The Eagles have their next starting quarterback, and he's been sitting on the bench. It took an injury to starting QB Kevin Kolb to get him on the field. Now if the Eagles want to compete, they need to keep Vick under center.
Vick was a former Pro Bowl caliber QB that knows about winning in the NFL recently. He's only five years separated from a visit to the NFC Championship game, where he lost to his current team led by Donovan McNabb. His experience and mobility are key for keeping the Eagles competitive in 2010, and I'll list why below.
Experience under pressure
I know every QB starts out fresh and has to learn under his own, but whoever starts for this Eagles' offense is starting under more pressure than normal. If the Eagles want to compete this year, they would be doing themselves a disservice by starting Kolb. With the loss of starting center Jamaal Jackson, it is going to be hard for Kolb to start getting more experience recognizing opposing defenses and pressure schemes. The starting center normally assists in line blocking assignments to help divert pressure away from the QB. With Jackson gone, Vick's experience seeing multiple opposing defenses and blitz packages would be beneficial in keeping the offense in the game.
I think this one is a no-brainer. Vick is known for being one of the most mobile QB's in the league. He's the first QB to run for over 1,000 yards in a season and also holds most rushing QB records in the league. His 173 rushing yards by a QB in a single game is still an active record. The Eagles have issues along the offensive line. With competing in a very defensive-savvy NFC East, they need to find any advantage they can. Vick's speed is a bad mismatch against any lineman or linebacker in the front seven of the opposing team's defense. If pressure starts to collapse the pocket, he can scramble out and turn any potential lost play into positive yardage. With such a talent on the sidelines, why wouldn't you put him on the field?
I think this is an underestimated reason by a lot of people, but I feel this could truly be the difference between Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. Kolb is out to prove he can start. Vick is out to prove he deserves a second chance and still has "it." Vick had everything. His 10 year, $130 million contract was unheard of in 2004, not including the marketing endorsement from Nike. He was the highest paid player in the NFL and had the world at his fingertips. It's funny how one poor judgement call can completely ruin you, isn't it? He lost his entire fortune, endorsements, everything for his direct involvement with a dog fighting ring.
Vick has to prove to everyone that he learned his lesson and that he deserves to be the face of a franchise again. He paid his debts to society, but he won't ever be able to shed his image caused by his legal troubles. I know that Kolb wants to prove that he's deserving of his starting spot, but Kolb hasn't tasted success like Vick has. Vick has everything to lose if he doesn't put his best effort forth in each game. If he doesn't prove he still has the skills, no team is going to risk the P.R. flak from all the animal activists and anti-Vick campaigns.
Overall, I know Andy Reid keeps claiming he's going to start Kolb if he's healthy. I understand that he wants to develop Kolb since he seems to exhibit the skills to be effective in his West Coast style offense, but the NFL is a "Win Now" league. Philadelphia is not a forgiving town. If they know you have the answer sitting on the bench, it won't take more than a loss or two to start the chants for Vick to take the reigns and the "boo-birds" to come flying heavy at Lincoln Financial.