Michael Vick's Rejuvenation Will Be Triggered by Eagles' Commitment to Run Game

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles drops back to pass in the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is hoping the new coaching staff’s commitment to the rushing attack will result in a career renaissance.

The franchise is hoping that is the case as well.

Vick restructured his contract in the offseason (h/t NFL.com), and the Eagles are hoping that a new mindset for the veteran and a newfound commitment to the run game will bring Vick back to an elite level.

No one is really sure what kind of offense new head coach Chip Kelly will infuse in Philadelphia—most expect it to be fast-paced and feature plenty of running plays of every variety (h/t Yahoo! Sports)—but the hope is that the dependence on mobile quarterbacks and the running game in his previous system at Oregon will translate to the NFL and rejuvenate Vick’s abilities on the field.

New Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told CSN Philly's Reuben Frank about the commitment to the run game and how the team will utilize the talented running backs on the roster:

I think it’s important that you use more than one running back. It’s a long season, and a guy can run out of gas quickly. If you have guys who are different, you can use them in different ways, and you try to play to their strengths. I think that’s important. I’ve always believed there’s a place on the roster for two good running backs. You have your starter, but the other guy needs to play so they can all get through the season.

That’s great news for Vick and the entire Eagles offense, especially after coming off another season that featured former head coach Andy Reid underutilizing his talented running backs—LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown—once again.

The lack of an elite rushing game (13th in the NFL) was one of the main reasons teams had many clear shots on Vick while he was on the field. Add that to the fact that the Eagles were fifth worst in the NFL in terms of sacks allowed last season (48) and the worst in the league allowing 118 hits on the QB, and the veteran QB never had a chance.

At Vick’s size (6’0” and 215 lbs), there is no way he could have been expected to withstand that beating. With the right offensive line protection and an unwavering commitment to the run, there is still a chance Vick can thrive in Philadelphia.

The team must ensure that it runs the ball first and foremost to give the veteran QB the best chance to succeed, and with two talented guys like McCoy and Brown working in different facets of the game, the Eagles have a great chance to put Vick in a position to succeed.

Once the veteran is given the pocket space and the time to make a play, though, he can’t afford to turn the ball over like he did in 2012.