Reid Sparks Eagles QB Controversy With Michael Vick
"Right now, right now, we're with Michael [Vick] and that's what we're doing and so, we'll evaluate as we go," said Eagles head coach Andy Reid.
That was Reid's response when asked whether he'd have to consider a switch to rookie Nick Foles if Vick continued to turn the ball over.
He could have said no. He could have emphatically, or at least firmly, backed Vick. Instead, he applied some pressure to his quarterback.
You see, "right now," is a key phrase in Andy Reid's vocabulary. You might even call it a Reid-ism, right up there with favorites like, "I've got to do a better job of putting players in a position to make plays," and "Time's yours."
Remember when Kevin Kolb was Reid's starter, "right now?"
Michael Vick certainly should, and that should put him on notice today. Perhaps that is deliberate.
When the Eagles gave Michael Vick a six-year, $100 million contract, they did so based on a 2010 season in which he threw 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions, while also running for nine touchdowns and losing only three fumbles. That's a total of 30 touchdowns and nine turnovers.
Of course, that was a season in which he had to wrestle the starting job away from Kevin Kolb and then hold onto it. The cost of making mistakes was clear: his job. At the time, Vick was in dire need of a long-term contract as he navigated through bankruptcy as a result of his prior incarceration for dogfighting.
Vick played smart football, limiting turnovers and pushing his way into the MVP conversation by the end of the season. The Eagles gave him his new contract and traded Kevin Kolb. It was Vick's job, and there was no competition.
Since, he's thrown for 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions over the course of 16 games. He's run for only two touchdowns while losing seven fumbles. That's a total of 23 touchdowns and 27 turnovers.
Perhaps Vick plays better while under a little pressure to earn or hold onto his starting job, as he's clearly shown that he's capable of making decisions that protect the football when he puts his mind to it.
If he doesn't improve the turnover situation quickly, it's hard to imagine the Eagles keeping him around long-term.
While Vick may hold onto his job the rest of the season, the Eagles can cut Vick up until the second day of the waiver period in February without owing him any additional money, or suffering any salary cap consequences.
Ryan Messick covers the Eagles for 97.3 ESPN FM. Follow him on Twitter.