NFL: 5 Things That Michael Vick Must Improve to Stay Hot in 2011

TCorrespondent IIIJuly 18, 2011

NFL: 5 Things That Michael Vick Must Improve to Stay Hot in 2011

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    Michael Vick's resurgence was one of the most entertaining stories of the 2010 season.

    However, toward the end of the regular season, defenses began to figure out how to stop the dynamic quarterback. It resulted in an early playoff exit for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    There are certain things Vick can change in order to restore his high level of performance from 2010.

    Here are five things Vick can do to get back on top in 2011.

Field Awareness

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    Vick came a long way from the scrambler he was in his days in Atlanta.

    However, sometimes he underestimated the strength of his arm, resulting in needless interceptions.

    For example, the interception that ended the Wild Card game against Green Bay could have been avoided if Vick recognized that both Jason Avant and Jeremy Maclin were open over the middle. 

    Instead, Vick threw one for all the marbles into the end zone for Riley Cooper, who was tightly covered by Tramon Williams.

    On a few other occasions, Vick has made questionable decisions with the ball. 

    This needs to change in order for him to remain a factor in 2011.

When to Run

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    With backup Kevin Kolb set to be jettisoned via a trade, the second string behind Vick is likely to be weak.

    With Vick's injury history, he has to have the presence of mind to know when it is smart to run.

    It is not to say that Vick will avoid injury, but the less he impulsively takes off, the less chance he suffers an injury that could sink Philly's chances.

    If he sees a lane, by all means, he should take it.

    However, Vick should check down his progressions before tucking the ball and running free.

Don't Become Donovan McNabb

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    Despite the previous slide, Vick should follow his instincts when it suits the benefit of the team.

    With his maturation into a passer, he should not ignore his natural abilities.

    That being said, it is simple as this: Do not become Donovan McNabb.

    By that, I mean Vick should not try to transform himself into something he is not. 

    McNabb shunned his ability to run solely based on his opinion that it would ruin his image and the image of black quarterbacks across the league. Tell that to Vick, who has been running for daylight all of his career.

    Vick should continue to make plays with his legs as long as the conditions warrant.

Chemistry with Receivers

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    It seems Vick and DeSean Jackson had great chemistry in 2010.

    Vick's strong arm could find the blazing Jackson far downfield in any given throw.

    However, with the lockout, Jackson has been absent from the organized workouts put on by Vick and other Eagles receivers.

    The chemistry that Vick and Jackson built may need time to rebuild.

    The quicker that chemistry is restored, the more success Vick and company will have in 2011.

Compensating for Shortcomings on Team

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    If the offensive line does not stabilize for Philadelphia, Vick will need to compensate for the shortcomings of the line by making plays on his own.

    The bottom line for Vick is not to ignore his talents but to be smart about using them.

    However, if it seems he has no other chance than to run more than normal to keep the team and himself alive, then Vick should be streaking up and down the field at will.

    If the offensive line is in shambles, Vick's legs will be the Eagles' only hope to make progress on offense as long as he can stay upright and healthy.