In the wake of Sunday’s 56-pass performance from the Eagles in Cleveland, the light bulb flickered.
With owner Jeffrey Lurie leaning publicly on coach Andy Reid to get better this year or get lost, the pressure potentially pushed Reid away from the running game — and the stress likely has trickled down to Mike Vick. Now, Reid must figure out how to snap Vick out of his Week One funk.
Vick, as we explained last year in the days after his much-hyped six-year, $100 million contract was inked, is operating under a two-year, $32.5 million deal. After this season, the Eagles have to decide whether to bring Vick back in 2013, at a base salary of $16.5 million.
So it was well known in 2011 that Vick would have to do enough that year and this year to get the Eagles to keep him next year. And, if they keep him next year, he’ll have to do enough to get them to keep him the next year.
With the Ravens coming to town for Week Two, followed by a pre-bye slate that includes games at Arizona, a Sunday nighter against the Giants, a trip to Pittsburgh, and a home date against the Lions, Vick needs to find his 2010 groove. If he doesn’t, and if the losses start to pile up, a short-leashed Andy Reid could decide to try to salvage the season — and his job — by giving rookie Nick Foles a try.
Though it likely won’t happen today (then again, who knows?), the Ravens defense sufficiently rattled Reid and former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb four years ago to prompt Reid to send McNabb to the bench for the first time in his career. Given the manner in which McNabb responded four days later, with a Thanksgiving night romp over the Cardinals that carried the Eagles all the way to the NFC title game (where they lost to the Cardinals), Reid has to be at least pondering the potential upside of sitting Vick down for all or part of a game.
If Reid isn’t, then Reid isn’t doing everything he can to ensure that he’ll have a 15th year in Philadelphia.