A Bit More on Vick

Posted: May 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 53 Comments »

One of the problems with talking about Michael Vick is that he is an incredibly polarizing player. His supporters will tell you that with better coaches around him and a better defense, Vick would have been a star QB in the last couple of years. His critics think he’s been exposed as an injury-prone turnover machine.

As is generally the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The first thing we have to get out there is that Vick the elite franchise QB is gone. That player does not exist anymore. Vick was benched last year for rookie Nick Foles. Vick is competing with Foles and rookie Matt Barkley this year. If Vick was still the special player from the past, he would not be competing with these guys. This isn’t a criticism of Vick. Age catches up to 99 percent of players. Guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are freaks. Just look at Philip Rivers and how quickly he’s fallen from elite QB to inconsistent QB.

I do think Vick can be a solid starter. The problem, as I mentioned yesterday, is that you don’t know if you can trust him. I don’t mean this in terms of character. Strictly football. Can Vick stay healthy? Can Vick have consecutive good years?

Vick has only played 16 games once in his career. He is tough as nails, but his never-say-die attitude leads to him taking some big hits. I know that Vick’s injuries the last 2 years came in the pocket, but in 2010 he got hurt on the run. And there is no way to tell what kind of an effect the hits have in terms of wearing him down and making him vulnerable to the hits that do end up injuring him.

Trying to figure out how many “good” years Vick has had is tricky. 2010 was a very good year. Beyond that, very hard to say. Vick only has 2 years when he threw for 20 or more TDs. He only has 3 years when he had a QB rating of 80 or more. You do have to factor in running when discussing Vick since that is such a big part of his career. In 2006, Vick became the only QB to rush for more than 1,000 yards. The Falcons went 7-9 and finished 25th in scoring in the NFL. The Falcons got to the NFC title game in 2004. The offense was mediocre and so was Vick’s passing. He did run for 902 yards. The Falcons had a good offense in 2002, Vick’s first year with a rating above 80. Honestly, though, you can make the argument that Vick has never had back-to-back good years in the NFL.

How does a team commit to a player that isn’t likely to play all 16 games and they can’t count on to be good from year to year?

This is why 2013 is so critical for Vick. He has a tremendous opportunity in front of him. For the first time in  his career, Vick gets to play for a coach that embraces the run game, but also has a history of developing QBs and knows how to run a good passing attack.

As a Falcon, Vick didn’t develop as a passer. Part of that is on the coaches he had. They settled for Vick making big plays and fell under his spell. Athletic QBs do this to coaches, whether Vince Young, Tim Tebow, Jake Locker, or E.J. Manuel. Just as big is the fact that Vick was more concerned about living a fun life than he was trying to be a good QB.

Then came Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg. They developed Vick as a passer, but their lack of a balanced offense is very well documented. Vick learned a lot in his 3 years starting for them, but things did swing too far the other way. Vick simply isn’t meant to drop back 35 to 40 times a game.

Chip Kelly will figure out what Vick does well and stick with that as long as it works. Reid loved to talk about putting players in position to succeed, but too often didn’t take his own advice. Kelly will. He’s truly a flexible coach that will adapt his schemes and ideas to the talent he has.

Before any of this can happen, Vick has to win the job. And that isn’t a sure thing. Kelly will give the job to the player who plays the best. There is no loyalty to Vick, Foles, Barkley, or Dixon.

What about with the players? Vick has burned through some of the goodwill that he had built up over the years. This isn’t about character, just football. Fumbles, interceptions, and losses wear down everybody. There were more than a couple of guys who were happy to see Foles take the field last year. That would have been unheard of in 2010 or 2011. The Eagles only scored more than 20 points twice last year in games that Vick started and finished. Foles did that 4 times in his 6 starts. Vick just wasn’t right last year. We could see it in the preseason. I don’t know why, but even the players knew something was up.

Vick’s teammates still admire his toughness and like him personally, but they want to win and score points. If Vick doesn’t play well, the other players will gladly shift their support to Foles or even Barkley. The NFL is all about results.

I mentioned yesterday that Vick has the physical skills to play well for Kelly. Vick has a strong arm and can make every throw. He has a quick release. Vick still runs well and if he is the starter, Kelly can implement the read-option as part of the running attack. One thing you do have to understand is that no matter what, Kelly won’t be running the exact offense he did at Oregon. The NFL field isn’t divided into the wide side and the boundary side. That changes things. Oregon was a running team. They were 3rd in the nation in rushing and 72nd in passing. NFL teams are either balanced or pass more. The 2013 Eagles and the 2012 Oregon Ducks will be more cousins than twins.

