COMMENTARY | For Michael Vick to find success against the Washington Redskins on Monday night, he will have to go back to the formula that helped him to ring up six touchdowns against the Redskins in 2010.
In that Monday Night Football contest, Vick was on top of his game. On his first play from scrimmage, he dropped back, faked the hand off to LeSean McCoy, and hit DeSean Jackson for an 88 yard touchdown score.
The night did not get much better for the Redskins, as Vick continued to pile on the points in a 59-28 blowout.
Let's take a look at the three things Michael Vick must do well on Monday night if he wants to find success against a much more formidable Washington Redskins team.
Be mobile -- Michael Vick is at his very best when he uses his feet, and moves out of the pocket when necessary. In that 88 yard touchdown pass against the Redskins in 2010, Vick took a deep drop and rolled to his left before making that throw. Granted, in Chip Kelley's offense he will be asked to make that decision much faster, but he will be working behind an offensive line that should be dominant this year so that should give him an opportunity to move away from pressure as needed. Vick has a tendency to have a lot of balls batted down at the line of scrimmage, being able to scramble will open up lines of sight for him to throw. Andy Reid tried to make Michael Vick a pocket passer, but this is not where Vick excels. Let's hope that Chip Kelly uses Vick's speed and ability to scramble to his advantage.
Ball Control -- When under pressure, Vick tends to make bad mistakes with the football. He needs to keep his cool and not force bad throws or plays that cause him to fumble. To his credit, many times when he makes mistakes it is because he is trying desperately to make a play happen that is just not there. That is in his competitive nature, but it leads to fumbles and forced throws. When all else fails, he needs to tuck the ball and run, or throw it away. He has to remember that a loss of yardage is better than a turnover. Forcing the football is one of the biggest problems holding Vick back from being a great quarterback.
Play within system -- Michael Vick needs to take advantage of an offense that seems to be built to his strengths. The run option offense takes advantage of a mobile quarterback's ability to use speed to his advantage. The Philadelphia Eagles offense is designed to give the quarterback several choices on any snap of the ball. Vick needs to read his defenders well, and use his hot routes for Kelly's offense to be most effective. The blocking schemes are very different in a Chip Kelly system. Offensive linemen will sometimes be asked to block down and double-team the defensive linemen, while a backside guard pulls around and blocks the linebacker. Michael Vick will be asked to read a single defender that can be anyone on the defensive line. Normally the NFL quarterback will simply be asked to read the defensive end, but not in the Chip Kelly offense, in this system Vick may be asked to read any of the front seven defenders. He needs to be decisive, make good reads, and get the ball out of his hands quick. If he does these things, and manages to stay healthy, this offense will be very hard to defend.
Jesse Dinkel has been following the Philadelphia Eagles since 1976. Jesse has been published on Yahoo Voices as well as multiple newspapers and blogs.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Michael Vick
- Washington Redskins
- Chip Kelly