With McNabb gone, what is Vick's role?

Leading up to the Donovan McNabb trade on Sunday night, Eagles QB Michael Vick was somewhat outspoken about his desire to find a starting gig elsewhere in the league.

There was plenty of speculation — including from me — about where Vick might end up competing for a starting job. Places like Buffalo, San Fran, Carolina, etc. But all that ended when head coach Andy Reid did what the NFP’s Michael Lombardi said all winter long he would do — hold on to him. There was no deal, and no matter what comes out of Philadelphia in terms of talk, McNabb was the quarterback Reid wanted to move all along.

And now Vick goes back to being a toy, a gadget in Reid’s offense behind the new starter — Kevin Kolb.

In a story by Paul Domowitch of Philadelphia Daily News, Vick was reserved to the point he gave company-line answers, saying after the McNabb deal, “Andy said Kevin is going to be the starter and that’s what it is. He’s the coach. He runs the team and that’s what it’s going to be. My job is to come in every day and ultimately try to get better and get myself ready for any role that I have to play, whether it’s behind center at quarterback or wherever it may be.

“It’s not an open competition. What I’m going to do is continue to help Kevin. Continue to help this team succeed.”

Not what you would expect to hear from Vick after this offseason, but the right answers if you’re in his position. What can he say at this point? He didn’t get that ticket out of town, that opportunity to prove himself in an open competition.

From a creative standpoint, I happen to like what Vick can bring to the Eagles when Reid installs specific personnel packages to get the football into his hands. Call it the wildcat or just call it Vick in the shotgun running the spread option, he can still be effective — and still provide something for opposing defenses to prepare for in the red zone.

But that’s pretty much it for Vick in terms of having a direct impact on Sundays in 2010, because this Eagles franchise had enough confidence in Kolb to trade away its franchise quarterback of the last 11 seasons. He isn’t the main attraction for the Eagles and most likely will never be. His chance to actually compete again for a starting job won’t happen until 2011 when he’s a free agent.

Until then, he will play the same role he did in 2009 when he came in to provide something different and something Reid believes is unique to the Philadelphia offense.

Only now, he’s one play closer to getting on the field full time — and losing his status as a situational player.

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