Vick’s quick release may seem to be at odds with the fact he held the ball too much in 2012, but one is a physical skill and the other is a style of play. When Vick does see something, he can pull the trigger and get the ball out in a hurry. I don’t think Vick will hold the ball as much under Kelly since I expect more of a quick style of passing. That said, Vick must improve his pre-snap reads. We saw in that miserable Tuesday night loss in 2010 that Vick just didn’t make good pre-snap reads. Antoine Winfield seemed to catch him by surprise play after play. If Vick is going to get the ball out quickly in 2013, part of that is making a read at the line and having a good idea of where to go before the ball is even snapped. Vick is smart enough to do this. He is experienced enough to do this. I really don’t know why it has been such a poor part of his game.

Just how good can Vick be, if he does win the job? That’s really impossible for me to answer until I see him and the offense in action. We get too caught up in rankings anyway. We saw in 2010 that when Vick does play well, he can lead a team to a division title and the team can score lots of points. That was fool’s gold because the offense was too reliant on big plays and you just can’t count on them in the postseason. Kelly will embrace the run game more than Reid ever did so the Eagles won’t live and die with big plays in the passing game.

I  think Vick can be similar to Jeff Garcia from 2006. That offense needed a strong run game. The passing attack was a mixture of efficient and explosive.  Garcia was a fiery leader that the other players fed off. Vick has a stronger arm and is more mobile than Garcia, but Jeff was an expert at the WCO while Vick will be learning Kelly’s offense. Vick should have a good OL and he will have the best set of skill players he ever worked with.

If Vick can’t bounce back this year, it will likely be the end of his career. He’s got some very favorable conditions that should give him the chance to get back to playing well.

* * * * *

I know some of you think I’m anti-Vick. That simply isn’t true. I want the Eagles to score points and win games. I don’t care if the QB is Joe Montana, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Pol Pot. Find someone to win me some friggin’ games.

I mentioned yesterday that part of me doesn’t want Vick to succeed…BUT…that is only because I want stability at QB and Vick is here on a 1-year deal and he’s about to turn 33. A good season from him means good things on the field in 2013, but another set of complicated questions once the next offseason rolls around. This is nothing personal. If Vick was 28 and could be part of the long term plans, I’d be all in on him.

I’m not going to pull for Vick to struggle. That’s not the way I operate. I cheer for everyone wearing Eagles green. I’m just saying it would be more convenient for Foles or Barkley to win the starting job and play well since they’re younger and have more of a future.

This isn’t personal…just football.

No matter what happens with Vick on the field in 2013, his time in Philly has been a success because of the changes he’s made as a person. Ron Mexico is a distant memory. Vick is now a player you can fully trust off the field, and that’s an amazing transformation when you think where he was a decade ago. Kudos to him and Andy Reid for that.

_


  • Septhinox

    “If Vick is going to get the ball out quickly in 2013, part of that is making a read at the line and having a good idea of where to go before the ball is even snapped. Vick is smart enough to do this.”

    What evidence do you have to suggest this? I’m curious.

    • TommyLawlor

      Vick has had games where he’s made good adjustments at the LOS. The Dallas blowout in 2011 was a game where he did this very well.

      • Anders

        Also last and first drive (before the int in the RZ) against the Ravens. Vick looked very good when we went hurry up/no huddle where it was simple 1-2 reads and only 3 step drops instead of 3-4 reads on 5-7 step drops.

      • Sb2bowl

        He had a great game that night. Audible to run, check to a pass. The wr screen to Maclin? was a thing of beauty. That was the first time I remember seeing how athletic Mathis was. Mac and those wr screens can work, he just needs to hold on to the ball.

        • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

          There are going to be so many problems for opposing defense next year. D-Jack, Shady, supposedly Ertz should be threats to score at any given time. Maclin is no scrub and neither is Celek. Not to mention Vick himself.

          What are they going to do? How can you cover Shady, Jackson, Maclin, Ertz, Celek, AND spy Vick at the same time? All in a no-huddle! haha. With fresh OL’s and Avant, Brown and Casey (or whoever is the back ups) coming off the bench to spell the starters. By the 4th quarter the D will be gassed.

