The previous thread had more than 100 comments. It can get tough to carry on conversations at that point, so I decided to post a short thread with a couple of misc thoughts and some links.
In regard to the ongoing Vick discussion. I previously wrote that Vick isn’t a great QB. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t done some special things. Vick was the first visiting QB to win a playoff game at Lambeau Field (2002). He carried the 2004 Falcons to the NFC title game. He is the only QB to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
The problem with trying to quantify Vick is that for so much of his career he didn’t fit the standard QB mold. In his 5 years as the full time starter in Atlanta, Vick never threw for 3,000 yards. He only attempted more than 400 passes once. In a full season with the Eagles, Donovan McNabb never attempted fewer than 443 passes. You cannot look at just TD passes, QB rating and completion percentage to figure those guys out. They were playing 2 very different versions of football.
It isn’t accurate to label Vick as just a mediocre QB any more than it is accurate to say he’s great. Vick is highly talented, but highly erratic. In Atlanta, they weren’t able to develop him as a passer, partly due to coaching, but also due to Vick’s failure to embrace football the way he should have. By his own words, he was the last in the building and the first out. That changed when he came to Philly and he’s grown quite a bit as a passer.
The problem is that Reid took things to the other extreme. He had Vick throwing too much. Vick simply isn’t meant to drop back 35 to 40 times a game.
We’re trying to take what we know of Vick based on 2001-2012 and project how he’ll do in 2013. Don’t do that.
If the Eagles had hired some other NFL coach, I’d say you’re right to focus on Vick’s past. I don’t care if the offense switched to even a run-heavy attack. Vick with another NFL coach would have likely been Vick.
Instead, Chip Kelly came to town. Chip is bringing a new offense and style of play to the NFL. We’ve never seen Vick in this offense or anything close to it. Think about the changes Vick had to deal with. He had the fly swatter devices at practice. He had to give up the long ball and focus on quick screens. Vick had to compete for the starting job for the first time since college. Kelly messed with his head in a lot of different ways. And Vick responded the right way.
Old Vick might show up in the fall, but the guy we’re seeing now is a Vick I’m not familiar with.
Some of you got into a debate on 2010 vs 2011. Let’s get one thing straight. The O-line was a mess in 2010. Mike McGlynn wasn’t good at C. Nick Cole was awful at RG. Winston Justice was erratic at RT. Even Jason Peters was a notch below where he is now. Vick played really well despite the fact he had a porous OL. In 2011 Howard Mudd came to town. He turned Jason Peters into the best LT in the league. Mudd got Evan Mathis off the street and turned him into a stud. Rookie Jason Kelce had a good year. Todd Herremans moved to RT and thrived. Danny Watkins at RG was the only erratic player up front. That OL was dominant at times.
The other debate about when “defenses figured Vick out” is tricky. The Giants blitzed DBs a ton in the Miracle at the Meadowlands and it worked great for 3 1/2 quarters. Vick unleashed some voodoo on them in the final 8 minutes. The next week the Vikings blitzed Antoine Winfield over and over and Vick had a bad game. Teams continued to blitz Vick in 2011. The results were up and down. You might remember Quintin Mikell strip-sacking Vick in the season opener. The Bills had success with blitzers. Dallas had no luck with blitzers. You can’t say defenses figured Vick out, but you also can’t say Vick figured out blitzers.
Enough of my yapping.
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Jimmy Bama did a hilarious post on Vick winning the QB competition. You’ll like this. Jason Kelce as a Wookie is priceless.
Tim McManus, All-American pretzel eater, wrote about how Vick thinks being pushed really helped him. I do think Kelly getting Vick out of his comfort zone was important.
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I promise we’ll get to other players on Wednesday.