Paul Domowitch: It could be one-and-done for Eagles' Vick

Michael Vick could be a 1-year wonder with the Eagles.
Michael Vick could be a 1-year wonder with the Eagles.
Posted: October 09, 2009

It's still too early to tell where this whole thing with Michael Vick and the spread-option offense (aka Wildcat) is going to go.

One place I can tell you with absolute certainty that it's not going to go, though, is into next season. Well, the offense might stick around, but Vick's not going to be here.

From the beginning, the unwritten understanding between the Eagles and the prodigal quarterback was that this was a 1-year-and-done marriage.

Yes, the team does have an option to keep Vick for a second season at the hefty price of $5.6 million. But unless something drastic happens, like, say, both Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb get abducted by aliens, they have no intention of exercising that option. And that's the way Vick wants it.

Vick is here strictly to refurbish his image and serve as Andy Reid's Wildcat toy for a season. Nothing more, nothing less. If he doesn't do anything stupid off the field, and completes a few passes and runs for a few yards on it, he should be marketable enough after the season to draw a second-round asking price in a league that currently has just 20 quarterbacks with a passer rating above 80.0.

Those of you who think Reid brought Vick to town with the idea of him possibly replacing McNabb as the Eagles' starting quarterback in 2010 need to get a clue. Or go watch some tape of Vick trying to run the West Coast offense when he was with the Falcons.

It wasn't pretty. The guy might own the best set of legs of any passer in history. But he never developed into a very good quarterback. He was Vince Young before Vince Young.

His completion percentage in 2004, '05 and '06 never rose above .564. Threw just 11 more touchdowns (49) than interceptions (38) in those 3 years. A statistic that tells you everything you need to know about Vick: He has averaged more yards per carry in his career (7.3) than yards per pass attempt (6.6).

Falcons coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp bent over backward trying to adjust their offense to Vick's particular talents. The most luck they had was when they essentially bagged the West Coast and ran the spread-option.

Because of the concern over a rookie wage scale, a larger-than-usual number of underclassmen are expected to declare for next year's draft. Many NFL personnel people already think it could be the most talent-rich draft ever.

The Eagles already have a nice stockpile of 2010 draft picks. Seven picks in the first five rounds, including two in the third. They likely will wind up with a third third-rounder as the final piece of the Lito Sheppard trade. And they could be awarded a pair of third- or fourth-round compensatory picks for losing free agents Brian Dawkins, Correll Buckhalter and Tra Thomas.

If they were to get a second-round pick for Vick, they could go into next April's draft with as many as seven of the top 100 selections.

Around the league

"He's [still] our kicker," coach Tom Coughlin said. "But we do have an issue we have to get corrected, let's face it. Those [missed] three points are going to be critical going forward."

-- Jim Zorn has been the Redskins' head coach for 20 games and his team has yet to score 30 points in a game. Through four games this season, they are 27th in the league in scoring, averaging just 14 points per game. To give Zorn a little help, the Redskins' thoughtful owner, Danny Snyder, brought in the obligatory "fresh set of eyes," hiring Sherm Lewis, a former offensive coordinator with the Packers, Lions and Vikings, as an offensive consultant.

-- Because he works for a whacko owner with an itchy trigger finger, the popular thinking has been that Zorn probably would be the first head coach canned this year. But the frontrunner at the moment appears to be the Bills' Dick Jauron. If the 1-3 Bills lose this week to the Browns, it would be their second straight loss to a winless team (they were beaten by the 0-3 Dolphins last week, 38-10) and might prompt owner Ralph Wilson to let him go. If Jauron gets the boot, the likely interim replacement is Bills special teams coach Bobby April, who also has the title of assistant head coach.

-- Michael Crabtree finally signed with the 49ers this week for pretty much the same terms he was offered by the team in July. Dumb? Absolutely. Even Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who drew criticism for his own 8-day training-camp holdout, thinks Crabtree blew it.

"If that was me . . . it's just not worth it [to hold out that long]," Maclin said. "[If] you get slotted you get slotted. You don't ask for money that you didn't get taken at."

Crabtree was the 10th overall pick in the draft and the second wideout taken, three picks after the Raiders selected Darrius Heyward-Bey; Maclin went 19th. Because most NFL teams that know what the hell they're doing had Crabtree rated ahead of Heyward-Bey, Crabtree and his agent, Eugene Parker, felt the slotting process didn't apply to them and asked for the same deal Heyward-Bey got.

-- Everything is going swimmingly for 40-year-old (as of tomorrow) Brett Favre and the 4-0 Vikings right now. But the same was true last year when he was with the Jets. He led them to an 8-3 start and then his arm went kaboom and nobody lived happily ever after.

"You always have to think it may happen again," warned ESPN's "Monday Night Football" analyst Ron Jaworski. "I'm sure the Vikings are going to be very judicious about how they handle Brett. The number of throws. He took a lot of hits in the first three games and got knocked down an awful lot. They have to do a better job of protecting him. And they have to monitor the arm strength and give him some time off, give him some rest."

