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Michael Vick as Philadelphia Eagles' QB is a Move the Team Had To Make

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles calls the play in the huddle during the third quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 19, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Eagles defeated the Lions 35-32.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Ryan ComstockCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2010

A day after Eagles coach Andy Reid plainly stated that Kevin Kolb would be his starting quarterback, Reid ran his own version of a reverse when he decided to go with Michael Vick.

This was the right move for the Eagles on a number of counts.

First, Vick has been stellar during his time on the field this season.  In basically one and a half games played, he has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 459 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, giving him a passer rating of 105.5.

Vick has also run for 140 yards, showing the big-play ability he had in his time with the Atlanta Falcons.  He had some experience running a variation of the option in his time with Atlanta and with the Eagles in 2009.  By keeping him as the starter, Philadelphia can continue to run those plays, as they did Sunday in Detroit, without worrying about breaking up any kind of continuity, a widely held criticism of their use of Vick last season.

In Week 2, a 46-yard run by LeSean McCoy was the result of an option-read by Vick, one example of the added dimension this move brings.

Philadelphia could, potentially, have a much more explosive offense with Vick running the show than with Kolb, something Reid must have taken note of during the film review that ultimately led to his decision.

Second, the Eagles allowed an average of 36 sacks a year from 2005 through 2009, including highs of 42 and 49 in '05 and '08.  In 2009, the team amassed 38 sacks allowed. 

Kolb was sacked three times in about a half of play in 2010 and Vick has already been sacked nine times.  They need his ability to avoid the pass rush and keep the play alive.

The players also seem to enjoy playing with Vick more than they did with Kolb.  Philly's offense looked lifeless with Kolb at quarterback in their first game of the season and has come to life since Vick replaced him. 

His explosiveness has energized the team. 

After scoring on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Vick, receiver DeSean Jackson refused to keep the ball, insisting that Vick take it as a memento.

It may not have been a world-changing event, but it was a sign of serious chemistry between Vick and the Eagles' best player.

The most important aspect in all of this is that Philadelphia is protecting itself from controversy.

If Vick trots out there and throws up stinkers in his next two games, the Eagles can easily pull him out in favor of Kolb, say they gave Michael his opportunity, he failed, and they are now going with Kolb as their quarterback of the future.

This set of circumstances would allow Reid to let Kolb go through the growing pains that come with young quarterbacks without having to constantly look over his shoulder like he would have if he were the starter in Week 3. 

Vick would be free to pursue a starting gig in 2011, one that would surely be available.

For right now, Vick gives Philadelphia the best chance to win.  He provides constant big-play ability on the ground and through the air with arm strength vastly superior to Kolb's.

The Eagles have allowed themselves to be free from quarterback controversy for the remainder of the season, and for NFL fans, really, this is great news.

The most exciting player in the league is playing full-time again.

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