SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
Dead Birds Society
What an uplifting game for the residents of Southern Louisiana . It was almost like a spiritual cleansing for the American sports world. Two teams that Americans love to root for.
The win came one week before the beginning of their yearly festive in February, Mardi Gras. Now the real work begins for NFL team presidents, general managers, assistant managers, and head coaches.
These men and women have to make their respective teams equipped to challenge for the next Super Bowl Championship in Arlington, Texas.
Many teams will jockey for position to trade players or pick up eligible college players during this 2010 draft. The Philadelphia Eagles are one of these teams.
The biggest question the Eagles have to answer is who will be behind center in 2010? Last year, they went through a quarterbacking carousel with nothing to show for it.
Jeff Garcia, A.J.
Feeley, Kevin Kolb. Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb have taken snaps. The Eagles must make a decision and stand by it.
Vick and McNabb’s contracts are up for negotiations at the end of next year while Kolb has to either sign or become a free agent this year. Garcia and Feeley were released last year.
The Green Birds are doing their annual major trade talks. For Philly, the name Donovan McNabb, the All Star quarterback, resurfaces at the end of every year.
Michael Vick also has been named on the Birds’ trading block. If this happens they will rely on their limited, tested quarterback, Kevin Kolb, which is a risky venture.
The past three weeks rumors about releasing Vick the third-string quarterback have been strong and from reliable sources. This is shocking news especially after giving this star quarterback a second chance and the way he performed on the field this past season.
The Eagles would then bank on second string quarterback Kevin Kolb in the 2010-11 seasons and that’s a time bomb ticking. They don’t really know what they are getting in Kolb because he has not played many games the past four seasons.
DEAD BIRD FLYING When the Eagles drafted McNabb in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft (2nd overall), the rabid football crowd in New York City booed and screamed.
Philly fans wanted Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams from Texas, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints two picks later.
It has been a love-hate affair with McNabb in the City of Brotherly Love ever since the fall of 1995. Philadelphia has had conflicts with many other African American sport superstars in the past.
This current episode continues this city’s trend with Black players.
What more can McNabb do? He has taken them to four consecutive NFC East titles (2001-04), five NFC Championships, and one Super Bowl appearance against the New England Patriots but lost.
Ask the Buffalo Bills if they would have traded Jim Kelly, a Hall of Fame quarterback that guided their team to four straight Super Bowl losses. The Bills fans, organization, and management never mentioned the word trade.
Can Philadelphia learn from this pattern? Philly fans and management are a different breed and have a different agenda. And Donovan has failed to get them a Super Bowl Victory since 1995. So, What have you done for me lately? is their motto, their loud repeating chant. The Eagles will be seeking a trade for McNabb.
Mistake number one.
DEAD BIRD FLYING The Vick signing in Philadelphia in 2009 was a complete stroke of genius. The Eagles now have a quick mobile quarterback to backup Donovan who is getting older.
Vick coming in the 3rd and 4th quarters would kill tiring defenses with his legs and agility. The Eagle organization had to struggle with the national issue of animal rights the first few weeks of the season.
Then the organization had to deal with Kevin Kolb’s mental attitude of not getting the 2nd position job. A job that he had been waiting to acquire for years.
One year ago, Vick was released from Federal Prison and served his probation time for his dog fighting charges. He wanted to play football. Vick worked hard for the Eagles reading the playbook and putting in the extra hours at practice.
Yes, Allen Iverson, practicing with the green, black, and white birds pays off.
Philly fans went nuts, as expected over the Vick signing. They did not want a convict to be on their team. A few Eagle fans turned in their tickets and burned their team clothing.
But they didn’t see the whole picture.
They did not see how this man could help the Eagles get to the playoffs.
They just saw another Black man getting out of Federal Prison and were determined that he should never play football again or at least not their beloved team.
A product of Virginia Tech, Vick was the first African American quarterback that was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft . He led the nation in passing efficiency during his freshman year with the Hokies.
The Atlanta Falcons used him immediately and was named to the Pro Bowl one year later. He then guided Atlanta to their first playoff appearance including an historic win at Lambeau Field over Brett Favre.
In the next round, the Falcons ironically went up against the Eagles and McNabb. Years later they would battle in the NFC title game, the first Championship game between two African American quarterbacks.
Vick has redefined the position of quarterback and they have even renamed his position as the Wildcat. Now that is an impact on any sport to have a position named after you and Vick has done that.
The Eagles still want to release Vick because of their salary cap and budget restraint issues. Mistake number two.
DEAD BIRD FLYING Next year, the Eagles will probably start Kevin Kolb from the University of Houston. In 2006, he threw 30 touchdowns and 3,809 yards for the Cougars with a 10-4 record and Conference USA player of the year.
This was Kolb’s best year.
Philly drafted him in the second round in 2007(36th overall). He seemed to be the next in line for McNabb’s job until Vick showed up at Lincoln Financial Field.
Kolb’s pro career has been limited because he sat on the bench most of the time. He has 79 competitions, in 130 attempts with 885 years and four touchdowns.
He appeared in five games in 2009 the most since he has been in South Philly . He is currently under negotiations with the ball club for a new contract because that will be the end of his current contract.
The question remains can the Eagles count on a player like Kolb that has not performed in critical game situations. The Eagles are hoping that he will be another Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, or Tony Romo.
Final mistake number three.
DEAD BIRD FLYING
With Kolb under center, the Eagles MIGHT win eight or nine games in the tough NFC East. Kolb does not have the mobility of Vick or the arm strength of McNabb but he is still an above average quarterback that needs more protection and time when he throws the football.
So this organization this summer will be at the crossroads and their future remains in doubt until they make a definite decision on who will be the leader of this Northeast team or they will be a DEAD BIRD FLYING