Say what you want about Andy Reid, but when it comes to developing a quarterback, Andy Reid is brilliant. This is not just about the recent success of Michael Vick; this is about the development of the quarterbacks under Andy Reid during the past 11 seasons.
Prior to coming to the Eagles, Reid was an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers. Reid joined the Packers in 1992, the same year the Packers drafted Favre. Reid would be a key figure in the development of the future Hall of Famer, and this would eventually lead to the Eagles hiring Reid in 1999.
We all know what Reid did with his first pick when he joined the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid would develop Donovan McNabb into arguably the best quarterback in Philadelphia Eagles history. However, if you followed the Eagles throughout the past decade you know that McNabb was not exactly durable, so other quarterbacks had to step in and fill the role.
In 2002, little known AJ Feeley helped the Eagles preserve their playoff hopes as he won four of his five starts before McNabb took over in the playoffs. The success did not go unnoticed; however, when Feeley was traded in 2004 to the Dolphins for a second round pick. Feeley would also receive a formidable contract from the Dolphins.
Another QB that Reid helped to reinvent himself was Jeff Garcia. Garcia was said to be washed up before coming to the Eagles. However, Garcia again became a household name when he took over for McNabb after a season ending knee injury in 2006. Many believed the season would be over, but Garcia led the Eagles to the playoffs that year.
Next we enter Kevin Kolb. While we have seen little of Kolb, it’s obvious that he is a starting quarterback in this league. Once again, many questioned the move to draft Kolb in the 2nd round in 2007. Kolb has spent the past three seasons learning behind McNabb, but this was supposed to be his break out year. Unfortunately this came to screeching halt when he sustained a concussion during the first game of this season.
This opened up the door for Michael Vick to show that he is still an elite quarterback in this league and he did not look back. Vick has single-handedly changed the outlook of the season from a rebuilding year to being playoff bound. When the Eagles signed Michael Vick two seasons ago, many critics questioned the Eagles integrity. Despite the offseason issues, Vick has been a true blessing for this Philadelphia Eagles team. Reid and his staff have transformed Vick from an athlete playing the quarterback position to a bona fide passing quarterback.
Sure, Reid may not be the best at time management or play-calling, but he is a genius when it comes to evaluating and developing quarterbacks.