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Eckel: Michael Vick the wrong chip for Kelly's block

mark eckel trenton times

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

Eckel

Eckel: Michael Vick the wrong chip for Kelly's block

By Mark Eckel/The Times
on February 07, 2013 at 7:00 AM, updated February 07, 2013 at 8:27 AM


Chip Kelly has apparently found his Doug Pederson. Now, he just needs his Donovan McNabb, and things will be fine for the Eagles’ new head coach.

And it is highly unlikely Mike Vick will fill that latter role.

Yes, Vick is still an Eagle. How much longer he remains one, remains to be seen.

The Eagles are about to sign a quarterback (Dennis Dixon) who played for Kelly at Oregon, was drafted and started a few games for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was last seen playing the role of Colin Kaepernick as Baltimore’s practice squad quarterback.

Dixon is to Kelly what Pederson was to Andy Reid.

He is a stop-gap player with limited talent, who knows the coach’s system and can teach the rest of the offensive players how to run it.

That’s what Pederson did in 1999 for Reid, while he kept the seat warm for McNabb.

Now again the bigger question for Kelly and the organization is who plays the part of McNabb in this sequel?

It won’t be Vick for a number of reasons, two of which are 15.5 million and 33.

That’s how much money he is scheduled to earn this season and how old he will be by the end of the season.

That first number would have to decrease significantly for the Eagles to even think about bringing Vick back, and unfortunately there isn’t anything anyone can do about the second one.

While Vick is still a viable starter in the league, he’s not a good fit for a new coach installing a new, somewhat unorthodox system.

Yes, Vick can run; not like he once did, but still better than most. That doesn’t mean he fits Kelly’s offense. There is more to it than being able to run. You also have to know you’re going to get hit, and Vick has been hit way too much in his career, especially the past two years.

Kelly also likes quarterbacks who get the ball out quickly. And he hates it when his quarterback takes a sack.

That doesn’t fit Vick either way.

The Eagles need to let Vick go, let him continue his career in Arizona, or Buffalo, or back with Marty Mornhinweg with the Jets.

I’m in the minority here, at least I think I am, but Vick has a few good years left if he’s in the right offense with a good running game and a solid offense line. It just doesn’t make sense for him to be with the Eagles.

A new head coach doesn’t really want nor need an oft-injured 33-year-old quarterback to start his program.

He needs his guys.

Dixon will be one of them. It’s likely a second-round draft pick might be another.

Nick Foles?

Despite the adulation Kelly has spouted about Foles both when he played against him in the college ranks and since he has become the Eagles head coach, Foles just does not fit with what Kelly wants to do.

Trade him.

See how much Andy Reid really likes him. See if he likes him enough to give you that first pick of the third round that currently belongs to Kansas City.

Some want Foles to be a one-year stop-gap until Kelly gets his guy. That doesn’t make any sense. Foles knows less about this system than a rookie does and is ill-equipped to run it.

Dixon is the stop-gap. Foles is trade bait, while he still has value.

Speaking of trade bait, I don’t think Alex Smith is the answer either. The Eagles’ next franchise quarterback is going to have to come out of the draft. If not the 2013 one, then bite the bullet on the season and get one in 2014.

• The Eagles still do not have a defensive coordinator.

Then again they haven’t had one since Jim Johnson passed away.

• If the league schedule is late getting out this year, it’s because teams are fighting to be the Eagles’ home opener opponent.

The last four teams to open against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field – New Orleans, Green Bay, the Giants and Baltimore – all went on to win the Super Bowl.


Contact Mark Eckel at meckel@njtimes.com