As stunning moves go, this one ranks right up there: Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has decided that Michael Vick, not Kevin Kolb, should be his starting quarterback right now.
Nothing against Kolb, who was knocked out of the Eagles’ opener by a concussion, Reid said. It’s just that Vick has exceeded all expectations. Reid even said Vick is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Perhaps this is what Eagles fans wanted all along, but it’s difficult not to chastise Reid for his broken promises. He vowed last week that Kolb would return to the starter’s role when he had recovered from his concussion, and he repeated himself Monday. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he reversed field and gave the job to Vick.
This decision had nothing to do with Kolb. He’s been cleared to play and was supposed to start Sunday on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now that won’t happen.
It’s hard to argue against Vick, even if you despise him for his past transgressions. He threw for 175 yards and ran for 103 more in a season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers after Kolb was hurt, then threw two TD passes in a 35-32 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday – his first start at quarterback since the 2006 season.
So maybe Vick stays hot and the Eagles go on a roll. If that happens, no one will remember that the coach isn’t a man of his word. That will be yesterday’s news.
Here’s what Reid said of Vick: “I think his play has even exceeded expectations over the last two weeks. This has nothing to do with Kevin Kolb's injury. … The future of Kevin Kolb is not slighted by this. He has a chance to be a franchise quarterback. This is about Michael Vick and his accelerated play.
“He's sitting there as possibly the hottest quarterback in the National Football League and he deserves a chance to play.”
He’s going to get it. Reid said he had the support of the front office, and he said that Kolb has not asked for a trade – at least not yet.
And what about everything he said about Kolb?
”At the time, I told you what I believed,” Reid said. "Obviously I'm not, like any of us, able to predict the future. Michael went out and did a phenomenal job the last two weeks. ... Very few quarterbacks can go out and play the way he's played the last couple weeks. … Michael Vick is playing out of his mind right now, and that's a beautiful thing.”