2012 Philadelphia Eagles
Vick, Eagles Ready to Soar
The City of Brotherly Love should be full of fans that are chomping at the bit for the upcoming NFL season to begin. Their Philadelphia Phillies just gave them their first feeling of a championship in decades. If their beloved Philadelphia Eagles live up to their pre-season hype, then they should be in Super- Bowl-or-Bust mode for the 2012 season. The Eagles have one of the most talented rosters in the league, and one of the most respected coaches in the league in Andy Reid. But the biggest variable in the Eagles success this season could be the addition of the electrifying Michael Vick. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Philly to make it to Tampa this January. Click Here to Read More
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The Eagles took a huge chance by picking up Vick after his release from prison for dog fighting charges brought upon him two years ago. Though convicts and the NFL have seemingly been going hand in hand for a while now, the Eagles have been one of the squeaky clean franchises the NFL has had to promote. So, maybe that is exactly why when NFL commissioner Roger Godell reinstated Vick, Philly was the team that jumped on the opportunity. The more I think about it, it’s a perfect fit. Vick can come into a winning environment where the team was already good before he arrived, minimizing the pressure put on the shoulders of a QB that was locked in a jail cell, instead of on a football field last season. He’s not expected to be any savior in Philly, because Philly doesn’t need saving. They we’re a few plays away from the Super Bowl last year, losing to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. The Eagles have one of the most recognizable, marketable faces in football with QB Donavon McNabb. The Chunky Soup® peddler led the push to bring in Vick, and having a veteran, African-American QB to be there to mentor Vick will definitely smooth Vick’s transition both on and off the field.
The Eagles have already said they plan to use Vick all over the field at many different positions. The possibilities are endless; the offensive coordinators must be drooling. It’s not every day that a number one overall pick falls into your lap. No one can be sure if Mike Vick will ever be the same player we remember leaving defenses looking silly while he was scrambling around for the Falcons. But if he’s anything close, he can be used in a variety of ways. How many teams have put two players on the field that were both cover boys on the Madden® video game? EVER? Having two high profile QB’s also could come in handy if McNabb should need time off with an injury during the season. An acquisition like Michael Vick is exactly what the Eagles might need to get them over the hump.
If Philly is successful with obvious help from their new signing, they’d be following a current trend in sports. The Lakers rose to the mountain top after aquiring Pau Gasol to put their team puzzle together. Now many teams in the NBA are following (Shaq to the Cavs, Vince Carter to the Magic, etc.) Before that, the Celtics needed to get Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to bring a Championship to Bean Town. This year’s best team in baseball, and the team I think will win it all, The New York Yankees, are famous for making their team better by addition. This year’s installments of C.C. Sabathia and Mark Texiera have clearly made them a different team. It’s the new rave in sports to try and go out and make your team better by bringing in better players, rather than staying pat with your roster and trying to improve what you already have. And the Philly Eagles seem to be the next in line to win off that ideology.
It’s a good sign that the leaders of the Philly franchise are clearly about winning. Some owners of sports franchise are more about the bottom line on the team’s income statement than W’s in the win column. The Eagles have proved they aren’t one of those teams. They have been a fixture in the NFC Championship game over the last decade, with one Super Bowl trip to show for it. The mere signing of Vick shows the Eagles care more about winning then being a blemish free franchise, which is a necessity in this league if you want to win. PETA protesters stood outside of the Eagles complex the day the news broke of the Vick signing. Many Eagles fans called into local radio stations to express the disapproval of the move, and many plan to boycott games. But in the words of Charles Barkley, “Winning covers all that stinks.” If Vick comes out and makes big plays and their winning, all will be forgotten and all the stadium seats in Philly will have butts in them. It’s a proven fact.
Philly should be well equipped to deal with the distractions that come with Vick, in fact they should be used to it. Remember the T.O. drama during their Super Bowl run. Not to mention the fiasco that occurred last year when McNabb was temporarily benched, only to regain his starting spot back and lead the to the NFC title game. Even their reserves get a lot of press: WR Hank Baskett has a reality show on E! with his new wife, former Playboy playmate Kendra. So the Eagles are no strangers to headlines, and the coaching staff is experienced in handling it.
On the field, Philly has more weapons that anybody else in the league. Besides the aforementioned QB’s, Philly has do it all running back Brian Westbrook, who’s the best receiving RB in the league. DeShawn Jackson was explosive as a rookie last year, and all the camp reports point towards him being even better this year. The Eagles also had, in my opinion, the best Day 1 of the NFL Draft picking up Jeremy Maciln, LaSean McCoy, and Cornelius Ingram, all of which are expected to make plays this year. Kicker David Akers, a Kentuckian, will win any close games that come down to late field goals. The Eagles should put up a lot points.
So what’s not to love about the Philly? Well for starters they play in the toughest division in the NFL (NFC East also includes Cowboys, Giants and Redskins). Non-division home games against the Raiders, 49ers, Broncos, Chiefs, and Bucs should provide relief though. The Eagles defense has question marks, including having to deal with the departure of the face of their defense for the past decade or so in Brain Dawkins. But I truly believe Andy Reid and their staff will be able to plug those holes like they always have.
All things considered, the Eagles became the team to beat in the NFC when they got Vick. Who would have thought that it would be another QB that would provide Donavan McNabb his much desired ring that has eluded him his entire career? Maybe he could team up with Michael Vick to do some dog food commercials… OK that’s pushing it.