The Philadelphia Eagles have paid for their reliance on Michael Vick in the past two seasons. Even as so many other NFL teams have excelled with mobile quarterbacks lately, the Eagles have been left in the dust because their own was too old and banged up. What’s more, Vick isn’t even the best running quarterback with a No. 7 uniform anymore, as Colin Kaepernick proved on Jan. 12.
The San Francisco 49ers’ own No. 7 quarterback lit up the Green Bay Packers in his very first postseason start. Not only did he throw for two touchdowns, he ran for two more and got a record-setting 181 rushing yards by himself, outgunning Aaron Rodgers and the Packers by 45-31.
Kaepernick is what Vick used to be a decade ago, only perhaps even better. Vick was one of a kind when he first broke out, but now he is a dime a dozen. While the likes of Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III excel with their arms and legs better than Vick ever did, he has been left in the dust due to age, injuries and his own mistakes.
When NFL fans thought of No. 7, they used to think of Vick. Now they may think first of Kaepernick, especially if he takes the 49ers to the Super Bowl or wins it. Even when Vick was in his prime, he never rushed for 181 yards, especially in the postseason. But while Vick has never taken the next step, fixed his accuracy or learned how to protect the ball, the next generation of mobile quarterbacks has been a decided improvement.
Wilson and Kaepernick weren’t even starters before training camp, and now they may face off in the NFC championship game. And although Griffin III has faced major setbacks due to injury, just like Vick, he could still torment the Eagles and the rest of the NFC East for years if he becomes healthy again.
Back when the Eagles first hitched their wagons with Vick in 2010, he was still one of a kind. Yet hindsight has proven that Philadelphia was stuck in the past -- as if keeping Andy Reid around for so long wasn’t enough proof.
Thanks in part to Vick, the Eagles are in traction while the likes of the 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins have a brighter future with the new and improved Vick’s of the present.