Is Vick the best option on short yardage?


A little more than a week before the Eagles open the regular-season at the Linc against the Packers, head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg still are being purposely vague about their plan for Mike Vick in the offense.

We weren’t able to glean much about Reid’s plans for Vick in last night’s 21-17 preseason loss to the Jets. With Kevin Kolb getting the night off, Vick started this NFL equivalent of watching paint dry, playing a little more than a quarter before joining Kolb on the sideline. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 56 yards and rushed for 11 yards on 2 carries.

Last week’s game against the Chiefs may have offered the best clue for how Reid and Mornhinweg intend to use Vick. With Kolb playing almost three quarters of that game, Vick twice replaced him on third-and-short situations.

Entered the game on a third-and-1 at the Philadelphia 41 on the Eagles’ third possession and ran for 5 yards and a first down. Later, he replaced Kolb on a third-and-2 at the Eagle 47 and gained 8 yards.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mike Vick, your short-yardage quarterback.

I’m sure a fair share of you think it’s a bad idea to yank your starting quarterback in key situations such as third-and-1 and third-and-2. I’m guessing it’s not an idea that really thrills Kolb to death either.

But if the Eagles want to have any hope of making a deep playoff run this season, they absolutely, positively must get better on third down. No offensive deficiency hurt them more in ’09. And no player may be able to help change that more this season than Vick.

 If we’ve learned anything about the guy in this preseason, it’s that he’s got his legs back. He once again is the catch-me-if-you-can scrambler we knew before he lit a match to his life and his career.

Spread out the opposing defense with a three-wide receiver set on third-and-2 and the opposing defense is faced with a dilemma. Do they bring up the safety in the box to defend against the run and leave DeSean Jackson and/or Jeremy Maclin with a one-on-one opportunity on the outside, or do they keep the safety back and try to defend Vick with a nickel front of 4 linemen and 2 linebackers?

Read more in tomorrow's Daily News.