--Posted By BountyBowl--
I feel like I should be dodging lightning bolts while writing this, but I think Ray Didinger is seeing the upcoming week's Michael Vick sideshow in the wrong light. That is, I'm not buying Didinger's argument that the attention on Vick will prevent the Eagles from addressing the team's more, ahem, fundamental concerns:
This would probably be a good time for everyone to stop thinking and talking about Michael Vick, but of course that can’t happen.
Vick is eligible to suit up and play for the Eagles on Thursday against Jacksonville, so that will be the storyline for the next week. Will Vick play? Where will he play? How much will he play? How will the fans at Lincoln Financial Field react?
That’s all you will hear between now and then.
And it’s the last thing this football team needs.
The Eagles need to address the larger issues. The penalties, the dropped passes, the erratic special teams, the blown coverages and the short yardage breakdowns. We didn’t even mention the offensive line, which remains in tatters with the first regular season game less than a month away.
I'd be the last one to suggest that the Eagles aren't sensitive to PR and media relations, but I don't think that a bunch of breathless Sportscenter reports and holier-than-thou columns about Vick's first appearance in an Eagles uniform will make Andy Reid forget that his team is kind of a mess (for you optimists, we'll say "work in progress"). When the head coach -- not known for publicly criticizing his troops -- calls his team "embarrassing," well, I feel pretty confident that he's aware that there's plenty of room for improvement.
If anything, the Michael Vick obsession amongst the blathertariat will actually distract us from the poor state of the team right now. Without Vick, we might actually be slightly panicked about the Birds. Instead, we'll get plenty of column inches devoted to predicting the crowd's reaction when he enters the game on Thursday. You're telling me that's not better for everyone than yet another imaginary Donovan McNabb argy-bargy or Shawn Andrews doomsday scenario?
Also, I would guess that the last thing that the Eagles are going to do this week is install any "new formations for Mike Vick." No way. He'll be running the base offense, and that's it. Why would the Eagles want to show anything interesting or new in a preseason game?
In other words, don't sweat the Vick thing too much, Mr. Didinger -- I'm sure Andy Reid is plenty worried about the state of his team, and probably not bummed out to have a diversion for the press corps.
Not that we'd overreact to a preseason game....