Philadelphia Eagles: The Transformation of Michael Vick Is Still Not Over
In Atlanta, Michael Vick became the face of the entire league for his ability to take off and run with the ball and throw it deep. In Philadelphia, he's quickly becoming the face of the franchise for those same key reasons, but with an added twist.
This time, he's actually playing quarterback.
With the Falcons he was basically a running back who took some snaps. He had one read and if that guy wasn't open, he took off. And a lot of the time even if that guy was open, he would still take off.
And even if he decided to make the throw, there was a good chance it wasn't going to be anywhere near his receiver.
Now, that's all changed. With the help of Andy Reid, Vick has turned himself into a pocket passer who uses his legs and escapability as an asset rather than a first option. He stands tall, dissects a defense, and makes a strong, accurate throw rather than just flicking his wrist and hoping for the best.
But the great thing for the Eagles (or scary thing for the other 31 teams) is that Vick's transformation into a complete quarterback still is not finished.
He goes through his progressions, his accuracy is light-years ahead of where he was, turnovers are almost non-existent (two fumbles, zero interceptions), and he's becoming a guy the team looks to as a leader, but he still doesn't seem 100 percent confident in calling audibles.
Ideally, a quarterback should never have to call an audible, but that's just not the way it works.
There were a few times against the Redskins that I thought an audible was absolutely necessary, but he stuck with a play that he must have known was doomed for fail. A specific example would be on a 3rd-and-3 later in the game when DeSean Jackson motioned into the backfield and he and LeSean McCoy both ran swing patterns.
The Redskins completely vacated the middle as the bumped both defensive tackles into more of a four or five technique and the linebackers were a good five to seven yards off the ball. The clear choice in that case would be the audible into some kind of run.
But instead, Vick stuck with the call, tossed the swing to McCoy, and McCoy got rocked for a one-yard losss.
This is in now way a knock on Vick. For as great as he's playing, he's still learning from the mental side of things and might not be all that comfortable changing the plays just yet. He did seem to make calls against the Redskins, but it mostly appeared to be changing the direction of the play more than anything else.
Eagles fans are excited about Vick, and they should be. It won't take long for anyone to find different things written by me destroying the notion that Vick could be a starter for this team, but in my own defense that was before he became a quarterback.
Jim Johnson and a very good (dare I say great?) Eagles defense showed that Vick the running back could be stopped fairly easily, but if he can continue his progression throughout the season and get to the point where he's comfortable with all aspects of his game, Vick the quarterback could become truly unstoppable.
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