Quick Thoughts on Vick

Much of what needs to be said about Vick as the starting QB has been.  I just wanted to add a few things to the discussion:

– I thought Foles was the better choice, but that’s because I’m more concerned with the long-term than near-term.   No doubt Vick earned the spot, and I think he’ll perform well.

– However, keep Vick’s skill/ability in perspective.  If he plays like he has over the majority of his career, this could be a shorter stint than many realize.  Kelly won’t put up with poor decisions and inaccuracy when he has a backup QB he has confidence in.

– In that vein, the obvious question is: How long is Vick’s leash?  Kelly said Vick doesn’t need to “look over his shoulder”, but frankly, I don’t see how that’s possible.  The world now knows that Foles has some ability and can play in this offense.  If the Eagles drop 3-4 games in a row (maybe that Denver, NYG, Tampa away game stretch?), will Kelly still be as confident?

Almost by definition, selecting Vick is a choice of “Win Now” over “Develop for the future”. Therefore, if the team is around .500 and Vick falters a bit, how do you not pull him for Foles?  You’ve already stated you’re trying to win this year.

Basically, the pressure is on Vick to play very well.  However, if he plays to his long-term averages, I think we’ll see Foles get a shot.

– The key to Vick playing very well?  For me, it comes down to two things, which I’ll be watching closely for every game.  (Health is a given, but it’s not something Vick really controls)

1) Patience.  Does Vick have the discipline to consistently take 5-6 yard gains?  Put another way, can Vick consistently lead TD drives that don’t involve 20+ yard passes?  I hope so, but I’m skeptical.  His entire career has suggested he looks for the big play first, the smart play second.

2) Short throw accuracy.  Can Vick consistently put the ball exactly where it needs to be, hitting receivers in stride?  Yards after catch figures to be vital in this offense.  “Catchable” is not good enough.  I anticipate seeing a lot of WR screens and slants.  Those will fail if not delivered perfectly.

What about the rest of the offense?

This is good for DeSean and Shady.  Vick’s deep throw ability is his clearest advantage over Foles.  As a result, DeSean will likely be much better off with Vick at QB.  Any time the defense wants to stack the box (for instance with a multi-TE set), DeSean will have an opportunity for a home-run, which Vick will undoubtedly be happy to throw.

Conversely, the presence of the deep threat (Vick-DeSean combo) will stop defenses from consistently bring safeties down to the LOS.  That should give Shady the space he needs to get past the first level, at which point he’s more dangerous than any back in the league. The one area this might hurt Shady is in the passing game.  I think Foles would be better at throwing to Shady out of the backfield.  Naturally, that’s a secondary option, so the tradeoff is still overwhelmingly positive for Shady.

This is bad for the O-Line, the TEs, and Damaris (if he gets playing time).  Perhaps Vick’s worst attribute is his inability to intelligently navigate the pocket.  He’s too quick to roll out, which is extremely harmful to the OLs ability to block.  The short drops should help, but that assumes Vick will actually deliver the ball on-time.  His history suggests he’ll be prone to holding the ball after the 3-step drop, looking for a downfield option.  Vick creates a lot of sacks, and is unquestionably harder to pass-protect than Foles.

The TEs and Damaris figure to be hurt as well.  This goes back to the “ball-in-stride” point. I have no idea how much playing time Damaris will get, but I hope it’s a lot.  His game, though, requires pinpoint accuracy from the QB.  If he has to hesitate or break momentum to catch the pass, it negates his best attribute (his quickness).   It’s a similar story for the TEs, though probably not as big of a difference from Vick to Foles.

One could argue that Vick’s deep throw ability and his ability to draw a defensive spy will give the TEs more space to work with than they’d have with Foles.  That’s positive.  On the other hand, the TEs are worse than WRs at both catching the ball and adjusting their speed/routes.  Vick’s combination of inaccuracy and power (he throws the ball very fast) will likely lead to more difficult catches for the TEs than they’d have with Foles at QB.

– Lastly, if you were a backup QB and could hand-pick any NFL starter to sit behind, Vick would be high on the list.  “Staying healthy” for Vick means playing 14-15 games.  In all likelihood, Foles will get a chance to start a game or two this season, at which point we’ll really be able to tell how different the offense is with each QB (we haven’t seen anything close to the whole playbook yet).



