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Breaking Down Michael Vick's Career Consistency Problems

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 14: Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Detroit Lions during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 14, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Tim StoeckleContributor IIIOctober 15, 2012

Have you ever tried to help somebody and he or she tells you that you're trying to do too much?

Well, how could I be doing too much? What does too much help even mean? Well, in the case of Michael Vick, doing too much means that by trying so hard to make a big play, by trying so hard to make the crowd roar for him, he is not only endangering his team, but himself.

Throughout his NFL career, Vick has made highlight-reel plays. He's been called the greatest athlete to ever play the quarterback position. He was once thought to be a future Hall of Fame player. But, while Vick has all of the athletic ability in the world, his inconsistent play and poor decision-making has caused people to second-guess his ability to even be a starting quarterback.

Vick has a rocket launcher for an arm. Because of this, he has tremendous confidence in his ability to fire the football into tight spaces.  

That's a problem.

Confidence isn't a bad thing necessarily, but when that confidence blinds you to reality, then that is where you run into problems, and that is what has happened to Vick. Any opening that he sees, no matter how small, Vick believes that he can fire the ball in and complete the pass.  

Unfortunately, defensive players in the National Football League are smarter than that. They know how to get a hand in the way to knock down the ball, or in many cases, get two hands on the ball and force a turnover.

Vick has thrown six interceptions through six games this season. Over the past three seasons, he has thrown 26 interceptions in 30 games. Compare this to the most elite of elite quarterbacks, Tom Brady, who has thrown 19 interceptions in his last 38 regular-season games. That is not because Brady has a stronger arm than Vick, because he doesn't. It is because he is a better decision-maker.

Vick's desire to make a play causes him to force balls. We've seen Vick on multiple occasions get under pressure and throw the ball deep downfield, hardly even looking to see if anyone is open. Maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks (too soon?), but has anyone tried to teach Vick to simply throw the ball out of bounds? 

This season, we've seen Vick tuck the ball and run less than normal. This is because he is trying to become more of a passing quarterback. By doing this he is protecting his body from big hits, which is great. But, not every running play has to pick up double-digit yards. Instead, picking up a yard or two and sliding or running out of bounds would not only be acceptable, but preferable to trying to force a pass and turning the ball over.

When Vick does run the ball, he often fails to protect it.

Do you remember the last time you saw Vick properly carry the football?

Instead of doing what is taught in pee-wee ball, Vick holds the football in his throwing hand and runs with it, even after passing the line of scrimmage. Spoiler alert for defenses: He isn't going to throw it. By carrying the ball at his side, Vick is just asking defenders to strip the ball. Again, Vick's desire to make a big play causes him to be careless with the ball.   

Vick has fumbled the ball an incredible nine times so far this season. If that isn't a wakeup call, I don't know what is.  

Michael Vick is a competitor; he wants to win, and he tries to do everything he can to win. In some ways this is respectable. In other ways, actually in most ways, this is cause for concern. If Vick can't begin to play consistent, turnover-free football, we may be seeing Nick Foles under center in Philadelphia.  

Michael, we appreciate your help, but you're trying to do too much.   

 

Follow @TimStoeckle on Twitter

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