          All Vick has to do is a check down or 2 then RUN if nothing opens up. No more “pocket passer” BS this is Ron Mexico baby! If Vick gets hurt then so what, let the kids fight for it.

          I can’t wait to see if he can get that old spark back.

          • Sb2bowl

            Funny, we said the same thing about our skill positions last year. Shady, Mac, Jackson, Celek, Avant….. how can you cover them??? We forgot that our playbook was old and stale, and our offense had become one dimensional.
            This year, it sounds like Kelly will really do whatever it takes to score points; sure, he’ll have his ideas and the type of offense that he wants to run, but I think he’ll be a lot more flexible when it comes to playcalls and defensive fronts.
            As Tommy says about Reid, “he had counter moves to their counter moves”……. well sometimes its best to just ram the ball down their throat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jones.9400 Joe Jones

    As usual, a well balanced and thorough analysis. Thanks Tommy. Color me cautiously optimistic. Not believing any hype, but trusting Chip to make the right call.

  • Davesbeard

    Tommy, do you have any insight into how the Eagles are going to handle practise with the differing styles of QBs? It seems pointless to spend hours practising the read option with Foles and Barkley but that is obviously something Vick and Dixon should be practising.

    • TommyLawlor

      Chip started installing the read-option in the pre-draft mini-camp. He wants it available in case he can use it or wants to mix it in. I’m not sure how much time he’ll spend on it.

  • Telmert

    Is it true that the Eagles were going to sign Paltrow but she wanted number 11 and when they called Trent Edwards, he said “no way”?

    • TommyLawlor

      I was saving that scoop for Monday. Way to ruin my breaking news.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.gleklen Brandon Gleklen

    Tommy, we’re you ever able to get the Momah game on YouTube?

    • TommyLawlor

      Working on that tonight.

  • ACViking

    Re: Has any QB ever “got it” after 10 years in the NFL

    [reposted and supplemented]

    Commenter Kevinlied asked a great question: “Is there a historical precedent for a qb who has always been a starter ‘figuring it out’ and becoming qualitatively better after 10-plus years in the league?”
    ____________

    The answer? Only two QBs that I know of who had dramatically different careers after the 10-year mark, especially factoring in their status as 1st-round picks.

    One was Earl Morrall of Michigan State — a 1st Rd pick of San Francisco, second overall, in 1956.

    Over his first 11 seasons, he went 31-33-1 in games he started for the 49ers, Lions, Steelers, and Giants. By the close of the ’67 season, he’d thrown 102 TDs and 101 INTs with a career 49% completion average.

    BUT . . . in 1968, Morrall became a Baltimore Colt. Filling in for the injured Johnny Unitas, Morrall guided the Colts to a 13-1 record. He led the NFL with 26 TDs, YPA at 9.2, finished 1st in QB Rating, and won the MVP and All Pro honors. [Played a horrible SB, though, against the Jets.]

    But in ’69, despite his brilliant ’68 season, Morall was back on the bench when Unitas returned to health.

    Then in 1972, with Don Shula having brought him over to the Dolphins, Morall again had a brilliant season filling in for the injured Bob Greise. He helped lead the ‘phins to their 17-0 season. He went 9-0 in starts, 11TDs and 7 INTs, 9.1 YPA, and again won All Pro and Comback Player of the Year honors. [Greise replaced Morrall in the playoffs as the Dolphins QB.]

    Morrall played four more seasons, never starting more than 1 game in any of them, ending a 21-year career after the ’76 season.

    Earl Morrall essentially had 2 careers. One very substandard 12-year career for three bad teams after being a high pick. And a second, 9-year career mostly as a backup but with two brilliant seasons on two great teams.

    But during that second career — his 9 year run for the Colts and Dolphins — Morrall went 33-4 in games he started. Great teams to be sure. But the ’91 Eagles proved you need a very good QB to win, no matter how great the defense or offensive skill players may be.
    ________________

    The other QB who comes to mind was the wild Billy Kilmer — a great single-wing QB during his college career at UCLA from ’58-’60. He was not just a very good QB. He was a great runner too.

    The 49ers drafted Kilmer in the 1st Rd of the ’61 draft, number 11 overall. The 49ers coach was a guy named Red Hickey, whose base offense was the Shot Gun from late ’60 through early ’62. Hickey was fired after an 0-3 start in ’63.

    Kilmer’s problem, though, was San Francisco already had John Brodie at QB in 1961 (Brodie was a 1st Rd’r from Stanford in ’57, and he sat behind HOFer Y.A. Title for four years). So he never cracked the starting line-up — though he did spend quite a bit of time at RB for Hickey.

