Michael Vick is a sensational athlete. He is a very good quarterback as well. Anyone who has watched the Philadelphia Eagles over the past two seasons can see his improvement and the way he can completely take over a game.
As good as he is and as great as he can be, he is far from a flawless player. Every player has some degree of flaw in their game, but Vick's stand out. They will also likely decide what type of season the Eagles will have.
Before we go any further, let's clarify that I don't believe Vick is holding the Eagles back. He is just going to need to be an elite player on a consistent basis in 2012.
If Vick is a top 10 NFL quarterback, the Eagles will be good. If he is top-five, they will be a Super Bowl contender. So what are Vick's flaws?
The first one that I can see is that he isn't the best decision-maker. Some of that can be attributed to his phenomenal arm strength. He may see a receiver tightly covered or double or triple covered and throw it in his direction anyway.
He gets away with this a lot when he throws with precision. If his throw is in the right spot, it can be nearly impossible for a defender to make a play because of his tremendous velocity. The problem is he can't be precise all the time.
Another is that he has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. Anyone over thirty has plenty of experience with this problem.
During the last three decades the Eagles have had Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and now Vick.
What these quarterbacks all had in common was that they all wanted to make a play on every snap. In a way that is an admirable trait. Holding onto the ball can be a sign of toughness or an unwillingness to relent.
What makes it a flaw is the fact that more often than not, it ends in a sack, a turnover or, even worse, injury. I believe Vick has gotten better in this area during his time under Andy Reid, but he still has some work to do.
The final one is the worst one. It is actually the cause of the first two. Michael Vick's biggest flaw is his ego.
If you haven't already sped to the comments, you probably will now. His ego is a problem because it doesn't allow him to see any limitation in himself. Ego can be a healthy thing to a degree and every quarterback needs one.
In fact, every great athlete needs one. However, too much is no good.
Why does Vick insist on throwing into tight spaces? Why does he hold onto the ball too long? Why does he absolutely refuse to slide or run out of bounds with any regularity?
The answer is his ego. He has learned how to say the right things for the most part, but he's had a bit of a chip on his shoulder over the past few weeks.
Michael Vick is a tremendous football player and one of the most enjoyable athletes to watch in all of sports. I like him a lot and I think he has a big year in store in 2012.
The way he overcomes these flaws is partially to put in the time in the film room with his coaches. He needs to learn from his mistakes of last year.
He also needs to accept the fact that he wasn't that great in 2011. If he can do those two simple things, he will make the Eagles the league's most dangerous offense.
If he enters 2012 thinking he was just fine last year and that he doesn't need to do things any differently, it will be just more of the same.
Vick is a tough player who hates to lose just as much as he loves to win. I admire that quality along with his speed, arm strength and toughness.
I just need to see him tone down his ego enough that he can stop trying to prove he's the toughest guy on the field and prove that he can lead his team for a full season.
The Eagles are a force to be reckoned with and Michael Vick at the top of his game makes them a team to fear.