Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Dizzying ride with Birds QBs continues

The Eagles´ Michael Vick  jogs with GJ Kinne during Eagles practice. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
The Eagles' Michael Vick jogs with GJ Kinne during Eagles practice. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Thank goodness we're only a week away from the start of the 76ers season. At least that's a team whose fans know where to stand in regard to their feelings. Rather than have a center controversy, the Sixers just keep playing entire seasons without a center.

It's an ingenious way to go about losing, which is the only right way for the Sixers to approach this unique season as they prepare for the 2014 draft and what they hope is a better tomorrow.

Things are much more complex for Eagles fans as the season reaches the midpoint Sunday with a game against the 1-6 New York Giants. In a perfectly normal world, you'd arrive at this tailgate in the green, white, black, or pink jersey of your favorite Eagles player, fire up the grill, and hope the home team can finally put an end to an embarrassing nine-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field.

A win over the woeful Giants would put the Eagles back at .500 for the season and guarantee that they'd be no worse than a game behind the Dallas Cowboys, who very well could lose to a decent Lions team in Detroit.

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    In the perfectly dysfunctional world of the Eagles, you cannot be sure what scenario the fan seated next to you is rooting for. The problem, of course, all revolves around the revolving quarterback situation.

    Last week, Nick Foles was definitively the quarterback du jour and possibly the quarterback of the future. Michael Vick was declaring himself out with a bad hamstring and rookie Matt Barkley had zero NFL experience.

    This week, Foles is recovering from a concussion and almost certainly is out against the team that just a few weeks ago got him back into the quarterback conversation. Vick is the quarterback du jour, but he was either (a) unwilling, or (b) unable to definitively declare that he'll return against the Giants just a few weeks after departing against them with that pulled left hamstring.

    "I wish I could give you a definite answer [about Sunday's game] right now, but I can't," Vick said after taking all the first-team repetitions during practice Tuesday.

    That didn't stop a lot of people from trying to get Vick to give a definite answer.

    "You're just going to get it out of me right now?" Vick said in a playful response to one questioner. "Put it all out there?"

    That was the hope.

    "I guess you can't get it out of me," Vick said. "I'm optimistic about it."

    Vick, perhaps with his hamstring at less than 100 percent, will be playing Sunday unless he has a setback this week in practice. That should have Eagles fans optimistic about the team's chances against the Giants. With Foles still trying to clear his head, the only other options were Barkley, who does now have an NFL experience, albeit an entirely miserable one against the Cowboys, and G.J. Kinne, who was added to the practice squad Tuesday.

    Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said Kinne did some nice things in training camp, and I apologize for missing them.

    The debate about Foles vs. Vick was in full bloom after the Eagles beat the Giants a couple of weeks ago. Now, after Chip Kelly's offense fell apart in the coach's first confrontation with the Cowboys, the concern seems to be more about the future than this week's game against the Giants or the eight games after that.

    It was assumed at the start of this season that the quarterback of the Eagles' future was going to come from the 2014 draft. Now, the Eagles have a chance to win seven to nine games and that may be too many to draft one of the elite quarterbacks.

    There are already mock drafts out there that have Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, and UCLA's Brett Hundley going to places other than Philadelphia. Of course, a mock draft in October is a complete crock and the possibility that one or more of the above quarterbacks could stay in college or fail in the NFL is a very real possibility.

    That's why Eagles fans should live in the moment. Show up Sunday in those green, white, black, and pink jerseys, gobble down whatever is on your grill, and hope that Vick can get the offense going again. Worry about the quarterback of the future later.

    And remember this: At least the Eagles have a center.

     


    bbrookover@phillynews.com

    @brookob

     

    Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
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