What Are Experts Saying About Michael Vick's New Deal with Eagles?
The schematic fit is obvious, but so is Vick's age and his turnover and injury history.
When the news broke on Monday, many of the NFL's most intelligent scribes took to their keyboards to give their opinions on the Eagles' polarizing decision.
Here is what the experts had to say...
Dan Graziano, ESPN
ESPN.com's NFC East blogger Dan Graziano wrote this pertaining to the Eagles' decision to re-sign Vick. Mainly, he discussed what it means for head coach Chip Kelly:
There is nothing wrong with Kelly being intrigued by Vick as a possible solution at quarterback. As a concept, Vick's skill set is unquestionably tempting. If Kelly wants a quarterback who can run fast and extend plays with his legs, maximizing the speed of the high-level skill players that surround him on offense, there's no one on the 2013 quarterback market who offers -- in theory -- what Vick offers.
But going forward, Kelly must take care not to get duped. That whole thing about Vick's speed and his ability to make the speedy players around him more effective? Reid had that same plan. Didn't work.
What Vick is for the Eagles, on a market with no good quarterback solutions, is one potential answer. And if he ends up being the 2013 answer, then he's a flawed one who will have to be managed very carefully if the Eagles expect to have more success with him than they've had so far.
As long as Kelly knows that, he should be fine.
Graziano had plenty on his mind regarding this move, and he hit the nail squarely on the head here. Vick is simply a possible solution to Philadelphia's quarterback woes that materialized when Vick struggled and couldn't stay healthy.
His skill set fits Kelly's system, but Kelly mustn't get totally enamored with the idea of Vick before making a final decision on the team's starting quarterback.
Adam Schefter, ESPN
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As Michael Vick surveyed the free-agent landscape, he recognized that his best chances to succeed in 2013 were right with the Philadelphia Eagles and the new offense being installed by new head coach Chip Kelly
The Eagles recognized its a free-agent class short on quarterbacks and its a draft class short on quarterbacks, and the Eagles' best chance to succeed this season was with Michael Vick. So by getting a one-year deal done, each side now gets a taste of one another for the upcoming season.
An obvious take here from Schefter, one that makes sense. The dry free-agent quarterback class and the apparently "weak" signal-caller draft class probably played a major factor in the Eagles' decision. However, the fact that Vick will have to compete for a starting job says they aren't totally sure if he is the guy who gives them the best chance to succeed in 2013.
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated
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Chris Burke of SI hints that Vick is an intriguing option for the Eagles, even if his skill set is declining, but echoes the common sentiment regarding this deal:
There is minimal downside for Vick on this one. He now has one season to prove that he can be Kelly’s guy … and if he fails, he’s right back in the same spot — in need of a new team.
And in the meantime, the Eagles extend their window for Vick’s evaluation. Regardless, Philadelphia was going to take a decent-sized financial hit; this move minimizes that jolt, while also providing Kelly a longer look at Vick’s fit within the offense.
Either it works and the Eagles’ offense thrives next season or both sides simply go back to the drawing board.
It's hard to argue with Burke, who, like many others, thinks the re-signing was essentially a low-risk move that could pay off in the end.
Vick does have a skill set that's ideal for Kelly's zone-read offense, so it's logical that Kelly wanted an opportunity to evaluate the 32-year-old quarterback himself.
Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
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Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News gave a more "straight news" take to the Vick re-signing. Above all, though, he found a way to fit in a slight knock on the rest of the Eagles' roster in the final sentence of his article:
Vick will be 33 this season and hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in a game since 2010. The older a quarterback gets, the less he tends to run. Vick ran the ball only 62 times last season _ well below the 89 carries he averaged when he was the quarterbacking the Falcons. But he still averaged better than six yards per carry.
Kelly needs the threat of a run by the quarterback in his offense and Vick will give him that. But don’t look for a shift in the balance of power in the NFC East with this move. The Eagles will still be looking up from the bottom at the Redskins, Giants and Cowboys in 2013 regardless of the quarterback.
This is a point few have brought up. The Eagles' offensive line must get healthy and their defense must improve from sporadic play in 2012. Right now, it's not crazy to project them to finish last in the NFC East in 2013.
Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer
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Paul Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer sees the Vick re-signing more negatively than most:
Before Chip Kelly burned his boats, here's hoping he noticed the wreckage along the coastline.
