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Terry Bradshaw: Eagles likely to bench Vick

Terry Bradshaw, no stranger to being benched during his long career as an NFL quarterback, believes the Eagles' next big move could be benching Michael Vick.

Terry Bradshaw, no stranger to being benched during his long career as an NFL quarterback, believes the Eagles' next big move could be benching Michael Vick.

Tuesday's shocker was the firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo by head coach Andy Reid, who told reporters that Vick was his starting QB "as I sit here today."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

After all, Vick's turnover rate these days - 13 in just six games - rivals the answer board on TV's Family Feud.

"If I'm a betting man, do I think they sit him?" Bradshaw rhetorically asked himself Tuesday on a New York radio show. "Yes. Yes, I do. Yes I think they do sit him."

After all, Reid once benched longtime starter Donovan McNabb, said the Fox TV analyst who won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It sends a motivating message.

"I was benched, put back in, benched ... and I endured the embarrassment of not performing well and being ... publicly scrutinized and ridiculed," Bradshaw said. "I grew from it, and got better from it, and I would not be surprised if he sits him. I would not be surprised at all."

"It doesn't have to be a permanent message" - it could be for just one game, or even part of a game, "sitting him down for a relief pitcher," the Hall of Famer said on WFAN's Joe & Evan Show.

"The kid they got behind him" - rookie Nick Foles - ". . . played pretty well," Bradshaw said. "Preseason, preseason but he played pretty well."

"Anything to shake things up," said Bradshaw, who's not the only analyst sensing such a move.

"At this point nothing would be a surprise," said ESPN's Dan Graziano. "Reid could announce, this week or next, that he's giving the starting quarterback job to rookie Nick Foles or journeyman Trent Edwards. He could announce he's sticking with Vick, and could privately tell Vick he's going to bench him, mid-game if necessary, if the turnovers don't stop."

Even before Sunday's disappointing loss in overtime to the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field, ex-New York Giants running back Tiki Barber was calling for Vick's replacement.

"It's time to put Vick on the bench," he wrote in USA Today, predicting, however, that "Reid won't do it - it's too bold of a move."

"Vick never has been a top-tier quarterback. Exciting as heck, yes, with flashes of brilliance. But in order to go to the ultimate level in the NFL these days, ball security is king," Barber said.

Local analysts have discussed such a move but generally concluded it would be unlikely (it's a make-or-break year for Reid), unwise (Foles has played zero NFL games that count), or unfair (the Eagles offensive line and the play-calling share blame with Vick). (See article by Inquirer's Jeff McLane, pieces by Rich Hofmann and Les Bowen in the Philadelphia Daily News.)

Benching aside, Vick's days could be numbered with the Eagles for another reason, as analysts here and elsewhere have pointed out:

The team can avoid paying Vick more than $15 million if he's released before the day after the Super Bowl.

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