Michael Vick Dodges Another Bullet, but Is It Only a Matter of Time?
But I can promise you that Eagles fans don't feel a whole lot more comfortable now than they did when Vick was forced to leave early for the second time in as many games Monday night in Foxborough.
It's clear at this point that Vick's reckless mentality in and out of the pocket won't change, and it's also become apparent that this offensive line is going to be vulnerable sans All-Pro Jason Peters. When you combine those two factors, the Eagles have every reason to be concerned.
The thing about Vick is that he's strong and brave enough to fight through most of the injuries that result from the hits he takes, but he loses much of his edge when he isn't 100 percent. Statistics from Pro Football Focus indicate that no quarterback in the league has been pressured as often as he has the last two seasons.
But Vick reacted to pressure less effectively last season, which indicates the hits were taking their toll. He was lucky to stay quasi-healthy in 2010, but that wasn't the case last year and hasn't been the case thus far this summer. At 32, he's not likely to hold up under these circumstances.
Let's take a look at the two plays in which Vick was injured the last two games to determine who was at fault:
Hand injury vs. Pittsburgh
The Steelers send an extra man and you can already see trouble for left tackle Demetress Bell and running back LeSean McCoy:
Vick escapes the grasp of Chris Carter, who beats Bell on the outside, but he's locked in. McCoy picks up the blitz well, but Vick has to either escape left or throw immediately. He's still in the pocket and can't throw it away, so if there's no one open, he has to take off right now. And as you can see, the coverage is tight.
He instead decides to throw, which is what he was told to do earlier in his career, but wasn't the right decision in this instance.
He didn't have the time or space to throw an accurate pass to a fairly well-covered Clay Harbor, and to add injury to insult, he smashes his hand on center Jason Kelce's helmet, which forces him to leave the game.
The pass protection wasn't great, but it wasn't all that bad, either. Vick was given a full three seconds to make a decision, which should be enough for a quarterback of his ilk. He made a decision to throw a low-percentage pass in traffic, and as a result, he made himself vulnerable. That's on him.
Rib injury vs. New England
The Patriots only send four, but the pass protection breaks down immediately. This is what Vick was looking at as soon as he competed his drop out of play action...
With Evan Mathis and King Dunlap both in the process of getting beat, Vick goes straight into survival mode. But instead of trying to beat Chandler Jones to the edge, he starts looping back. Never a good approach.
A second later, he has nowhere to run; he's still in the pocket and can't throw it away, nor does he have the time to set his feet and throw.
But he attempts to do so anyway...
This is not how you want your quarterback throwing passes...
Again, this was on both Vick and his line. Smarter quarterbacks with the same physical tools could escape these situations, but Vick has always struggled with this aspect of the game. Plays like these can't happen.
What's really concerning is that it's come up twice already, and Vick has only dropped back eight times.
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