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Vick signs with Eagles, fans shouldn't worry

By: Nick Popyack

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       After a stellar offseason filled with promise, the Eagles’ preseason has been, how should I put it… Lackluster.

       First, Brian Westbrook had surgery on his ankle and was declared out for the entire preseason. The Eagles saw it as a blessing in disguise, as it would keep Westbrook fresher for the regular season and give his backups time to absorb the offense.

       Then Jim Johnson passed away after battling skin cancer. As they introduced Sean McDermott, they were sad at the loss of a great man, but confident that his replacement would do well.

       As the Eagles opened training camp, they did so without their top draft pick, Jeremy Maclin. This was troubling for the Eagles, as their most promising rookie wasn’t in camp learning the offense, but it gave other players a chance to shine, so the Eagles looked past it.

       Then Juqua Parker was arrested for drug possession. The Eagles looked at their situation, and just hoped it wouldn’t get worse.

       Unfortunately, the next news stories for the Eagles were injury updates: MLB Stewart Bradley and TE Cornelius Ingram are out for the year, and Todd Heremans will miss the rest of the preseason. Stacy and Shawn Andrews weren’t practicing due to injuries. Trent Cole injured his shoulder. Suddenly, the year that was like a dream come true had turned into a nightmare for the Eagles.

       The last thing the team needed was another distraction.

       And yet, a little before halftime in their preseason game with the Patriots, it was announced on the airwaves that Michael Vick, a man that had recently finished serving a 23-month prison sentence, had just signed a $1.5 million one-year deal [with a second year option] with the Eagles.

       At first glance, one would think that this is exactly the wrong thing for the team. They already added plenty of young starters to this offense this offseason, after all. Mike Vick can only bring protestors, not wins. The season’s officially in the toilet, right?

       Wrong.

       The last thing the Eagles are looking for is someone that would bring negative attention toward the team. After the T.O. show left Philadelphia, Joe Banner knows better than to bring in someone who could be destructive to the locker room, as does the rest of the Eagles organization. Andy Reid stated in his post game press conference that Banner along with himself, Jeff Lurie and Donovan McNabb all had paid close attention to Vick when he got out of prison, and were all hoping to get him in a green uniform.

       One thing that you can’t overlook is his prison sentence. Yes, he fought dogs, but he served his time for it. He admitted he was wrong, and has the trust of former NFL coach Tony Dungy, one of the classiest and most trustworthy guys around, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a guy that is quick to discipline those who deserve it. If he’s convinced those two, as well as the head guys in Philly, he’s convinced me.

       As far as what he can do for the Eagles, that’s another story for another day. Reid stated in his press conference that he “had a couple ideas” but wouldn’t say how Vick would be used in the offense. Of course the obvious place to put him would be at quarterback, but the Eagles just signed McNabb a two year extension. Then thoughts go to last year’s ‘Wildcat’ plays that took the league by storm.

       I think the Eagles can be much more innovative than just adapting the ‘Wildcat’.

       I can remember seeing a particular play when Vick was in Atlanta. The Falcons brought in an extra quarterback. When they broke the huddle, the second string quarterback stood under center and Vick lined up in a trips formation as a wide receiver. The second stringer took the snap and threw to Vick, who looked like he was receiving a screen pass. He then faked as if he was going to go through with the screen when he threw to a wide open receiver for a decent gain.

       However the Eagles use him, it has the potential to be deadly to opposing defenses and possibly revolutionary to the NFL as we know it. Could you imagine an entire game of football played with two quarterbacks on the field at the same time?

-Pope

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