Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick Must Overcome Deficiencies on the Eagles or Face the Criticism

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles  walks off the field after a loss in a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Packers beat the Eagles 27-20.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
WesAnalyst ISeptember 8, 2011

I'm no descendant of the Howard Mudd coaching tree, but I think I know a screwed up offensive line when I see one.

When Kyle DeVan was named starting right guard the offensive line hit a snafu. Or should I say everything became fubar? Either way, the situation sucks and the Eagles are up against it as the head down to St. Louis for the season opener on Sept. 11.

Hopefully I am being an alarmist because Michael Vick has everything under control—maybe that's the point. Maybe it really doesn't matter who lines up to protect Vick because it is up to him to remedy any problems facing the Eagles.

I don't know if it's fair to ask Vick to carry the Eagles and flourish despite how poor the offensive line may be. But I'm of the opinion that when you sign one of the richest contracts in the league, you don't get excuses.

Aren't quarterbacks the great equalizers? Aren't quarterbacks who sign contracts worth PowerBall sums supposed to be more than that?

When Eli Manning signed the most lucrative contract for a quarterback in 2009, I put him directly in my corsshairs. I didn't care about his Super Bowl win in 2007, he had to validate his worth. As it turns out he hasn't won a playoff game since 2007 and I've bashed him relentlessly.

I don't care what is going on around him. People can cry about football being a team game, but no one is paid like it's a team game. Players are paid as individuals and they are expected to perform based on the money they receive regardless of the circumstances.

Vick is now fair game for anything that goes wrong with the Eagles this year, including the potential poor play of a suspect offensive line. If the pocket breaks down quicker than a dilapidated car, Vick had better find a way to make a plays with his legs, arm or both.

Let's pretend the O-line holds up and the defense gets gashed thanks to an inability to stop the run.

You better believe Vick has to carry the burden of outscoring the opponent and engineering several game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.

I killed Donovan McNabb when he threw four consecutive incompletions on the final drive of the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. Not only was it another example of McNabb coming up small at the doorstep of the Super Bowl, but he did it as a $100-million man.

Vick, who made about $5 million in 2010, took some heat for the pick he threw against the Green Bay Packers on the final drive in the first round of the playoffs last year. If he does something similar this season, the heat could become unbearable.

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