    In 1967, the Saints selected Kilmer in the expansion draft. He became their primary starter from ’68 through ’70. On some truly horrendous teams, Kilmer posted an 11-29 record as a starter.

    During his nine seasons with SF and NO, Kilmer threw 49 TDs and 71 INTs with a 53% completion average. (He missed the ’63 season after a bad auto accident that essentially robbed him of his running ability.)

    In 1971, when the great George Allen became the Redskins head coach, his very first trade — among many, many trades — was to acquire Kilmer. After an injury to QB Sonny Jurgenson on opening day, Allen made Kilmer the ‘Skins starting QB. A position Kilmer never lost during Allen’s tenure in DC.

    So Kilmer found new life in Washington, leading the NFL in TD passes and QB Rating and making All Pro in ’72. And he also led the Redskins to the SB that year, where they lost to the undefeated Dolphins.

    In his nine seasons with the Redskins, Kilmer went 50-23-1 as a starter.
    ________________

    Morrall and Kilmer had two careers in the NFL. After long, stumbling starts, their second acts were great ones.

    RIch Gannon’s probably third, though not a 1st-round pick.
    ________________

    In T-Law’s prior post, Austinfan responded to this comment by noting that Gannon should included (1st? Not sure). I didn’t do a lengthy write-up on Gannon because he wasn’t a 1st-Rd Pick and he had a couple of good years with KC in the 1st half of his career.

    • TommyLawlor

      Great stuff, ACV. Earl Morrall is a guy I’ve never read much about in terms of his background.

      Alex Smith isn’t a 10-year guy, but he’s a good example of a QB where things came together later on and a coaching change was a big part of that.

      • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

        Came here to say Alex Smith, just not 10 years.

        I think he was about 5 years, but he turned it around. There was a 49ers/Redskins game on Sunday or Monday night where I finally saw Alex reach his potential. Around that time things started really clicking for him, this was pre- Harbough. Alex really started turning things around on his own because he had like 5 diffenent OC’s or something by that time.

    • kevinlied

      Yes, thanks for dropping the knowledge. And thanks, Tommy for yet another thought-provoking post. I think vick’s particular shortcomings make it unlikely he joins this exclusive club. Does decision-making improve exponentially when you have so much experience? Again, I’m not hating on Vick. He brings a lot to the table in terms of toughness, leadership, arm strength, and athleticism. I think it’s more likely than not he’s your week one starter. I just can’t imagine an analytical guy like Kelly is tantalized by his potential at this point.

      • Nicholas Disilvestro

        its not hating on somebody when you point out obvious flaws in their game that they have neglected to improve upon for over a decade, regardless of what fanboys might tell you.

  • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

    “Find someone to win me some friggin’ games.”

    Amen to that. So simple and yet the most important point that I think gets lost in the hubbub over player preference. We can talk all we want about Vick (and I think this post is a very well thought out and cogent analysis of how to view Vick right now), but in the end, if he’s winning us games that’s all that matters. Just because some of us, myself included, are skeptical of Vick being able to pilot the offense cleanly and consistently doesn’t mean I don’t want him to succeed. Quite the contrary. He’s our most talented QB physically. If he can marry that athleticism with accuracy and continually good decision making then I would love to have him at the helm. If he can’t and Foles or Barkley or Dixon can, well that’s fine too. Just someone, anyone, please win us some games.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.n.richwine Daniel Norman Richwine

    Crazy to say, but I’m rooting as hard as I can the Vick has an MVP type.of year.

    • Nicholas Disilvestro

      why? he might give us our best chance at winning this year (thats very, very debatable) but he isnt in our long term plans. I dont want another extension for him (barring a superbowl appearance) …eventually we have to find out what we have with the other 2 Qb’s.

      • holeplug

        uhh lol?? if Vick wins the MVP next year than the Eagles probably win like 13 games

        • Nicholas Disilvestro

          i think you have a better chance of andy reid winning mr universe than the eagles winning 13 games anytime soon. especially if vick is starting

    • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

      Same here dude, but I do that every year.

      I am just sick of the hate. Big stigma associated with him here in California.

