Reid admits he was wrong and so do I

BY Jason Whitlock • September 22, 2010

Of course trading Donovan McNabb to a divisional rival to make way for the Kevin Kolb era was a huge mistake.

The solution to that error isn’t to ignore Michael Vick’s unexpected brilliant play, the shaky performance of Philadelphia’s offensive line and return Kolb to the starting lineup.

What you do is assess the new information and make the decision that gives your football team the best chance to win now and going forward.

This is Andy Reid’s finest moment. His critics come off as disingenuous and/or obtuse. We beg for powerful, prideful and wealthy men to demonstrate the courage to admit their mistakes and quickly correct them.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Reid did just that, acknowledging his intelligence might have overstated Kolb’s weapons of mass construction and recognizing Vick might finally be prepared to ascend to his QB destiny.

Reid hasn’t damaged the immediate or long-term future of the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s making a play to enhance both.

There’s a reason Vick was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2001 draft and Kolb was the 36th pick of the 2007 draft. Vick was supposed to be the next Steve Young, a left-handed Hall-of-Fame quarterback with the athleticism to play receiver. Kolb, with a little luck, was supposed to be a poor man’s Drew Brees.

The second coming of Steve Young is superior to a cheap Drew Brees knockoff, especially when your offensive line consistently fails to protect the quarterback.

Vick can be Philly’s starting quarterback for at least the next six years. He’s just 30, the same age Young was when he took over in San Francisco. Young won a Super Bowl and two MVP trophies during his eight-year reign in the Bay.

Look, I’m no huge Michael Vick fan. I trashed him pretty much the entire time he played in Atlanta. He reminded me of Allen Iverson, a great talent who lacked the discipline, character and professionalism to be a big-time winner. I repeatedly pointed out that Vick’s black sycophants/enablers were the main reason he failed to mature. Hell, just a couple of months ago, I wrote this column bashing Vick for hosting a “white linen” party that ended in gunfire.

But I’m not going to deny the kid is balling out of control right now. I’m happy he’s finally living up to his potential. And I pray that prison, a year learning under McNabb, mentoring from Tony Dungy and the amazing demonstration of faith Reid and the Eagles organization just showered on Vick help the QB properly handle this success.

I’m like Andy Reid. I’m willing to adjust to new information.

Vick did hard time, lost a fortune and destroyed his reputation for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. That debt is paid. We have to be open minded and let the new Michael Vick emerge.

I absolutely love what I’m seeing on the football field.

“His accelerated play was brilliant,” Reid told reporters in Philadelphia Tuesday. “This is what I think is right. He’s back and maybe even a little better.”

Hell yes, he’s better. He’s more focused. He has more weapons than he ever had in Atlanta. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy are all in-their-prime playmakers.

What I love most about Vick 2.0 is the humility he’s shown throughout this process. After he backed up his marvelous second-half play against the Packers with a fabulous performance against the Lions, Vick stated he had no problem turning the team back over to Kolb. When Reid flip-flopped Tuesday, Vick told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio that he felt “humbled.”

This is potentially a phenomenal story about the kind of redemption that is possible in America. The story is about the possibilities that lie ahead, not what transpired in the past.

McNabb is still my favorite current player. I’m still not happy the Eagles jettisoned him shortly after they acquired a group of skill position players who could complement McNabb’s abilities.

I began this season hoping Kolb would fail, Vick would be a disaster and Reid would get bounced on his ample ass.

I’ve changed my mind. This is a better story.

An organization with a reputation for cheapness and stubbornness gave Kolb $10.5 million in guaranteed money, committed to Kolb throughout the offseason and reacted properly when presented a set of new facts.

Reid is my new favorite football coach, and I hope the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.

E-mail Jason or follow him on Twitter. Media requests for Mr. Whitlock should be directed to Fox Sports PR.

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