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VicNabb 08/28/2009

Posted by sportretort in NFL, Sports, Uncategorized.
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The Donovan McNabb – Michael Vick era in Philadelphia made its first appearance last night for the Eagles. 

Vick got into the game on the Eagles 2nd offensive snap of the game, and played a total of 6 downs through the first quarter plus of the contest.  For someone who hasn’t taken a snap in any kind of NFL game since December 31, 2006, Vick looked

Michael Vick throws a pass in Thursdays pre season game

Michael Vick throws a pass in Thursdays pre season game

 pretty good.  For those of you who may have been living on Mars the past few years, Vick just finished a stint in a federal pen for running/financing a dog fighting ring.  Vick is not yet in game shape.  By his own estimate, he is at 75% of where he wants to be.  Still, he handled the ball well, had no major gaffes and had some zip on one ball he completed 13 yards down the field.  The larger issue was with McNabb.

The pre season is the time to work out the bugs.  The old saying is that the games do not count, but they do matter.  The most important game is the 3rd preseason game.  It is usually the ‘dress rehersal’ for the opener.  Typically, the starters play the longest in game 3, and hardly at all in the 4th.  Because of that, McNabb became frustrated with the way Vick was being worked in.  He was brought in for a play here and a play there.  McNabb felt that this disrupted the offensive flow of the game.  And he showed that frustration early in the 2nd quarter on the sidelines when it appeared that he went to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and demanded that the shuffling in and out be stopped.  In their first 4 possessions, the Eagles scored a field goal and punted 3 times.  After the sideline incident, The next two possessions ended in fumbles, but then the Eagles found an offensive rhythm and scored on 3 of the next 4 possessions with McNabb at the helm. 

It is important to remember that Vick has been in camp only a few weeks, is just rounding into shape and is getting

Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb on the sidelines Thursday

Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb on the sidelines Thursday

to know his new team mates.  Remember, also, that McNabb was reportedly one of the biggest proponents of the Eagles signing Vick.  It is up to head coach Andy Reid and Mornhinweg to figure out the best way to use both Vick and McNabb.  One also should understand the concern McNabb has with maintaining continuity in the offense.  After all, Reid benched him for poor play during a game against Baltimore last season when the Eagles trailed only 10-7.  But the good news for the Eagles is that they have some time to sort it all out.  Vick was given a conditional reinstatement by commissioner Roger Goodell, allowing him to sign with a team and play in the final two pre season games.  The final pre season game will not be an issue.  McNabb will play only a series or two, if he plays at all.  Vick will be given some full series at quarterback, not an individual play here or there.  Goodell will then make a determination on full reinstatement by week 6 of the regular season.  My guess is that, right now, the Eagles are hoping that clearance to play in the regular season comes closer to the 6th game rather than the first.  That would give them time to get the offense settled down and into a rhythm and get Vick into better game shape.  It will also give them more time to figure out how to keep every one happy in this situation, and how to best use Vick; better define his role within the offense.  How long will Vick be happy with his lack of playing time?  As Vick gets in more, how will McNabb respond to his changing role?  If the Eagles have success, then probably every one will get along fine.  But what happens if the Eagles have a bad game or two?   Then Reid will be sitting on a powder keg.  Watch for potential fireworks in Philadelphia this season.

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