The Philadelphia Eagles seemed to be starting over in 2013. With a new coach in Chip Kelly and a new coaching staff, the Eagles were set on erasing the ugly recent past. Yet by keeping Michael Vick around, according to ESPN on Feb. 11, Philadelphia is keeping the status quo in at least one area.
Although the Eagles fired Andy Reid and most of his staff, they chose not to release their quarterback as well, at least not yet. Vick and Reid appeared to be a package deal, as both were expected to be cut from Philadelphia since mid-October. But while Reid got fired immediately after the 2012 season ended, the Eagles didn’t have enough options to fire Vick.
With no enticing free agents or rookies on the market, and with Nick Foles uncertain as a real starting quarterback, Vick sneaked his way back into Philadelphia. As such, although the Eagles will have a brand new look in 2013 thanks to Kelly, Vick’s presence signals that they are still the same old Eagles in a few ways.
Kelly is the symbol of Philadelphia’s future and its attempts to start fresh from Reid. However, Vick is the biggest symbol left from the franchise’s rotten recent past. Can these two men and what they represent blend well together, or will the combination set the Eagles back even further?
The Eagles went all in on the future by taking a chance on an inexperienced new coach like Kelly. Yet jumping in with a rookie professional head coach, as well as an unknown quantity at quarterback, seemed to be too much in the end. Therefore, Philadelphia is inching its way towards total change, giving itself at least another year to decide its long-term future at quarterback.
Maybe it will turn out like Reid’s first year, when he started Doug Pederson over Donovan McNabb in 1999. That extra year to prepare helped McNabb settle in as the full time starter in 2000, then he and Reid started winning right away.
Kelly now has his Pederson in Vick, but he doesn’t have a McNabb yet. But he will need to find out by 2014, whether Vick wins for him or not. The Eagles put off finding their next franchise quarterback for another year, yet they can’t put off making a clean break from the old days forever.