If there is anyone who can relate to the struggles Michael Vick is going through and the pressure he is under while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s Donovan McNabb. The Philadelphia media had its way with McNabb for years and there were times when the fans were worse. During an appearance on “NFL AM” Tuesday morning, McNabb defended Vick in the wake of reports that he could be benched this weekend.
“I think you get in a situation where once you start hearing the boos and hearing the radio stations talk, and people on the outside begin to bring your name up of being benched, then you begin to lose focus, and now your play begins to fall and you begin to focus on other things,” McNabb said according to Pro Football Talk. “I think for Michael Vick, I think it’s important for him to feed off of what he did last week: not turning the ball over, protect the football, give his guys an opportunity to make plays for him and good things can happen.”
Vick has done a horrible job of protecting the ball this season, but handing the reins to rookie Nick Foles is not necessarily the answer. Philadelphia’s defense has also been a major issue — as evidenced by their decision to fire former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo — and their offensive line has done very little to protect Vick.
“Start mentioning some of the defensive players that need to be benched,” McNabb continued. “Maybe the offensive line needs to be benched. There’s other people that need to be in this situation besides Michael Vick.”
Eagles coach Andy Reid is facing a serious dilemma. If his team misses the playoffs, Reid will likely be out of a job. Vick probably gives Philly the best shot at making the postseason due to his raw talent and experience, but the Eagles have an out in his contract and could part ways with him after the season. If Foles is the quarterback of next season and beyond, it would make sense to hand him the offense now. However, that could cause the Eagles to take a step back in the short term and prove costly for Reid.