Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid opened the door wide open for a quarterback controversy surrounding the team this week when stating that he would evaluate Mike Vick’s performance as time goes on to determine whether he would continue with the starter or rookie Nick Foles.
And, once again, a quarterback controversy in the city of Philadelphia was born.
Reid has continuously backtracked from those comments since making them on Monday. On The Coach’s Show on 94WIP, he stated definitively that Vick is his starter. In his comments to the media on Wednesday, Reid revealed that he had pulled Vick aside to clarify his words. Reid explained,
“Well, it was the way that it was interpreted. That’s not what I had in mind. [Eagles director of football media services] Derek [Boyko] explained to me how it was interpreted and so, I’ve talked to Mike, made sure I mentioned it on my radio show. You guys are very good at what you do, so I [want to] make sure we clarify it. Bad semantics there.”
And in case that wasn’t clear enough to those present, Reid emphatically stated a few moments later, “Michael is our starting quarterback.”
For his part, Vick says that he was never concerned about Reid’s comments. On his conversation with Reid, the quarterback stated
“We talked about it. We spoke about it but it wasn’t anything serious. We’re in a position where we have to look forward to this week. We have to get ready for this game [and] that’s what is most important. Any outside distractions can become a deterrent to this team so we’re just trying to move forward and get ready for the next game.”
So, just chalk it up to semantics, eh? It’s hard to believe that Reid wouldn’t understood the magnitude of his remarks when he made them. To state publicly that you’ll evaluate the status of one of the league’s few $20 million/year quarterbacks and then not think that it would cause shockwaves? Uttering the very word “evaluate” means that if what you’re reviewing isn’t up to snuff, there will be measures taken to improve performance.
I’ve heard that Andy Reid was very hurt at his portrayal by the media as a liar when he stated one day in 2010 that Kevin Kolb was his starter and the next announced that Mike Vick was his guy. There is a possibility that Reid wishes to no longer speak in absolutes in order to avoid finding himself in a circumstance. But, at the same time, not doing so opens a giant can of worms. Like, for instance, what unfolded moments after Reid uttered the words, “We’ll evaluate it as we go.”
The Eagles have been a prominent topic in the national media this week first because of their crash-and-burn performance in the desert, and then because of Reid’s comments. Philadelphia learned last year that keeping quiet and not drawing attention to yourselves is an important luxury. Who knows what Reid’s thoughts truly on his quarterbacks, but his comments on Wednesday were designed to downplay any drama that would distract from the importance of this week, when the Eagles face their first divisional foe–and the team who snuck in the back door of the playoffs and won it all to boot–the New York freaking Giants.
This team needs every minute of focus on defeating Big Blue. Keeping Vick upright would help as well. Whatever happens down the line with Vick versus Foles will happen and will be dealt with then.
Brandyn Campbell is writer and founder of the Eagles blog Philly Sports Muse. Follow her on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.