The Philadelphia Eagles lost their seventh straight game Monday night, a 30 -- 22 bummer at home against the Carolina Panthers. The defeat puts another shovel full of earth onto the grave of the Andy Reid Era, though that box reached a point of no retrieval weeks ago. The narrative of this game, and the remainder of games for Philly the next five weeks, were and will continue to be all about next season.
According to Reid, the only duck lamer than the Aflac mascot, despite the lost season the Eagles will hit the brakes on the youth movement once the vets get healthy. Most notably, quarterback Michael Vick will likely pass the league-required concussion tests this week, and all signs point to Big Red inserting the 32-year-old back into the line-up over 22-year-old rookie Nick Foles.
Vick has given this squad his all. Despite that, for the sake of the team, the fanbase, and the franchise as a whole, Reid needs to stick with Foles for the remainder of this despicably hideous season.
Anyone seriously short-sighted enough to even consider inserting Vick back into the line-up need seek immediate medical assistance, preferably a neurologist. Or if you're over the age of 26 and can't hop onto your parents health insurance, consider the following:
Will Vick be on the Eagles roster next season? Allen West has a better shot of being in Congress.
Can Foles learn anything from watching Vick play? Again, see the Allen West comparison.
Playing Vick brings no advantages; there is nothing to be gained, no goals to be accomplished. On the flip side, every rep for Foles is invaluable, either as a stepping stone towards success or as a bit of evidence used to justify ditching him like a fat guy during the Zombie Apocalypse.
Now is for the future. Vick is not the future. Foles, however, might be, and Reid owes it to Philly to try finding out.
When assessing blame for the 2012 NFL season, little of it should be put on the shoulders of Vick. It is doubtful anyone would have succeeded under these circumstances; a Swiss cheese offensive line and a pass-happy playcaller with no will or inclination to design a gameplan aimed at protecting the quarterback. All things considered, Vick has performed commendably; heroically, even.
For these Rocky-esque heroics, Philly fans should be thankful. And it's not all bruises and sorrow; Vick's impact on the game still deserves respect. His story of redemption still earns admiration. But that doesn't put this franchise in his debt, and it doesn't mean he should be starting anymore. Give Vick a handshake and a thank-you-for-your-service, and offer him a nice safe seat on the bench. Do one better, and have a Mike Vick bobblehead game; just make sure the spring lets his head bounce off the ground. It needs to be realistic, after all.
See what you've got in Foles, and Mayans be damned, get ready for 2013.
It's a tricky thing, asking Reid to look towards the future, even though he most certainly won't be a part of it. After all, you don't pick out paint samples when you're a month before the lease is up. You vacuum the carpet a little less often, clean the bathroom a little less diligently, and pray to the residents of Kolob the slum lord doesn't care about the scuffs on the hardwood so you can get your security deposit back.
The thing is, Reid's slumlord has made him a very rich and successful man, and he owes it to the owner to make sure the house is in the best possible condition for the next resident. Doing so would prove selfless and honorary; it is the right thing for Reid to do, the proper way to make his exit.
And just so we're all clear, Reid is most certainly making his exit. When Vick passes his concussion test this week, the coach in his final season will get to decide just what condition he wants to leave his home for the past fourteen years in.
Eagles fans can only hope he leaves it with an eye towards the future.