Vince Young and Michael Vick make up a speedy quarterback core
PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Philadelphia Eagles caused a lot of commotion during this offseason when they brought in a load of new talent to the team. Though Nnamdi Asomugha was the biggest headline, they also brought in a quarterback who has already won at the national level, Vince Young.
Despite Young being a first-round NFL draft pick for the Titans in 2006—and this being his sixth year in the league—he hasn't amassed any great numbers sitting at 42 touchdowns and 42 interceptions.
Of course, the Tennessee Titans aren't known for manufacturing extremely impressive quarterbacks, as former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher was a defensive-minded kind of guy.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid, on the other hand, loves to focus on the offensive play-caller position and has built a talented staff around him to help.
As the longest tenured head coach in the NFL, Reid has seen a lot of great and not-so-great quarterbacks pass through the Eagles organization. He has turned third-string, fifth-round pick quarterbacks into winning starters when he's had to, such as A.J. Feeley and Jeff Garcia.
Feeley was third on the quarterback depth chart for the Eagles during the 2002 season when he was called upon to run the Philadelphia offense after starter Donovan McNabb and backup Koy Detmer were injured and unable to play.
Will Vince Young succeed Michael Vick one day?
He guided the team through the final five games of the season, winning four of them and helping to keep the Eagles' Super Bowl hopes alive until McNabb retook command again in the playoffs.
Jeff Garcia was signed to the team in 2006 in a one-year contract to back-up McNabb. When the injury-prone McNabb suffered a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 19 against the Titans, Garcia took over for the remainder of the season.
Garcia started the next week against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football in front of a national audience.
The Eagles were dominated by the Colts and lost the game 45-21, leading some broadcasters, including former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, to write the team off as done for the year.
Despite the disastrous performance, Garcia broke the odds and lead the Eagles to five straight wins and into the playoffs.
They defeated their NFC East division foe, the New York Giants, in their first playoff game to clinch the division, but ultimately lost in the divisional playoffs against the New Orleans Saints in a game noted for the chest-crushing hit Saints running back Reggie Bush suffered from Eagles corner Sheldon Brown.
One of the latest quarterbacks to come into the Eagles organization, Kevin Kolb, was a late second-round pick out of Houston and quite a surprise to Eagles fans who were somewhat dismayed when he was drafted.
In only a few years, Reid's coaching staff turned that second-round pick into a first-round talent and traded him at great value to start for the Arizona Cardinals.
There is a good chance that three-time Earle Neale Award winner Andy Reid and the Eagles will do it again with Vince Young.
Though it was just a couple drives into the preseason, undoubtedly Vince Young physically looked better in his debut with the Eagles than he did during his time in Tennessee.
A slimmer Young took the field against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night in the Eagles' first real "practice" since joining last season's NFL Comeback Player of the Year Michael Vick in Philadelphia.
Once Vick left the game after guiding the Eagles down the field for a touchdown, Young took the field to an ovation of Eagles fans in his debut with the team.
Young ended up playing in two drives, his first drive ending in a field goal by new Eagles kicker Alex Henery.
His night was highlighted by a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Chad Hall, in which he bought some extra time by rolling away from would-be tacklers and keeping his eyes downfield to find an open receiver.
Young finished the night passing 3-of-5 for 45 yards in addition to a six-yard scramble.
It seems Young is still getting accustomed to the Eagles offense, wearing a quarterback arm band outlining playcalls. He also showed signs of hesitation, getting sacked once instead of getting rid of the ball and then being called on an intentional grounding foul, which ultimately ended his night.
Despite these issues, Young is showing great promise even though he's only had a few weeks to get used to Andy Reid's offensive system.
Young has always had the physical attributes to be a star playcaller in the NFL at nearly 6'5", but his ability to understand complicated offenses and make great reads instead of trying to make a play on the run is one of his biggest issues.
Luckily he's a backup and is playing behind a quarterback who had those same type of issues just a few years ago in Michael Vick.
By evidence of last year's final statistics, it seems Andy Reid's coaching staff took care of most of those issues with Vick and he's now poised to put up even better numbers this season as he's been given a year to become acclimated to the Eagles offense.
I'm not saying we should get rid of Michael Vick, he has immeasurable talent and experience, but he is only in his second season with the Eagles and he's over 30 years old. I'm sure Andy Reid is already planning ahead, much as he did with Kevin Kolb.
I suppose there could be no better place for Vince Young to succeed than in Philadelphia.
I fully expect him to.
Daniel Kablack is founder of Big East Voice: An online network covering Big East Conference Football and Basketball
He also follows the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies | Click to Follow Daniel Kablack and BigEastVoice on Twitter (Link Opens in New Window)