How Michael Vick Makes the Philadelphia Eagles Better
Football is a sport that requires all 11 guys do their job, but with Michael Vick as the man for the Eagles the other 10 guys on offense will find that their job is a whole lot easier.
Let's start with the running backs.
With Kolb under center, a defense would have no problem squeezing the inside gaps and using their outside linebackers to keep contain. Stuffing the middle means the back hits a wall of defenders, or he tries to bounce outside and has to deal with the outside linebackers.
But with Vick, that all changes.
Now the defensive ends must be aware of what Vick is doing and adjust themselves accordingly.
Instead of being able to play the 'C' gap but squeeze down to 'B', they're forced to stay outside of the tackle and make sure Vick doesn't boot to the outside.
We saw what this does for the running game against the Detroit Lions. Because the Lions' defensive ends were so worried about keeping contain, it meant the defense was down two defenders when it came to playing the run.
It ultimately led to LeSean McCoy's first 100-yard game and three touchdowns.
For the receivers, it allows for a couple of things.
First, the cornerback is usually trying to peak at Vick to see what he's doing so he doesn't get caught with his back turned. If that corner looks at Vick and loses either DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin for just a second, they can be five yards away running wide open.
And secondly, Vick's ability to extend the play behind the line of scrimmage means the corners have to cover longer, which is a clear-cut advantage for the offense.
Most defensive backs have a difficult time covering Jackson and Maclin for only three or four seconds, much less seven or eight seconds as is often the case with Vick.
It's even better for the Eagles' tight end Brent Celek. If the corners want to keep an eye on Vick, it means the linebackers and safeties will have both eyes on Vick and will be worried about stopping him first.
Celek, already a smart player and good route runner, should be able to take full advantage of this and come down with some easy receptions in the middle of the field.
Lastly, we've seen how Vick helps the offensive line.
The interior of the line will especially appreciate Vick and all the things he can do with his legs since now fewer people will notice when they completely blow it on all 'A' gap blitzes.
Nick Cole is especially at fault for this, but the youth and inexperience of Mike McGlynn certainly doesn't help. He will get better at making the line calls as the season goes on since that's something that can only be learned through experience, but Cole would be a very scary weak link on the line if Kolb were still under center.
We saw Donovan McNabb get victimized because of a weak interior line, so Kolb would have had absolutely no chance.
Vick, on the other hand, will make them look better with his ability to evade the inside blitz and get outside the pocket.
I'm going to keep hoping for the day Andy Reid announces Cole has been relegated to the bench in favor of Reggie Wells, but until then Vick's athleticism should prevent a total disaster.
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