Michael Vick Admits He Needed The Pressure To Improve His GameBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Quarterbacks Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
I thought former Eagles head coach Andy Reid pampered his quarterbacks during his final years with the Birds. He didn’t demand that Donovan McNabb focus on his faltering fundamentals as his accuracy worsened. Numerous times Reid told people that he felt he would lose McNabb if he got tough with him. I thought that was a major mistake.
The same was true of Reid’s treatment of Michael Vick when he took over as the starting quarterback. Vick was handled him with kid gloves, as his decision-making went south. Reid protected his players in public most of the time, but he protected his quarterbacks all the time. I thought it contributed to the increased poor quarterback play.
This is one of the reasons, I was pleased that Eagles new head coach Chip Kelly challenged Vick by having the quarterbacks compete for the starting signal caller spot. I thought it would bring out the best in him and provide an environment similar to what he experienced in 2010 when he played the best football of his NFL career.
Vick admitted yesterday that he needed the pressure from the quarterback competition to raise his level of performance.
“There were times when I questioned the situation, but I just felt like there was a greater purpose, and that purpose was to get the most out of me . . . That’s why I stand before you humbled, because I was able to find something within my game and within my character and my personality that I haven’t felt in a long time, and that means a lot. I thank coach Kelly for that.”
Usually players don’t admit it, but pressure from competition or a tough, demanding coach is exactly what is needed at times to get the player to perform at his best.
I wrote about this during the off season when Vick complained that Chip Kelly was taking too much time in naming a starting quarterback. When the Birds finished the mini-camps during the summer, Vick told a reporter he wanted Kelly to name a starting quarterback ASAP. The quarterback came clean yesterday and admitted he was letting the pressure get to him.
“I should have never came out and said that. I just was having a moment,” said Vick. “But I appreciate having to put in the hard work, having all summer to think about what type of mindset I had to come back with. Preparing throughout the summer as if I was fighting for a job. And I was.”
Quarterbacks have to learn to thrive in pressure situations. It was great practice for both Vick and Nick Foles to come out to practice every day and know that each throw they made was going to be charted by the coaches and the media. Every decision had pressure attached to it, which is the way it is during the games.
Vick admitted in a roundabout way that he might need more pressure to keep his play at that level. He was reminded about the way he played in 2010 when he was backing up Kevin Kolb and took over the starting spot after Kolb went down with an injury.
“You’re at your best when your best is required . . . Sometimes you need to be motivated, you need to be pushed”, Vick said yesterday.
I think it’s going to be very important that Kelly keeps the pressure on Vick so that he keep the pedal down for the rest of the season. Vick needs the coaching staff to pressure him to stay away from taking foolish chances with the football. He must continue to be conservative with his decisions, while knowing that turnovers means losing in the NFL.
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