9 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts on Vick

  1. I see all your concerns and I know where they come from, but they are based on the 10+ history that Kelly chose to ignore and not on what Vick and Foles did in the pre season game.

    Against the Pats Vick had the quick strike to Jackson and the drive that stalled partly because got -1 yard on the first try and Avant dropped the ball on 2nd and 11.

    Against the Panthers, Vick had a 10 play drive that stalled because of a Polk fumble (he did take travel the field in small bits) and the a 7 play TD drive.

    • I can’t tell if you’re being facetious….

      Vick can do it, I just don’t know if he will. I hope so though, it’d be really fun to see a full season of “Max Potential” Vick.

      • What I meant is, that Vick has shown us this pre season that he will take the check down instead of just scrambling like a mad man

      • Got it. If he plays like he has so far, we’re looking at a VERY good offense.

        However, I’d just remind you that, objectively, we should weight his career performance more heavily than his 2 preseason games thus far. Still, I’m more optimistic than I probably should be. I just wish the season would start already…

  2. I think long term or short term this is the only move Chip Kelly could make. He inherited a team that whether it be race, the ‘wow’ factor, or the fact players grew up idolizing Vick, the majority of the team wanted Vick to win the job. He did enough in preseason to reinforce people’s initial preconceptions. If he goes out and wins 10-12 games great.

    If he falters or gets injured then Foles is next in line. Choosing Foles now is an unnecessary risk for a first year college coach to take. I hope Vick plays well and we win, but if we don’t the team has already built in another direction to go. Credit to Vick for embracing the competition and winning the job, now hopefully we actually game plan to his strengths. I can tell you this, ESPN is salivating at RG3 vs Vick and the new Chip Kelly offense on opening day MNF should that happen.

    • Im excited by Vick vs RG3 as well (though part of me hopes he misses the first game).

      As I said, Vick won the job, so I don’t have any issues with the decision. I should have explained it further, but if it were me, I probably wouldn’t have brought Vick back, just to avoid this situation. That would definitely make the team worse off this year, but I think it’d be a better long-term strategic choice.

      With Vick on the team though, there’s no way you could NOT let him compete for the job. So he did, and he won.

      I’m most happy that both QBs played so well. Hard to think about it now, but the “competition” easily could have devolved into “Which QB is less bad in this offense?”

      • “Which QB is less bad in this offense?”
        – Who is this Saturday’s opponent for 500.

  3. Statistically Vick appears to be inaccurate due to his sub 60% completion percentage. But, when you watch him play you realize real quickly that he throws incomplete passes because he makes poor decisions not because he isn’t accurate. Why o’ why do people continue to say Vick is inaccurate. In fact, watching him play I’d say given a clean pocket and ability to set his feet, he is one of the more accurate QBs I’ve seen. Foles is the guy I see WRs and TEs stopping and twisting their bodies to catch off target passes from or slowing down on deep routes. Vick is the one that runs around in circles swinging the ball around wildly and throwing across his body while pirouetting through the air while also being hit. Still a problem, for sure, but semantically…the problem isn’t accuracy it’s decision making. Further, Vick throws the best swing pass on the roster and possibly in the NFL…consistently catchable, in-stride and on time.

    • Good points. Definitely true that Vick’s style of play and decision-making lowers his completion percentage. However, I have to disagree with you on the short-range passes. I don’t see Vick delivering those in stride. His mid to deep accuracy is good (his deep accuracy is great actually), but seems to have trouble with the short-range touch.

      Part of the reason for that is his velocity. He doesn’t really take much off the throw for a short pass, everything is 100%. Even when they’re accurate, these passes are tougher to catch than they need to be. That’s a seperate issue from accuracy, of course, but something I wanted to note.

      Once I get the All-22 film during the season, this is an aspect of the game I’ll look to highlight, regardless of whether that’s to show Vick playing well or not.

      Foles, from what I’ve seen, is the opposite. Short throws are dead-on accurate and in-stride, but the medium and long (especially long) require a lot more adjustment from the receivers.

      The difference I see is that, theoretically, Foles could still improve that part of his game. Not sure if he will, but it’s possible. Vick is what he is at this point, though a new system could certainly play more to his strengths. It’s possible that a few tweaks could help Vick on the short stuff, but I’m skeptical.

      Still, that doesn’t mean he won’t be successful.

      On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Eagles Rewind

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