It would be sad to see Michael Vick reunited with Marty Mornhinweg


Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

One of my favorite parts about the Eagles December 31st, 2012 firing of Andy Reid (yeah, I remember that exact date), was the fact that we knew that Marty Mornhinweg wouldn’t be calling plays for the Eagles anymore. His lack of running the ball, creativity to start the game (Oh wow, another 60 yard pass attempt from Vick to Jackson to start the game!), and in-game adjustments, made most Eagles fans as ready to move on from Mornhinweg as Reid.

I’ll be the first to admit, I couldn’t have imagined Chip Kelly turning the Eagles offense around into a top-five unit in one year, that with the additions of both Jeremy Maclin and Darren Sproles, looks like, dare I say, a Superbowl-caliber offense in year two. But the fact that a relatively similar crew to what Mornhinweg had turned into this, with the exception being Nick Foles starting over Michael Vick, gives you a sense of just how much Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid were underachieving with the Eagles array offensive weapons.

In fact, the individual performance of Vick in his first two games under Chip Kelly–a win over the Redskins and a loss to the Chargers–even showed how improperly that Vick was used in the previous regime. After lighting the Redskins up in week one, Vick’s week two performance against the Chargers, in which he went 23-36, while throwing for 428 yards and two touchdowns, and even mixing in 34 rushing yards on five carries, demonstrated two things to me. One, Vick did become a better passer under Monhinweg and Reid, but they just weren’t prepared to take him to the next level as an individual player. Secondly, Vick is far from done, but the national media just brainwashed enough causal fans/pundits (who don’t actually watch the games) into thinking that. So one lazy person tells another lazy person something and eventually it becomes accepted truth if enough people say the same thing. Laziness does that to you, America.

Sure Vick struggled in week three against the Chiefs, but the Eagles as a team ran into a Chiefs defense that was extremely stout early in the year. Vick wasn’t awful against the Broncos (not that he was great either), but the defense got slaughtered by what went on to be a historic Broncos passing attack, that Chip Kelly wasn’t prepared to deal blows with. After that, injuries and Nick Foles prevented Vick from ever getting his opportunity to reclaim his starting position and reach his potential under Kelly. I believe that Vick would have been pretty scary in Kelly’s offense, and as the defense improved throughout the course of the season, I think Vick would have kept the Eagles in the playoff race. Would he have had the historical season that Foles did? I doubt it, and the point of me saying all of this isn’t to try to make a case that the Eagles should bring back Vick and let him compete for the starting job, but rather to point out that anyone saying that ‘Vick is done’ in an uninformed moron.

Anyways, the reason that I delved back into the Reid/Morhinweg era and made sure to connect it with year one of Chip Kelly’s tenure as head coach, was this.

Tuesday evening, we heard that Vick planned to ‘take his time in free agency’. Jeff McLane tweeted today that Vick is still ‘on the Jets’ radar, but that he believes the backup quarterback market hasn’t really developed yet, and a signing isn’t anywhere near happening. That comes after Kim Jones of the NFL Network suggested Wednesday that Vick’s talks with the Jets were dead, because he wanted to be guaranteed the starting job. Obviously those reports are conflicting, but unless he is guaranteed a starting job by the Browns or Raiders, it seems unlikely that Vick will find another place like New York, where he has a real chance to seize the starting quarterback position from a shaky second-year quarterback like Geno Smith.

And from the sounds of things, the Jets may be willing to wait on Vick to become more open to competing for a job.

"They are also interested in free agents Michael Vick and Shaun Hill.Vick is believed to be the Jets’ top choice, and there is mutual interest, according to sources. But Vick is going to take his time and see how the quarterback landscape develops, according to a source."

The Jets added former-Bronco Eric Decker in a free-agent signing yesterday, which is sure to pay dividends. If the Jets can use their 18th pick, and grab a receiver like USC’s Marquise Lee or Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, then they could have a formidable wide receiving duo over the course of the next five or six years. Sure, Vick is a short-term option, but if he is going to compete and potentially start in New York, you would think he would like some weapons to work with on the outside. (He’d also be working with a pretty stacked defense.)

Maybe in another setting, Morhinweg will manage Vick differently. Maybe if Vick does end up in New York, Mornhinweg learns from the brief success that Vick had in Kelly’s system and utilizes Chris Ivory and doesn’t treat Vick as a drop-back quarterback that is going to throw the ball 55 times a game. But if he didn’t utilize an elite runner in LeSean McCoy, why am I to believe that Morhinweg will properly utilize a below-average starter in Chris Ivory? Despite the fact that I said otherwise on Tuesday, Vick may be best waiting out the quarterback market, because after he took one for the team and kept his mouth shut through the Riley Cooper and Nick Foles situations, I would hate to see him fall flat on his face because he has an offensive coordinator that treats him like he’s Peyton Manning.

I guess Vick is one of the rare Philadelphia athletes that I really would like to see succeed after he leaves Philly. In New York, I’m not sure he gets that chance. Then again, the Raiders seem destined for the number one pick, and he might not have any other options to start at in 2014. But I’d rather see Vick go to Oakland for a couple reasons. First, if he fails, it would be hard to give him all the blame because of the mess of a situation he’d be taking on. Secondly, and selfishly, it would disgust me to see Mornhinweg find a way to utilize Michael Vick in New York, when with the exception of an eight-game span in 2010, he couldn’t in Philadelphia.