Vick Update and Misc Stuff

Posted: June 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 44 Comments »

Sheil Kapadia, the most intrepid of Eagles beat reporters (and yes, that was just an excuse to use the word intrepid), caught up with Mike Vick at a football camp in New Jersey. Kapadia, due to his intrepid nature, didn’t hesitate to talk to Vick about his recent comments on Chip Kelly naming a starting QB.

Asked specifically if Kelly told him there would be a competition when he agreed to come back, Vick said, “Coach and I talked, and we have an understanding. I think the most important thing is the relationship that we have and continue to carry on, and the working relationship, which has been great. You’re just trying to do what’s best for this football team, and that’s the reason I came back, to try and help this football team win games in the best way possible.”

After Vick made the comments during mini-camp, he texted Kelly to make sure the coach knew he didn’t mean any disrespect.

“Coach is just so straightforward,” Vick said. “After the first four or five words, you already understand and know where he’s coming from. So we talked the next day, and I sent him a text and he called me back and we talked and that was it. Like I said, everybody on that football team respects Coach Kelly and likes what he’s been able to accomplish so far. He’s grabbing the attention of everybody on our football team. We’re just focused trying to do what’s best for the organization.

Go read the piece. Vick says a few more things of interest. Good stuff from Mr. Kapadia.

I really do think Vick’s comments were affected by his mood. He had just wrapped up minicamp. He hadn’t played great. Foles was getting more reps than him and he was frustrated. Most of all, he was sick of being asked about the situation.

The key in all of this is for Vick and Kelly to be on the same page. It sounds like they are for now.

* * * * *

A reader asked me a while back if the fact the Eagles will run more plays this year could lead to more injuries. Just using simple logic…the more plays you have, the more chances there are to get hurt.

This kind of research isn’t up my alley so I turned to Brent from Eagles Rewind. Luckily, he was able to do some digging and come up with an answer. Brent says Eagles fans shouldn’t worry.

As I said, this is by no means a definitive analysis.  I’d like a larger sample.  It also doesn’t account for TYPE of play, nor does it account for the change in personnel on the field for each play.  For example, a kneel down will count as an offensive play despite not carrying any significant risk of injury.  Similarly, teams running out the clock with their backups will factor into the data, whereas we are not really concerned with those situations.

Regardless, it’s at least an indication that the Eagles should NOT expect to see a significant increase in rate of injury as they increase the number of plays run.  There are a number of potential reasons for this.  First of all, the rate of injury is actually very low, so an individual play carries a very small risk.  Therefore it should require a relatively large increase in number of plays before we see any effects.

Brent did excellent work so go check out the whole piece. You might also be interested to see how he came up with his answer.

* * * * *

Dan Klausner, a young hack over at BGN (as opposed to an old hack like Jimmy Bama), wrote an interesting piece. He offers the theory that WR will be a dying position for the Eagles as long as Chip Kelly is coach.

I know it’s hard to envision an NFL offense without traditional WR flanking the formation and zipping around all over the field, but I genuinely feel that’s where we’re headed with Chip Kelly. People talk about how he could revolutionize the NFL with his up-tempo offense, but don’t discount how he could also engender revolutions at certain positions (to wit: keep in mind that the Eagles will employ a hybrid front-seven scheme on defense, as well).

Addendum: There will always remain a need for a WR who can stretch the field with explosive speed, and Kelly’s special teams emphasis will ensure a few WR types stay on the roster. But I don’t think we’re going to see the Eagles hold onto five (or more) WR, like all other teams, moving forward. That number might end up being closer to, say, three. My main point is I think Chip Kelly’s NFL offense will be one where the primary receiving options are TE/WR hybrids, and a vertical threat WR will occupy something of a specialist role instead of being on the field for a majority of the snaps.

Interesting theory, but wrong in my opinion.

The Pats are somewhat of a template for what Kelly is going to do. Where would that offense have been in recent years without Wes Welker, a small WR that lacked top speed?

Kelly wants lots of quick throws. He wants RAC yards. This means you need WRs, especially small, quick, elusive players. Of the top 40 players in RAC yards last year, only 4 were TEs. And Brent Celek was one of them. He does have good RAC ability, but Brent picked up more than a few yards when he was left wide open by the design of the play.

