If the Philadelphia Eagles want to contend for the NFC East title in 2012, the coaching staff has to find a way to keep Vick on the field.
Over the past two seasons, Vick has only played in 25 games. He has only played all 16 in a season once in his nine-year career—that came back in 2006 with the Falcons.
Last year he struggled through concussions and a rib injury. It's no secret that throughout his career, Vick has had serious issues staying healthy.
The first thing the Eagles must do is protect Vick when he's in the pocket. New left tackle Demetress Bell and right tackle Todd Herremans are both under a ton of pressure to keep Vick's jersey clean.
After that, Vick's health is on Philadelphia's coaches. Head coach Andy Reid and his offensive assistants have to get Vick to rein in his style a bit. He must start sliding more when he escapes the pocket and learn to get out of bounds—rather than take any extra hits.
Vick's aggressive style has always made him dangerous in and out of the pocket, but with that playing style has consequences. If Vick isn't on the field he can't help his team—so obviously there is a cost to playing that way.
While it may be impossible to change who Vick is as a player, Reid and his coordinators need to figure out a way to make him play smarter and not risk his health for a few extra yards. He is too valuable to the team. Besides, the Eagles aren't reaching the playoffs with Mike Kafka or Nick Foles under center.
I don't think anyone will ever be able to change Vick's style, but the Eagles need to try, because without him their offense simply won't be the same.
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