Thursday, February 11, 2016

Vick, Troy Smith and the Eagles' LBs

What are the odds that the Eagles will cut Michael Vick? Plus notes on the Birds' over/under win total, Troy Smith and the linebackers.

Vick, Troy Smith and the Eagles' LBs

Troy Smith said he had heard "a little bit" about speculation that the Eagles would pursue him if they had to cut Michael Vick. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky)
Troy Smith said he had heard "a little bit" about speculation that the Eagles would pursue him if they had to cut Michael Vick. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky)

An e-mail from popped up in my inbox yesterday with two items that are of interest here.

The first concerns Michael Vick. Bodog sets odds around whether Vick will be a member of the Eagles in Week 1:

Yes (-180)
No (+140)

I know we're all pretty sick of discussing this situation, but two quick thoughts. One, I do think that Andy Reid sees Vick as a real weapon for him now that he'll be in his second year in the offense. I think Reid is excited about the idea of getting Vick on the field for a handful of snaps each game and giving defenses something else to game-plan for. So it's not as simple as the Eagles just making a decision on their backup quarterback. Reid and company look at Vick as more than that.

More coverage
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Will the Eagles go over or under 8.5 wins?

And two, if the Eagles were to cut Vick, they'd be admitting that this whole experiment during the last 11 months was a mistake. This is a prideful organization. I don't think they want to do that. That being said, there's only so much they'll put up with so nothing would surprise me at this point.

Moving on, the other item in the Bodog e-mail was a list of over/under win totals for all 32 NFL teams. The Eagles' number:

Over 8.5 (+110)
Under 8.5 (-140)

The Cowboys' number is 10; the Giants 8.5; and the Redskins 7.5.

What do you think? Over or under? Vote in the accompanying poll.


WIP's Howard Eskin reported last week that the Eagles were taking a look at Ravens quarterback Troy Smith in the event that they had to cut ties with Vick and find a backup. A team source, however, told Jeff McLane of the Inquirer that the report was not true.

Pro Football Weekly's Dan Parr caught up with Smith and asked him if he's heard about the speculation that the Eagles could be interested.

"I heard a little bit about it, but during the offseason, especially during this time, it's about getting your body ready for training camp," Smith said. "It's about getting your body ready for all the things you're going to endure during the season. I can't control any of that stuff. I can only do what's in my power to get better as a quarterback and fine-tune my skills and abilities."

Was he intrigued about what he heard?

"I've never been through a situation like this, so it's all brand-new to me," Smith said. "I can't say that it isn't (intriguing). Even though you suit up for certain clubs and organizations on a Sunday, all 31 other teams see you. It's definitely a business. It's becoming kind of redundant when I say it, but that's what it is."


Linebackers are next up on the list of positional rankings from Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole. The Eagles come in at No. 19:

If Ernie “Cinnabon” Sims can get back to being the 100-plus tackle a year defender he was for the first three years of his career, the Eagles will have gotten a bargain for the fifth-round pick they gave up in the trade for him. Sims never developed into the dynamic player the Lions expected when they took him in the first round in 2006, but the Eagles aren’t looking for that. Likewise, if middle linebacker Stewart Bradley returns to full health after missing last season, the Eagles are solid there. The weakside spot is still in question with Moise Fokou looking like the starter, but the depth is good with Omar Gaither and Akeem Jordan.

Cole is incorrect here. Sims is the starter at the weak-side spot, but he'll get some competition from Jordan. Fokou is penciled in as the starter at the strong-side. And Gaither can provide depth in the middle or at the weak-side spot.


I posted yesterday evening about the Eagles and their defensive goals.

We are exactly two weeks away from the first practice at Lehigh (for rookies and selected vets). Great time of year coming up.

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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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