TEs just aren’t normally very dangerous with the ball in their hands. They’ll make some plays, but aren’t going to turn a quick screen into a gain of 20, 30 or 40 yards very often. You need elusive WRs for that.

I certainly agree with Dan that TEs are going to be more sought after and a bigger part of offenses. This is because we’re seeing more guys with TE size and some WR skills. Those tweeners make for tough matchups. And Chip Kelly likes both TEs and big guys. I think WR is here to stay and will be a regular part of the offense for a while.

One interesting test for how WR will be treated is to see what the team does with Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson. If both guys walk, that will tell us that Kelly doesn’t value star WRs. I do think we could see a shift away from that. The flip side of this is that Kelly didn’t have access to great WRs at Oregon. Maybe having explosive players like Jackson and Maclin will change his feelings.

We know Kelly pretty well, but still have a lot to learn.

* * * * *

Speaking of that hack Jimmy Bama…he has some good stuff up in a post today. Joe Theismann is an American treasure.

_


  • Baloophi

    Intrepid.

    • TommyLawlor

      I should have gotten Dodge to sponsor this post.

      • Flyin

        Should get Dogde to sponsor Maclin. Mac with an intrepid state of mind would be beastly.

        • A_T_G

          I think I have seen enough Dodging from him, thank you very much.

          • Flyin

            So are you saying…Dogde, duck, dip, dive, dodge are the wrong teachings?

          • A_T_G

            I wonder if Chip has considered employing wrenches in his training regimen? “If you drop the ball, you catch the wrench.”

          • Flyin

            Scientific studies prove it’s a winner.

          • GEagle

            HA CLASSIC! Sooo full of win!

    • CrackSammich

      I miss the hell out of my Dodge Intrepid. She was a beast of a car.

  • Anders

    I got really encouraged by Sheli’s recent tweet about Maclin. If Maclin is all in like Vick said, he is gonna be a monster.

    • TommyLawlor

      I would love Mac to have a great year and make all the doubters, me included, feel silly for every questioning him.

      • GEagle

        I welcome any and every eagle I ever doubted to make me look stupid

    • GEagle

      What did Maclin say? Are you talking about the bit about him wanting to remain an Eagle?

      • Anders

        Vick: “Maclin has emerged as one of the hardest-working guys on our team. You watch him in the weight room…he’s just a different person.”

        • GEagle

          Thanks Anders…certainly exciting to hear. Although it’s not uncommon for pro’s to perform at their best during contract years…Alot of our roster is players in situations that are playing for contacts…that’s a very exciting dynamic.

      • Cafone

        Andy Reid wasn’t putting them in a position to make plays. He said so himself.

  • Mitchell

    I love the idea of a bunch of big ‘ol receivers. Although I do appreciate the fast guys who just torch the defense. Like DJax in the first play of the Redskins game a few years back.

    • TommyLawlor

      You need vertical speed, but it can be overrated if not used the right way.

  • Flyin

    For those of us that are excited about Chip Kelly… this quote from Vick, from the above linked article, speaks volumes…

    “The things that I’ve been able to learn and obtain mentally over the
    last three months is uncanny, so I just appreciate that, and we all as
    players appreciate him being there for us.”

    • John Gurney

      Lets hope its true and not just a canned response…

      • Flyin

        Garbage Can will take him to the curb… need be.

  • Corry

    No way does he go with 3 receivers, but I could see them still going light with 4.

    I figure Kelly is going to need at least 4 running backs, and likely 4 TEs since he wants to go with two TE sets, so going heavy at those positions means at least one other position will have to be light. Seems likely that it would be WR.

    • Tumtum

      At least 3. Andy kept Polk around last year as the 4 back. That has to speak great volumes about the kid. Andy always seemed to have a good eye for backs. He wasn’t big on running, rarely used even the #2 back, and must have known Polk would never see the field.

    • Buge Halls

      From what I’ve read, Chip is unlikely to keep a “classic” FB, so the 4th TE could take that roster spot. However, that being said, I find it unlikely that Clay Harbor makes the team – he just hasn’t done much. An especially with the two new guys in at TE, he’s definitely on the bubble. So, maybe the FB spot is taken by a 4th RB?

