Moving Forward: How Will the Eagles Use Michael Vick? (Humor)
Now that I've gotten my disappointment out of my system regarding the reaction, I can focus on the future.
I'm reminded of when the Coyote FINALLY caught the Roadrunner, only the bird was now a few stories tall. The Coyote turns to us, the viewer, and asks, "You always wanted me to catch him, now what?" Philly fans always wanted this team to have more weapons so...now what?
The two words I keep hearing tossed around are "slash" (a la Kordell Stewart) and "wildcat." But that hardly lets the fan know how Vick is going to be a playmaker for this offense.
Since Madden is out today, I have a few plays I'll be adding to my playbook and I won't be putting Vick's speed up to 99 like the '04 version.
Play No. 1
The Eagles LOVE screen passes and I love the way they execute them, most of the time, so here's an opportunity for Vick to shine. Vick and DeSean Jackson are spread out as receivers on the right side of the formation. DeSean Jackson then goes in motion to the left past Westbrook, who in the backfield split left.
The defense reacts to the two explosive players on the their right and shift the coverage figuring Vick is a decoy. At the snap, the ball is pitched to Vick, who is behind Stacy Andrews and Nick Cole, and he proceeds downfield.
Play No. 2
Brian Westbrook has a career 158.3 QB rating. Yes, I know he threw one pass way back in 2002 for a 25-yard touchdown to a player I don't even remember (was it Pinkston?) but if he can do it, why not Vick?
Vick lines up behind beastly Leonard Weaver in the I-formation with Donovan faking the hand off to Weaver and pitching the ball to Vick the opposite way.
This sucks up the safety, which allows Vick to do what he does well, which is throw the deep fly. Whether it's Jackson or Curtis who settles under the pass, it should go for 30+ yards easily.
Most secondaries are too disciplined to fall for this play, so it's best used against a team with weak/overly-aggressive cornerbacks.
The Redskins would be a perfect team to execute this play against.
Play No. 3
The direct snap play works best here. You have Vick lined up as a halfback on the strong side.
The center snaps the ball directly to Vick, who then can run, throw the ball himself or throw to Donovan, who can launch it downfield. This may take time to develop, so I'd save it for when the Eagles play a team with really slow linebackers, like the Giants.
Play No. 4
You put in your "fast" package of three wide receivers: Maclin, Jackson, and Curtis. Then you put Westbrook in the backfield and Vick as the tight end.
It starts as a fake draw to Westbrook, followed by the pitch to Jackson, who then fakes the pitch to Maclin. Maclin gives it Vick, who uses the blocking from teammates to head upfield.
This is not likely to gain much yardage unless Vick makes a few people miss, something that he was once very good at. If he can get a solid block or two, the rest will be seen on SportsCenter.
This is a high risk-high reward play, so I'd save it for when the Eagles play a more mentally handicapped team, like the Cowboys.
Play No. 5
College quarterbacks who become receivers normally have some key advantages. They read coverage better, have strong hands and are normally deceptively elusive.
Considering all those things, it's easy to picture Vick running routes. Physically, he's stronger than most corners in the league and we know about his speed.
These are a couple ideas I had but I'm sure the Eagles have even more.
Any offensive coordinator would be salivating at the thought of using a guy like Vick. Especially if he's as willing as reports indicate to be a team guy and do whatever is asked of him.
One thing is for sure; I wouldn't want to have to come up with a defensive game plan for the Eagles this year.
*Note to Cowboys, Redskins and Giants fans if you can't take a little joke don't bother commenting!*
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