to within 15 minutes of hearing the news was shocked, but everybody had a different perspective.  So, now that Michael Vick is a Philadelphia Eagle, let’s discuss how he will affect our team.

There are many negatives that go along with the signing of Michael Vick.  Now we have to deal with PETA and the various animal rights and humane groups that despise Vick, and rightfully so.  The Eagles now have a shadow over the organization and really need Vick to prove that he has changed or else, as Jeffrey Lurie said, “This will have been a terrible decision.” 

As an organization, the Eagles will take a lot of heat for this decision.  Why the hell would they sign a convicted felon and not resign their Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins?  Dawkins is probably the most beloved player in Eagles history, and the organization turned off many fans, including myself, by being frugal and not matching the Broncos offer when they had $41 million to work with.

On the football side, Vick hasn’t played a down in 32 months, when he lost to the Eagles in the playoffs in 2006.  He has been serving time in jail where he probably has been able to stay fit, but over two years away from the NFL will hinder his reentry to the league.  Vick’s future also hinges on the decision of Roger Goodell, who may not even allow him to play football this season. 

When Vick is cleared to play, will he be able to compete in the NFL?  We simply don’t know how his skills will carry over from over two years ago.

Initially, I thought that there were many more negatives than positives when it came to signing Michael Vick.  After hours of thinking and researching, I believe that the upside is huge.  If Vick can contribute to the team and to the Philadelphia community then the Eagles just made the best investment of all time. 

The man is on a mission to change his life, and I believe Tony Dungy when he says that Vick is truly remorseful for what he has done in the past.  I also trust Andy Reid, who understands the predicament that Vick is in after dealing with the multiple problems that his sons have had.

Think about this: Michael Vick now has the opportunity to redeem himself as a person and a football player.  Many people remember that Vick was not the greatest passer when he was in Atlanta.  I agree with this, but on the upside, Vick hasn’t thrown a pass in two years.  That’s two years less of repeating poor habits. 

The Eagles have great coaching and a mentor in Donovan McNabb, and I’m sure that this will make it easier for the Eagles to teach Vick how to be a proper passer.

By not playing football in two years, Michael doesn’t have the wear and tear of two football seasons.  Instead of being a veteran with eight years of grueling football under his belt, he is fresh and has only played four full seasons of football in his career.  The upside is tremendous. 

Not only can Vick refine his game and become a better quarterback, but he has the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game in Donovan McNabb.  While quietly improving his passing game, Vick can add a new dimension to the Eagles offense that could make them Super Bowl bound.

I am so happy that the Eagles have signed Michael Vick because of how much I dread the end of the McNabb Era and the beginning of the Kolb Era in Philly.  Now I am certain who Donovan’s successor will be, and I am fine with it.  When the Eagles picked Kevin Kolb I was livid. 

I had waited over six hours for the Eagles to make a pick, and they took an unproven QB out of Houston.  No offense to Kolb, but I just don’t think he has the skills and demeanor to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

As I have always said, I support Donovan McNabb.  There are many McNabb haters throughout the country and throughout Philadelphia, but am a firm believer in No. 5.  I remember the days of Bobby Hoying and Doug Petersen, of Ty and Koy Detmer, and I ask Eagles fans, “Why do you hate McNabb?”  Before McNabb we were losers. 

With him the Eagles have made the playoffs seven times with five trips to the NFC Championship and one trip to the Super Bowl, which we were cheated out of.  What more can you ask of a guy who has endured so much criticism.  Give him some respect! 

Someone once said, “You don’t know what you got til it’s gone,” and that feeling will hit Eagles fans once Donovan retires.

People have called for change and Obama is now showing his true colors, and it’s not what the American people thought it would be.  Philadelphia fans have to realize that Donovan has brought us some of our most cherished memories, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Let me paint a picture of a possible scenario for you.  The Eagles have the ball on offense.  It is late in the season and everybody is healthy and Michael Vick has learned the playbook and is ready to contribute. 

The offensive line is playing like a cohesive unit with Todd Herremans, Jason Peters, Jamal Jackson, Shawn Andrews, and Stacy Andrews providing a brick wall to protect Donovan McNabb. 

Split out on the field are Pro Bowl bound DeSean Jackson and sensational rookie Jeremy Maclin, both speed demons that are touchdown threats on every play.  Kevin Curtis or Jason Avant is lined up in the slot.  In the backfield, Donovan McNabb is lined up in the shotgun. 

On his right is a healthy Brian Westbrook, or if he has gotten hurt, a fresh LeSean McCoy.  On his left is Michael Vick…

If you are one of the other 31 defensive coordinators in the NFL, how do you defend that?  How?  Andy Reid could do anything in this offense.  Donovan can do a normal pass play, hand it off to Westbrook or Vick, they could direct snap to Vick, who can run or pass. 

It’s almost impossible to defend!  If that doesn’t get you excited to see Michael Vick in Eagles green, I guess you just aren’t fan enough.