      • Corry

        I actually counted the 4th running back as already taking that spot. Remember, Reid kept 3 RBs and 1 FB. Last year it was Havili.

        I also think Harbor is pretty much done, but I’m wondering if they won’t grab someone off the waiver wire once cuts start happening. I can’t see the team moving forward with only 3 TEs given the importance they are likely to have in this offense.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    Lombardi acquired Rams TE Carroll Dale in ’63 and moved him to WR.

    In that era — with rare exceptions like the Eagles’ own Tommy McDonald — WRs around the NFL were 6’2″+ 200+.lbs. Goes with the power running game.

    The best WRs of the ’60s were RBs in college . . . Redskins’ HOFer Charlie Taylor at AZState and the Browns’ HOFer Bouncy Paul Warfield at OSU. The last of the converted college RBs to high-performance WR was Oregon’s Bobby Moore, a Cards’ 1st rounder — better known as Ahmad Rashad. (Rashad holds the record for the longest reception that was not a TD . . . 98 yards on one of the greatest broken field runs you’ve ever seen by a receiver.)

    The NFL started moving to small, speedy wide receivers in the early ’70s — after the Eagles’ diminutive 5’9″ 170 lb Harold Jackson started posting All Pro seasons. He just ran past everyone.

    Then came college sprinters-turned-WRs like the Cardinals’ WR Mel Gray and the Raiders’ Cliff Branch. Plus, the Oilers’ HOFer Charlie Joiner. The Bills/Dolphins’ Marlin Briscoe (a QB his rookie year). Eddie Bell of the Jets. Billy Parks of SD and Dallas. The next WR generation in the later ’70s included came the likes of Lynn Swann, Drew Pearson, Ron Jessie, Nat Moore, Alfred Jenkins.

    There were still bigger WRs. Some were fast, like Kenny “00″ Burrough and Isaac Curtis. And some were called “Possession Receivers,” like Harold Carmichael and Fred Belitnikoff.

    All things considered, a Lynn Swann/John Stallworth combination — one small the other big, but both fast — would be fine with me.

    • John Gurney

      So with guys like Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones being so effective do you think things could be shifting back to bigger more physical wide receivers?

      • ACViking

        JG:

        I do think so, especially at the college level. In the NFL, I’m not sure the search for the big, physical, fast WR ever disappeared. I just think the talent wasn’t out there at that position.

        Those guys — CJ, JJ, Fitz — are in the 1 percentile for size/speed/pass-catching ability. (And pass-catching ability is obviously the key.)

        If you can get one, I think the Falcons showed it’s worth trading up to do so. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon. And for the rest of his career.

        • Anders

          I say it is not worth it unless that player is a QB.

          Look at the Falcons, are they really that much better with Jones than before? Hell look at maybe the 3 best WRs in the NFL today in CJ, Fitz and Marshall, none of them made the post season and Fitz had a terrible year because of crappy QB play. The impact of any other play sans QB is just so little that giving up a ton is simply not worth it.

          • Neil

            I think there’s a strong deductive case for WR (and any other skill position) being naturally the last position you would want to solidify on offense after oline and qb, assuming you don’t end up choosing to acquire inferior players at oline or qb as a result of that strategy. In terms of the series of successes that have to happen to make a play work, first is the oline more or less winning their battles, then the QB performing his duty well, then the WR/TE/RB (the last because without a passing threat, the box will be loaded up) performing his duty well. The first two not working, no amount of star power at skill positions will amount to anything. But…if the first two are working, are skill positions any less important than them? This is the tricky part. I don’t know the answer. It’s easy to say QB is the only position that matters, but my counterpoint to that is the cowboys.

          • Buge Halls

            Seems like Andy Reid followed the “receiver last” philosophy. I mean it took him, what 10-11 years to get a couple good receivers (I am purposely not counting the T.O. fiasco!)?

  • ACViking

    Re: Maclin

    T-Law:

    If memory serves, Maclin’s straight-line speed based on a 40-yard time is pretty darn good. (We see it sometimes on those WR screens.)

    QUESTION: Do you think Maclin plays as fast as his 40 time?

    • TommyLawlor

      Not consistently.

      When running downfield on a pass route, he is fast. He can get behind a defense.