  • quest4fire

    Tommy, good points but its way too early to say anything about the offense and how Vick or any other QB will fit in. Too many unknowns. Kelly warned us not to try to label him as a read option only guy. Gonna have to wait until training camp to get a glimpse. I do agree that Kelly will cater the offense around strenghts, I expect that the Eagles will be the most physically fit of any team in the NFL, everyone will be in great shape and we will be looking at alot of subsitutions to keep everyone fresh. It wouldnt surprise me if he rotated QBs based on scenarios.

  • http://twitter.com/Groty Groty

    What’s up Tommy?!!?

    Having Vick on the field negates the potential of the rest of the offensive players on the field. They have to switch from running crisp routes, getting open, being big or fast targets to becoming nothing more than glorified blockers.

    It’s sad… I wouldn’t want to be in that situation if a significant part of my contract is based upon stats. What’s Celek/DeSean/Maclin supposed to do, adjust their contracts to include blocks for Vick scrambles until he gets hurt again?

    • TommyLawlor

      How’s it going, Groty?

      If the offense has a focus on shorter, quicker passes, Vick can adjust to that and isn’t going to be holding the ball as long. Vick and Reid both fell in love with the deep ball in 2010.

      If Vick does still hold the ball and is erratic at QB…he’s not going to keep the QB job for long.

      • austinfan

        Reid fell in love with the deep ball in 2006, remember the start of that season? He always had Pinky as a deep threat to keep teams honest, but really unleashed McNabb that year, that’s when the Redskins started dropping their safeties deep and McNabb/AR never adjusted. Then Garcia came in and back to ball control, deep ball 2007, then ball control for the end of the season run to .500, deep ball 2008, then ball control down the stretch to the NFCCG, deep ball 2009 which was shut down in the playoffs, ball control with Kolb, then deep ball with Vick in 2010. Deep ball in 2011 which was shut down, then a 4-0 finish with a more run oriented offense. Deep ball in 2012 . . .

        What’s the definition of insanity?

        Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

        • Sb2bowl

          Amazing, isn’t it? “We use the pass to set up the run!”….. blah, I’m so glad that Reid is gone. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the time we had with him, and the success that the Eagles experienced; but, it was time.

  • http://twitter.com/SeedSeries J. Brian Anderson

    Not interested in stop-gap 33 year old QB’s with turnover problems. I’ll take the kids -10 over the vet with tire-tracks on his back. NEXT!

  • shah8

    Man, it took me awhile, but Jeff Garcia ’06 doesn’t really make sense to me. The offense Garcia led wasn’t really that productive back then, and is not the sort of offense that sustainably works today. It worked for the Vikings the same way that it worked for the Eagles. Defense usually manages to keep it a low scoring game, and the offense manages to smurf it at their own pace. Heh, Tebow.

    Anyways, we don’t have the kind of defensive firepower to really run a conservative offense. Moreover, we saw what kind of offense that was when Foles ran it. We see these kinds of offenses by people who want conservative offenses but doesn’t have the defense to back that up. Without the defense, it’s way too vulnerable to bend-don’t-break style defenses that eventually smothers you when the field is too short to allow space for conservative passes. I think it’s very unlikely that Chip Kelly would really do a WCO, even of the “shabam” type, as Dmac puts it. I think the spread of qualities is between a touch of Kubiak, through NE spread through Coryell. Vick will still be throwing deep balls. I think there will be some pistol spread in, as well (to aid in the XY TE passing game). Remember, the “shabam” WCO are the dominant passing concepts of the 49′er offense when it was Alex Smith. We are far more likely to look more like the more muscular deep approach of Kaepernick’s offense around the time he was playing NE. So what I *think* will happen is that we will rush to set up the NE TE game, or vice versa, out of pistol or shotgun–and WAIT until the defense is actually malformed before taking deep pitches. Fewer beef and potatoes short passes than what MM wanted, less using WRs to either beat or clear the field for a third option, more complicated blocking schemes…

    • TommyLawlor

      2006 wasn’t a conservative offense. Garcia led us to 21, 27, 21, 36, and 23 points in his 5 starts. 3 of the 5 games had at least 382 yards of offense. In the playoffs, Garcia led us to 23 points and 24 points, and 323 and 355 yards of offense. That offense was balanced and productive.

      • shah8

        The defense was just no slouch, though. Very good turnover differential. You could look at the 2012 Vikings through stats and on tape, and see much the same thing. Very conservative offense–looks good because of potent rushing attack, and the opposing offense is scrambling after losing possession of the football two or more times. Of course, Jeff Garcia is vastly better than Ponder, and AD is vastly better than Westbrook. This sort of thing only works though the lack of rhythm on the opposing offense, though. A successful opposing offense forces more difficult choices, and the opposing defense has more ability to attempt to stop the screen game at the expense of maybe giving up big plays.

