New Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly spoke glowingly about quarterback Michael Vick on Monday during a press conference to announce the team and the quarterback have agreed to a restructured one-year contract that could pay Vick as much as $10 million with incentives.
Kelly sounded like a man trying to convince himself as much as anyone else why this was a sound move for the team.
He pointed out that Vick is younger than Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, almost the same age as New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Kelly said the quarterback job will be an “open competition” between Vick and second-year man Nick Foles, but let’s be serious—if the younger Foles had done anything over his six-game stint as the team’s starter at the end of last season, Foles would be going into the offseason as the starter.
Kelly wouldn’t be the first coach to fall in love with Vick’s potential. But the other ones got their hearts broken by Vick’s inconsistency and his turnovers.
Make no mistake; Andy Reid isn’t coaching the Kansas City Chiefs right now if he didn’t commit to Vick for the long-term after Vick’s transcendent—and what looks more and more anomalous in hindsight—2010 season.
Vick will be 33 years old this summer. He’s missed nine games in the past two seasons. In 10 years as a starter in the league, he’s completed an entire season just once.
Since 2004, he’s not even a winning quarterback; Vick’s teams are 33-32 in games he starts since then.
And then there’s the matter of those 33 turnovers in his last 23 games. Talk about your double whammies; Vick can’t seem to stay healthy and, when he does, he has a serious problem keeping the ball.
Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia has turned the ball over 75 times. Want to lose in a hurry? Give the ball away 75 times in 32 games.
But with Vick back at a largely reduced rate, he makes sense for Kelly’s transitional year from his fast-break days at the University of Oregon to the NFL.
Vick now is priced right to be the stop-gap guy, the guy who keeps the position warm while the new football staff in Philadelphia figures out who the next guy is going to be.
Whether that next guy will come in the draft or is acquired via trade or free agency is anyone’s guess at this point.
This year’s draft is not 2012 in terms of quarterbacks; don’t look for a bevy of first-round picks to be spent on signal-callers this time around.
But there will be plenty of quarterbacks going on the second day of the draft in rounds 2 and 3 and still more will be there on the third day.
Kelly’s offense is going to be a variation of what he ran at Oregon and in the NFL that makes it a high-risk, high-reward system. The Eagles will want a younger, less turnover-prone, healthier sort.
But until that guy shows up, Michael Vick now makes sense because he’s no longer a black hole in terms of the salary cap.