If you walk around town, everybody has been talking about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and his injuries. Vick has been injured a lot in his career, there’s no question about that. He has started all 16 regular season games just once in his NFL career.
So far, he has hardly been on the field during the preseason. In the first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he sustained a thumb injury in the first quarter and didn’t play the rest of the game. In the second contest against the New England Patriots, he took a shot to the ribs and had to take an early exit.
If the Eagles plan to make a strong run in the regular season as well as the playoffs, they’re going to need a healthy Michael Vick. The team has to find a way to protect. President Barack Obama told him to slide. He did that the other night going head first for a first down. Sliding will help, but he has to be careful with that as well.
The answer in keeping Vick healthy could be found in the last four games of the 2011 season. In those games, Vick rolled out a lot, which took him away from the pass rush.
This allowed him to see linebackers blitzing at him in the backfield. Vick’s speed and open field moves prevented him from getting hit by those hard charging linebackers and pass rushing defensive ends.
When you have space and vision, you can hold on to the ball longer. You can create opportunities for yourself and extend the play longer. And let’s face it, that’s the way Vick plays the game. You can’t take that away him. In addition, if the play isn’t there, he can throw the ball away or run out of bounds. He’ll be in a better position to do that.
If you’re going to have him stand up in the pocket and take those big hits from defensive linemen coming full speed, that could be a major problem. Vick has to be that explosive player we’ve seen over his 11 years in the NFL. People want to see him play the way he did in 2010 when he was a threat to make a big play at any time.
Vick is only 6-foot and 215 pounds. That’s not real big for a quarterback. A guy that size can’t be strictly a pocket passer. You can give him some room to make plays with his arm as well as his legs. With his talent, you have to put him in position where he has the other teams trying to figure out what he’s going to do. That’s what makes him dangerous.
He doesn’t have to go back to being the quarterback he was during his playing days with the Atlanta Falcons. Actually, he’s a much better all-around quarterback now. His passing is much improved.
It’s unlikely that Vick will play the rest of the preseason. Andy Reid, Eagles head coach, will have some time to look at his four-time Pro Bowl signal caller. Reid should have him dropping back a little further in the pocket. This way, he can see the field better. Also, it would keep Vick in a situation where he’s putting pressure on defenses along with preventing him from getting hurt.
It’s easy to say he’s got to slide and throw the ball way. That’s nice. Everybody wants him to stay healthy. But Michael Vick has made a career of making plays and that’s what he has to do if the Eagles are going to go anywhere this season.