Reid making the right choice to go with Vick over Kolb

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Vick  of the Philadelphia Eagles calls the play in the huddle during the third quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 19, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Eagles defeated the Lions 35-32. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Had Andy Reid stuck with Kevin Kolb as his starting quarterback, he would have mainly done so because a) he drafted him and b) he didn’t want to play the role of fool for benching the man tabbed to replace Donovan McNabb just three weeks into the season.

And had Reid stuck with Kolb as his starting quarterback, he would have been making the wrong decision.

In two outings this year, Michael Vick has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 459 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He holds a QB Rating of 105.5 and has also rushed 18 times for 140 yards with no fumbles.

He’s only played in two games, but those are Pro Bowl-type numbers. That’s why Reid’s decision to stick with Vick as his starter was the right choice, even though Kolb was named the starter in preseason and is essentially losing his job because of an injury.

Had Vick showed signs of inconsistency or had been reckless with the football (which wasn’t uncommon for him in Atlanta), Reid would have been justified for sticking with Kolb. But with how well Vick played against the Packers and Lions, this was really an easy decision for a head coach in a tough spot.

That said, winning is the only thing that matters from here on out. If Vick looks like a disaster over the next three weeks (ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that this is a permanent move by Reid – not an injury-related matter tied to the concussion Kolb suffered two weeks ago), then nobody should hold it against Reid for going back to Kolb. But as of right now, right this second, the Philly head coach is making the right move.

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Eagles have options if they eventually decide to dump Michael Vick

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the sideline in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that the Eagles were seriously considering dumping Michael Vick, although the rumor was quickly denied by reputable NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, as well as the team itself.

But what if the Eagles decided to part ways with Vick in wake of his latest off-field situation? Would they be comfortable releasing him with no veteran to backup the inexperienced Kevin Kolb next season?

Considering Vick was mostly used out of the Wildcat formation last year, the answer to that question is easy. Jeff Garcia, the veteran QB who has history with the Eagles, would be the most logical option if Vick were released. Garcia is already well versed in Andy Reid’s offense and despite his weak arm strength, he’s a better passing quarterback than Vick, who may have a rocket attached to his left shoulder but whose accuracy remains a major issue.

Another option the Eagles might have is one that was brought up by ESPN and that’s Troy Smith, who probably could be had for the right price. The former Heisman Trophy winner is rotting behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore and would like the opportunity to start somewhere else. Kolb is entrenched as the starter right now in Philly, but that doesn’t mean Smith wouldn’t have the opportunity to unseat him if he starts to struggle at any point during the season.

The point is that Vick isn’t worth the trouble for the Eagles. Reid’s experiment with him in the Wildcat last year often produced poor results and at 30 year’s old, it’s not like the former No. 1 overall pick has regained his lightening-quick speed. (He’s reportedly in better shape than he was last year, but that doesn’t mean he’s the athlete he once was.)

I would stop short of calling Vick expendable, but he’s certainly not worth the headache if he gets into even an ounce of trouble with the league over the Quanis Phillips shooting. And truth be told, the Eagles missed out on a golden opportunity to trade him this offseason by asking for a second round pick (which was way too high) in exchange for his services.

With Jackson out for the season, what are the Eagles options at free safety?

Marlin Jackson apparently has less luck than the victims of those “Saw” movies.

On Tuesday, Jackson suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in his right foot, which will end his season – if not his career. The injury comes on the heels of the Eagles’ signing him to a two-year, $6 million deal to be their new free safety despite the fact that he suffered two knee injuries in the previous two seasons. The position now becomes the black hole of Philly’s defense for the second straight season.

What are the Bird’s plans to replace Jackson? O.J. Atogwe is now a free agent, but GM Howie Roseman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the team won’t pursue the former Rams’ safety. Instead, the Eagles will rely on in-house options like rookie Nate Allen, Quintin Demps or possibly even Macho Harris (a cornerback that started eight games at FS last season) to fill the void created by Jackson’s injury.

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Eagles release Westbrook – will McNabb be jettisoned next?

Just one day after the Chargers parted with legend LaDainian Tomlinson, the Eagles followed suit by releasing one-time franchise running back Brian Westbrook on Tuesday.

The writing has been on the wall for a couple months now. Westbrook only played in eight games last year after dealing with a concussion for most of the season. He was due to make $7.25 million in 2010 and after drafting his eventual replacement (“Shady” McCoy) last year, it was unlikely that the Eagles were going to honor the final year of Westbrook’s contract. He should find work elsewhere, although given his age (30) and durability concerns, he might not get more than a one or two-year contract.

Now that Westbrook has been released, the Eagles might turn their attention to quarterback Donovan McNabb’s situation. McNabb’s base salary in 2010 is $5 million, plus he’s due a $6.2 million roster bonus on May 5. With Kevin Kolb waiting in the wings, it’s rumored that if Philly can acquire a first round pick in exchange for McNabb, they’ll deal him this offseason.

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Report: Brian Westbrook facing retirement

A great career might end on a sad note, as Philadelphia sports radio host Howard Eskin is reporting that Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is considering retirement.

From SB

Earlier in the season, rumors swirled that the oft-injured running back was considering retirement, but those were attributed to his concussions, two of which he suffered this season. Eskin reports that it’s the left knee that is hampering Westbrook, which was surgically repaired in the past.

Eskin says there is “almost no chance” Westbrook plays another game for the Eagles — he has one year left on his contract — and that the knee is in such bad condition, Westbrook may not even me able to pass a team physical to play elsewhere.

Looking at this realistically, the Eagles already drafted Westbrook’s replacement last April when they took LeSean McCoy in the second round. McCoy is a near replica of Westbrook, so there is no reason for Philly to pay the $7.5 million that is owed to the 30-year old back next season.

There will definitely be teams interested in Westbrook as a backup or platoon player, but if he can’t pass a physical then obviously he won’t be signed. If he does retire, it’ll be a sad way to go out for one of the league’s most productive backs over the last decade.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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