Much has been said about Vick's inability to stay healthy, that's pretty much a concrete fact at this point. Now I do think that Vick can stay healthy however he's at his best when he doesn't have to play while worrying about an injury because when you're trying not to get hurt in football that's typically when an injury happens. So I say just let Vick play how he plays let him use his athletic ability and let him go head first and fight for every yard he can get.
Now, as the title said Vick missing time will not kill our season, I'm not saying him out of the lineup isn't a bad thing, I'd be worried if he missed any more than 5 games this season because relying on a backup to keep you in the game for that long is a tough situation to put Foles, Kafka, Edwards or whoever in.. However let's just say that Vick misses 5 games for the sake of argument and I'll explain why that won't kill our season after the jump.
Our Defense isn't exactly playing at a top 5 level like I think they can however they're definitely not losing us games and I don't think that will begin once the regular season starts. Just from watching the first unit during these preseason games it's evident that our D is playing much better than they were last season. It's insane to see how much of a difference having DeMeco Ryans has made, he's stopping the run, he's shedding OLmen and he's solid against the pass, that's about all we need out of him and he's doing his job right now, I expect him to only get better as he gets healthier. Kendricks looks good right now and Rolle seems to be doing a solid job. As far as Safety goes that's definitely our weak point however Coleman hasn't done anything to stand out negatively and neither has Allen, in fact I believe Allen has looked like a solid piece who should continue to grow and get better.
My point in all of this is that with our DL and all the new pieces in place they're gelling fine and we will likely have a defense that is going to be able to help carry a backup QB for 5 games if they can stop committing stupid penalties on 3rd down. This is a huge change from the last two years where the Offense has had to carry the Defense.
People often underrate the Special Teams which drives me up a wall at times. From 2010-2011 the loss of hidden yardage was a big deal, we had steep declines in Punt and Kick return yardage, this simply means that if we start at the 20 every single time and forcing the Offense to go 80 yards down the field we're putting a backup QB at a major disadvantage where as if we can get some big returns and cut those long drives down half the time then we're in much better shape.
Now when it comes to kicking Field Goals I'm not to worried, hell I'll take 3 points over punting the ball or turning it over any day of the week. We happen to have a Kicker in Henery who did very well last season and I expect more of the same this season.
I also think it's good to note that we have good coverage units, we haven't allowed any huge returns so far this pre-season and we've even gotten a big play from Boykin who caused a fumble when we had to put the ball away Monday against the Patriots. I think this is a great thing because if we can cause the oppenents offense to start at the 20 every time and put together long drives that gives us time to either cause a punt or make something happen on defense. The point is that great special teams can help carry a team, take a look at the 2006 Bears team if you need some proof.
The great thing about all of this is that if Vick misses time whoever is filling in for him won't have to carry the team themselves because we have top notch weapons at just about every position to ease the burden. With guys like Jackson and Maclin you have big play guys who can turn a 5 yard slant into a 70 yard TD, combine that with guys like Avant and Celek who are more possession guys and you have a great set of pass catchers who can do the damage for you.
Not only would the replacement QB have a great set of Receivers to throw to but he'd also have LeSean McCoy who is simply a stud at Running Back, he's a guy that the Eagles can lean on for an extended period of time. I'd even say that McCoy has the ability to carry this offense if it was needed. And as the past has shown when McNabb went down the Coaching Staff will lean more on the run and less on the pass in order to take pressure off of the Backup QB.
The final thing that'd be going for the backup QB would be the Offensive Line, they've been very up and down this preseason but our OL's typically are like this, we all panic during the preseason then we're happy by Week 3 of the preseason, that being said we don't need anymore breakdowns like when Vick got hurt, that's what gets guys like Foles and Kafka killed. The offensive line is still a strength even without Peters, I think this year we're going to see Dunlap play at a high level.
What we need out of the backup QB:
Everything mentioned above is great in theory, however as history has shown not every backup QB is going to be good, the backup will simply have to lean on the team for help. What I mean by this is that this guy will have to keep the Eagles in the game by protecting the football and getting the ball to the playmakers. We don't need Superman, we simply need Dilfer during this hypothetical 5 game stretch that Vick's recovering.
This all being said I do believe that the Eagles should make Foles the backup to Vick, I know they love Kafka but Kafka hasn't ever looked as good as Foles has during these 3 games. Not only that but Foles seems to be a guy that you can look to the future and have some excitement about because the way he's been playing and the way he's carried himself he seems to have that "it" factor.