Michael Vick Threw Four Picks, But There Could Have Been MoreBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Quarterbacks Monday, September 10th, 2012
This was a frightening performance by Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and it makes you question his development as a quarterback. Vick was making rookie mistakes like throwing the ball across the field, staring down receivers and making foolish and careless throws with the game on the line.
#1 – The first of the interceptions occurred when he was rolling to his left and under pressure from the pass rush. He tried to complete a pass to tight end Brent Celek, who was sitting in the middle of the field. When a quarterback is rolling to one side of the field, it draws the coverage to that side.
This was another case of Vick trying to play Superman, when a moment or two as Clark Kent would have been better. Browns defensive end Emmanuel Stephens beat left tackle King Dunlap inside and forced Vick to abandon the pocket. I will talk about the pathetic play of the offensive line later on.
Once he was forced out of the pocket, the quarterback should have started thinking about playing Clark Kent and abandoning the play by running out of bounds or throwing the ball away. He could have looked down that sideline to see if somebody was open, but no he still insists on playing Superman all the time, so he put on his cape.
I know Vick has a strong arm, but he broke a quarterback fundamental that is taught to ten-year old Pop Warner quarterbacks. Don’t throw the football across your body and across the field. Vick was attempting to throw the football back to his right by throwing it across his body without setting his feet. He got nothing on the throw.
Celek could have helped him by coming back to the football, but he waited for it, “patting his glove”, which is a mistake by any receiver. You always go get the football when it’s in the air because it lessens the opportunity for the defense to cut in front of you and pick it off.
Browns linebacker Craig Robertson took advantage of the situation came in from the other side to pick off the pass. It was an easy pick because Vick couldn’t get anything on the throw, so it was hanging up there and saying catch me.
The quarterback is only supposed to throw the football to that side or if his arm is strong enough, he can throw the ball over the coverage deep to the other side, if he can set his feet and follow through. That kind of throw is rare.
He should never throw the football across his body and across the field because he can’t get very much steam on it and it is sure to be picked off. For the most part, the quarterback needs to look downfield to the side of the field in which he is rolling and throw the ball in that direction, short or deep.
A quarterback is never supposed to throw the football to the short area in the middle of the field. It’s just like the rule in basketball where you never throw a cross court pass because it gives every defensive player a chance to intercept it.
#2 – On the second interception, the offensive line did a great job of protecting for their quarterback. Vick dropped deep into the pocket after faking a hand off to LeSean McCoy. He had plenty of time to see the entire field. Usually on these deep drops, Vick is looking downfield to DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin. He spotted tight end Clay Harbor and decided he was going to go to him.
The throw was intended for Harbor who was open for an instant, but Vick was staring at him and taking his time getting him the football. The Browns were in a zone coverage and middle linebacker D’Quell Jackson was in the middle of the field, but started moving to his right as he followed Vick’s eyes. Jackson should have picked the ball off, but it went through his hands and was picked off by Cleveland outside linebacker L.J. Fort.
Cleveland safety T.J. Ward was standing right behind Harbor and draped over him when the ball arrived. The throw had no chance of making it to Harbor.
#3 – On the next interception, Vick tried to hit Maclin on a crossing from the right side of the formation to the left. This was the one interception which wasn’t Vick’s fault. He put the throw on Maclin’s hands as he got to the left side of the formation.
Maclin had a tough time yesterday. He was hit a number of times after making some tough catches. The young wide receiver was in and out of the lineup because of physical problems during the game.
I think an earlier hit on a crossing route, influenced Maclin to peak downfield just before Vick put the ball in the air. The wideout put his hands out as the ball came his way, but his focus was totally on the football and that’s what caused him to let the ball hit off his hands and into the hands of Browns cornerback Joe Haden.
I have to give Vick credit for not giving up on the play because he hustled downfield and stopped Haden from taking the ball into the end zone.
#4 – On his final interception of the day, Vick dropped into the pocket and followed Jeremy Maclin from his outside alignment on the Birds right side. Number 18 was running an inside curl route versus a simple strong-zone defense.
His eyes were straight down the field during the entire play. The signal caller didn’t try to look any of the defenders off by looking to his left or his right. He was tunnel vision, looking straight down the middle of the field and attempting to connect with Maclin on the curl route.
Maybe he thought he was invisible because Browns middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson broke on the football when Vick let it go and cut in front of Maclin. The lefthanded quarterback lifted his arm and left go of the throw as if there was nobody in the area. Jackson simply reached up to pick off the pass and continued down the sideline.
He showed off his speed while taking the ball in for a touchdown, while doing a forward full-body flip.
#5 – Or course on the last drive of the game, Fort let a Vick pass go right through his hands on a throw Vick made which was intended for Maclin. If the young linebacker had caught the football, it would have cost the Eagles the game.
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