The time is now for Andy Reid to save what he has left in terms of job security, and even if he makes a move now, there is a good possibility that he will be gone once the season has come to an end.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in the lead up to the season that a .500 team is not acceptable, and one can understand why he feels that way considering the amount that he has invested in recent years to players that are largely under performing.
Keeping Vick in for another week, especially on the national stage of Monday night against the Saints, might be leaving it too long. On the other hand throwing rookie Nick Foles to the wolves on the same stage might not be the best recipe for success either.
But something has to be done, and after Reid cut bait with Juan Castillo recently, many saw it as a tactic to buy some more time. Todd Bowles was handed the defensive duties in a move that could be seen as a grooming job for when Reid is finally axed.
The fact of the matter is that the Eagles have an enormous amount of talented players on their team that cannot seem to find any level of offensive of defensive consistency this year. Their vaunted defensive line with their five-wide sprinter stance has failed to get anything in the way of a pass rush this year. Big money Trent Cole has a sack and a half thus far.
Defensive backfield? Rodgers-Cromartie and Asomugha were supposed to shut down the corners, but they have been getting gouged down the field consistently. DeMeco Ryans was brought in to solidify the linebacking corps and rookie Mychal Kendricks was going to help as a weakside backer as well. But teams have not flinched against their defensive front, averaging 4.0 yards per carry on 27.3 attempts. No one is scared by the names on their defence, and changing coordinators midseason is unlikely to fix that.
Can changing the quarterback at this point in the season have a positive impact in that case? Well dealing with Vick is a very difficult proposition. We all think we know what he can do, and then we don't trust our lying eyes once we see him do the exact opposite. He has said that he is trying to learn how to manage a game and reduce the amount of mistakes he makes. In his tenth season in the league, he still is not able to protect the ball and prevent himself from making sloppy mistakes.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Macklin can be as dangerous as any two receivers in the league, but the frustration must come to a rise at some point when the team struggles to score points week in and week out. Shady McCoy is as elusive as they come, but they have handed the ball to him less than twenty times in three straight weeks.
Vick has thrown eight picks and lost five fumbles through seven games. That is thirteen turnovers, or just a bit less than two per game for him. It is tough to find anything in the way of offensive consistency when the ball is being handed to the opponent twice a game.
This is what we know about Nick Foles. He is a big, strong-armed pivot with nothing to lose. He stands 6-foot-6 compared to the 6-foot-nothing of Vick. He is also right handed. This makes a difference, especially for pivots. Vick also throws the ball so hard that receivers often struggle to hold on or catch up to the ball.
When a short pivot like Vick is in the pocket, it can be hard for downfield receivers to see when the ball is coming out. But with a towering Foles standing in, quite literally as well as the rookie is much more of a classical pocket passer than Vick, Jackson and Maclin could have a chance to get down the field and make some plays with Foles under centre.
Foles played in all four preseason games for the Eagles and was impressive in his limited action. 64% completion on 63 attempts is respectable, and a 6-2 TD/INT ratio is solid for a rookie. He has yet to get a snap in regular season action, but if Reid has any interest in keeping his job beyond this season, it would be in his best interest to make a move sooner rather than later.
It was just 14 months ago that Vick was signed a $100 million extension including more than $40 million in guaranteed money. Trent Cole got 6 years-$59 million. Nmamdi got five year-$60 million. DeMeco Ryans is in the midst of a 6 year-$48 million deal and is owned $8 million+ in each of the next three seasons.
This is a lot of money for Lurie to be pouring into a team that is floundering. Reid is likely gone either way at the end of the season, so bench Vick now and look to move him in the postseason. While Vick has produced limited results in recent years, there are surely a desperate Chiefs or Jaguars team out there that would take a chance on him.
Will a change be made this week? Tough to say at this point. There have been reports coming out from Philly suggesting that Vick will start and others that Foles will get the ball.
Too much big name talent that is producing limited results. Lurie could clean house in the offseason, bring in a complete new group and start chopping guys like the Raiders did. Well maybe not that badly, but you get the idea.