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Friday, September 4, 2009

Date for Disaster

Maybe you thought the football season had officially begun now that the Mayor’s Cup has been won. Ok, maybe not. But Boise State already won a game that was critical to their chances for a BCS Bowl, so it really must be football season. We even have a 70+ point spread on one college game this weekend.

Of course what really gets football kicked-off in Philadelphia is an Eagles team controversy. Sure, there’s already been plenty of controversy around the Eagles, but this year we actually have a date for the real controversy to begin.

Granted, the controversy over how Donovan McNabb will handle the presence of Michael Vick has already begun. But now that Roger Goodell has decreed that Vick can play by Week 3, which should be considered a bonus by the Eagles as many expected a longer suspension stemming from Vick’s involvement in dog fighting, I’m guessing we actually have a date for the full-fledged beginning of the annual controversy that dominates the season.

With the absurdity of the NFL preseason finally ending with a few games tonight, previews and predictions about the beloved Birds will be everywhere next week. I’m not quite ready to offer an official prediction for the number of wins the Eagles will post this season, I’ll admit I’m quite happy to have taken the “under” on 10.5 wins on a friendly wager with a buddy of mine. I’m not sure I can offer sound reasoning for my concerns with the Eagles – though 10 wins proves me correct and isn’t exactly a bad season – but I don’t have a good feeling going into the season.

A big part of that feeling is the belief that McNabb’s sensitivity will yet again rear its ugly head.

Watching Michael Vick run out of the pocket last night was the most exciting part of August for me watching the Eagles. Now that people are moving past the issues of why Vick was incarcerated, I actually started to like the move of signing him from a purely football, on-the-field perspective. Please note the past tense.

The weapons the Eagles have at their disposal on offense should make them one of the most prolific scoring teams in the league. Yet we have already been warned that disaster awaits. I truly get bored ripping Donovan McNabb. But when the guy claims to have pushed the organization to sign Vick, and then gives the throat slash sign in the first game to end the special package of Vick plays during an August exhibition because he, McNabb, is struggling, it’s clear Mr. Sensitivity will not handle this experiment well.

Even worse is the apparent desire of Andy Reid to once again reign in the best part of the game of an athletic quarterback. He’s already at least helped McNabb decide to stop running as a quarterback. With Vick, Reid is already harping on the idea that Vick will be a quarterback first and foremost.

This is despite the fact that Vick was never a good pocket quarterback. The “Wildcat” role is the only one that seems to make sense for Vick with the current Eagles team. Yet here we go again with Andy Reid thinking he knows better than anyone about how to handle a football team.

McNabb called for more weapons in the off-season, and has been handed what could be as good a weapon as is available. Ironically, I think Vick’s presence – through no fault of his own – will be 2009’s version of the Eagles drama that pulls the team down like an anchor around their neck.

After all, it is football season.

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