Eagles may need to get Vick ready quickly

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Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson was the architect of the Dallas Cowboys' dynasty in the mid-1990s. His team celebrated two consecutive Super Bowl victories with Johnson at the helm. He joined "FOX NFL Sunday" in 2010. Follow him on Twitter.

The Eagles proved to the Panthers and everyone else the amount of talent they have. Donovan McNabb was just so-so before he injured a rib. But the Eagles' defense got seven turnovers, including a fumble for a touchdown, while DeSean Jackson had a punt return for a touchdown. They showed against Carolina that they are going to be a dangerous team all season because there is a tremendous amount of talent in Philadelphia.

Eagles vs. Panthers

Eages vs. Panthers How'd the Eagles whip the Panthers, 38-10? Dick Stockton and Charles Davis fill us in.
Generally, when I talk about the Eagles having success, I am talking about McNabb and Brian Westbrook. But, really, it has been some of the other players that were pivotal to their big win Sunday. I love Jackson. I think he's a pure talent. The concern is McNabb now. If the Eagles are going to make a run at the championship, they need a healthy McNabb. When McNabb is healthy and feeling good, he makes so many plays when he is moving around in the pocket either throwing or running. That's when he is most dangerous. If he's not healthy, he's not going to be able to run around to find the open receivers. I would be concerned if McNabb is out an extended period of time. We've already heard he will probably miss next Sunday's big game against the Saints. Yes, they have Kevin Kolb and they will probably bring back A.J. Feeley, but I think Michael Vick is a long way away from being very effective. After watching him in preseason, my prediction was Vick would not make a major contribution until midseason or later. But if McNabb is not healthy, I think coach Andy Reid should put Vick on the 53-man roster this week. Even though he is not eligible to play next week, I would start practicing him. Vick needs to get ready, and he's not going to get ready watching from the sidelines. If Andy doesn't want to do that, I think he should consider bringing back Jeff Garcia if McNabb is going to be out for an extended period of time.

No need for Cowboys to be exotic

I really loved how the Cowboys approached their season opener. They were very conservative to start the game in Tampa. They established the run and did that while getting all three backs involved — Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. They weren't really exotic in the passing game until late in the second quarter.

Cowboys vs. Bucs

Cowboys vs. Bucs The Cowboys struggled early but roll past the Bucs. Daryl Johnston and Kenny Albert break it down.
But once they got it going, they opened it up in the second half and hit some big passes. Tony Romo threw for over 350 yards. I liked that approach. They weren't as solid defending the run, but I think that showed the strength of what Tampa does very well and that Cadillac Williams is really back healthy. This was important. I mean, they took a punch from the Bucs, withstood it and won. Last season, the Cowboys were 3-5 on the road. It was a good road win for them. The other key was no turnovers for the Cowboys. Turnovers killed them late last season. So, that's always a key. I felt Romo was solid. Now, we all know the Cowboys have been solid in previous seasons in the beginning. The whole key for them is to keep this going and not get too caught up in themselves. When they do that, they start throwing it all over the field. I've already talked to several Cowboys people about this. Against teams you should beat anyway — and the Bucs are in that category — you don't need to be exotic. They should just run the football, get a lead and open it up a little bit in order to win. But you don't have to be exotic to beat those people, those type of teams.

Cool Brees

I know Drew Brees was playing against the Detroit Lions, who have lost 18 straight games now, but he was still very impressive. Even playing against air, throwing six touchdown passes is something special. I think Brees can do this about every week, too, especially in the Superdome. It's like he's playing fantasy football. Howie Long said on our show he thought arena ball was over with, but that's what the Saints are playing right now, arena ball. He makes it look so easy.

Saints vs. Lions

Saints vs. Lions While Drew Brees dominated, the Saints got a complete effort in their win over the Lions. Trent Green and Chris Myers see bright things ahead for New Orleans.
Mike Bell is the Saints' third running back, and he easily went over 100 yards. When defenses are so scared to death of facing Brees, not wanting to give up all those touchdowns and all those yards, it makes it pretty easy for the running back. I am so disappointed in how Carolina looked against the Eagles. I am now reconsidering my opinion of the Saints. The Saints can be a factor in the NFC South with the Falcons. After the way Jake Delhomme played and that Carolina offensive line, the Saints might be a factor. What still troubles me is that a rookie quarterback and the Lions scored a bunch of points on that new, improved New Orleans defense.

Wildcat fever

I spent a lot of time talking about the wildcat offense on our show, and I think I saw at least eight teams ran some wildcat plays on Sunday. I wouldn't be surprised to see every team show it at one time or another during this season, some more than others. Teams are going to defend it better than they did a year ago because they have been practicing more against it. The Dolphins felt that like they were going to surprise the Falcons on Sunday when they put rookie Pat White in there. But that wasn't the answer for them. He's still a rookie quarterback.

Conservative approach with 49ers

I like Mike Singletary's approach to the San Francisco 49ers. He has his team playing really good defense. They gave Kurt Warner all kinds of problems. They were making him hold the ball longer than he wanted, and they were forcing him down the field. The four-man rush got to Warner pretty good.

49ers vs. Cardinals

49ers vs. Cardinals The Cardinals' high-powered offense couldn't get it done against the 49ers. Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan tell us how San Francisco pulled the upset.
Offensively, the 49ers continue to be very conservative running the ball and then they mix in a few shots down the field. They are playing probably like a lot of mediocre teams ought to play. They kind of know what they can and can't do. Some teams don't realize what they can't do and still attempt to do it. That's how they get themselves in trouble. The strength of the 49ers is to play solid defense, and they did that against the Cardinals, while trying to do some things on special teams and run Frank Gore. Shaun Hill made enough plays in the passing game to put his team in position to win. I know they won't score a lot of points playing this way, but it will keep them in a lot of games. I really believe the 49ers can continue to play this way because they are in the NFC West. Seattle is not that strong, and the Seahawks may be the pick in that division. St. Louis is obviously a poor football team, and Arizona is in the mix. The Cardinals got on a hot run last season in the playoffs, but they were only a 9-7 team. What I really like about San Francisco is that they are trying to add some toughness to that division. I wouldn't consider Seattle a team of toughness, and the Rams are a team of not much of anything. Arizona is not a team of toughness. But this tough approach sets the 49ers apart from the other three teams in the division. It might give them an edge in the West. Every year we see teams like the 49ers emerge. What I mean is a team that turns things around and has a good year. I'm not saying they are going to win it all. I'm just saying they seem to finally have a chance to be successful.
Tagged: Falcons, Cowboys, Lions, Rams, Dolphins, Saints, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers, Cardinals, Michael Vick, Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, Donovan McNabb, A.J. Feeley, Drew Brees, Jeff Garcia, Shaun Hill, Brian Westbrook, Tony Romo, Frank Gore, Marion Barber, Kevin Kolb, Felix Jones, DeSean Jackson, Tashard Choice, Pat White

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