With one preseason game to go before quarterback Mike Vick begins a suspension that, given the presence of a bye during the first five weeks of the season, will last four games at most, the Eagles have a final opportunity to get him some game reps in a game that doesn’t count.
Coach Andy Reid said Saturday that there’s a “good chance” Vick will play on Thursday night against the Jets.
“I’m just going to see how he does, how he progresses this week,” Reid said. “Again, he didn’t have any setbacks in the game; I just want to see how he does this week.”
Reid also said that Vick, who was on the field for six snaps on Thursday night, might participate in consecutive plays. We assume there’s also a chance that he’ll take a shift (unfortunate typo narrowly averted) as the every-down quarterback.
Though the “rhythm” complaint from starting quarterback Donovan McNabb likely won’t be a factor if, as expected, McNabb doesn’t play in the preseason finale, Reid addressed generally the concern that shuttling Vick in and out of the game made it difficult for the offense to establish a proper flow.
“I think that’s all part of this – just kind of getting used to it and working through it,” Reid said. “I think, from a coaching standpoint, from a player standpoint, and so on, I know there was a lot of hoopla around him getting into the game and I think that will settle down once we get playing in season games and everybody will just play. We’ll go from there, but listen, it was a new thing and we’ll just continue on working it and see how things work out.”
Still, unless Vick is part of the every-down package, the process of inserting and removing him periodically will require a huge adjustment.
And, as Sal Paolantonio of ESPN points out, this approach doesn’t reflect the strategy of the “Wildcat.”
“With Vick, the Eagles are not running the Wildcat,” Paolantonio said via e-mail. “The Wildcat entails the running back already on the field, and the running back as a threat to throw the ball.
“The Eagles are running the Slash offense just like the Steelers did with Kordell. (We all know how that worked out). The Wildcat is the threat of the running back throwing the ball.
It is not the threat of the substitute quarterback running the ball. Big, big difference.”