      • austinfan

        They were a false start away from the NFCCG. With a mediocre defense.

        The key was the ball control WCO that always worked for AR, with Feeley, with McNabb, with Garcia and with Vick. Conservative, boring, running more than AR usually did, it kept them in games, especially against better teams.

        However, the real lesson of Garcia is you don’t need arm strength (both Barkley and Foles have stronger arms) to operate that kind of offense. You do need a credible running game, and a RB who can catch the ball, Duce in 2002, Westbrook in 2006, to force the defense to account for every player on the field in every situation.

        Chip has the personnel to run that sort of offense at a very high level, great OL that can do everything, RBs (plural if Brown learns to hold onto the ball) who can run and catch, big WRs, slot WRs, in line TE, move TE.

    • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

      I just remember Garcia really stepping up and taking over. I thought Foles was going to do that last year, he showed flashes of it.

      Garcia was a really good leader, you could see him take the team on his back.

      • P_P_K

        Garcia was a veteran, Foles just a kid.

        • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

          This is true, but even a small child playing youth football has the ability to be a leader.

  • mksp

    OT:

    T-Law -> Neat corollary to Chip drafting a bunch of guys who beat his Oregon team. Check out LaMichael James’ stats against Jim Harbaugh.

    • TommyLawlor

      Good point. And Pete Carroll drafted/signed a few guys who did well vs him from the Pac-10.

  • McMVP

    “I mentioned yesterday that part of me doesn’t want Vick to succeed…BUT…that is only because I want stability at QB and Vick is here on a 1-year deal and he’s about to turn 33. A good season from him means good things on the field in 2013, but another set of complicated questions once the next offseason rolls around. This is nothing personal. If Vick was 28 and could be part of the long term plans, I’d be all in on him.”

    ——–

    ‘All-in’…even at that age… would be a difficult leap for me.

    You’re right that he is polarizing…and that’s part of it for me. A player like him effects the locker room too. Players are human and take sides. I understand that….but want no part of that atmosphere in a freh start w/ Chip Kelly

    I guess I’m in the ‘that ship has sailed’ camp when it comes to Vick. The Eagles cleaned house completely in every other area…except QB

  • GvilleEagleFan

    On Vick and Pre-Snap reads:

    My sophomore year of undergrad I scrimped together some money to go see one of my friends in Chicago around Thanksgiving and also caught the 2010 Eagles@Bears game from the top row of the endzone. One play in the second quarter the Eagles were in a 3WR set, but the NB was lined up right on the LOS on the opposite side of the field from the slot WR. Easiest pre-snap in history; from my Madden-esque angle I leaned over to my buddy and said confidently, “Vick is going to see that blitzer and make them pay with a quick throw to the slot.”

    I. was. wrong. He got sacked or hurried and we punted shortly after. I then watched him fall victim to THE SAME PLAY 5-6 times for the rest of the game. We lost, and I’ve never had confidence in his pre-snap read ever since. Maybe this is me being too harsh in judging for one performance, but in my mind Chip’s QB isn’t the guy who’s going to let the same blitz look beat him more than once in a game. You could say Andy should have coached him up on that look, but even the most green rookie QB will check the slot CB after he gets plowed once the way that Vick got hit multiple times. Maybe Chip will be able to connect with Vick better and teach him how to be an asset pre-snap, but I doubt it.

  • CampDracula

    Vick did well with TEs in his Atlanta days, right? Isn’t it then reasonable to assume that something about Vick’s game is TE-friendly? And since Kelly wants to feature the TEs…

    I guess I’m just wondering if there’s a clue somewhere in the Vick-TE connection.

  • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

    I think Tommy hits the nail on the head a lot here. I don’t think that this article really shows an anti-Vick slant. Matter of fact I think you are being more than fair to him. It really is sink or swim for #7.

    I somewhat agree with wanting Foles or Barkley to start soon so as to get the long-term leadership going, but I look at things a little differently. Winning now is really the most important thing. There needs to be urgency, not a 3 or 5 year plan. There is TONS of talent on this team, it might not be here in half a decade.

    Gotta roll the dice, I think that’s what Chip will do: make the best plan he can and try and make some noise.

