The Giants are preparing for Michael Vick but it looks like the Eagles are preparing Vince Young.
Vick broke two ribs against the Cardinals and his play suffered in the loss on Sunday. While Vick hasnt been ruled out against the Giants, he did not practice on Wednesday.
The Eagles took a particularly guarded approach when asked who will start if Vick is unable to play, but all signs strongly point to Young starting over Mike Kafka in that situation.
Kafka said that he and Young split the first team reps at practice Wednesday after several offensive players said Young took most of the reps in the morning walk-through.
Its our job to be ready, Kafka said. Me and Vince and Mike will be prepared for this game. Were just splitting the reps right down the middle.
Young is a veteran winner, a two-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. Kafka is an unproven second-year guy out of Northwestern.
Well see how practice goes this week, Reid said before Wednesdays practice, unwilling to tip his hand.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said he expects Vick to play and that his team is preparing for him, not Young or Kafka.
Honestly, were preparing to see Michael Vick, Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck said. Until he comes out in street clothes, Ill be prepared to play against Michael Vick.
With Kafka inactive Sunday, Young took the only snap when Vick was out of the game. He didnt throw a pass. On his one snap, it looked like Young was unsure if he was supposed to line up under center or in the shotgun. On Wednesday, Reid explained that particular play can be from either.
While Kafka claimed that he and Young split snaps on Wednesday, its still likely that Young would get the start if Vick cant go on Sunday.
You got to take that up with Andy, Young said when asked about starting in the potential absence of Vick.
Young has thrown only one pass this season an interception against the Redskins in the sixth game of the year. A two-time Pro Bowler with the Titans most recently in 2009 Young has a 30-17 record as a starter in the NFL. He also beat the Giants in 2006 and 2010.
Young started eight of the nine games he played in last season for the Titans but hasnt started a game in almost a year. His last start came on Nov. 21, 2010 against the Redskins, a 19-16 loss. He didnt play in the Titans last six games but he might get a chance to start this week.
I think theyre similar, Tuck said of Vick and Young. Obviously, Vick is a little more dynamic. I think that the two quarterbacks are similar quarterbacks. I think that they can beat you with their arms or their legs, so I dont see why they would change our scheme.
While Young has a high career winning percentage, he has completed 57.9 percent of his passes and has actually thrown more interceptions (43) than touchdowns (42). Like Vick, Young is also a threat to run the ball. He has averaged 4.7 yards per carry in his career and has 12 career rushing touchdowns.
This is the reason the Eagles acquired Young in the off-season: to be the backup for when Vick inevitably got hurt. It was also Young who made the ill-advised dream team remark during training camp that spiraled out of control and became a punch-line across the NFL.
In recent months, however, Young has kept himself out of the spotlight and has focused on learning the playbook and the Eagles offensive scheme.
Its been tough not playing and things like that, Young said. But overall, behind the scenes, studying the plays and seeing the plays. Each week, from studying and things like that, Im just getting better each day.
Young was inactive for the first two weeks of the season with a hamstring injury, which led to some playing time for Kafka.
Kafka finished the game against the Falcons and against the Giants after Vick left with injuries. Hes completed 11 of his 16 passes and has thrown two interceptions to zero touchdowns. Kafka has had more experience in the system but Eagles teammates say that Young would be prepared to play too.
He seems more comfortable, offensive tackle Todd Herremans said. Ive noticed that in the huddle. I feel like hes more confident in the system.
Kafka said that while theyre splitting reps, he isnt competing with Young to start this week.
No, all Im focused on is executing our offense really, he said. With whatever plays Im given, Im going to do it to the best of my ability.
The Eagles have three full days before Sunday, when the play the Giants and they dont seem to be in a hurry to name a starting quarterback.
Pretty much, you never know with Mike Vick, one of the toughest guys in the league, Young said. Myself and Mike Kafka are staying ready just in case.
E-mail Dave Zangaro at firstname.lastname@example.org