Andy Reid's Faith in Michael Vick Pays Off: Philadelphia Eagles Continue To Soar

Rob ShaefferContributor IINovember 7, 2010

Michael Vick is back. And he's better.
Michael Vick is back. And he's better.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2010 season with an unfamiliar new face of the franchise: Kevin Kolb.

Kolb was the man Andy Reid handpicked as the successor to Donovan McNabb when he shockingly drafted the unheralded quarterback in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft.

What was he doing?

Two years later, Reid added Michael Vick to the quarterback depth chart much to the surprise of media and Eagle fans alike.

What was he doing?

Reid finally cut the chord with his buddy Donovan this offseason, when he shockingly shipped the greatest quarterback in the history of the franchise to the division-rival Redskins.

What was he doing?

The keys to the Cadillac were handed to Kolb, who showcased his talent in limited playing time when McNabb was injured in 2009.

So it was time to cut ties with Vick, right? Is a $5.25 million backup quarterback really necessary? Apparently so, as the Eagles picked up Vick’s option and Reid held onto him despite numerous trade rumors.

What was he doing?

Andy Reid got rid of an aging quarterback and decided he was better off with two talented, though largely unknown commodities rather than one.

Reid was keeping around some insurance, that's what he was doing.

And he cashed in on his Vick policy in just the third quarter of the season.

For some context, Michael Vick passed for just 86 yards in 2009 and rushed for 95. This came after a two year absence from the game which he spent in prison about as far removed from the NFL as you can get.

But when he was needed most after Kolb went down with a concussion, Vick answered the call and nearly led the Eagles back against the Packers, leading an inept first-half offense to 17 points in the second.

After the game, Reid stood by his man--Kevin Kolb.

And then he didn't.

And then Vick got hurt.

And Kolb played pretty well.

And then Vick came back and was given the reigns.

And then Michael Vick beat Peyton Manning and the Colts.

Perhaps the greatest athlete to ever play the quarterback position, Vick’s dedication to the game has begun to catch up with his natural ability. He could always run and he could always throw, but now he understands when to run, and when to throw.

It's cliche, but I can't help but compare Vick's quick release to throwing darts. He doesn't have to be the most accurate quarterback in the league, because he has more than enough arm strength to make up for it.

Defenders simply don't have time to react.

Vick is now a dual threat whose arm has caught up with his legs. And keep this in mind—he's started just three games in the last four seasons.

So what's next? Will he get even better?

It's already been a mind-boggling season for the Eagles, from concussions to quarterback controversy, and yet halfway through the team is on pace for 10 wins.

The schedule only gets more difficult, but led by their do-it-all quarterback, the Eagles look confident and as capable as any team in the NFC at making a run at the Super Bowl.

And so, in a rebuilding year it’s not the anointed successor to the McNabb Era, Kevin Kolb, who is leading the Eagles to a surprising 5-3 start. It’s Michael Vick.

Vick has become the face of the franchise in the year of Kolb.

Most of the credit must certainly go to Vick for rehabilitating his life and for rehabilitating his approach to the game of football.

But let’s also save a little credit for Andy Reid, whose once mind-boggling decisions appear to have paid off—at least until next week.