Michael Vick Is Really Competing With HimselfBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Quarterbacks Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
In the past week and a day since the Eagles have put on pads, Michael Vick has opened a gap between himself and Nick Foles. He’s been throwing the ball with anticipation and most of the time, his throws have been on the money. He’s been picking the proper time to use his legs. He’s relaxed and confident and his teammates have been feeding off of it.
All the receivers know Vick can get them the football regardless of where they are on the field. Vick is starting to get more comfortable in the offense and more familiar with the routes, so he’s getting the ball out of his hands quicker, which really accentuates the difference between Vick’s arm and Foles’ arm.
But what does it matter. Vick isn’t competing against Foles he’s competing against himself. He’s got the confidence of his teammates, much more experience than Foles, a much better arm and he’s twice the athlete that Foles is, so the competition between Foles and Vick is a joke, but Vick’s true battle isn’t with Foles.
Vick’s battle is with turnovers and bad decision-making. Vick’s battle is with injuries and not learning how to slide. Will he continue to throw interceptions and lose the football?
Everybody is making a big deal out of this quarterback competition, but I don’t take it seriously. I’m at the practices every day. I see them working on the read option. Chip Kelly has already said that he needs to be fired if he calls 20 read options with Foles in there as the quarterback.
If Vick starts playing poorly in the preseason games or in the regular season games or he gets hurt, the Eagles will have wasted a quarter of their practice time because that’s all the time which they have spent on the read option. How could Kelly hand the ball to Foles as the starter after all the work on the read option? Teammates of the two quarterbacks have been there in practice as they’ve spent all this time working on the read option. They’ve seen Vick run the read option and they’ve seen Foles run it. It would make no sense for them to go with Foles at this point.
I know there are a lot of Eagles fans and media people rooting for Foles to get the job, but the starting quarterback job is Michael Viick’s to lose. If he’s playing poorly or turning over the ball in the preseason games, he could lose the job, but the job is currently his to lose. Through competition, Kelly is giving Vick the motivation to raise the quality of his game. For the past week and a day, it’s worked, Vick has taken his game to another level, but can he keep it there.
Foles and Matt Barkley has spent a countless amount of time working on the read option, but they”re never going to run it effectively in the National Football League. There are 350 pound nose guards in the league, who can outrun both Foles and Barkley. They will be easy targets for what will feel like heat-seeking missiles coming at them when they try to turn upfield in the NFL.
The only other quarterback in camp who can run the read option effectively is Dennis Dixon. He knows the offense through and through, but I don’t know if he really has a chance of remaining with the team. Maybe they’ll release him, but resign him if Vick goes down.
I’m confident that the Eagles will have a potent running game and that’s what will take the pressure off of the quarterbacks. I like the offensive line, even though center Jason Kelce has been struggling in his comeback from knee surgery. He probably needs to slow things down a bit. The same is true to Jason Peters. They don’t need to focus on getting ready for the preseason, they need to get ready for the regular season.
If Vick wins his battle with turnovers and injuries, the Eagles could have a potent offense, but if he goes down, Foles will run a offense that lacks a lot of excitement.
If Vick takes care of the ball and doesn’t get hurt, defenses will live with the fear of DeSean Jackson getting behind their safeties and Vick getting the ball to him. The safeties will be living with the temptation of cheating up and helping out on the run. The Birds offensive assistants will sitting upstairs monitoring the safeties every play and then give Chip Kelly the word that they’re vulnerable to Jackson getting behind them.
I can’t say I’m confident that Vick is going to be able overcome his shortcomings because I’ve seen him stink up the place the last two years, but he can beat out Foles in a quarterback competition any day of the week. Vick has to show me in the games that he can take care of the football and slide to avoid getting hit and hurt. He hasn’t shown me much in the last two years, so I’ll believe when I see it.
Donovan McNabb was disciplined enough as a quarterback to throw the ball away or throw the ball into the ground to avoid turning it over. That’s one of the reasons the Eagles won so often with him at the helm. How many of McNabb’s throws into the ground were intercepted? Zero, exactly. His bad throws were into the ground, Vick’s high throws get tipped and intercepted.
Vick doesn’t need to go after spectacular plays, he needs to be boring and take care of the football. Rather than looking for the fifty yard bomb, take the 15-yard throw that’s safe and gets you a first down.
I want to see Vick play boring football, where he slides and doesn’t get hit and hurt. I want to see him scramble and gain six yards for a first down then slide and not get hit, rather than try to gain another ten yards, then get hit and knocked out of the game. He should get the ball out of his hands early on a check down route, in order to avoid getting hit by a defensive lineman.
I want him to be boring and consistent and healthy.
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