  • SteveH

    In my opinion even in Vicks best year in 2010 he still wasn’t an elite quarterback. He was a notch below that, but still not in same category as the Mannings or Brady or Brees or even Phillip Rivers in a good year. Because of that I don’t think we should be wasting time in seeing what we’ve got with our young guys because I don’t think Vick is ever going to ascend to a top 5 quarterback level (which is really what you need to win a superbowl these days) at this stage in his career. Even if he lead us to say 10 and 6 and the 2nd round of the playoffs, thats great, but its not what we’re really after and thats what I see his ceiling as.

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  • austinfan

    Vick is not the long term solution, he’s not even the short term solution.
    He’s an insurance policy, IF Foles and Barkley aren’t ready in 2013.

    Vick’s mobility gives him an edge, his quick release gives him an edge, his arm strength less of one because Chip’s offense isn’t built around the deep route.
    His height and lack of football IQ are detriments, as is his lack of durability.

    The issue will resolve itself in training camp, if Vick is clearly the best QB, he’ll start and Chip will decide whether Barkley and Foles have starter potential in 2014 or does he need to find another QB. If Vick loses out, he’ll probably be cut or traded, no reason to blow another $3.5M on a backup QB (the cost of keeping him on the roster).

  • P_P_K

    Andy Reid was the best and worst thing that ever happened to Vick. He was the best because he helped Mike resurrect his career and his life. He was the worst (besides prison) because he tried to turn Vick into a qb project. It was obvious to everyone except Andy and Marty that Vick simply should not be dropping back 35 times a game. They nearly got their qb killed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike was as frustrated as we were but didn’t complain because he owed so much to Reid.

    • Leonard Tose

      This. Reid, almost simultaneously, resurrected and then destroyed Mike Vick.

      • P_P_K

        I’m tempted to say Reid has come close to doing the same with the whole team.

  • Håkan Sandström

    @Tommy:

    I just read this on ESPN: ” Pro Football Focus still ranked Evan Mathis as the best offensive lineman and one of the top six players in the entire league. ”

    (src:http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/51151/breakfast-links-clabo-off-the-market)

    What’s your take?

  • knighn

    Tommy,
    Thanks for this pair of articles on Vick. Your writing continues to be interesting, informative and well-balanced.

    What I think of now when I think of Vick as the starting QB (excuse me if I’m repeating some of your points):
    1) Vick has been in the NFL for a long time and he won’t be much longer, especially when you consider his game, his size and his history of injuries.
    2) Vick hasn’t been consistently successful or healthy enough for me to think he actually has a chance of winning a Super Bowl even with Chip Kelly’s brilliance.
    3) The Philadelphia Eagles were 4-12 last season. That makes them unlikely to make the playoffs this year and very unlikely to actually win a playoff game (and extremely unlikely to win more than one playoff game. I’ll share the math for anyone who really wants to see it). Chip Kelly may be a genius and Mike Vick may have the best season of his career but I just don’t see any way that this season leads to a Super Bowl victory.
    4) The NFL requires a franchise QB. Chip Kelly may have gotten by with a different QB every year at the college level but I don’t think that can work in the NFL.

    So, the only way I can see the Eagles, in good conscience, starting Mike Vick as the QB this year is if he is demonstrably much, much better than any other option that the Eagles have on the roster. If Vick is only moderately better than any of the other roster QB options the Eagles have this year, I feel like the Eagles have to go with any of the other QBs. Either the Eagles determine that they already have their franchise QB on the roster or they try to get him in 2014.

  • Telmert

    I’m taking coach at his word. He says that repeatable accuracy is important. He doesn’t want his QB to take sacks. He wants the ball out quickly (1.5 seconds). He wants a quarterback with big hands. His QB has to make a quick read and “let it happen” not “make it happen”. Vick falls behind Foles and Barkley in every one of these areas. He’s also the smallest of the three and has the lowest FBI – something else coach was recently talking about. Vick is in a different class in terms of mobility, but coach says that ability is just an added bouns. Vick clearly has the strongest arm, but Kelly doesn’t employ a vertical offense.

    To me, Vick goes into camp with an uphill climb. He has to prove he can match those guys in the areas he’s always been weak at (and also have the coach look past his smaller hand size) so that his mobility advantage pushes him over the top. He has to do that while somehow staying healthy.

  • GEAgle

    I will believe that Vick can learn a brand new offense better and faster than Foles and Barkley when I see it…and then I still might not bgelieve it lol