Monday, December 22, 2014

Why Vick probably doesn't fit Kelly's vision

The problem with the Eagles keeping Michael Vick for 2013

Why Vick probably doesn't fit Kelly's vision

Philadelphia Eagles´ Michael Vick (7) and Nick Foles (9) warm up prior<br />to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Sept.<br />23, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick (7) and Nick Foles (9) warm up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

We still are in the guessing stage, about pretty much everything when it comes to the Eagles and new coach Chip Kelly. Tops on the list of questions might be the quarterback. We all know that Michael Vick and Nick Foles are under contract, but that Vick can be released without any financial obligations to the Eagles if it is done in the first three days after the Super Bowl.

Who will it be?

Maybe Foles.

But probably not Vick.

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This is just a surmise, of course, but it comes from Kelly’s own words. Someone attended a coaching clinic where Kelly was a featured speaker, and published his presentation. Here are three statements, lifted from that presentation. The subject was quarterbacks.

One:

“In a quarterback, I look for a quarterback who can run and not a running back who can throw. I want the quarterback who can beat you with his arm. If the defense forces him to run, he can do it effectively. We are not a Tim Tebow type of quarterback team. I am not going to run the quarterback 20 times on power runs. If I had a Tim Tebow, I might change my mind. You do not find the 6-4, 240-pound, 4.6 quarterbacks too many times.”

Two:

“In our attitude, every sack is the quarterback’s fault. It is not a sack if the quarterback throws the ball away. Nobody ever lost a game on an incomplete pass. Throw the ball away, and give us another opportunity to make a first down.”

Three:

“The job of a quarterback is simple. He has to ‘let it happen, and not make it happen.’ We want to move forward. That is a concept you have to make your team understand. The cardinal sin at our place is the quarterback sack. We want the ball out of the quarterback’s hands in 1.5 seconds. That does not mean holding the ball until 2.5, waiting for someone to get open.”

One, two, three. Does anybody see how that possibly adds up to Michael Vick quarterbacking the Eagles in 2013? He is the antithesis of most of these Kelly statements. He holds the ball forever, waiting for someone to get open, always looking for the big play, always reluctant to settle. As a result, he gets sacked a lot and hit more than almost any quarterback playing the game.

If not Vick, then Foles? One sentence, quoted above, sticks out as his problem: “If the defense forces him to run, he can do it effectively.”

The realities of the situation might force Kelly to compromise his vision in the first season -- we will all see about that, and soon enough. But it is hard to imagine the fundamental compromise that would be required if Vick were to be Kelly’s quarterback. I mean, when was the last time you saw Vick play and thought he was just letting it happen and not trying to make it happen? Ever?

Again, it is fundamental -- and we all have seen that Vick is too old to change. Given that, it seems obvious that the only question is whether the Eagles retain his rights after the Super Bowl in order to trade him.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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