Michael Vick: How Eagles Can Put Veteran QB in Best Position to Succeed
It seems Vick will not be a certainty to start behind center for the Eagles next season as head coach Chip Kelly has said he will compete for the team's starting job, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com:
"There's open competition. Both of them are outstanding quarterbacks. Who the starting quarterback is will be decided on the practice field," Kelly said.
The other quarterback in contention for the starting job will be second-year signal-caller, Nick Foles. The Arizona product spent time as the team's starter during his rookie campaign, surpassing Vick during the season, but Vick would go on to start the team's last game.
However, with a new coach in town, Vick has a new opportunity to win back his starting job for good. He'll have the upper hand already thanks to the offensive system that Kelly will run.
Kelly will no doubt implement his spread offense into the Eagles game plan and Vick's abilities as a mobile quarterback are the best fit for such an offensive approach. Foles, on the other hand, is more of a pocket passer and isn't a threat to run the ball like Vick is.
Who gives the Eagles the best chance to win in 2013?
Vick is also making a lot of money and it's far too much to pay a backup quarterback. That fact alone will make the Eagles try him behind center once again instead of having to stomach spending so much money on a guy who just keeps the bench warm all season long.
As is, the Eagles don't have enough for either quarterback to succeed.
During the 2012 season, the Eagles were the fifth-most sacked team in the NFL, allowing 48 sacks in total. Vick saw the brunt of those sacks with 28 in just 10 games and battled several injuries as a result of the beating he took both inside and outside the pocket.
Foles was sacked 20 times in three less games than Vick.
The No. 1 goal of this offseason must be for the Eagles to improve their offensive line.
This year's draft is pretty deep in the offensive line department, namely at the offensive tackle position. There are other options as far as guards go, so there are plenty of ways Philly could go in order to bolster its offensive line, which is lacking in multiple spots.
If the draft doesn't fully appease the Eagles, there are some intriguing offensive linemen on the free-agent market with tackle Jake Long being the most likely big man to change destinations.
Kelly will love to have Vick's athleticism at the quarterback position in his spread offense, but the first-year coach must be careful not to overuse the 32-year-old outside of the pocket.
Vick is a tough customer when it comes to dealing with injuries, but he's spent time in the trainer's room during his career because of his style of play. When Vick leaves the pocket to run, he is as good as they come, but that also leaves him open to take big hits.
At his age now, Vick's body won't take too kindly to those same big hits he might have survived in the past. That makes it all the more necessary that Kelly utilize Vick's arm more than usual even though it isn't necessarily the best feature of his game.
Vick has only broken the 60 percent completion mark once during his career, but it came as a member of the Eagles in 2010 (62.6). Since then, Vick has experienced two consecutive seasons of sub 60 percent completion percentages.
But that could quickly change if Vick actually has some protection around him next season. It's pretty hard to make good throws when you're running for your life and have no time to throw the ball. That was just about the theme of Vick's entire 2012 season.
Now, that's not to say the Eagles shouldn't let Vick run at all. Doing so would take an element of unpredictability out of Kelly's offense, and that would be a mistake considering all the success dual-threat quarterbacks had this past season.
If he's the starter, what is the biggest key to success for Vick in 2013?
Beyond their offensive line issues, the Eagles are about as loaded as an offense can get with guys like LeSean McCoy at running back and DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant catching the ball from the arm of Vick.
All of those players will fit this offense nicely, so the talent is no doubt there to make this thing work.
This team could have a very successful offense next season with Kelly's system and Vick taking the snaps. As long as they can make the necessary improvements during the offseason and keep Vick healthy by limiting his runs, Philadelphia and its quarterback should have a great 2013 season.
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