The Philadelphia Eagles are supposedly blessed to have Michael Vick as their quarterback. Eagles fans like myself know that someone with Vick's play-making caliber doesn't come around too often - although we've already been spoiled by Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb. However, Vick often isn't on the field long enough to wow us, due to a long history of injuries.
The Washington Redskins have the makings of the next Vick in Robert Griffin III, who has already had his share of dazzling moments. But while Griffin may be the next great rushing quarterback, he can't afford to match Vick in other areas - like injuries.
Yet in just his fifth start, 'RG3' has already suffered his first concussion, which knocked him out of the Redskins' 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 7. Now not only is Washington hoping to have him back soon, it hopes this isn't the start of a long series of injuries to come. But if the Redskins really need a cautionary tale, they need to look no further than the Eagles and Vick.
Of course, Vick's injuries haven't been a problem yet this season - as turnovers have really killed him and Philadelphia this season. But the Eagles know that eventually, Vick is likely to get knocked out before he can master the art of protecting the ball - as he always does.
Both Atlanta and Philadelphia never figured out how to reduce the risk for Vick - at least without making him less dangerous. If these perennial contenders couldn't properly protect Vick, what chance does a perennial cellar-dweller in Washington have to keep Griffin healthy?
The Eagles couldn't master this balancing act, and now they have no choice but to live with Vick's fragile nature. Unfortunately, he isn't giving them much bang for their buck right now, as he gets older, more banged up and sloppier with every week.
Given that Washington has made Griffin into no less than its future savior, the Redskins can't afford to have him meet the same fate as Vick. Then again, if Griffin becomes less of a threat, then Washington becomes less of a threat to Philadelphia in the NFC East - and it already has enough to worry about from the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.
However, the Eagles have enough to worry about from Vick, in more ways than one, before they can even think about their rivals. Philadelphia was seduced by Vick's play-making and hot streaks two years ago - especially when he peaked in a Monday night blowout over Washington in Nov. 2010. But more and more, that stretch of brilliance looks more like a mirage - or at least it reappears far less than the Eagles need it to.
This could well be the Redskins' future with Griffin if they aren't careful - and they usually haven't been in the last 20 years. But Washington still has time to solve this problem before it gets worse -- although it has less time now after this first concussion. Yet with Vick, Philadelphia may be beyond the point of no return.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
Other stories by this contributor
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Michael Vick
- the Eagles