They are the ruined vessels of other captains lured toward the rocks by the siren song of Michael Vick's physical gifts. They were coaches who saw the rocket arm and the tailback speed and believed they could turn Vick into a championship quarterback.
They were Dan Reeves and Jim Mora Jr. and, most recently and painfully, Andy Reid. If Kelly knows about Cortes, the Spanish explorer who burned his ships to remove the possibility of returning home from his men's thoughts, he probably knows about Odysseus, lashing himself to the mast to resist the sirens.
Lash yourself to the mast, Chip. You'll thank us later.
If Vick winds up being his best option at the end of training camp, then so be it.
But that would represent a very disappointing start to Kelly's tenure here.
Love the analogy here. Sheridan certainly was turned off by the oft-injured, turnover-happy Vick over the last three seasons and doesn't see why the Eagles would continue the Vick experiment after it failed miserably in 2011 and 2012.
However, in theory, the schematic fit is there, which is what makes the deal logical enough.
Lastly, I do agree with Sheridan's opinion that if Vick is the best option at quarterback, it would be a somewhat disappointing start to Kelly's tenure in Philadelphia.
Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report
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Bleacher Report's NFC East Lead Blogger Brad Gagnon provided his comprehensive take on Vick's re-signing:
It's clear to all of us that the Philadelphia Eagles don't know who their next franchise quarterback will be, which is why it's important right now for the team to generate as much competition as possible for said role.
That's why, even though he'd worn out his Philadelphia welcome in the eyes of many Eagles fans, it's great for the short- and long-term health of the franchise that Michael Vick has dropped the stubborn act and agreed to restructure his contract to stay in the City of Brotherly Love for the 2013 season.
A chance exists that Vick experiences a tremendous rejuvenation in an offensive system that caters to his skills and has him excited. And yes, there's also a chance he continues to be an aging, turnover-plagued train wreck. But is it worth it to find out? Absolutely. Under these circumstances, the Eagles haven't got a lot to lose.
A common take from Gagnon, who published an astute column on this topic. With the current state of available quarterbacks and Vick's fit in Kelly's system, it truly is worth a shot for the Eagles and Gagnon's right—they don't have much to lose after two underwhelming seasons in a row.
Jen Floyd Engel, FOX Sports
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FOX Sports' Jen Floyd Engel took a similar angle to that of Paul Sheridan's—Kelly, beware of Michael Vick:
Vick is a coach killer. He may be the single biggest of my generation.
The thing with a coach killer is not that he is untalented, it's quite the opposite actually. These players are spectacularly talented. They are capable of doing things on a field few others can. It is their potential that is so damn seductive; engendering this feeling that the player just has not been with the right coach, right system, right teammates.
Coaches, already imbued with an abundance of ego, believe “I can make it work with this guy” even while staring at evidence to the contrary. Chip Kelly has a job in Philadelphia not because Andy Reid did not believe in Vick, but rather because he believed in him too much. Reid loved Vick’s potential, paid big money for his potential only to end up with a big bag of nothing. It is what makes players like Vick extremely dangerous. Their talent makes it harder to walk away even when doing so is the smarter course.
Again, Engel's approach to this situation is tough to argue. Vick has been a coach killer and his athletic allure coupled with the classic ego of most head coaches could mean things will end badly in Philadelphia for Vick and the Eagles.
Will Brinson, CBS Sports
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Will Brinson of CBS Sports brought up an interesting point in his reactionary column to the Vick re-signing news:
There will be much hand-wringing when it comes to Vick's success with Kelly. Vick doesn't get the ball out quickly and he's typically been more of a playground runner than a designed runner. There will be concerns about his safety.
But it's quite possible that designed runs, should Vick learn to read plays and run the offense properly, will keep Vick more healthy.
Kelly's a smart enough offensive mind to make Vick successful in this league again. But there's also plenty of bust potential with the re-marriaging of Vick and the Eagles.
Vick has struggled with making quick decisions and he is more of a street ball runner than a Colin Kaepernick-esque designed runner. Kelly probably thinks he can get the best out of Vick—does that imply that he believes he can keep Vick healthy?
If so, the Eagles could have made a smart decision to give Kelly his shot at revitalizing Vick's career.