Michael Vick's days as Eagles quarterback may be numbered

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Despite the echo chamber, the Eagles had not decided to make a change at quarterback as of Monday evening, according to sources close to the situation.

And neither starter Michael Vick nor backup Nick Foles had been told that they were reversing jobs, sources close to both quarterbacks said.

Andy Reid still has some time if he ends up deciding to make a switch before Monday night's game in New Orleans. The Eagles coach has the next two days, if he wants, to further evaluate the quarterback position after a 30-17 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.

The players typically have Tuesday off, but because of the Monday night game they will have an additional day before practice resumes on Thursday. The last time Reid made an in-season change at quarterback - benching Kevin Kolb for Vick in September 2010 - he made the decision on a Tuesday.

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  • That was seemingly an easier decision because the change was made more on the stellar play of the backup rather than the struggles of the starter. In this case, Vick would be benched, in theory, because of his performance. Foles has yet to play in the NFL.

    Sunday after the game Reid was asked if it was time for a change.

    "I'll go back and look at everything," he said in typical fashion. "I'm not going to sit here and make decisions right now. I'm going to go back and look at it and analyze it."

    All of the Reid's media obligations were canceled on Monday because of Hurricane Sandy. It is unlikely he'll be made available on Tuesday as the storm continues.

    Reid, of course, is in the eye of a metaphorical storm. His Eagles are 3-4, and with his job on the line, he may be forced to play his last desperation card. He has already fired his defensive coordinator. Benching Vick may be his only move.

    Vick was asked what he made of Reid's once again giving the quarterback a less-than-enthusiastic endorsement.

    "Obviously he's thinking about making a change at the quarterback position," Vick said. "The thing I do know, and I'll go and watch the film and I'll evaluate myself, is that I'm giving us every opportunity to win."

    Vick's comment has been interpreted by some to mean that he is now resigned to the fact that he may longer be the No. 1 quarterback. Some thought it meant that Reid had already broached the idea with Vick.

    Vick was only expressing what he thought was the obvious and he still had every intention of leading the Eagles going forward, a source close to the quarterback said.

    "I'm trying my hardest," Vick also said. "Some things don't go right when I want them to. Some things do. So if that's a decision that coach wants to make, then I support it."

    The argument for Foles is based on three premises: 1. Vick has played below average and has shown little improvement over the season. 2. Foles' effective, yet brief, preseason performance was enough to go with the rookie. 3. What does Reid have to lose?

    The argument for staying the course is manifold, although it rests primarily on the following: 1. Vick is not the chief reason for the Eagles' three-game losing streak. 2. The offensive line, which is arguably the No. 1 reason for the struggles, would make it nearly impossible for a less-than-mobile Foles to perform. 3. Having a rookie make his first career start on the road in prime time would be unwise.

    The Saints do have one of the worst pass defenses (ranked 28th) in the NFL.

    It is unknown, really, how Foles has progressed over the last month and a half. Reid closed practice to reporters after the opener. Last month, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said that he could evaluate the rookie even if he wasn't getting first-team repetitions.

    Vick, meanwhile, can't seem to put it all together for one game. Turnovers have plagued most of his season thus far. He had 13 of the Eagles' 17 turnovers in the first six games. But he didn't give the ball away against the Falcons.

    Vick did have issues against the blitz, however, after three games of genuine progress. Atlanta blitzed Vick 17 times and he completed only 6 of 15 passes for 69 yards. He was also sacked twice.

    Overall, Vick has completed 59 percent of his passes, has averaged 6.9 yards per pass attempt, and has thrown nine touchdowns against eight interceptions.


    Contact Jeff McLane at jmclane@phillynews.com or on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

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