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Eagles: Vick’s tenure all but over

bob grotz delco times

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:52 AM

Grotz

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Eagles: Vick’s tenure all but over

Published: Wednesday, December 05, 2012

By BOB GROTZ
bgrotz@delcotimes.com
@BobGrotz



HORSHAM — Almost lost in the banal obsession over the firing of defensive line coach Jim Washburn is the end of the Michael Vick era.

It’s all but officially over. The trade rumors will start after the Eagles announce the direction they go at head coach.

For now the Eagles have sunk so low that Nick Foles is appealing. The rookie quarterback has thrown just two touchdown passes and three interceptions. His next victory will be his first.

“I look at it as an opportunity for Nick,” DeMeco Ryans said Tuesday. “He’s a kid who’s worked hard to get where he is now. In the games he’s had, he’s improved every game. I feel like he can help us to win games.” Ryans was at an NFL wellness event at Hallowell Elementary School with teammates Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Trent Cole.

Vick and some of his teammates realized he was finished late last week. The Eagles confirmed it with a Vick statement that didn’t deny he was upset about not getting a chance to play again.

Head coach Andy Reid announced Monday that Foles would be the starter through the end of the season regardless of Vick’s health.

The change likely will sink in for owner Jeffrey Lurie one week from Thursday in the form of empty seats at Lincoln Financial Field.

“They just went in another route,” veteran Cole said. “It is what it is. You can’t change it. The only thing you can do is keep moving forward.”

Vick’s promising start with the Eagles ended with concussion issues and a head coach speaking through both sides of his mouth about his commitment to the veteran.

Vick won eight of his first 10 starts with the Eagles, completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,580 yards with 19 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 103.7 passer rating. Some of his harshest critics believed he’d made the most of a second chance after being incarcerated 22 months for his role in a dogfighting ring.

Excluding a playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Vick won just 10 of his last 23 starts, completing 59 percent of his passes for 5,703 yards, 31 TDs, 25 interceptions and an 80.2 rating.

The turning point was Vick’s 2010 Tuesday night game at the Linc. While Eagles players were sent home to frolic in the snow, their Monday night game pushed back one day, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier devised a game plan that befuddled Vick. Almost every team copied it. Some executed it better than others.

Vick didn’t help himself by missing nine starts in the past three seasons due to injuries. Telling the media all the pieces were in place for the Eagles to become a dynasty now seems ridiculous.

The Eagles and Foles are 7½ point underdogs this Sunday when they hit the road to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6).

“You know what you’re going to get out of Michael Vick,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Whether he’s played well or bad this season, you know he’s still a good quarterback in this league. The thing I would take from all this is they want to see what Nick can do. I don’t look at it as changes as much as they just want to see what the young guy can do.”

The only real question now is whether Vick has any trade value. He’s had two concussions with the Eagles. Shutting him down the rest of the season could increase his value. Getting Vick to restructure his contract to facilitate a trade similar to what they did with Asante Samuel could be challenging.

The odds of Vick sticking around Philly are infinitesimal despite speculation Reid fired Washburn and other coaches to satisfy ownership and complete his contract, which has another year to go.

The players can see the writing on the wall in the coach firings, player cuts and endless statements denying culpability.

Don’t expect the Eagles’ coach in 2013 to try to teach a 33-year-old quarterback new tricks.

Consider the Michael Vick Experience over.

The Eagles went 18-15 (.545) with Vick as the starter. That’s below Vick’s 56.1 winning percentage with the Falcons.

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The Eagles were a hit during the NFL PLAY 60 campaign at Hallowell Elementary, as was their mascot, Swoop.

An NFL spokesman presented the school with a $10,000 grant for health and wellness programming or equipment.

In addition to maintaining good eating habits, Cole told the students the key to getting ready for games is with healthy habits like brushing his teeth. That, by the way, also would remedy the “stinky breath” syndrome former Eagles defensive end Jason Babin said permeated the locker room.