What if…

Posted: May 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 133 Comments »

We’ve talked about a lot of possibilities for the 2013 Eagles. One that we haven’t really gotten into much is this…what if Michael Vick has a good season?

I didn’t want Vick brought back. He’s been highly erratic over the last 2 seasons. I was tired of the turnovers, missed reads, and questionable decisions. I wanted a change. Didn’t happen

Back in early February the Eagles restructured his contract and brought Vick back. This move was made in part because the Eagles didn’t know what to do. Chip Kelly had only been the coach for a few weeks. He hadn’t made extensive plans for the offense he would run. The Scouting Combine hadn’t taken place so Kelly and the coaches had minimal draft knowledge and hadn’t met many players. Kelly hadn’t had a chance to talk football with Nick Foles, let alone see him on the practice field.  There was a lot of uncertainty at QB and one safe move would be to bring Vick back on a lesser deal that would give the Eagles the freedom to cut him if they changed their mind. Vick got $3.5M up front so that’s a nice parting gift if the Eagles do let him go.  Win-win.

When you go back and study what Kelly likes in QBs, Vick doesn’t stack up all that well. He takes too many sacks. He turns the ball over. He doesn’t make quick decisions. Plenty of people thought Vick would be a good fit for Kelly, but that was strictly due to his athleticism and the perception that he would be good with the read-option. Vick ran some option at Virginia Tech, but that was a very different offense and Vick didn’t always make great decisions. His explosiveness is what led to the long runs, not a precision option play. The Falcons mixed in the read-option in 2006. At that time, it was very new to the NFL and it was very effective. Vick became the first QB to rush for more than 1,000 yards. He averaged 8.4 yards per carry. Interestingly, he only ran for 2 TDs.

The read-option is no longer new to the NFL. Just running it won’t mean a thing. You must execute it well. When you do that, as SF showed last year vs GB, you can have an explosive running offense. That then opens up the whole playbook and really puts the defense in a bind. Tim Tebow ran some option for Denver in 2011. That offense struggled mightily. Tebow has never been great at running the option. His first instinct is to keep the ball. The best option QBs are good decision-makers first and foremost. Think about guys like Tommie Frazier and Eric Crouch at Nebraska 10 to 15 years ago. That offense was lethal because they knew when to keep it and when to pitch it. Watch Colin Kaepernick at Nevada or SF. He is an excellent decision-maker.

I have no idea what Kelly will think of Vick and the option. Kelly doesn’t just want good results. He wants things done a certain way, so that you can count on getting those results in future games. If Vick can make the read and execute the option the way Kelly wants it, that will make the Eagles offense interesting. With Va Tech and Atlanta, Vick felt the need to be the playmaker. In Kelly’s offense, he wants the QB to be a threat and occasional playmaker, but would much prefer the RB to be the primary runner.

The fascinating angle here is to see how Vick takes to Kelly’s coaching. Vick the lazy, uncoachable player is long since gone. He now works hard. He wants to be good. The problem that Vick faces now is one that plagues all veteran players…adjusting to new ideas. Donovan McNabb didn’t want to do things Mike Shanahan or Leslie Frazier’s way. He was used to Andy Reid’s style. Brett Favre was tough on the coaches of the Jets and the Vikings because he was used to doing things his way. Marty Schottenheimer had half of the Redskins team ready to quit back in 2001 because they didn’t like the way he wanted to do things.

Vick is a bit different in that his time in prison humbled him. Most star players have an enormous sense of entitlement. They’ve done things a certain way and that helped make them stars. Changing is hard. It goes against what they know and trust. Vick changed when he got to Philly. Can he now change again?

Kelly is coming from Oregon, where he had a great track record in getting QBs quickly acclimated to his offense and finding out the best way to use them. Senior Dennis Dixon was a Heisman candidate in 2007, his only season with Kelly. Sophomore Jeremiah Masoli took over the next year. He was a runner (10 TDs) as much as he was a passer (13 TDs). Kelly made that work and Oregon was 7th in the nation in yards and points.  Sophomore Darron Thomas took over in 2010. He was more of a passer (30 TDs) than a runner (5 TDs) and Kelly adjusted for that. Oregon led the nation in yards and points.  In 2012 it was Redshirt Freshman Marcus Mariota who took over. He threw for 32 TDs and proved to be a very capable passer. Mariota is also a gifted runner. He only ran for 5 TDs, but averaged 7 yards per carry (remember that sacks adjust that figure down). Oregon’s offense was 5th in yards and 2nd in scoring.

Kelly had 4 “new” starting QBs in his time at Oregon. They all thrived. Now he gets Vick. It is possible that Vick will take to Kelly’s coaching and turn out to be a good fit for the offense. One of the reasons that Vick held the ball in the last 3 years is that Andy Reid loved the big play. Kelly wants to run the ball and throw quick passes. That should take pressure off Vick and put him in a more favorable situation.

The flip side is that Vick is truly fighting for his job, something that hasn’t really happened to him since…junior high or elementary school. Vick got the starting job in 2010 based on a couple of games. He wasn’t in a QB competiton. Vick has always been a QB that looked erratic in practice, but games brought out the best in him. That won’t cut it this time around. A QB needs to emerge after the first couple of preseason games. That means the foundation has to be laid in May, June, and July. You can’t wait for the games. You must practice well.

The competition may bring out the best in Vick. Or the worst. Dealing with Kelly might prove to be a breath of fresh air. Or it could prove to be incredibly frustrating. We know Vick has the physical gifts to succeed in Kelly’s offense. What we’ll find out is if Vick has the QB skills and discipline to play in Kelly’s offense. Last year the most points the team scored with Vick was 24. Kelly would go nuts if his starting QB did that. Vick is going to have to fight just to get the job, but he will also be under pressure to keep it. Too many turnovers and not enough points will mean that you are hitting the bench, maybe the road.

I really am curious to see how this all plays out. Heck, this would be fascinating if it was the Arizona Cardinals and not our beloved Eagles. Chip Kelly is a really interesting coach and Michael Vick might be older, but he still has moments when your jaw just hits the floor and you say “wow”. Can Kelly bring out the best in Vick? We thought Andy Reid did in 2010, but that proved to be fool’s gold.

I have very mixed feelings in regard to Vick. Part of me would love to see him have a good year. That would mean the Eagles will be fun to watch and it would also mean winning some games. Another part of me wants Vick to struggle this summer so that one of the young guys can get the job. This isn’t personal with Vick. I just don’t know that I’ll ever fully trust him again. If he does play well in 2013, can you count on him to repeat that in 2014? I don’t want a good year. I want a good QB.

Eagles fans bought in back in 2010. Vick looked special. That made the erratic 2011 season so frustrating. But then I knew 2012 would be different. Boy, was I right…but in the wrong direction. There are lots of different things that hurt Vick in 2012, but the bottom line is that he simply didn’t play well. It isn’t like he had Charles Johnson and Darnell Autry out there with him. For whatever reason, Vick never looked right last year and that goes back to the preseason.

The biggest downside to Vick playing well would be his contract. He is here on a 1-year deal. If Vick lights it up, do you then sign him to another big deal? That would be a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.

Vick can have a good year in 2013. Heck, he can have a great year. The potential is there. It really is up to him to show what he can do. Kelly is new to the NFL and there is no guarantee he’ll win, but I think his offensive track record is so strong that you can feel confident that the Eagles will move the ball and score points. Kelly has had success with all kinds of QBs: short, tall, slow, fast, runners, passers, black, white, West coast kids, East coast kids, etc, etc, etc. Kelly will adapt his system to fit the QB and the offensive players. He will find a way to make it work. All the QB has to do is execute the offense, not turn the ball over, and play smart.

Sounds easy, right?


  • ICDogg

    If Vick has a great year it should be a great year for the Eagles. Can’t have a problem with that.

