Is Michael Vick's early season brilliance a flash in the pan, or is he back to his old self?
Ah, the classic quarterback controversy.
More often than not, it centers around two schools of thought. Does a coach—in this case, Eagles skipper Andy Reid—start the guy who gives his team the best chance of winning? Or does he go with the guy who's "supposed" to start.
Personally, I don't understand why this is even an issue. It's one thing if it's August of 1991, and you're New York Giants coach Bill Parcells. You have to pick between Jeff Hostetler—the guy who just won you a Super Bowl—and Phil Sims, a future Hall of Famer who was showing signs of slowing down.
Now that's a controversy.
Sims had a decade of proven performance.
But Kolb? He had two quarters. There is no controversy here.
Earlier this week, ESPN.com polled their NFL experts on who they thought the Eagles' starter should be, and the vote was overwhelmingly in Kolb's favor. Each expert was allowed a paragraph or so to defend his or her choice.
Most of the logic was hit or miss, but revered football writer John Clayton made a particularly uncharacteristically asinine comment:
"But they shouldn't start Vick now. That might be an option if Kolb failed, but he needs weeks of failure, not just a part of a game to show what he has or doesn't have."
Weeks of failure? Really? With all due respect, does Clayton not realize that the NFL season is 16 games? "Weeks of failure," seriously?
While it's true that Vick's performance has historically been somewhat of a mixed bag—much like this story, I haven't written sports in a while—he's found his groove again. His legs are back, and his accuracy is much improved.
Kolb might be better on paper, and in reality, for that matter. But it's all about the proverbial "spark" that each and every team needs. Right now, Vick is the guy for that; shaky, gimpy and unconfident Kolb is not.
True, Vick might revert to his old ways of inconsistency and the Eagles might very well find themselves in a slump come November. But hey, at least your future franchise QB is right over there on the sideline holding a clipboard ready to go.
Bottom line? The NFL season is a short one, and the archaic notion of sacrificing the most important position on the field in the name of principle is ridiculous.
You go with what allows you to win now.
Kudos to Andy Reid for coming out of his notoriously stubborn shell and realizing that.