From the Lip

-- "We have not been able to run the ball with any kind of consistency. We have not been able to throw the ball with any kind of accuracy or anything like that. So we have to improve, really, in all areas offensively." - Raiders coach Tom Cable whose offense is ranked 32nd in passing and 28th in rushing

-- "I want the penalty call. I want 15 yards. I don't care whether they hit me or not, that's an advantage for our offense. I go hug the ref before the game, ask about his kids and stuff like that. I'm trying to get him on our side." - Patriots QB Tom Brady on whining when a defensive player comes near his knees

-- "If we keep playing like we're playing, we'll be fighting to save our own job. So it's not a point of going out there and being like, 'We have to play to save coach's job.' '' - Bills defensive tackle Marcus Stroud on the uncertain job security of his coach, Dick Jauron

-- "When you get a new staff, they're going to try to bring in their guys and get rid of the guys that don't fit in with their philosophy. I think that's what's happening this year. New guys are coming in that are [head coach Eric] Mangini's guys and some guys that aren't are going to be out the door." - Browns left tackle Joe Thomas on the trade of Braylon Edwards to the Jets

By the numbers

-- Brett Favre, who will turn 40 tomorrow, will become only the 12th quarterback in the Super Bowl era to start a game after turning 40. Only four have started five or more games after their 40th birthday since 1966 - Warren Moon (25), Vinny Testaverde (25), Doug Flutie (6) and Len Dawson (5).

-- Through four games, Terrell Owens has just eight receptions for 158 yards and one TD. It's the worst four-game stretch of his career since becoming a starter.

-- Since the current 12-team playoff system was instituted in 1990, 22 teams that had a losing record through the first 4 weeks of the season rebounded to make the playoffs. Four of those 22 made it to the conference championship game, including the 2001 Patriots, who won the Super Bowl.

-- Colts' Peyton Manning has thrown for 300 yards in each of his team's first four games. He's just the third player in NFL history to start the season with four straight 300-yard passing games. The other two: Kurt Warner (2000) and Steve Young (1998).

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Domo's rankings

2. Vikings (4-0)

3. Colts (4-0)

4. Saints (4-0)

5. Patriots (3-)1

6. Ravens (3-1)

7. Jets (3-1)

8. Eagles (2-1)

9. Falcons (2-1)

10. Steelers (2-2)

11. Packers (2-2)

12. Chargers (2-2)

13. 49ers (3-1)

14. Broncos (4-0)

15. Bears (3-1)

16. Bengals (3-1)

17. Cowboys (2-2)

18. Jaguars (2-2)

19. Cardinals (1-2)

20. Dolphins (1-3)

21. Titans (0-4)

22. Seahawks (1-3)

23. Texans (2-2)

24. Panthers (0-3)

25. Redskins (2-2)

26. Bills (1-3)

27. Lions (1-3)

28. Raiders (1-3)

29. Browns (0-4)

30. Chiefs (0-4)

31. Bucs (0-4)

32. Rams (0-4)

1. Giants (4-0) To Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for foolishly challenging the Broncos' eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey on the final two plays of Sunday's 17-10 loss. On both of the plays, Romo tried to hit wide receiver Sam Hurd, who ran slant routes on Bailey. Bailey knocked away both passes to preserve the win. I could make a joke here about what sex with Jessica Simpson does to a man's brain. But Romo never was a Mensa candidate to begin with. To Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, whose Monday night performance against his old team, the Packers, more than lived up to the game's hype. Favre completed 24 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns in his team's 30-23 win. Not bad for a guy who will turn 40 tomorrow. Through four games, Favre is third in the league in passing with a 104.7 passer rating and just one interception in 125 pass attempts. To Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who is, in my mind, one of the best interviews in sports. Intelligent, funny, honest, he's the whole package. Asked the other day about the confident attitude that he and head coach Rex Ryan have brought to the Jets, he said, "I think we're no more confident than any other team. I just think the only difference is we tell you [media] guys that and the rest of the people lie to you." -- Colts quarterback Peyton Manning needs just one more game with a 100-plus passer rating to become the third QB in league history to register a 100-plus rating in 70 regular-season games. Brett Favre has the most with 96 (88-8 record), Fran Tarkenton is second with 74. Manning's teams are 62-7. Donovan McNabb has 38 games with a 100-plus rating. The Eagles are 37-1 in those games. The loss was a 21-20 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 7, 2001. -- "We're 0-0 as far as I'm concerned. We've got to understand that the second quarter of the season begins [this week]. It's all even, and that's the only way we can think." - Chiefs coach Todd Haley, whose team is 0-4 as far its fans are concerned

-- If the Giants' Lawrence Tynes doesn't start kicking better, he might soon find himself out of a job. General manager Jerry Reese brought two kickers in for tryouts this week after Tynes missed a sub-40-yard field goal attempt for the third straight game Sunday against Tampa Bay.

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