Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid “likely” will bench Michael Vick, his quarterback of two years and give the job to rookie Nick Foles.
That’s what Howard Eskin, the sideline reporter on Eagles radio broadcasts, tweeted on Monday.
“Andy Reid met with coaches after game on sunday to discuss QB situation,” Eskin tweeted. “Meet again Mon Morn. I’m told likely QB change to Foles.”
But Ian Rapoport of NFL Network followed up with a report stating that, while Reid is open to the change, he probably isn’t ready to do it just yet.
Foles impressed in pre-season games, after both Vick and then backup Mike Kafka got hurt. Foles had the NFL’s best passer rating in August warmup games (110.1) and completed 63.4% of his passes, for six touchdowns against only two picks.
The University of Arizona product is of the classic dropback mould — he’s 6-foot-6, 243 pounds — and possesses a strong arm.
But he hasn’t thrown a single pass yet in a regular-season game.
Is Reid crazy? Not at all.
Of course Reid is considering the switch. Not because of what Foles can offer so much as where Vick’s head is at. Vick practically screamed to be benched after the pounding the 3-4 Eagles took from Atlanta on Sunday.
“Obviously, (Reid) is thinking about making a change at the quarterback position,” Vick said after the game. “If that’s the decision that coach wants to make, then I support it.”
He supports it? How could Vick say that? Who would want a quarterback that wouldn’t fight to the death to keep his starting job?
Not that starting a raw rookie would help the desperate Eagles win any more than even a resigned Vick would.
But confidence is everything in the NFL. And for a head coach, so is making decisions that don’t undermine your credibility with your team.
We don’t know whether Eagles players privately are fed up with Vick’s inconsistencies and sloppiness, or would stage a mutiny if he’s benched.
If it’s the former, Reid has to do it. If it’s the latter, he’d be crazy to do it.
If, however, it’s somewhere in between — the likeliest scenario — then it’s a gut call for Reid.
All that’s on the line is his job and, likely, his legacy as an NFL coach. That’s all.
SUPER MARIO REJOINS BILLS
Mario Williams rejoined his teammates on Monday, and will resume practising with them on Wednesday in preparation for the Buffalo Bills game Sunday against his old team, the Houston Texans.
This, after having had his sprained left wrist “cleaned out” by a doctor in Alabama last week, when the Bills had a bye.
“It is definitely feeling better than what it was before,” Williams said.
An ESPN report on the weekend, citing team sources, said Williams made the decision on his own to have the surgery, and not in conjunction with the team.
Williams said otherwise on Monday.
“We felt like it was the best decision to kind of clean it out.”
Williams, the NFL’s highest-paid defensive lineman, has only 3.5 sacks. He said the injury had been nagging him since late in the pre-season, and even prevented him from lifting weights.
Asked if he felt like he was playing with one arm, he said: “Yeah, whenever you cannot really work out and you cannot use your hand, definitely it was that way. That is why I really wanted to do it after talking to the training staff. We all made a decision to go get it done.”
Bills head coach Chan Gailey said: “Hopefully he does not miss a beat. Hopefully he is better. That is why we did it.”
As for other injuries, Gailey said guard Andy Levitre did “everything” at Monday’s practice, guard Kraig Urbik is expected to play this week, offensive tackle Cordy Glenn’s on-field work was “encouraging” and defensive end Mark Anderson might return to practice Thursday. If he does, there’s a chance he’ll play this week.
JONES-DREW OUT AGAIN
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said star running back Maurice Jones-Drew will miss his second consecutive game this coming Sunday against Detroit. He has a sprained foot. In Green Bay on Sunday, MJD hobbled around on crutches in street clothes, wearing a protective boot.
TRADE DEADLINE EXTENDED
Because of Hurricane Sandy, the NFL’s Manhattan offices were to be closed Monday and Tuesday, compelling the league to extend by 48 hours the trade deadline. It will now be at 4 p.m. EDT Thursday.
MORE TEBOW, FINALLY?
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Mark Sanchez still “gives us the best chance to win. That’s how I feel. Can Tim (Tebow) be successful? Yeah, absolutely, and we need to look at that as well.” Ryan agreed when a reporter asked if he would be looking at ways to use Tebow more during this bye week. “I definitely think that that is a fair statement … I think we’re going to take a hard look at how we’re using him.”
TANNEHILL INJURY NOT SERIOUS?
Per his policy, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin did not provide an update on the status of quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s injuries. The rookie had an MRI after suffering knee and quad-contusions against the Jets. Phiblin does not discuss injuries until later in the week, but did say Tannehill was “optimistic on the plane” back to Miami.
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, on leave while he battles a rare form of leukemia, stopped by the team’s offices Monday and sat in on a coaches meeting, interim coach Bruce Arians told reporters. Arians added that Pagano said he was feeling well.
SHANNY FEELS LIKE SHHHHOOT
On exposing his rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to danger after receiving a throwback pass from wide receiver Josh Morgan in the loss at Pittsburgh, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said, “After looking at that play, you feel like a complete dumb s**t.”