Plenty of eyebrows raised today when Tony Dungy told Dan Patrick that the Eagles signed quarterback Mike Vick “sight unseen.”
Surprisingly, Eagles coach Andy Reid wasn’t asked during Friday’s press conference whether he indeed took a chance on a guy who hasn’t played football in 30 months, without eyeballing whether he still has his skills.
We’ve confirmed that, indeed, there was no workout. Per a league source, the Eagles opted not to kick Vick’s tires in order to preserve the secrecy of their pursuit.
But what’s worse? Allowing word of the workout to leak or taking a chance on the guy without knowing whether he still can bring it?
Meanwhile, we’re confused by the team’s decision to do the deal with Vick without first floating the news in order to get a feel for public reaction, or without waiting to see how his upcoming interview on 60 Minutes is received.
We respect folks who are resolute and decisive, but we sense a possible discrepancy here.
On one hand, the Eagles didn’t want people to know they were pursuing Vick, presumably so that the Eagles wouldn’t face criticism prematurely. On the other hand, they dropped the news out of the blue sky, ignoring opportunities to get a feel for whether and to what extent they would be criticized.
Maybe the truth is that they don’t really care about the criticism, but that they didn’t want to face criticism unnecessarily or prematurely.
And we think it’ll take time to determine the extent of the fallout. Plenty of locals are complaining, but we’re far more likely to hear from the naysayers in the short term. As time passes, though, it remains to be seen whether a groundswell of real opposition emerges, after the folks who might be inclined to attack this move get a chance to mobilize.
Perhaps in the end that was one of the reasons for keeping it secret. Since the animal-rights groups didn’t know that the Eagles might be the destination, there was no opportunity to get organized by Friday morning.
While there’s still plenty of time for pickets and protests, the fact that the PETA crowd already missed the boat might cause them to choose not to jump off the pier and start swimming.