During the first quarter and a half of the Philadelphia Eagles' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, Michael Vick was under constant pressure from the middle of the offensive line and was running for his life.
Then, from the middle of the second quarter on, something changed and Vick suddenly was given time to throw from the pocket. He had time to look down the field, make his reads, and step into his throw which, of course, made him more accurate.
So what exactly changed?
Nick Cole and his two left feet found their way to the bench and Reggie Wells was inserted at right guard. From there, Vick started rolling and threw two more touchdowns and also ran for one—right behind Wells and the right side of the line.
Cole was sloppy and just plain lazy. He's a clear weak link on what could be an otherwise very good offensive line, and Wells proved that. Wells was certainly not without faults, but it was his first time playing as an Eagle and it was in the middle of the game. The fact that he only had two bad plays (by my count) is incredibly impressive.
With more time, Wells could definitely become the full-time starter and make the Eagles' offensive line much, much better.
But, instead, Max Jean-Gilles has been taking the reps at right guard while Cole has missed practice every day this week as the team prepares for the Washington Redskins and their new-look 3-4 defense.
Cole is officially listed as questionable and head coach Andy Reid has already made it clear that Jean-Gilles, and not Wells, will be the guy if (when) Cole is officially ruled out.
Jean-Gilles? The guy who had to have lap-band surgery to get down to an unimpressive 350 pounds, can't read a blitz if the defense spelled it out for him, and has the feet of my grandmother is going to be the guy Reid counts on for the most important game the Birds have played so far in this young season?
Let me just ask: What in the hell is he thinking?
Jean-Gilles belongs on a run-first team. He can be a road-grater due to his size, but when it comes to the athleticism needed to play guard on a pass-first team, Jean-Gilles doesn't even come close to passing that test.
I'm not exactly sure what Reid sees in Jean-Gilles (and Cole for that matter) and what he's not seeing in Wells, but he and I are certainly not watching the same games. Cole and Jean-Gilles have been nothing but disappointing, and Wells' two and a half quarters of play were far superior to anything those two have done this year or years prior.
Reid made the right choice and put the best quarterback on the field, now he needs to make the right choice and give him the best five offensive linemen he has.