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Bill Plaschke: Michael Vick isn't working out for the Eagles

Plaschke_640
Plaschke-mug_100 Michael Vick is complaining again about late hits, but the Philadelphia Eagles are the ones taking the late hit.

Three games into the season, it is clear that they made the wrong choice at quarterback.

Vick is not their guy, and will never be their guy, and all the $100-million contracts and Nike endorsements and video game excitement and commissioner’s love won’t change that.

Vick is not their guy because he can’t stay upright long enough for them to climb on his shoulders. He can’t stay on the field enough to lead them down it. He can’t stay healthy enough to make anyone other than his own team absolutely sick.

This offseason, in giving Vick a contract with a guaranteed $40 million, the Eagles traded young arm Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals. After three games this year, both the Cardinals and Eagles are 1-2, with Kolb owning a 93.7 passer rating while Vick has thrown for a 87.7.

Oh, yes, and one more difference. Kevin Kolb has actually played in all three games, while Vick has missed parts of two of them and is currently suffering from a severely bruised hand that could cause him to miss another month.

Not that Vick is complaining. Well, actually, he is complaining, the athletic quarterback whining about late hits and unfair officials.

"Looking at the replays, I'm on the ground every time, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated," Vick told the media Sunday after a 29-16 loss to the New York Giants. "The refs have got to do their jobs. … Every time I throw the ball, I’m on the ground. And I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard flags like everybody else does."

If Vick is indeed watching the replays, he is watching the wrong ones. He doesn’t get the calls like other quarterbacks because he plays a different game than other quarterbacks. He is treated more like a running back because he acts like a running back. Even when he is still in the pocket, he is a threat to leave, and defenders are constantly trying to stop that threat, and sometimes it means an extra hit just to make sure he is down, and sometimes it’s a missed penalty, but most of the time it is not.

Vick wants to be a dual-threat guy, but he wants to be officiated like he poses only one threat? It doesn’t work that way.

What really doesn’t work is paying big money to build your dream around a player whose durability is a living nightmare. Like others, I said this when the Eagles made their choice, and it’s even more true today.

In eight previous seasons, you know how many times Vick has actually appeared in all 16 games? Just once. And now, three games into his ninth season, he’s already suffered a concussion and, now, his injured right (non-throwing) hand has put him back on the bench.

The nasty secret in all this is, when he does play, it’s not always prettier. Despite all of the hype that surrounded his great start last season, in his last nine games dating back to last year, Vick has been completely mediocre. The Eagles are 4-5 during that time while Vick has thrown 15 touchdown passes with nine interceptions.

Yet he’s worth a huge financial piece of the franchise and a wave good-bye to a young talent like Kevin Kolb? Of course not. But at the time, the Eagles were suckered like much of football-loving America was suckered. Vick’s redemption made them lose sight of his reality.

No, no, none of this opinion is based on Vick’s dog-fighting past. For once, that has nothing to do with it. For now, by mistakenly placing the future of their team in the injured hand of a battered quarterback who is costing them millions, it is the Philadelphia Eagles who are serving their punishment.

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Photo: Michael Vick sits on the bench with an injured hand while during the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 29-16 loss to the New York Giants. Credit: Eric Hartline / US Presswire

 
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