    • GEAgle

      Im not even certain Vick will be here in September…and In my mind, its far from a lock that he beats out Foles(especially having to learn a new offense, faster and better than Foles)..I dont think ANY of us have seen, anything close to what Foles can do, in a healthy environment. The Vick appologist will say, vick played behind the same putrid Oline that Foles did, but thats a bunch of BS. the Wheels didnt come falling off until the steelers game..The first couple weeks, the team around Vick gave us a chance to win, and Vick single handedly killed us…By the Time Fole stook over the team was in a much bigger mess, than the competitive team Vick took into Cleveland….
      ….
      young kids that get playing experience as rookies, improve during there 2nd offseason. Who can know how much the game will slow down for Nick. Fans are down on him, but they havent even gotten a chance tos ee him with the proper Mechanics yet…As soon as the insane pressure starts coming,and QBs start getting rocked, Mechanics are the first things to fly out the window,.,..The same over reacting Fans who annointed Foles in the preseason due to those accurate long Ball TD’s, are the ones who are now bitching about his arm strength..He doesnt have a Vick type Cannon, but when he is mechanically sound, with the correct footwork, he has all the arm strength we need, and can make any throw….No one knows what Level Foles is at right now. The game has slowed down for him for sure, but how much? how much has he fine tuned his mechanics at this point? No one knows any of these answers, so no ones, oppinion means anything….Regardless who wins the job, I dont think it will be a landslide. Its going to be a close fight….Im not sure that Vick is Generally going to be the better QB than Nick will be in year 2….and considering, he is going to have to learn a brand new offense, drastically different from anything he has ever seen, I dont have much faith that he can command it better, and faster than Nick had, who probably saw alot of similar concepts 2 years ago in college

  • tball_man

    Very honest eval. Mr. Lawlor. I/we feel we just need consistency at the QB position. A game manager. I think the openings scheme/pace will create overides all else. Does he currently have any trade value?

    • TommyLawlor

      I can’t see a trade unless some other team loses a starter due to injury and the Eagles feel good with Foles/Barkley.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

    What’s going to be frustrating is when he plays 7 great games in a row, gets hurt, misses 4 games, and comes back and plays like a mere mortal.

  • tball_man

    With us running a consistent hurry up O are there blatant advantages with the on field coach/qb mic system? From what I understand the mic stays on until 15 seconds left in the play clock. If we are ready to run a play with say 20 seconds left on it…. then hypothetically the quarterbacks can be talked to all the way up to the snap…. allowing the pre-reads to be communicated through the mic

    • TommyLawlor

      Kelly will be signaling plays in quickly. I don’t know that he or Pat Shurmur will be micro-managing the QB with other info through the headset. They’ll want the QB at the line and reading the defense.

      You never know, though. Chip Kelly will do anything that he thinks will give him an advantage.

    • ICDogg

      that is an interesting thought

  • ICDogg

    “What If…” was an old SNL bit. “What if Eleanor Roosevelt Could Fly?”

    • TommyLawlor

      What If…was a great set of comic books that Marvel did in the 70s/80s. Didn’t know about SNL.

      • ICDogg

        The other ones I remember were “What if Napoleon had a B-52 at the Battle of Waterloo?” and “What if Superman Grew Up in Nazi Germany?”

        • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

          and What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub? They did that one when Kirk Douglas was the guest host.

  • Duck07

    TL you know I’m rooting for Dixon on this but I bring him and his SR year as a starting point for a talented QB with decision making problems under Chip.

    in 04 Dennis lost a rs year for a few “throw the defense off-guard” plays that never amounted to anything but as a fan you were hopeful he would get better.

    in 05 Gary Crowton joins the staff as OC and the offense did well. Kellen Clemens went down in a game in Arizona and we kept winning without him, but we saw a 2-QB platoon with Dennis and Brady Leaf. It was bust or boom but he had made improvement. Incidentally that Oregon team only lost two games; to USC and Oklahoma who would both later vacate those seasons.

    In 2006 we were forewarned that Gary Crowton’s offense would be “discovered” by fans of his prior employers. I would concur, we were very predictable and Dennis no longer looked like anything special at QB. Nobody was sure who would win the job in 2007 but we wanted someone to win the job. Dennis played pro baseball that summer rather than stay for summer workouts. Made some nice $ too.

    2007 was the hello world season and a QB who would baffle you with decisions now seemed like a surgeon under Chip. Why, simplicity. This offense is not going to stress Vick’s brain anywhere near the level that Crowton or Reid asked out of their QBs. That isn’t to say Dennis didn’t make any bad throws, but he was the clear Heisman favorite until a game at Arizona (well, ASU to split hairs) at nobody could have said that with a straight face after the miserable Las Vegas bowl performance.

    The best QB is going to win of course, but the playbook will look like a pamphlet compared to a Reid Encyclopedia.

    • TommyLawlor

      Always a great perspective.

      Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    He can be in the best shape of his life, but Vick is still an idiot.

    • TommyLawlor

      Too harsh.

      • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

        Sorry Tommy, but I refuse to forgive him and I hate the way he plays. I was hoping he would move on.

        • MichaelFloyd84

          As harsh as it is i think a large number of eagle fans agree. Myself included

        • GEagle

          I can’t be comfortable with a veteran, who has NEVER shown any type of consistency. how can you have a leader, who you never know what you are going to get from him?…
          if Vick had been in this offense for a few years, and Foles and Barkley were just starting to Learn it, Vick would have a shot in my mind,,..But how could he possibly learn the play book and get a better grasp of the offense faster than Foles or Barkley? Foles and Barkley are 1-2 years removed from College where they experienced a lot of what Chip is going to be asking of his QB…When was the last time Vick experienced anything like what’s going to be asked of him this year? When was the last time Vick had to run a hurry up offense for a large portion of the game? I think, there is a serious problem when your rookie and sophomore QBs might be able to read defenses better than your veteran of 10plus years….
          …….
          And my biggest concern with Vick is the way he is wired..We have some serious talent at skill positions sorrounding the QB..We need a guy who is going to lead this offense, make the right reads, take care of the ball, and put it accurately where guys can catch it in stride and do some YAC damage..Vick is wired to be superman and that’s a serious problem….If Vick is playing good, can he ever grasp the concept of “LIVE to play ANOTHER DOWN?”….Can he ever, ignore fighting for that extra yard so he can protect himself and the ball? if the play, provides a blatant mismatch for a 10yard catch to Celek(while we are in hurry up mode), can Vick have the discipline to ignore the tempting 40 yard big play throw to Desean, knowing that we are trying to not allow the defense to substitute, and an incompletion 40yards down field ruins everything?…….

          Its very difficult for me to have any faith in Vick..and that’s a SERIOUS problem considering our other options. You have to play pretty bad to be a ten year veteran and not be the clear cut favorite over kids like Nick and Matt

          • Nicholas Disilvestro

            My worst fear is he Chip picks him to start, and just rides the season out with him regardless of how good he does. Foles/Barkley only gets a few games to start, and this time next year we still have no idea who will be our qb.

          • GEagle

            that is a fear of mine, but only to a degree, since not even in my wildest imagination can I fathom Vick staying healthy for 16games…we are talking about Mike Vick, the dude who got killed during two preseasons. e are talking about someone who we wouldn’t be surprised get injured on the 5th play of the first preseason game…I would love to see Vegas Bookmakers set a line on odds of Vick staying healthy for 16games lol, what do you think the odds would be lol?…At some point, he will land on injured reserves, and one of the kids will have to come in, so why wouldn’t we just be deVeloping them from the start?..I don’t even care how good the Oline is, because Vick is that RARE BONEHEAD who actually gets hurt more when he takes off, than when he stays in the pocket, and it makes you really want to bang your head against the wall, because it’s sooo unnecessary. You see guys like Aaron Rogers shred defenses with his legs, gaining chunks at a time, and at the last second…he slides, and goes untouched..l.yet we have this MORON who can’t stop diving head first, no matter how many ribs he breaks, or concussions he gets..lFriggin Obama told him to slide….When you really think about, it’s sickening that we still might have to deal with such stupidity…when a much less gifted Aaron Rogers destroys teams with his legs, and NEVER gets touched

        • Sb2bowl

          Forgive him for what? Fighting dogs and executing them? Do you forgive Dante Stallworth for accidentally killing a man? Or how about our former president, Bill Clinton, for when he lied to 300 million people on TV about cheating on his wife?

          I can understand you don’t like the way he plays; but come on, the guy spent 2 years in a federal prison, lost everything, and worked his butt off to get back to where he is today.

          • GEagle

            I don’t think he was trying to go there…I can’t forgive Vick for the lack of FBI…but as a man, he doesn’t get enough praise for the man he has been since being released from Prison. I have so much respect for how he has carried himself since coming here, which is why I ally rooted for him these past 3 years, but enough is enough for me…I can’t trust him, therefore how could I ever be comfortable with him leading us?….

          • Sb2bowl

            Sometimes we don’t always get to be comfortable with the people leading us; especially in professional sports, where all we see is 3 1/2 hours on a Sunday. We don’t see the personal life, the work life, the sacrifices………

            Listen, I’m not sold on Vick as a QB. I’m just not. Those 8 games in 2010 are a thing of the past. 2011 the team sucked around him, 2012 was a complete disaster. The team was never a “team”. Vick as a QB in any system cannot be relied upon to throw the ball 35+ times a game. I’d cap it around 30. A strong running game will do more for him than anything. Vick with a running game, and as a threat to run, opens up the pass in so many ways.

            If you look at last year, he made terrible decisions with the football. But as Andy always said, he “had to do a better job with putting the players in a position to succeed.” Reid didn’t do that; our opponents DIDN’T GAME PLAN for our running plays. Think about that. Teams that we played are on record saying that they didn’t spend time during the week worrying about us running the ball. Vick, with no help from the backfield, a decimated OL, and an old, known playbook, didn’t stand a chance.

  • Midnight_Greenville

    It seems there are many factors that would paint a positive picture for Vick this year.
    The “fool’s gold” of 2010 may have been that Vick could run the full version of Reid/Mornhinweg’s offense more than Vick’s ability to be a successful “passing” QB. In retrospect, Vick was never cut out to run that offense the way they wanted their QB to run it, but I don’t think they ever tried changing the offense to fit what Vick could do. If Chip is really committed to taking his players’ strengths and adjusting his offense to it, I believe Vick has more than enough strengths to utilize, and it sounds like he is in fantastic shape so far this year. I have not heard anything to make me believe he won’t try to execute the plays that are called. I think he tried to do that with AR/MM. I just don’t think those plays were necessarily tailored to his strengths, and certainly not tailored to the team’s strengths after they lost key player after key player on the O-line last year. If Chip stays true to his word, I believe Vick can be very successful in his offense, and has a much better chance of staying healthy for an entire year. I’m always an optimist this time of year, and history has not proven me right very often. But, this year there is a lot of reason to believe.

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

      I think at some point though you have to draw a line in the sand with the whole, “we’ll play to our QB’s strengths” mantra. Yes, I believe Chip will make every effort to do just that, but no, I don’t think that he can find a way to overcome every QB failing there is. It’s just not possible, and it’s why you hear him talk about things like “repetitive accuracy”. There’s a baseline of what Chip needs out of his QB.

      Vick does has a lot of incredibly positive physical attributes. No one would argue that. But the amazing physical attributes are secondary to what a QB has in terms of football intelligence. If he can’t consistently make great decisions and consistently place the ball where it “should” go, then he’s not going to be our QB. I think it really is that simple.

      • Midnight_Greenville

        I agree with what you’re saying, but I think you’re overstating Vick’s lack of football intelligence. As we have seen, Vick is capable of playing games where he is very efficient and makes good decisions. It’s up to the coaches to get him to do that more consistently. People feel that beginning with the Tuesday night debacle against Minnesota that the league had a blueprint for how to beat Vick. But, at that point, isn’t the onus on the coaches to figure out how to counter? Maybe they did and Vick didn’t execute it well. Or maybe the coaches didn’t accept his weaknesses well and compensate. I think we’ll find out this year. When he is on and in rhythm he is very dangerous. It is possible that this coaching staff can get him to be that way more consistently. As Duck07 mentioned above, this playbook should seem much more manageable compared to the previous regime’s. I would not be surprised if that translates to an improved perception of his football intelligence.

        • shah8

          Every deep passing team faced determined 2 deep zones and blitz concepts against all the QBs that hold the ball for the big play. Reid (and McCarthy, et al) basically tried to keep doing what they wanted to do, when they basically had to bring back a real running game, and a demonstrated capacity to run the meat and potatoes rushing plays like the dive.

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

          Oh, I am by no means saying Vick can’t play efficiently or execute Chip’s offense, or even that he has low football intelligence. Nor am I saying that it doesn’t go the other way too…if Barkley and Foles don’t have “enough” skill, athleticism or arm strength, then no amount of football intelligence is going to save them.

          My point is just that the whole idea of Chip playing to his QB’s strength only goes so far. At some point Chip, and by extension the fans, have to figure out a certain set of parameters by which to judge what is acceptable for a QB in this offense. Of course, we aren’t going to know what that is for bit of time here, but if Vick from 2010 and 2011 shows up, I don’t think there’s any question that’s not going to cut it.

          • Midnight_Greenville

            I think the Vick of 2010 was more than acceptable. Could have been better, particularly in the last few games of the season, but again I feel some of that is on the coaching staff. He was also clearly banged up towards the end (yes, a recurring theme, but also potentially preventable). Remember, they were a couple of missed field goals away from beating the eventual SB champions. Vick of 2011 and 2012, not acceptable. But, I believe there is plenty of potential that could be tapped with the right approach, and right now I believe Chip can tap it. And, as holeplug says below, what Harbaugh did with Alex Smith is a great example. And I would argue Vick has many more strengths than Smith to begin with.

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

            Fair point(s). None of us really knows what’s going to happen. But notice something; even as you point out the positives with Vick from 2010, it comes with caveats. And that’s been the problem with Vick throughout his career. It’s always, “he’d be amazing if the coaching staff helped him out or the o-line was fully healthy or he was able to stay healthy the whole year…”, or what have you.

            At some point unfulfilled potential doesn’t cut it. He has all the ability in the world, but there’s a reason he’s never been able to put it all together consistently. Maybe he does it this year. Maybe not. We’ll see.

            But I guarantee you Chip’s not going to pull an AR and let him “punch his way out of a slump”.

          • GEagle

            Good stuff. Completely agree…We all know that Vick can flash Brilliance…but all the Brilliance in the world can be rendered meaningless, with one or two brain farts…He can play a great game, but if he screws up on two plays and throws VICKerceptions, then it’s all for nothing. Stats can be misleading, but no this one…I don’t think there is anything misleading about the NFL turnover stat..Turn the ball over in a game two more times than your opponent, and I dont care who your QB is, there isn’t much of a chance that your team is going to win that game….and this is what Vick doesn’t grasp. It’s more important for him not to turn the damn ball over than for him to be brilliant, and he will never grasp that concept. heck, he still can’t grasp the simple concept of, that extra yard means NOTHING if you are going to get hurt and miss the next 4 games…It would be maddening to me if Vick was in his 3rd year in the league and still making these BONEHEAD plays…but the man has been a starting NFL forever, how is the retarded ish he does even friggin possible? how could he not have learned by now? WTF is it ever going to get to get through to him?…Even the brilliant/Legendry 2010 season, ended how? A TURNOVER!..This man will never be able to go on a playoff run, and make less mistakes than his counterparts for 3-4 games in a row to win it all…so what is the point?

          • Midnight_Greenville

            If he cannot grasp the concepts you mentioned (and I’m not saying he can) then he will not be the QB of this team. But, I’m just saying that maybe his lack of progress relates to a combination of being asked to do things he’s not best at doing, and the lack of consequences for freelancing and making bad decisions. I suspect that he has never really believed his starting job (or his place on the team) was in jeopardy. I bet he believes it now. And, I just get the sense that he really wants to succeed. If he’s capable of adjusting he will, and if he does he can be successful. If he doesn’t, they move on. Barkley has been hyped as the low-risk, high-reward pick up of the offseason, but you could argue that Vick is, too.

          • GEagle

            Good points, that I won’t dispute…It’s just hard to have much confidence in such an inconsistent hit or miss, injury prone, 32year old…this is all just offseason speculation. regardless of my thoughts, if Vick wins the job, I will be rooting him on like a madman come September…but if it were up to me, we would be going young instead

          • Midnight_Greenville

            The last thing you said is the most important. Maybe I’m just being lured by the siren song of unfulfilled talent. Vick has been called a coach killer (and given what has happened to 3 head coaches who used him as their QB that may be a fair statement), but I also feel absolutely confident that Chip will not go down because of Vick’s mistakes. If he can’t play without making good decisions, he won’t play.

            That is the best reason to feel optimistic–it’s put up or shut up time for him. Again, I’m always optimistic this time of year so maybe it’s just that the reality hasn’t hit yet. But, I also think it’s safe to presume that Vick has never been asked to play in an offense like the one he’ll be playing in, and this offense might just be the one that helps him reach his potential.

          • GEagle

            Worst case scenario, if Vick doesn’t “put up”, the pressure of Vicks presence will be good for Foles. it’s a DAMN GOOD SIGN if our young kid can out duel mIke Vick fighting for his NFL life…If Foles wins this job, I hope he will have beaten out the best mike Vick that has ever set foot on a football field. OVercoming a QB battle against Vick can be very valuable to the kids future

      • Midnight_Greenville

        I agree with what you’re saying, but I think you’re overstating Vick’s lack of football intelligence. As we have seen, Vick is capable of playing games where he is very efficient and makes good decisions. It’s up to the coaches to get him to do that more consistently. People feel that beginning with the Tuesday night debacle against Minnesota that the league had a blueprint for how to beat Vick. But, at that point, isn’t the onus on the coaches to figure out how to counter? Maybe they did and Vick didn’t execute it well. Or maybe the coaches didn’t accept his weaknesses well and compensate. I think we’ll find out this year. When he is on and in rhythm he is very dangerous. It is possible that this coaching staff can get him to be that way more consistently. As Duck07 mentioned above, this playbook should seem much more manageable compared to the previous regime’s. I would not be surprised if that translates to an improved perception of his football intelligence.

      • holeplug

        The best argument for “playing to a QB strengths” is what Harbaugh was able to do with Alex Smith when he got to San Fran.

        http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7218353/quarterbacking-made-simple

        I don’t think he can turn Dennis Dixon into a pro browler (and if that happens then Chip is winning like 5 Super Bowls) but Vick, like Alex Smith, was the #1 overall pick for a reason and when Smith finally got a coach who knew how to use him he dramatically improved.

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

          I get what you’re saying. And like I said to Midnight below, I wholeheartedly agree that Vick has all the talent in the world. But even when you espouse his positive qualities in relation to “good” years he has had, they always come with caveats about why he didn’t put it all together consistently before. He is the ultimate case of unfulfilled potential. Hopefully he excels this year with the help of a QB friendly system we all assume Chip is going to employ. But there is no certainty there. And if history is any example, the odds are against him.

          And I think that 9er team had other attributes that allowed them to “play to their QB’s strengths”. The team itself was/is littered with first round picks outside of the QB position on offense, and a pretty fantastic crew on defense.

        • Midnight_Greenville

          Great post. Particularly love the line at the end:

          “As defenses get more complex, the answer isn’t always to get more complex on offense; sometimes, it’s the opposite.”

          Somehow, I don’t think the last coaching staff used that theory. But, I can see the current one using it.

        • Telmert

          Vick was the #1 pick in the draft…two years after Tim Couch was the #1 pick and the year before David Carr went first. Alex Smith was first overall…two years before JaMarcus Russell. Just saying that once the draft is over, where a guy was picked is meaningless.

          I think your point on playing to a QBs strengths is a good one. There’s a good chance Kelly will make it easier for Vick to succeed than Reid did. On the other hand, although everyone says that Vick has been bad the last two years, statistically speaking they’ve been two of the best years of his career (2nd & 4th best QB ratings). I don’t know how much improvement potential is left.

          Smith started as a rookie, had lots of injuries early on, and had five different OCs in his first five seasons on bad teams. He’s been pretty good since then – very good the last two years. Eli Manning wasn’t very good his first four years (until the playoff run), but has been pretty good since. Aaron Rogers sat until his 4th year. There are lots of guys who have made the jump in years 3-5. I don’t know of any who have dramatically improved at age 33 in their 11th year.

          • holeplug

            Best example I can think of is Rich Gannon. Sucked his whole career until Gruden got his hands on him in 1999 and realized he was perfect for his wco he installed there. Went to 4 straight pro bowls and won the MVP in 2002 leading the Raiders to the Super Bowl.

          • Telmert

            You’re right – Gannon is a good one, forgot about him. Not completely comparable to Vick – he was a backup throughout the middle part of his career, while Vick has always been the starter (except his first year back with Phila). Gannon actually played pretty well in KC, that’s probably what got him the opportunity in Oakland. Still, maybe there’s hope for change…

    • Nicholas Disilvestro

      I’ve heard this so many times before. “If Mike can do this” , “If he doesnt do that”….I’m done. No its Andy’s fault he sucked the past two years….the same Andy that made him look like an MVP in 2010. Hes 33 years old and still doesnt know how to slide. He’s going to play his style regardless of whether its Chip, Andy or Jesus Christ coaching him. He will get hurt, and he will make mistakes that most successful QBs that have been in the NFL over a decade dont make.

      • Midnight_Greenville

        He very well might suck, make the same mistakes he has made for 2+ years, and get hurt. But the point isn’t that it was Andy’s fault he sucked after looking so good in the beginning of 2010. It is more that Andy’s offense never really played to Vick’s strengths, and because of that, we don’t really know if he’s capable of more. My perception is that Vick was asked to do more things he was not optimal at doing in 2011 and 2012 than he was in 2010. And what he was asked to do may have been more than what he was capable of doing at a high level. Based on Chip’s record with quarterbacks of varying abilities in the past, I don’t think Chip will ask him to do more than he is capable of. And if Vick can’t perform to the level Chip needs him to, I have no doubt we will see Foles very quickly, maybe even before the first game of the season. Yes, he is 32, about to turn 33, and has a track record that is not awe-inspiring. But, he is hopefully in a different place now in terms of maturity, receptiveness to coaching, and desperation to keep his job. Combine that with an offense that may match his strengths better than the previous one, and there is at least some reason to hope. If someone can actually tap into his potential, he could be very successful.

  • jayanglada

    Tommy —
    With the player acquisition period behind us it’s a good time to thank you for all of your insights. You’ve added so much enjoyment and understanding to the free agency and draft periods. You have a great writing style, which is always infused with loads of knowledge and plenty of humility.
    I’m sending along $100, but you’ve provided a lot more value than that over the past year.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thanks Jay. Hope we have a lot more happy stuff to discuss in the coming months.

  • D-von

    “I was tired of the turnovers, missed reads, and questionable decisions.”
    This is how I feel.

  • dislikedisqus

    My thoughts are much the same, with one addition. I think the concussions took more of a toll on Vick than commonly appreciated. He may start off fine, but he gets hurt easily and concussions set you back longer than generally supposed. So I will be shovked if he plays well for 16 games.

    • TommyLawlor

      Concussions are an unknown factor.

  • theycallmerob

    Tommy, I hear what you’re saying….but the exact same argument can be made for either Foles or Barkley (depending on how each looks/plays this summer). Ideally, both kids will play well, but let’s say just one stands out or is at least at Vick’s level. With so many offensive playmakers, say Foles/Barkley stand out in the game manager/cerebral QB role. Factor in their age, monetary cost, and time/developmental cost. Plus, Kelly’s contract and Lurie’s patience and vision both suggest what the organization has publicly stated: an all-in philosophy with the Kelly and Roseman vision.
    So, if Vick plays well, starts, and tantalizes us once again? Good season, but (1) Vick is now 33 and a UFA, and (2) Foles and Barkley lose developmental time and starts. Again, you make good points, but short of Super Bowl winning potential being clearly demonstrated during the season I just can’t see it. Everything the team has said AND done since Kelly’s hiring hints at the long-term cultural and structural changes they are putting in place, on the field and in the locker room.

    • Anders

      How does Foles/Barkley lose development time if Vick is starting? Wouldnt that give them year where they can just learn?

      • theycallmerob

        You’re right, in that they’re developing on the sideline and in practice, but I can’t imagine the offense being constructed similarly for all 3. By my untrained eye, Foles and Barkley seem capable of running a similar offense, based on what I perceive to be shared strengths: awareness, pocket mobility, repetitive accuracy. Is Vick capable of running that offense, or more read-option influenced? Would they practice differently? What if Vick gets hurt mid-game?

        • Anders

          Does it matter? If Vick clearly is the best QB coming out of camp, he will start and Kelly will worry about the other part if Vick gets hurt.
          Also every offense isnt the same for the starter and the backup (no way NO, Pats or Packers would run the same kinda of offense with their backups). Also Redskins showed last season that despite having two very different QBs that they could make offensive game plans for both of them.

          • theycallmerob

            You’re right, but all of those teams you cited have arguably the BEST qb’s in the game, with a track record of performing repeatedly. And even staying healthy. Vick’s only getting older.
            And it still doesn’t answer next year’s issue. Now what to do with Vick? Sign an expensive, old QB from one good year? Keep the kids on the bench longer? Or, if he’s let go, the Eagles would be taking a risk with Foles or Barkley if neither starts or plays this year. Just playing devil’s advocate. And after all these years, I can’t trust Vick now that he’s 32.

          • theycallmerob

            Anders, I guess what I’m trying to say (in short) is that starting Vick would just draw out our QB issues longer. He is obviously not the long-term answer. May as well start looking now. I can’t imagine him outpacing either kid that significantly, what’s 1 or 2 more wins this year with him starting worth to you?

          • GEagle

            well said…that’s my exact issue: “Vick just draws out our QB issues Longer”..It is not a Lock at this point that Barkley or Foles are Franchise QBs..Look at a guy with Pedigree like Matt Ryan. it took him years of playing experience, before he was ready to win a playoff game, and really compete for a SB…So even if we already have a young franchise Qb, he is still going to have to get a year or two of game experience to grow into the play we need him to be..so how could we possibly spend another year with Vick? we have to find out and develop what we have..We can develop guys on the bench, but you can’t ever really know what you have until you give them some extended game time…I think it would be a mistake to get to the 2014 draft, and not really know what you have in Foles or Matt, even if we have the potential to sneak into the playoffs with Vick…It’s just not worth it. short cuts don’t ever work. SB is the ONLY thing that matters..I hope we give ourselves a real shot, and start building towards that the right way..and finding out who Nick fOles and Matt Barkley are in terms of NFl QBs, should be our number 1 priority of 2013…I don’t expect to know who both are by the end of the year, but we should ATleast have a good idea about 1 of them?…..

            Chip Kelly..”Qbs are like Tea Bags. you never really know what you have until you put them in hot water.”…
            ……
            so what could be more important in 2013, than putting ATleast 1 of our young QBs in hot water?…Short of a Super Bowl win, nothing can be more important than that

          • Anders

            Its a tough one, but but would be a much better spot than we are in now. Also there is no guarantee that Foles or Barkley looks good this summer. There is a reason why one was a 3rd round pick and the other a 4th round pick

        • Anders

          Does it matter? If Vick clearly is the best QB coming out of camp, he will start and Kelly will worry about the other part if Vick gets hurt.
          Also every offense isnt the same for the starter and the backup (no way NO, Pats or Packers would run the same kinda of offense with their backups). Also Redskins showed last season that despite having two very different QBs that they could make offensive game plans for both of them.

        • Neil

          I don’t think the offense is constructed to be so limited or rigid. They will run a wide enough variety of plays in practice for any situation. Whoever is in will have the plays called that he is good at.

    • Anders

      How does Foles/Barkley lose development time if Vick is starting? Wouldnt that give them year where they can just learn?

    • D-von

      I’m confused about your post. Are for Vick starting or Foles/Barkley starting?

      • theycallmerob

        At the moment, I’d prefer one of the kids, whomever wins it in camp (I am intrigued, to say the least, by Barkley. And, for better or worse, I can’t imagine him going to another team whose HC is more familiar with him than Kelly). Granted, that’s contingent on neither of them stinking up the joint. IMO, Vick would have to play at a higher level than ever before while staying healthy to start. Tall order.

        • D-von

          Yeah I agree. I think it’ll come down to which QB makes the offense more efficient.

        • GEagle

          I think the Onus is on Vick. He has to play significantly better than Our young gunners to warrant, retarding our future by one more year….Curious to see how people view this dynamic:
          ….
          #1) if Vick and Foles battle it out neck and neck all summer and preseason long. both commit the same amount of turnovers, Foles moves the ball and puts up as many points from the pocket, as Vick does with the added read option Element…resulting in a virtual tie, who would get the Nod?
          …..
          I would The nod go to Vick who provides the extra element(read options), or would we go with the young kid, who represents more hope and potential?…I would have to say the kid…no? What good is putting your Fragile 32yr old QB in harms way. If you have other guys who can do a comparable job, taking less risks from the pocket?

          in a tie QB race, what would we value more? opening up the offense with the added element of the Read options? Or if Chip looks at Matt or Nick, and says wow, this kid can definitely become a franchise QB, would we value not wasting any more time in his development? What would be the higher priority in a virtual tie in the QB competition?

          • GEagle

            I’m also curious as to another dynamic:

            say Vick looks good, and he wins the job..and can win 30% more games for us than any of our other options, BUT Vick is going to get hurt in week 10…What’s more important, the 3 extra wins that Vick would have provided? Or is the school of thought, well If Foles is going to undoubtably have to play at some point anyway, it’s better to start him in week one, so that by week 10 he will be comfortable, rather than sit the bench for 10 weeks, then get thrown into the mix and have to get accustomed on the fly, late in the season when we will probably be entrenched in a tight playoff race? I’m not saying we are going to be great in 2013, but the rest of our division is over rated, and I don’t think none of the other 3 teams will run away with it…

      • theycallmerob

        At the moment, I’d prefer one of the kids, whomever wins it in camp (I am intrigued, to say the least, by Barkley. And, for better or worse, I can’t imagine him going to another team whose HC is more familiar with him than Kelly). Granted, that’s contingent on neither of them stinking up the joint. IMO, Vick would have to play at a higher level than ever before while staying healthy to start. Tall order.

    • D-von

      I’m confused about your post. Are for Vick starting or Foles/Barkley starting?

  • Flyin

    If Vick wins the starting job, I will put my trust in Chip. However, I don’t have confidence in Vick’s reads and split second decision making. I still think he can be coached up on reading defenses, the split second decision making is my main concern.

  • shah8

    If Vick has a good year, we have to put up with more apoplectic fans. I’ve noticed a lot of anxiety post draft on just this thing.

    Will Vick have a good year? I don’t know. Speaking broadly, I don’t think Vick is a worse passer, overall, than Flacco. Winning Superbowls tend to be very much about luck. Therefore, I don’t really think he has to be anything more than “average” among the real QBs to stake a strong claim to the job. If Vick takes the Eagles to a postseason, even for a one and done, he pretty much removes the Eagle’s ability to draft a better QB *and* demonstrates a superiority to any alternatives that the Eagles to sign or trade for, given that proven QBs usually are pretty locked down. May as well check Jamarcus Russel’s weight and see if it’s down far enough to play next year, practically. So it’s a little more complicated than that.

    As of now, I do not view Foles or Barkley as viable alternatives, however much people say they are good. They should be good backups, though.

    You gotta understand, that both, I do view Foles with a clear eye, and I do compare him with the other backup QB I’m intimately familiar with, Joe Webb. The Webb thing is unfair, because Webb clearly has starter grade passing ability (even though nobody can afford to have him warm up his mechanics during the game). Or the Webb thing is not unfair, if you want to see Foles as a developing passer who can start. On Webb’s worst day, under the worst circumstances possible, completing only eleven passes, he made about 3-5 B+ to A grade passes. Ball leaves mostly on time (slightly late on the Jenkins TD pass), hits receivers in NFL windows, with an opportunity for YAC. Looking at Foles’ games, he usually has only one or two decent passes a game, which is usually, in the games I’ve watched, a pass to the TE running flavors of the post route on the hashes. Foles rarely passes into small windows, and many of his passes, the WR has to work hard to catch. He racks up a lot of yards this way, but relatively few points. Just *one* reasonably nice TD pass. In comparison, the Webb of 2011 season had a gaudy-for-some-raw-backup 4.8 TD% with extras on the ground. Webb also plays as the focal point of the offense, even when Peterson is on the field, replete with dominant performances, like the one against the Redskins. As erratic as Webb can be, he has a strong repertoire of good passes. If Webb isn’t clueless or lazy, then he seems to be a pretty good risk for getting better and more consistent at being a useful QB if he started on a regular basis. I see nothing like that about Foles that would make him a useful passer on a regular basis–he basically doesn’t impose his will on a defense, and if a defense has a secondary playing well, he can be highly ineffectual. Moreover, he is so slow to begin with that he’s probably a hazard for being slower than the NT at the end of a season. Think about Schaub, before and after his lis-frank injury. This is what Chip Kelly is seeing, and I think it was a strong motivation for him to upgrade the backup QB spot. Barkley is not fast, but he’s materially faster than Foles. Barkley is more likely to maximise the utility of his not-strong-enough arm, and so forth.

    An aside. Vick has never run an offense with run option reads per-se. What Vick ran in the Mora days was this Greg Knapp abomination of a WCO with conservative routes, a zone blocking scheme for the RBs, and Vick being his own dump-off option with scrambles. That tends to mean that Vick is running into a field lousy with defenders who were playing zone, and using his elusiveness to grab large chunks of yardage. Vick has had *very* few chances to outrun everyone to the endzone because virtually all of his rushes were out of passing looks. Lastly, check out what Greg Knapp did in Oakland last year–the same abomination WCO, zone blocking combination. You can use zone blocking with a WCO, like how Kubiak and Shanahan does it (sorta). What you can’t do is try an offense where you’re attempting to threaten both rushes and passes at the same time. You have to commit to the pass or commit to the run (or play fake). The player personnel needed for zoneblocking OL can’t really accomplish what Knapp wants them to do, and both the RB and QB suffers. That Vick made it work as well as it did in 2004 is a freakin’ miracle.

  • Flyin

    As you guys know, I am not an X and O’s guy. I have learned more about football and the Eagles over the last 10 years reading Tommy’s material, than I ever thought I would. With the Chip Kelly era starting, I have never been more interested in all the factors that make a play work. This is the most exciting season since ’04. I knew that was going to be a special year. I get the sense this year will be special as well. Not Superbowl special. More like Buddy Ryan special… without ignoring the other side of the ball.

  • Iskar36

    Tommy, from your post, you make it seem that the decision to keep vs. cut Vick was a bit rushed since they were still not sure what to do with him and/or what they were going to do with the offense, but if I remember correctly, there was no urgency or necessity to make a quick decision on Vick based on his contract. If I am remembering that correctly, to me, the decision to keep Vick at a reduced salary must have been a carefully planned one and a decision that was based partially on the fact that even if Kelly liked some things in Foles game, he was obviously not comfortable handing him the starting job. Furthermore, it suggested to me that Kelly does in fact like Vick’s ability to play in the offense CK envisions. That’s certainly not to say that Vick will start over Foles by any means, but I’m not sure I buy that Vick was kept because they were not sure what to do with him. Seems to me that it was more calculated than that and that CK believes at the very least, Vick is a needed competition for Foles.

    • Flyin

      Foles/Edwards. Not much competition. Vick/Foles/Edwards. Better competion. Vick/Foles/Barkley/Dixon. Now we have a good mix of talent to compete. As Tommy mentioned, Chip has had success with all types of QB’s. Have good players and let them set the depth chart.

      • Iskar36

        I’m not arguing that part at all. I fully agree with you that bringing Vick to compete is valuable. I just read the start of the post as suggesting that the Eagles were not sure what to do with Vick and rushed into a decision prior to having their plans fully in place. That’s the part I am not sure I agree with. I think given that they were not forced to make any decision at the time (again, if I recall correctly), the decision to keep Vick was carefully thought out and most likely based on the idea of “we need to keep Vick here for competition” as well as the fact that Kelly does see talent in Vick that he believes he can use to build an offense around.

        • Flyin

          I agree with you. The Eagles needed to cover their bases. I think Tommy mentioned months ago that there weren’t any great aquisitions to be made at QB. Alex Smith was one option. I agree with the Eagles resigning/restructuring him. It’s a safety net. And maybe it works out.

    • TommyLawlor

      The Eagles weren’t rushed per se, but the longer they waited to make the move, the more complicated things could have become. They couldn’t have waited til April or anything like that.

      As Kelly said, the QB landscape wasn’t very pretty around the league at that point. There just weren’t good options. Keeping Vick made sense. If that’s the case, why drag it out. Do the deal and move on.

      • theycallmerob

        But Tommy, doesn’t the very nature and structure of the deal at least hint at future plans? The obvious fact is the length, being a one-year deal. However, his biggest supporter in the organization, Reid, is gone. It cannot be stressed enough that the position is wide open right now; Vick must win it as much as anyone else. They know at the end of it, Vick will be 33. HIs only hope is to impress enough that another team bites next year (without said team believing he is merely a product of Kelly’s scheme). What would lead anyone to believe Vick is capable of that, at this point in his career, for 16 games?

        But where would that leave the Eagles? Same problems next offseason if Vick does start, in that Foles and Barkley would be “inexperienced” on the field.

        I’m not trying to bash Vick; I appreciate what he has done post-prison to get his life together, and the Miracle at the Meadowlands and MNF beatdown of the Redskins will live with me forever (even better it was against those two teams). I’m just trying to be pragmatic. Everything suggests future, rebuild, re-brand, new culture, new this, new that. New QB just makes sense.

        ****Of course, my entire argument is based on at least one of the Foles/Barkley pair playing well this summer.

  • EaglesHero87

    As you mentioned, Tommy, if and that’s a big IF, Vick does play well
    2013, where does that leave Foles and Barkley? Would they continue to
    be back-ups in the following year or would they then step up after Vick
    is no longer able to play?

    • holeplug

      Why wouldn’t Foles/Barkley still be backups in 2014? They are both under contract.

    • TommyLawlor

      Keep ‘em, unless some team makes a great trade offer.

  • Steven Dileo

    Vick is the most talented QB on the roster, but he’s going to be 33 by the start of the season. I want a franchise QB for the next 10 years and not some short term success. If the Eagles were on the cusp of a championship title, my opinion would be different, but right now I’m hoping that either Barkley or Foles wins the job.

    Anyway, my gut tells me that our next franchise QB will come from the 2014 draft class. I’m a fan of Johnny Manziel

    • Flyin

      I’m with you, I would love for one of our picks Foles/Barkley to be be the future. Can’t think past the present.

    • cliff henny

      i enjoy watching johnny also, but he does play alot of streetball, excels in broken plays around running around after play breaks down. just wonder if he’ll be able to translate that over to nfl. marioti and bridgewater get most of production in flow of offense, yet can extend plays. their style seems better for pro’s. but, will be excited for anyone kelly goes with, he seems to know how to make qbs

      • Anders

        Manziel is almost a Vick clone imo.

        • GEagle

          I would say more Romo-ish than Vick….less Boneheaded than Both probably…shocked that he had big hands.

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

    Mike Vick will have a great year or he will be out of football in 2014. I think he’ll have a great year, I think Kelly is a coach who knows how to bring out the best of his players. And let’s face it, the best in Vick is very, very good indeed.

    • GEAgle

      Vick, foles are both learning a playbook from scratch. Vick has been in the NFL for over a decade..Foles was in college two years ago, and has experience is alot of the new things Chip will implement(Foles was good in the hurry up, Vick struggled)…Foles is going to be significantly improved..WHy? well because thats what young players do… How is Vick ever going to do this better than Foles:

      Know 3 variations of any given play, get to the line of scrimage, read the defense, audible into the right play, snap the ball, make the right read, get everyone back to the LIne of scrimage, and do it over,. and over, and over without commiting that Dumb VICKerception that kills our drive?……I have NO IDEA how good Foles or Barkley will be at it, but Its hard to have any confidence in Vick….I really could see him losing this QB battle…I could also see him do good, until he gets injured(before week 10)..who the hell ever knows what you are getting with Vick…and I dont understand how anyone can be happy with an erratic, 32year old, who struggles reading defenses and with the m,ental side of it? At the very least, our starting QB should be capable of sliding when he sees a 250lb monster flying at him…its literally the dumbest ish, I have ever seen…If he would slide, he wouldnt have had to close his eyes at the one yard line, surrender, fall to the ground when he saw the steeler defender close in, and basically hand the ball off to the steelers

  • ACViking

    Re: Vick in CK’s Offense

    T-Law . . . you wrote:

    “We know Vick has the physical gifts to succeed in Kelly’s offense. What we’ll find out is if Vick has the QB skills and discipline to play in Kelly’s offense.”

    QUESTION #1: Are you now of the view that Kelly’s playbook will be the same one he used in Eugene — just now in a midnight-green notebook instead of kelly-green/yellow/silver/white/black notebook?

    QUESTION #2: Do you anticipate Chipper putting more emphasis on the passing part of his offense, versus the run, because this is the NFL (i) where the rules favor the pass, (ii) the defensive players are generally bigger and faster than the college players, and (iii) the hashmarks essentially cut the field in *half* rather than in *thirds*?

    QUESTION #3: Do you think, based on the different schemes he’s operated over 10+ years plus the data from those years and especially the data from 2011 with a great O-line and 2012 with a terrible O-line, that Vick can execute an NFL offense, whatever the scheme, at a Top-10 QB level for 16 games (and not just the 6 games of fool’s gold he gave us in 2010).

    • GEAgle

      Nick Foles will lead the 2013 Eagles!!!

    • TommyLawlor

      1, Kelly will not run the Oregon offense. He’ll run a version of it, but he cannot run that offense in the NFL.

      2. The passing game has to expand. Chip didn’t throw the ball even 50 percent of the time at Oregon. You can get away with that when you build a big lead on Washington State or Cal and then run, run, and run. In the NFL balanced means 55-45 pass to run.

      3. Top 10? I am not comfortable with qualifiers like that with so many unknowns. I think Vick can play well…”can” being the key word. Let’s wait and see him this summer in TC and a couple of PS games before we get too much into how well he might play.

      Let’s remember that the coaches didn’t do Vick many favors late in 2010 when slot blitzers started to be disruptive. Vick did a terrible job with his pre-snap reads, but the offense didn’t help matters with the lack of adjustments.

  • SteveH

    Vick is starting to get old. It’s time to pass the torch IMO.

    • http://www.facebook.com/justin.sengstock.7 Justin Sengstock

      We should be careful about referring to passing things around, when we’re discussing ‘ol Ron Mexico. ;-)

    • holeplug

      Marcus Mariota still at Oregon tho

  • Jay Ernst

    Bottom line is this makes every single football coach in history drool uncontrollably:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b01EuXuJz9M

    When you see what Michael Vick is capable of, you just want to be the one that finally harnesses it, because you’ll have the greatest QB of all time. Vick has gone on half season runs where he looks unstoppable and other seasons where he looks lost. Last year I’m not nearly as hard on Vick as others. He was under pressure every time he dropped back. He held the ball longer, one, because he can and is able to keep plays alive when his BS offensive line throws nothing but ‘look out’ blocks and, two, because Andy and MM where pathologically obsessed with sending everyone down the field with no hot reads on every play. Question is whether Chip can be the one to finally simplify things so that Mike can let his natural skills shine or if Mike will just always be too volatile to ever be a consistent top 10 starting QB. I guess we’ll find out. If Chip can’t do it, I really don’t think there’s hope for any offense/coach.

    • Anders

      If Vick finally figures it out and Kelly gives him an offense he can thrive in, Vick will be unstoppable. Question is, will he figure it out?

    • kevinlied

      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? I’d be shocked of Vick was demonstrably better this year. He is what he is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. He’s just not reaching his stratospheric ceiling.

      • GEagle

        Good question. Not that I know of

  • GEAgle

    chip Kelly interview(april 30th): http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/audio/953-angelo-cataldi-and-the-morning-team/chip-kelly/

    Talks about his expectations for the 2013 season(gave me chills),…
    If you havent heard this interview yet from a few days ago with Angelo Cataldi, listen to it NOW!!!

  • GEAgle

    I have zero faith in Vick, and I feel like its dumb to waste a year of our young kids development. There is a great crop of QBs coming in 2014, and I think it would be wise to figure out exactly what we have before the 2014 draft…
    ….
    Regardless of who I would rather see play at this time of year, whoever wins the Job, I will support like a madman, the way I do every year..but Im not sure Vick is going to be here in september, and he is like my 3rd choice at who I would want to see start this year

    • Anders

      “There is a great crop of QBs coming in 2014, and I think it would be wise to figure out exactly what we have before the 2014 draft…”

      How do you know next years crop will be great? Last time this year Barkley would have been a top 10 pick in 2012 and Tyler Wilson and Landry Jones was almost locks for the 2013 first round

      • GEAgle

        you can argue mine and your oppinion of next year all we want, but the fact of the matter is I have literally heard a handful of GM’s, leading up to the draft talk about how keeping an eye on the 2014 draft, will factor into there decision process for the 2013 draft, beause next year looks to be a special class…If other teams have there eye on 2014, then Im sure we do as well(since we seem to be extremely thorough)….I hate this argument, Because Matt Barkley failed, and dropped 3 rounds, we shouldnt bother projecting any longer? Just assume that every good QB who is going back to school is going to have a bad year?..I hope Teddy Bridgewater has the worst year ever, and falls to the 4th round, and that we will be waiting to scoop him..Id rather take the kid, who at 1 time was a top 10 pick, who had an off year, than a Geno type who was talked about as a top 10 pick, and will be a fraud no matter how great his numbers are

        • Anders

          There is also the fact that there are guys like Clowney or Marquise Lee.

          • GEAgle

            Mathews, Austin Serfian Jenkins, the Uber TE! lol…who is the reciever from Clemson? dont they have two?

          • cliff henny

            sammy wadtkins

          • GEagle

            thanks

  • Telmert

    Another angle – Chip is starting his first NFL job and has to build a culture and win a locker room. By all accounts, Vick is well liked. Bringing Vick back and giving him a fair shake helps build some trust with some of the veterans. If he struggles with Kelly’s system, all of the players will see it and will want Foles or Barkley to play if it gives them a better chance of winning. Cutting Vick before even meeting any of the players starts them off on the wrong foot.

    My 2 cents: Chip likes Foles (and knows his game very well from college) but knows that Foles is limited by his mobility. Vick has the mobility, but the challenge is to perform the baseline tasks others have mentioned. I don’t think he can do it – much like he couldn’t learn to slide. Forget about last year, he’s gotten sacked 10.6 times per attempt over his NFL career (10.9 in 2010). Ball security, injuries, reading blitzes, etc. – all career-long problems.

    He’s never been able to adjust since Minnesota got him at the end of the 2010 season. He’d had 5 games (out of 10 full games) with passer ratings over 100 up to that point. Since then, in 22 complete or mostly complete games, he’s had more games with passer ratings below 60 (7) than he has had games over 100 (6).

    Also – maybe it’s just me, but I’ve thought that he’s been bad at the screen game and in play action fakes. His fakes aren’t good and he seems to telegraph the play. Our screen game was terrible last year (after traditionally being great with Reid), but staged a bit of a comeback under Foles. Executing in those areas will be key under Kelly.

    With no guaranteed starting job, Vick will play hard in preseason and there’s a strong possibility he’ll get hurt (remember last year). I think Foles opens as your starter – Vick gets cut or moved before the opener. If Foles doesn’t show enough during the season, they’ll pick another QB in 2014 to compete with Barkley.

    • Flyin

      The culture change is going to be the most refreshing. The Eagles will have attitude. The Nnamdi days are over.

  • xeynon

    I think it’s conceivable Vick can play well in Kelly’s offense, though he will have to get significantly quicker and better with his decision making, which seems like a lot to hope for out of a soon-to-be 33 year old quarterback. I don’t think, however, that there is any chance of him staying healthy for 16 games. Even if he doesn’t suffer an injury that knocks him out outright, he’s likely to wear down physically, as he’s small, he’s getting old, and his playing style involves taking more punishment than most quarterbacks do. So I don’t think it’s likely he leads us to playoff glory even if he does have some success. I’d sooner go with Foles and/or Barkley and see whether one of them has potential to be “the guy” before the 2014 draft, but as a fan I can more easily take the long view. We’ll see what Kelly does.

    • GEagle

      Well said

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    It all goes back to the old adage: You can’t teach speed (or arm strength), neither of which Foles or Barkley has – but Vick does.
    I also don’t think you can over-stress just how bad of an o-line Vick (and, yes, Foles as well) was operating behind last year. It was certainly bottom 5, if not the worst in the league.
    Look over at SF for what a difference an o-line can make.They had arguably the best in the league – and it made Alex Smith look like a decent QB. And if you watched Kapernick (like I did a lot, stuck out here in SF), he had all time in the world to throw, with the end result being a lot of simple “pitch-and-catch” throws to wide-open WRs.
    I think we all also need to recognize that the league has significantly changed due to parity. Much like MLB has become, the goal has become to just make the playoffs – and then it’s a crap-shoot. We need only look at the Giants (both the NFL Giants and the MLB Giants) to see that happening – teams that are clearly not the best nonetheless get on hot streaks and end up winning it all. And Vick is just the kind of QB to go on that 4-game hot streak that can win it all for us.
    Thus, I say we ride Vick for all he’s worth this year until we’re mathematically eliminated.

    • xeynon

      I’ll see your adage and raise you an “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” (no pun intended). I also don’t think you can teach football smarts, as the many a coach who has lost his job trying can attest.

      As for your point about the O line, it was a factor for all the quarterbacks last year for sure. But Vick had a good o line in 2011 and for the last four games of 2010 and did not play well behind it so that excuse only goes so far for him.

      I don’t think trying to make the playoffs in order to be a one-and-done is the right goal for this season. Frankly if I had a choice between a 6-10 season in which the young guys got plenty of experience and started to show significant improvement and mastery of the Chip Kelly system by the end of the year and we were left with a good sense of what the team still needed going into 2014, and a 9-7 season in which the veterans played and the team squeaked into the playoffs as wild card round fodder, I’d take the former. The goal is to get to the very top of the mountain, not just higher up on it.

      • GEagle

        Kelly seems to put a ton of emphasis into FBI, football Intelligence…and I can’t see how Vick could trump Foles or Barkley in that aspect

      • Baloophi

        Strongly disagree with this notion. The goal should be to make it to the playoffs every season because you never know what will happen (SEE Giants, New York; Packers, Green Bay; Buccaneers, Tampa Bay).

        I also think we’re falling victim to the “dynasty” philosophy as it relates to QB’s, yet our new coach had success in continuous years with first year QB’s (yes… in college). Look at San Francisco – they just made it to the Super Bowl with a second year QB playing for the first time. Do you think they would trade their playoff run and failure to reach the “top of the mountain” for experience and mastery of a system?

        As it relates to Vick as a QB, were we to win a playoff game or two and no more, I think it would cloud the decision process going forward, but for a new coach and system to get to the playoffs, and possibly win a game or two, the good in terms of morale and culture would far outweigh the opportunity cost of not playing young QB’s (keep in mind they would’ve soaked up playoff experience on the sideline, like Aaron Rodgers).

    • Telmert

      I agree, but take the opposite position on the 4-game playoff streak. I don’t think your QB has to have a 4-game hot streak – I think he has to have 4 good games (good = minimal mistakes) in a row against top competition under stress. You can win those games if your QB plays solid football. You can’t win if he’s terrible. I always thought that was McNabb’s problem. He was good, but he was not consistent enough to sustain it through consecutive playoff games. He’d have stretches of bad play and that would be it. While Vick has won games for his teams, he’s also lost them. Would anyone bet on Vick having four consecutive playoff games without making any killer mistakes? No multiple-turnover games or hold-the-ball-too-long sack games and health throughout? It’s a single elimination tournament, so even one of those games (or even half a game) and you’re out.

  • GvilleEagleFan

    I know we all (Chip included) know that a 2-QB system doesn’t work, but do you think that even if Foles or Barkley wins the job that Vick could still have a role in the offense? Perhaps as a specialty Wildcat QB that has the ability to audible into a deep pass if the defense stacks the box? Could we even see him and Foles on the field at the same time? I ask because the biggest flaw the Jets, for example, had with their “Wildcat QB” was that Brad Smith was never going to burn you with a bomb but with Vick’s deep ball ability you’d have to think that we’d have more success with a package like that.

    I’d normally say that there’s no way that Vick would buy in to such a role, but going into FA you’d have to think he’d want to avoid any semblance of seeming difficult to coach. Plus, he’d have a chance to prove his physical talents are still elite. Any thoughts Tommy?

  • xlGmanlx

    I’m hoping the best player wins and plays well. If it is Vick, so be it, Foles, whatever, Barkley, don’t care. I just want to see a better product then we have seen in the past 4-6 years with a glimmer of hope to continue build a platform and add to it. I want consistent QB play while eliminating turn overs.

    • GEagle

      cheers to that!

  • GermanEagle

    I don’t care if we win the Super Bowl with Vick, Foles, Barkley or Dixon at QB. I just want the frigging Super Bowl trophy!

  • GEagle

    funny that, we were supposed to be running the WCO the past 14years, yet we were sooo foolishly dependent on the big plays…The WCO I always knew was supposed to get the ball out fast, drinking and dunking, with YAC(replacing the run game)..Instead we became so dependent on 5 and 7 step drops…Now we have this big play college coach, but our offense will have more west coast principles, then it did these past 14years when we were ellegedly running a WCO….

    • austinfan

      AR ran a traditional WCO from 1999-2003, he started opening it up with TO in 2004, really opened it up in 2006 with MM on board. However, they reverted back to a ball control with Garcia at the end of 2006, McNabb at the end of 2007 (3-1 his last four games), McNabb in the second half of 2008 (got them to the NFCCG), Vick at the end of 2011 (went 4-0).

      However, the Evil One stole into AR’s heart, his minion, MM, whispered into his ear sweet nothings about becoming a true offensive genius and putting up pinball numbers, and AR succumbed to the teachings of the Dark One and left the path of righteousness. And thus the Eagle Empire crumbled into dust, and darkness ruled the Delaware Valley.

      • GEagle

        Sounds about right lol

      • xlGmanlx

        Thank goodness then right? Otherwise we would be hearing the same rubbish year after year in philly. I like our chances better with an unknown then the known and predictable failures in reid.

    • Anders

      Thats because WCO isnt just that. Instead the WCO is more how the route trees work (many hi-lo concepts). The depths of those routes depend on the offensive philosophy. Problem was that AR and MM fell in love with the long ball after TO in 2004 and Jackson in 2009

  • GEagle

    I’m starting to get really discouraged about the Jerseys man, as silly as it is…I actually really really like our current Jerseys, but they don’t reflect all the positive changes that we are all going Gaga over. it’s a reminder, and shackles of the past regime. the inability in the redzone, the frustrating lack of running game, the defe se quitting blatantly right before our eyes…This is such a fresh start. it just feels like the new age chip Kelly Eagles, yet it’s kind of depressing to look just like the stale Andy Reid/Juan Castillo Eagles…Even for someone who has always ally liked our uniforms..look good, feel good, play good..I don’t care what the new jerseys would look like, I don’t care if they stay Midnight, go back to Kelly green, or incorporate BOTH in the design….I just HATE Being reminded of the past by the old jerseys. I want to look at the Eagles, and see NOTHING that sembles the 2012 Eagles…I dunno, seeing Kelly roaming the sidelines coaching those uniforms just doesn’t feel good to me. I don’t care what the change is, I just know I wanted a fresh start in every single way

    • A_T_G

      I think you need to look a little farther out than a year ago. This is also the 2004 jersey, the jersey of McNabb, Westbrook, Trotter, and Dawkins. A team shouldn’t change their look every time they have a bad year or get a new coach. The team is bigger than the season or the coach, and the tradition and look should demonstrate that. In the past, I have wanted us to go back to the Kelly greens, but not now.

      • GEagle

        That’s a good point…but that jersey doesn’t have tHAT much winning history, it’s a relatively new jersey, and Reid’s career was a tale of two halves, the most recent half, filled with heartbreak….I used to want to go back to Kelly green as well, but not now…
        Now I want something completely new that we have never worn before. Something that reflects this new era…Heck, if it were up to me, I would probably do something like the Seahawks and use midnight green, black, silver, white as the main jersey colors…but you know that Neon stripe that the Seahawks have on their jersey? I would have a similar stripe on ours, but make it Kelly green…basically fusing the past and present to combine a new age Future!!!!

        • Anders

          The midnight green jersey have more winning than the Kelly green before that (unless you want the jersey from 60’s back)

  • ACViking

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

    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 that I know of.

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

    Over the next 11 seasons, he went 31-33-1 in games he started for the 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 only 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 ’59 to ’63. SF went 27-27-1 under Hickey before his firing after an 0-3 start in ’63.

    Kilmer’s problem, though, was San Francisco already had John Brodie at QB when they drafted Kilmer. 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.
    ________________

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

    • austinfan

      Rich Gannon is the best example, though he didn’t have Vick’s physical skills, he struggled until he ended up with Gruden and a system suited to his skill package.

  • austinfan

    Everybody makes this more complicated than it is. One thing about Chip so far, he really is a straight shooter, if he doesn’t want to reveal something, he says nothing, if he says something, he means it. And he says that all jobs are pretty much wide open, which is what you’d expect from a new coach bringing in new schemes with players he doesn’t know very well.

    Vick has great physical talent but struggled to adjust to AR/MM’s offense, but AR/MM’s offense was a bad fit to Mudd’s blocking schemes, so blame goes around to everyone. From Chip’s perspective, there isn’t much to learn from Vick’s performance the last two years because it’s a totally different offense that really needed a QB like Warner to run it (which is why it’s a bad offense, the whole point of an offense is to build one that works with the players usually available, ironically AR did just that between 2000-2003).

    Chip’s offense, whatever it turns out to be (some unholy agglomeration of the Duck offense, Shurmer’s WCO and Stoutland’s power zone running game?) would seem to have three basic elements:
    1) emphasis on running the ball using a few basic plays and options off those plays
    2) a short passing game built off the running game with options to exploit overly aggressive teams (i.e. if they put a safety in the box)
    3) quick developing plays with limited options, i.e., if you’re looking for your fourth progression you’re on the bench b/c Chip wants the ball out, even incomplete, rather than risk a negative play.

    So it’s seems the most important QB skills are:
    1) quick and good decision making, i.e., execute those limited options flawlessly.
    2) “repetitive accuracy”, .i.e. put the ball where your receivers can make plays
    3) patience, don’t force plays, don’t make mistakes, avoid turnovers and negative plays, don’t put the team in a hole and give the defense an edge

    In other words, a very QB friendly system. If Vick can run it, it gives Chip a very athletic QB who can make all the throws, but his legs and arms won’t matter if he can’t master the offense. If not, Barkely and Foles can successfully run this type of offense, it does not require a rocket arm or 4.4 speed, that would be nice, but not necessary. Chip’s philosophy seems to best resemble Gruden (who won with Detmer, Gannon, Brad Johnson and Garcia) with an up tempo twist, ball control using big WRs and change of pace RBs like Garner.

    Chip had 4 QBs in 6 years in Oregon and made the offense work with all of them, he’s started freshmen, he won’t be afraid to put a rookie or second year QB out there, and he won’t be afraid to replace them either. If I were thinking QB template, it would be young Brady, not Peyton, Warner or Rodgers. Brady won two SBs (2001, 2003) making accurate quick passes to Patton and Brown and avoiding drive killer mistakes.

    • GEagle

      While I agree..the 3 things you listed as what a QB needs to succeed in chips system, basically reads as the weakness section of a Vick scounting report lol

  • GermanEagle

    What if – Jadakiss ft Nas. Great song.

  • GEAgle

    Mike Quick who has been privy to some of the practices, gives his thoughts on the QB race and his overall pulse of the team behind the scenes…He talks about what it will take to win the starting QB, and listening to this doesnt give me much faith in Vick, not like I had any before lol…
    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia/videos/Quick-Veterans-Must-Prove-Themselves-To-Kelly/7e2dfbcc-3181-420a-a364-5eafdc40d8ed