The decision was made official on Tuesday, but not the one anyone but Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid knew was coming. Michael Vick has taken over as the starting quarterback.
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Reid made a complete 180-degree turn from what he said after Sunday‘s victory over the Detroit Lions and what he had been saying for several days, that Kevin Kolb would be the starter once he was medically cleared to play after his concussion.
So, why did Reid, a man of conviction, change his mind?
Having covered Reid for many years, I know this has to be a strictly a football decision and nothing else. It’s really about winning. When he makes a decision, he usually sticks to it. It’s not about someone getting in his ear or letting outside influences sway him one way or the other.
“I’ve had the full support of the front office,” Reid said. “I counseled with (GM) Howie Roseman today and bounced some things off of him, but the first person I met with on this decision was Kevin Kolb.”
But what changed after the team got back from Detroit Sunday evening?
Reid didn’t give the exact time line, but he did say he took his time making the decision.
“Listen, when you deal with a decision like this,” he said, “you take as much time as you possibly need to take, and so I did that. It’s not my obligation to tell people my decision. It’s my obligation to make the proper decision. That’s why I took the time to do that.”
All 32 NFL teams receive the tape (coaching tape in NFL jargon) of their last games the next morning. In fact, very early in the morning. So, Reid saw how well Vick played against Detroit before his news conference on Monday afternoon. By watching the tape, he could see all 22 players on the field at the same time. He could see every good and bad decision, but he also could see Vick had a terrific game.
The left-handed quarterback didn’t try to run after going through just one progression, as he has been criticized for so many times in the past. He was willing to stay in the pocket and run the plays as they were designed by Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg leading up to the game. In fact, Vick did some things he rarely did earlier in his career.
As a pro personnel source from another team told FOXSports.com Tuesday evening, Vick may have performed better than he ever did with the team that drafted him back in 2001.
“Did you see the game? I don’t believe the guy has ever played better. I don’t recall him ever playing that well for Atlanta,” the source said. “It was like he went through some kind of mental transformation. I know he was the talk around the office for a bit on Monday.”
And now Vick will have his chance to show that the transformation will continue going forward. If not, he’ll be looking for a job again next season.