      When running with the ball, he slows down. We’ve seen him caught from behind a few times, most notably when Justin Smith got him in the SF game in 2011.

      • Cafone

        What happened? Weren’t returns his thing in college?

  • Flyin

    The Chip kelly story video has some good bits in it and Jill Savage.

    If you haven’t seen it… it’s worth a look. And don’t worry, Chip really did decide to leave Oregon.

    .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpZsLFtvB_U

    • Anders

      His comment around 7:50 is just gold.

      • Flyin

        Him being in Philly seems like gold. For him, He wants the stage and battle screwballs thrown at him alone the way.

  • GEagle

    3 WR on a roster…I don’t buy that either. We will never carry less then 4 and that’s even a low number..lol Can you imagine Celek returning punts? Lol

  • GEagle

    Vick basically apologized so you can’t hold it against him forever..But I would prefer just keeping it real with us instead of lying to us..I mean, there is no other way to interpret “Print It” ( in his defiant tone)….would it have really hurt to say “Just having a bad day, and it’s not easy to have the same exact question, that I’m dying to get the answer to myself, asked to you 15 times a day for the past month while I’m trying to learn a new offense”???
    ..
    if what he is saying is true, he has been here for 5 years and has been polarizing for much longer, so he should have still known better then to make those statements to the Philadelphia media.mHeck even Mosher couldn’t believe what he was hearing and gave Vick a chance to amend his statement. but the defiant Vick puffed out his chest and told Mosher to print it…”I was just trying to answer the questions honestly”…..??? Are you kidding me? Hat business do you have being honest with our media? have you noticed anyone else being honest to the media this offseason?
    ..
    he had the sense to call chip and appologize and I guess that’s all that really matters. I’m just trying to enjoy one Civil, hard work/head down, no Baby mamma drama, training camp that doesn’t turn int a circus. just give me one boring summer. is that really to much t ask? Lol

    • Flyin

      Actually, I believe many of the players that have been interviewed have been very honest. Positive, up beat and committed. Vick threw a wrench into things and I did bash him. I didn’t sweep his comments under the rug, however, every dog has it’s day that needs to be forgotten. Have I given him to many?

      Vick semi manned up and more importantly communicated with Coach. That to me says more about this team than of what the future of Vick holds.

      • Cafone

        I think you guys may listen to too much sports radio. You make mountains out of molehills. In my opinion Vick has carried himself admirably since he’s been on the Eagles. His play hasn’t always been great, but overall he’s been good in the locker room and out of trouble off the field. 99% of the time he seems to have mastered the art of “saying the right thing” so I don’t think it should be blown out of proportion the one time he doesn’t say exactly what he’s supposed to say according to the people that need to fill air time making up controversies.

        • GEagle

          Vick should absolutely be applauded for the man he has been since being released from prison…I used to love a Vick interview, but somewhere along the line it became Allen Iversonish…He has masted telling us what we want to hear, but his actions have rarely matched his words….so much of it has become white noise for mE

          • Cafone

            Well that’s the problem. We say we want honesty from athletes and then when they say something that doesn’t conform to the script they get outrage and criticism.

            A veteran who has been a star QB in the NFL would like a starter to be named rather than go through all of training camp in a QB competition with an unheralded 2nd year 3rd round draft pick? The horror!

            I’m not saying Vick was right. I’m saying his feelings should be understandable. And fans should realize that in the end it doesn’t really matter because Chip Kelly is making the decisions, not Michael Vick.

            This kind of stuff is why I am such a fan of Lawlor and the new breed of Eagles bloggers. These days we are able to get great technical football analysis and not the soap opera nonsense that has been the mainstay of sports radio for years.

  • eagleyankfan

    Since that Pats were brought up as an example — using WW as WR. Well, name the other WR’s on the roster over the last 5 to 8 years? It’s a revolving door. NE is a type of offense(somewhat) based on Chips input. Who knows exactly how Chip will run the offense(dare I say better than NE once that QB is found). NE proved that you don’t need 2(or 3) dominant WR’s. I’m not sure I agree that you HAVE to have 4 to 5 WR’s based on NE’s offense. Now, is WW elite or a product of NE’s offense? We’ll find that out this year.