July 26, 2012;Bethlehem, PA. USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Kafka (3) throws a pass during training camp at Lehigh University. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
It was an impossible reality to ignore despite the sadness that filled the hills of Lehigh- there is still football to be played.
What happened on the field Sunday did not matter in light of the news of the day, but had Andy Reid been there, he would have liked what he saw.
Both Michael Vick and Mike Kafka had strong days on Sunday during the afternoon practice, as they both showed improvements from what had been average to subpar camps for both of them so far.
To say Vick had been having a subpar camp might not be fair, but during the early days of Lehigh, he certainly was not standing out. But yesterday, Vick showed flashes of the player that has people all over the NFL excited about what this Eagles team can do this year.
With how dangerous he can be as a scrambler, it's easy to forget that Vick has an amazing arm when he is in the zone. On one play yesterday Vick dropped back in a 7-on-7 drill, made his reads, then hit Maclin on the hands about 35 yards down the field. What was impressive about the throw was that it had to be perfect as it was in a small window that opened up between 2 defenders. Vick lofted the ball right over Kurt Coleman's hands and into Maclin's. Maclin dropped the pass, but it didn't take away from the throw by Vick.
A few plays later Vick put together both his feet and arm as he had to backpedal due pressure from the defensive line. While going backwards, Vick threw a laser about 15 feet off of his back foot to DeSean Jackson along the sideline. The strength it takes to make that throw should not be forgotten and it is a throw that only a few quarterbacks in the league could have made.
Overall on the day Vick showed great decision making and anticipation and looked very sharp. It was good to see Vick get going for the first time at Lehigh, but it was equally as good to see Mike Kafka turn things around.
Kafka came into camp in a fight with Trent Edwards for the title of back up quarterback. While Edward's poor play has made it less of a battle, Kafka has still struggled. Kafka will never blow people away with his arm strength, but was what really troubling early was to see some of the bad decisions he made with the ball. Kafka is only going to succeed in this league if he plays within a system, doesn't force things, and takes what is given to him. He is not the kind of athlete that can take over a game.
On Sunday, Kafka made much better decisions with the football.
During a blitz drill, Kafka was forced to roll to the outside, something that really is not his strength and is a situation where he isn't set up to succeed. But as he rolled out, you could see Kafka keep his eyes down the field and not give up on the play. It worked out, as Kafka hit rookie WR McKay Jacobson along the sideline for a first down. It was good to see Kafka not get rattled, show some decent athleticism, but most importantly not force something that wasn't there.
On an earlier play, when the Eagles wide receivers were going against the secondary, Kafka showed off some arm strength. DeSean Jackson got free down the sideline and Kafka hit him in stride about 40 yards down the field for the completion.
Is Kafka the long term answer if Vick were to go down for five or six games this year? Despite a strong day yesterday the answer is still likely not.
But it was good to see Kafka show some improvement as the season gets closer, and at least on Sunday, he looked like a player that could get the Eagles through a game or two if he had to.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks