The Eagles needed a guy who could more efficiently run the west coast offense. They needed a guy who could be more accurate on the short throws. They needed a guy who got the ball out quickly rather than a guy who might get sacked a bit more often while attempting to make a play.
Overall, they just needed a guy whose strengths were all of Donovan McNabb's weaknesses, and that is exactly how they wound up with Michael Vick.
Of course we all know the saga of how Vick wound up being named the Birds' starter with Kolb's benching -- or, if you ask Andy Reid, Vick's promotion -- but wouldn't this entire situation have been a whole lot easier had the team just kept McNabb in town?
Overall, Vick is basically the same guy, just not as good. Sure, he's a better athlete, but when it comes to passing the ball he still isn't on the same level as McNabb. But, for argument's sake, they're basically the same guy running basically the same offense.
Reid thinks Vick is the best option for his team now because he might actually be realizing that he does not run the west coast offense. The west coast was built around balance between the run and pass, a short and efficient passing game, and using the running back as another receiving threat with swings and screens that can "substitute for runs."
Outside of that last one, does any of that sound like the "Andy Mornhinweg" offense?
So now that they've traded McNabb, they've left themselves with a quarterback situation that is now even more uncertain than it was at the beginning of the season.
What happens to Vick at the end of the year? Do they resign him? Do they slap him with the franchise tag? Do they let him walk and try with Kolb again? Do they trade Kolb? Do they franchise Vick and then trade him? Do they cut Kolb while there's no salary cup to get out of the extension they gave him?
But, if McNabb is still in town, this isn't even a discussion. Had they simply extended McNabb they would very likely be sitting at 2-0 right now, would have Vick as the backup and gadget player, and could have moved Kolb for a Matt Cassel-like bounty.
The goal for the team and the city would be the Super Bowl and fans would look forward to games with excitement rather than just curiosity.
Unless Vick takes the team to a Super Bowl the decision to trade McNabb will forever be looked at as one of the worst trades a team has ever made. Even if Vick is wildly successful in Philadelphia, people will wonder whether or not McNabb could have done more.
And even still, Vick is not the guy who was supposed to replace McNabb. It was Kolb. And now Kolb has been replaced after two quarters as the team's starter.
So let me ask again, why exactly did the Eagles trade McNabb?
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