Michael Vick vs. Vince Young: Pros and Cons of Each Starting in 2012
The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess.
With the team posting a horrendous 4-8 record thus far, everything within the organization needs to be reevaluated.
Backup quarterback Vince Young has started each of the last three games because Michael Vick has been out with broken ribs.
Concussions, ankle sprains, broken ribs—Vick is like a ticking injury time bomb any time he takes the field.
Are Vick's injury concerns enough to warrant a change at quarterback? Is Vince Young the answer?
The easiest way to evaluate two alternatives is to set them head-to-head and see which offers more.
So, here, we have a comparison of Michael Vick and Vince Young in both on-field abilities and off-the-field factors.
I don't think you will be surprised who comes out on top.
Michael Vick's Arm
Many have questioned Michael Vick's overall passing ability throughout his career, but arm strength has never been an issue.
The slight-of-frame quarterback has an uncanny ability to launch the football downfield with a seemingly effortless flick of the wrist.
The accuracy and consistency still need to improve, but the tools are there.
Vick's success in the passing game will be determined by his continued growth in reading defenses and making sound decisions.
Vince Young's Arm
During Vince Young's starts in 2011, he has shown a surprising lack of arm strength.
There have been a number of deep routes where things have just been off.
Part of the issue is that Young takes longer to load his body for a throw. However, even after he gets it out, the ball seems to die on deep sideline patterns.
You would not guess that a man with a large, powerful frame would struggle in this area, but it has been a consistent issue the past several games.
Add inconsistent accuracy and Young is an average thrower.
Michael Vick's Legs
Michael Vick is still the most electrifying player in the NFL.
Say what you will about the toll it takes on his body, we will get to that, but Vick's rushing ability is second to none.
There is no other quarterback in the league with the ability to create a 30-yard gain out of nothing.
Even at the age of 31 Vick has shown no signs of slowing down, and his legs are his competitive advantage.
Vince Young's Legs
Vince Young was a dynamic runner at the University of Texas.
His dash to the end zone during the national championship victory over USC brings to mind a dangerous quarterback that can beat you with his legs.
He is not that player anymore.
Over the past several weeks, Young's running has looked slow, cumbersome and tentative.
Granted, there is still some elusiveness, but Young will not break the game-changing runs and won't strike fear into opposing defenses.
Michael Vick's Health
Injuries have been a constant throughout Michael Vick's career.
This season has been no different. He has been hit hard both inside and outside of the pocket.
It's unrealistic to expect Vick to stay healthy an entire season. He is on the smaller side and plays the game with reckless abandon.
Injuries are going to haunt Vick throughout the rest of his playing career, making it essential to find a suitable backup.
Vince Young's Health
This is the first and most obvious advantage that Vince Young has over Michael Vick.
Young is not as great of an injury risk as Vick is. The Eagles backup has a larger frame and doesn't subject himself to as many hits outside of the pocket.
However, VY is not without his own issues. He has had several leg issues in the past, including issues with his knee, quad and, this year, his hamstring.
It's difficult to stay healthy throughout an entire NFL season, but Young, like virtually any other quarterback, has a better chance of suiting up for 16 games than Vick does.
Michael Vick's Contract
There was a lot of talk about Michael Vick's value when the Philadelphia Eagles inked him to a new contract.
The star signal-caller received a six-year deal worth $100 million. However, his contract is not nearly that large in reality.
Only about $35 million of that is guaranteed, and the Eagles have the opportunity to move on after the 2012 season.
While, on the surface, that new contract sounds too risky, Vick will never see all of that money.
Vick would have been worth every penny if he replicated his 2010 numbers, but if things don't go according to plan, this contract will get cut short.
Vince Young's Contract
The other advantage that Young could offer is a more reasonable price tag.
Young is currently on a one-year deal, but will be looking for a contract to become a starter somewhere in 2012.
If the Eagles wanted to make Young their guy going forward, he could be had a much lower rate than the long-term deal that Michael Vick signed.
However, that is not a reason to make a change.
Quarterback is not a position where you want to scrimp and save. You commit big dollars to the best player you can get.
Vince Young has a better track record of health and would probably be a cheaper option, but there is no question that Michael Vick is the better player.
Everyone knows that injury is a strong possibility given Vick's style of play, but his talents make it a risk worth taking.
For better or worse, the Philadelphia Eagles are linked with Vick for at least one more year.
Vick will continue to be the starting quarterback, but if Young does in fact leave via free agency, the Eagles must find a reliable backup.
Vince Young will probably be starting in 2012, but not in Philadelphia.